Excessive caution is killing COVID patients In the March 31 Town Crier, Dr. Bruno Delagneau asserts that we need more data before doctors should prescribe fluvoxamine for treating COVID (Letters, “Patience: Fluvoxamine deserves scrutiny”). I disagree.

On Jan. 22, a panel of 30 key opinion leaders, experts from the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and top academic institutions met to consider the fluvoxamine evidence available today. Their conclusion was that doctors should discuss fluvoxamine with patients today and that fluvoxamine should be added to the NIH Guidelines (now in process).

If Dr. Delagneau disagrees with their conclusion, he should cite compelling evidence proving that the experts got it wrong. For example, in the Seftel study, the chance of the symptom results happening by chance is 1 in 100 trillion. No confounder can explain that. Which means either the drug works or we just saw the most extraordinary random event ever observed in human history.

Engineers like myself optimize for solutions that save lives. Given the choice between a placebo versus a drug that may dramatically reduce my hospitalization risk, I’ll choose the drug all day long.

Doctors today optimize for reducing the chance that they may make a mistake. That’s why we have such a high death rate from COVID today. Too much caution is killing patients.

Steve Kirsch

Los Altos Hills

Weigh cost vs. suffering with fluvoxamine use

I read with particular attention the March 31 letter to the editor about fluvoxamine.

The letter summarized medical orthodoxy, which I understand and agree with. Most understand and almost all agree.

But the issue is that there is a wide disproportion between the cost of the pandemic and the associated suffering versus the scant funding and urgency given to fluvoxamine scrutiny.

Fluvoxamine has a non-zero chance of being an effective solution, even if a small chance. It deserves faster scrutiny. We are one year into the pandemic.

Marc Slaughter

Naples, Fla.

Lee Eng’s record shows she advocates for all

After reviewing hours of recordings of Los Altos City Council meetings, I found that Councilmember Lynette Lee Eng voted repeatedly to improve social justice in Los Altos.

Some examples:

1. Lee Eng voted “yes” on forming the Citizens’ Police Task Force.

2. When recommendations from the task force came back to the city council, Lee Eng voted “yes” to implementing and funding the Racial and Identity Profiling Act (Assembly Bill 953) much sooner than the state requires. This program directs the police to collect data on police stops, even if a citation was not issued.

3. Lee Eng voted “yes” to ending the school resource officer program at Los Altos High School, in its current form.

4. Lee Eng supported city anti-bias training, urging and supporting the council to agree to diversity training for the council and city staff.

5. On the recommendation to hire an outside auditor to handle police complaints, Lee Eng did not vote against it, but rather abstained, stating that the report lacked information. Currently, our police department has an encrypted communication system that protects victims from having their identity released. But no such requirements were suggested for a third-party auditor, which is concerning, as we do not want victims of child abuse or domestic violence to be exploited.

6. As an Asian American, Lee Eng is acutely aware of the increase in violence and hate crimes against Asian Americans. This is stoking fear and anxiety across the country, and in our town. Los Altans support equity, diversity and inclusion, as does Lee Eng. 

Lee Eng is the only Asian American, a minority race, on the council. However, while holding public office in Los Altos, serving all races, she has a voting record that shows she is a strong advocate for social and racial justice.

Al Rooney

Los Altos