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Portland naturopath touts vitamins to fight COVID-19

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners hosted a presentation Tuesday by naturopathic doctor Henry Ealy, a proponent of taking vitamins and minerals to fight off COVID-19.

The founder of the Portland-based Energetic Health Institute, Ealy gave a videoconference presentation at the invitation of Jackson County Commissioner Colleen Roberts, who has questioned the effectiveness of masks and advocated taking vitamins to boost immunity against COVID-19.

Ealy, who also uses the name Henele E’ale, has been speaking on talk radio programs and to other county commissioners in Oregon about COVID-19.

A critic of vaccinating children against infectious diseases, he is a proponent of using nutritional supplements and digestive “cleanses” to treat illness.

Ealy said many Americans are not getting the minimum recommended doses of key nutrients. He said they face a greater risk of complications and death if they catch COVID-19.

“What we know is that someone who is deficient in nutrients and in a very high-risk category is therefore going to be very high risk for long recovery times, adverse events and fatalities,” he said. “Our opinion is that nutritional guidance must be issued for all Americans immediately, that this is beyond overdue, and we can start making a difference in our counties and move this forward, I hope.”

Ealy recommended public officials issue nutrition recommendations to go along with other COVID-19 safety messages, such as the importance of wearing masks and social distancing.

Commissioners listened to his presentation stuffed with charts, references to scientific studies and data, but didn’t propose any actions in response.

Jackson County Commissioner Dave Dotterrer said the information will take time to absorb.

Three staff members from Jackson County Health and Human Services, including Dr. Jim Shames, also listened via videoconference. They said during the meeting they didn’t have questions for Ealy, but appreciated the information.

After the meeting, Shames could not be reached Tuesday by the Mail Tribune to talk more about what he thought of the presentation.

Roberts said in an interview with the Mail Tribune the presentation contained a lot of data to process. She hopes to follow up with fellow commissioners and public health staff on the issues raised in the presentation.

Roberts said state-mandated restrictions that have hurt businesses are based on reports of positive COVID-19 cases and she has concerns about the reliability of COVID-19 testing.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said he takes Vitamin C and D to help keep his immune system healthy.

He has also recommended other healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising and getting enough sleep.

Some studies show certain nutrients are important for the proper functioning of the immune system.

Ealy said Oregon and Jackson County data show adults 70 and older account for a minority of COVID-19 cases, but they represent a majority of fatalities.

According to Jackson County’s COVID-19 data dashboard, people 70 and older account for 10% of COVID-19 cases but 85% of the deaths.

Ealy recommended nutritional supplements, especially for senior citizens, those with underlying medical conditions and kids heading back to school or day care. He believes Vitamins A, C, D, E and zinc are best, but also recommends Vitamin B, iron, selenium and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Ealy said he believes Oregon Health Authority reports about the number of COVID-19 cases are overstated. He said the PCR test is inaccurate and yields false positives.

The PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, test detects genetic material from the virus.

Ealy claims there isn’t a statistical increase in hospitalizations that is consistent with rising cases.

However, both cases and hospitalizations rose sharply in the fall and winter.

Hospitalizations in Oregon began spiking at the beginning of November, peaked at the end of November and have been gradually trending down since then, according to OHA data.

COVID-19 cases began spiking in late October, just before more sick people started landing in hospitals. Cases peaked Nov. 30, started trending downward, then spiked again in the days after Christmas and New Year’s Day. Cases have been trending down since Jan. 3, OHA data show.

Ealy’s Energetic Health Institute offers programs such as holistic nutrition specialist, medical marijuana specialist and vaccine education specialist.

The vaccine education specialist course teaches people how to cast doubt on vaccines that protect babies and children from infectious diseases. People are instead encouraged to focus on nutrition and avoiding pollution during the course that costs $397, plus $40 for books, according to the institute’s website.

The course’s co-creator, anti-vaccination activist Brittney Kara, has said online that she did a Google search about Biblical references to vaccination and found none. She said God’s failure to mention vaccines in the Bible proves they are not part of God’s plan.

“I really believe that believing in vaccines is a mental disorder,” Kara said.

The Energetic Health Institute claims its detox course series designed by Ealy will teach people how to treat cancer through water fasting. It also says cleansing the digestive tract can improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, anxiety, the processing of emotional trauma, oral gum infections and immune, heart and nerve function.

“In fact, we have yet to see a physical condition or even emotional trauma a good cleanse couldn’t help,” the institute says on its website.

The detox series costs $797 plus $150-300 for nutrients and herbs for a cleanse.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.