By Emmett Kelly
“This week the AGBC Frankfurt had its official reopening with a Zoom webinar on COVID1-19 with Dr. Howard Urnovitz, a member of the Frankfurt AGBC chapter entitled **Let’s Not Waste A Viral Crisis**.
Thomas Leiser, Secretary, Board of Directors, AGBC Frankfurt, opened the event from his home in Gießen welcoming back members from Frankfurt and other AGBC clubs around Germany. He introduced Dr. Urnovitz who was sitting before a computer-generated backdrop of the window view from his former office at the University of Göttingen in Germany. Dr. Urnovitz immediately pointed to the famous building seen from the window and explained it is the famous State Library of University of Göttingen. He further explained that he believes it is the birthplace of the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Method because it was one of the first browsers where scientists could look for what is known about a new hypothesis. At this pioneering library, a researcher would physically browse through the stacks of books organized by subject to retrieve content about a hypothesis as opposed to clicking away web browsing for information on a computer. He began his very interesting and insightful presentation by stating that his choice of backdrop is an important message to the audience that every decision regarding COVID-19 research and patient care should be based on hard scientific evidence.
Dr. Urnovitz, with a MS & PhD from University of Michigan in Microbiology and Immunology, has many years of experience and proven successes using “hard scientific evidence.” He is currently working on a finger-stick COVID-19 detection device; but he actually distinguished himself in 1987 with the first FDA-approved 10-minute HIV blood test and in 1996 he received 2 FDA approvals for a urine test for HIV screening and confirmation.
Dr. Urnovitz, CEO FBB Biomed, used prepared slides to educate the audience about COVID-19. He explained that every virus is unique, and COVID-19 is no exception. He said that COVID-19 uniquely targets the ACE2 receptor and is extremely dangerous because it then is able to target the lungs, heart, kidneys, intestines and nervous system. He admitted that “It is difficult to understand how it works.”
Dr. Urnovitz explained that we humans live in a “constant inflammatory state” and COVID-19 takes advantage of our bodies’ distress due to diet and pollution. He speculated that poor air quality in certain locations of the world has exacerbated the situation and promoted the virus’ spread.
Dr. Urnovitz said the solution is “….testing, testing, testing.” He acknowledged that economic concerns are real and said “We have to find a balance between health cautions and economic concerns.”
Dr. Urnovitz took several questions from members and ended by saying “There is a silver lining here. There is a lot of good things going on now. We will review what we did right and wrong and that is a great benefit.”