VIDEO: CHEMED interviews Rav Asher Weiss regarding immunity, hydroxychloroquine, traveling and more

CHEMED Health center recently coordinated an interview with Rav Asher Weiss Shlita on many of the more recent topics that have cropped up surrounding COVID-19. Some of the “hot off the press” discussions included:

1. How one should act in a situation of high immunity as seen in the tristate area (particularly Lakewood)
2. The halachic aspect of giving hydroxychloroquine when there was no evidence of its effectiveness
3. Whether restricting travel within the community away from “hot spots” like Florida, Arizona, or Eretz Yisroel is appropriate

Watch the video below for these topics and more.

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you TLS and Dr Friedman from Chemed for this fascinating interview! Definitely worth listening, but for those who don’t have the time here is a quick recap:

    3 Phases in Lakewood: Huge Numbers around Purim time (74 Niftarim), extremely low numbers: 1 or 2 per week for 5-6 weeks, and now slow uptick due to people coming from hotspots. Even in phase 2 it was too early to drop all precautions. Sofek Pikuach Nefesh is above all.

    40% of people with antibodies in Lakewood is not an indicator. The Rov knows personally people who have fell ill for the second time. What counts is the trend of new cases. If the numbers are going up then we must be careful. Also, there may be many many cases who are unreported.

    Don’t close Shuls and Yeshivos, but:
    Wear Masks.
    Keep Social Distancing.
    Don’t shake hands.
    Time to stay home. Don’t fly.
    Don’t travel to hotspots. People who traveled to hotspots must quarantine upon returning home and not go to Shuls etc.

    Don’t close your door to Meshulachim but you could ask them to wear a mask and stay at a safe distance. No need to invite them in.

    Seniors should be encouraged to see their families in a safe manner. Normal precautions such as hand sanitizing, proper social distancing, and no hugging.
    Seniors should not feel bad about not being able to go to Shul.
    Take advantage of technology such as Zoom to attend Shiurim, Davening, etc.

    When a vaccine comes out and when the CDC / FDA feels it’s safe, people should get vaccinated.

    On a Ruchniyus level: Daven a lot, Learn Torah, Say a lot of Tehilim at least 20, 130, 41, Try to say the Ketores Daily with Kavanah, Try to say the Akeida daily, Try to be a better Yid than you ever were before.

    • Also, many Rabbanim are against using zoom and other technology. It is also extremely unclear how many new cases there are in Lakewood.
      They are coming from out of town and Eretz Yisroel is completely different.
      According to the medical community there has not been one person that got it twice in the whole world for 8 months! People might have it for months.
      Could we have the reality presented?
      CHEMED has probably tested less people then the other places in Lakewood. We cannot look at the numbers without having total reporting.
      Check JTA.org/2020/07/08/health/brooklyns-hasidic-jews-are-acting-like-they-have-herd-immunity-could-they-be-right
      Read this article.

      • @ Use Your Brains – Please do as you say…This is a recap not a transliteration.

        If you really want to know who did he permit technology for, and how many people Chemed along with the other Lakewood doctors have tested, listen first to the entire speech and then feel free to enlighten the world with articles you read in JTA or elsewhere.

        • I actually did listen to the whole thing. He does not clearly say a number of current patients, he is very vague. You also do not address the other concerns I bring up.
          As far as technology is concerned, you are correct he was talking about seniors in their homes. I was mistaken to write it like that.

          • If you insist…

            “According to the medical community there hasn’t been one person that got it twice…” – Read USA Today today (7/16) and you’ll see that the medical community is actually saying quiet the opposite.

            “Chemed has actually tested less people…” – Dr Friedman says they have tested approx 10,000 people out of 75,000 people. I hope this gives them a little “window” into the situation.

  2. I forgot to include in the recap:

    If doctors are confused about the effectiveness of a medicine such as Hydroxychloroquine, then Rabbonim should step in. The principle of Sheiv Veal Taaseh Adif applies.

    • With all due respect the science on Hydrox is not settled. There are studies saying that it does work if given early. There is also lots of anecdotal evidence that it does work.
      We cannot trust the medical community which is biased at this time. We have to look at the facts we know and decide accordingly.
      If there was to be another round which we hope there wont be not giving hydrox seems like a crazy thing to do.
      No, I am not a anti vaxxer but they are speeding up the process a bit so there is what to be concerned about.
      There is definitely different opinions among Rabannim and some Rabanim are inclined to always follow the Government Experts, some are not.
      In this case the government has been consistently wrong and if you need proof look at nursing homes.
      If R Asher Weiss is your Posek follow him, If not ask your local Rav.

      • @ Use Your Brains – Again please do as you say… Rav Asher Weiss is from the biggest MEDICAL Poskim around.

        And yes, when a family member was hospitalized in Shaarei Zedek and the most Chamurdik Sheeilos came up (not even regarding life or death) we turned to Rav Asher for his guidance. He has big shoulders we could and should rely on.

        • As above, you did not address any of my points. One thing is quite clear there are definitely other opinions. I am not taking away from the Rav’s expertise I am just pointing out the flaws in the medical argument with facts that the government and medical “experts” like Faucci have made and are making. (Such as saying in the beginning that it is detrimental to wear a mask)

          • If you insist…

            ‘We cannot trust the medical community which is bias at this time” – Do you seriously expect me to respond to that? Who should I trust then? Your Brains??

            “They’re speeding up the process a bit so there is what to be concerned about” – This too was addressed by Rav Asher who explained how Safek Nefashos Lechumra goes both ways etc. Relisten to that segment to hear his Daas Torah on that.

            “The government has been consistently wrong…” – That is malicious at best. Fauci has made mistakes and has apologized about it as he learned more facts. Eizeihu Chacham Halomed Mikol Adam. I do trust people who change their opinion as knowledge becomes available, as it makes me feel secure that they’re advising me to the best of their knowledge. I do not trust those who consistently criticize the experts no matter the situation due to who knows what complex. Claiming that all our frum medical experts and Rabonim do not use their brains and do not realize that it’s all political is… purely idiotic.

        • All I am asking is to agree to disagree.
          There are varying opinions and every one should do their own research and decide accordingly.
          To assume that there is no bias in medical decision, or for that matter in any decision seems wondrous. Don’t forget we are all people and aside from Hashem himself we all have bias.
          If you are on the ground in a nursing home or hospital you would know the bias and incorrect information that is being given out by the Governor and media.
          I rest my Case!

  3. No evidence of effectiveness with Hyrox? Really. The disregard for human life when it comes to politics is astounding and downright frightening.

    • Like I was saying, I am not arguing on R’ Weiss, rather I am saying the information that the medical community is presenting is absolutely false. That includes the part about Hydrox.
      You do not have to be a genius to know that.

  4. If in fact antibodies do not prevent a person from getting the virus, then what good is a vaccine whose sole goal is to create antibodies in a person? And at the moment Dr. Ditchek said in a video that the amount of antibodies that the vaccines they are working on now produce are not very high.

  5. It’s not a very good idea to open the door to meshulachim. You don’t know if they’ve contracted the Caronavirus during their travels. Chances are they’re not donning a mask.

  6. Follow up. Better yet. Ask meshulachim to slip an envelope under the door. I think this is the safest way during this treacherous time to handle meshulachim.

    • You may be correct on the measures you are taking. Remember one thing, this meshulach may have very well left his family for weeks, forced by the circumstances leaving his children and wife home alone. When he returns he probably will need to quarantine for 14 days. He his standing by your door pleading for your help and every knock makes him uncomfortable.
      On the envelope maybe write, “I am so sorry that I cannot answer due to the cicumstances”. Remember meshulachim are our keys to Gan Eden they are coming to do you a favor, not for them.

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