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Who are America’s Frontline Doctors?


WORLD Radio - Who are America’s Frontline Doctors?

The political organization rose to prominence on its criticism of the COVID-19 vaccine

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PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: figuring out fact from fiction.

Many people have passionate viewpoints on vaccines, especially when it comes to COVID-19. Everyone has to make his or her own decision about whether to get one. And reasonable people fall on both sides of that choice.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: As we’ve reported on these issues over the last year, many of you suggested we look into information posted online by one particular group. They call themselves America’s Frontline Doctors—or AFLDS.

So WORLD’s editorial team asked our medical correspondent, Dr. Charles Horton, to research the group and its claims.

And he joins us now to tell us what he discovered. Doctor, good morning!


REICHARD: So, who is behind America’s Frontline Doctors? What can you tell us about the organization and its founders?

HORTON: It first showed up last July, and it seemed more political than medical – it was kinda theoretically there to promote the idea that hydroxychloroquine was a cure for COVID, but it kept coming back to politics. If you go to Internet Archive, the original version of their website warns that “the great American experiment of a Constitutional Republic with Representative Democracy, [sic] will cease.” unless we follow their suggestions.

So that’s its roots – it was a political group, arguing against things like masks and lockdowns, but focusing on this argument about hydroxychloroquine instead of on the economic fallout from anti-COVID measures. The group’s founder was a lady named Simone Gold, who was back in the headlines briefly after January 6, because she and AFLDS communications director John Strand were with the rioters illegally inside the Capitol Building that day . They’ve both been arrested for that. So again, Gold has been a very political figure.

REICHARD: Okay, well let’s talk about the group’s particular claims. It has questioned whether COVID-19 is really all that dangerous, given that a commensurate number of people die annually from other diseases, like heart disease is about 600K a year. What have you found there?

HORTON: Well, that argument, far from showing that COVID isn’t a threat. If we add to these leading scourges in American life something else that is able to kill thousands and thousands of people. That doesn’t say we shouldn’t take it seriously but rather that we should take it all the more seriously.
COVID-19 has killed over 600,000 people in America – that number speaks for itself, but AFLDS then essentially argues that the numbers are wrong, because last March’s HHS decision should be reported on death certificates when it appeared to be the cause of death. Keep in mind, that was when it was almost impossible to get a test. Tests were extremely scarce and we were trying to get the least bad data that we could about how this pandemic was proceeding.

And here’s a great example of where AFLDS tips its hand, in terms of its goal being to play the whole thing down. It cites very reassuring statistics about “overall survivability, counting all comers. You know, counting your healthy 20 year old marathon runner and so forth. And it’s writing really tries not to speak very much about what COVID means if you aren’t as healthy, if you aren’t as young. That is in fact where a lot of those 600,000 deaths came from.

REICHARD: Now, regarding COVID-19 vaccines, the group refers to them as “experimental vaccines,” is that correct? And also if you could address the point that these aren’t vaccines at all, they are shots, like flu shots?

HORTON: No, and this is where AFLDS goes from airing opinions – they don’t like masks, they think the economy should have stayed more open – to statements that are just out-and-out wrong. The vaccines are not experimental. They are sold under an Emergency Use Authorization, or EUA, which allows them to be sold without the full FDA approval.

REICHARD: What are the unvarnished facts about the safety and the effectiveness of the vaccines, particularly with regard to the delta variant?

HORTON: There’s great news here – we’d all held our breath about how they’d do against delta variant, but they ended up doing really well where it counts the most – which is in preventing severe illness and hospitalization. Data from Israel showed that Pfizer’s vaccine was 91% effective against severe illness and 88% effective against hospitalization. It didn’t do as well against simply getting sick – it was 39% effective for that – but turning a case that would have sent someone to the hospital, or even ended his life, into a week of feeling crummy in bed is still a win.

REICHARD: Final question: we’ve seen some instances of heart inflammation with the vaccines, what about that?

HORTON: Rare is the word—on the order of one per 100,000 in young men, who were the highest-risk group for it – and it’s almost always transient. It also seems to go with the mRNA vaccines, so folks who want to sidestep that question could also go with Johnson & Johnson. That’s not an mRNA vaccine.

REICHARD: Okay, Dr. Charles Horton is W ORLD’s medical correspondent. He lives and works and raises his family in Pennsylvania. Dr. Horton, always a pleasure!

HORTON: Likewise! Thanks so much.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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I am writing as a long time listener as well. I was so disturbed by this piece, I kept thinking my podcast app had messed up and was playing something from CNN or Google News. Why is there NO discussion of natural immunity, anywhere? Why was there no focus on keeping a choice. People rely on this broadcast to make informed decisions and as you now know, there are alot of very disappointed listeners who realize you missed, big time on this commentary. (which should have been a news story, researched different points of view, and reported)


I listen to the World and Everything in it most mornings on my run and this story was one of the worst I have ever heard from World. It seems more like a hatchet job and very biased against America's Frontline Doctors. After just recently finishing Simone Gold's Book, I Do Not Consent, I disagree with almost everything Dr. Horton said in this piece I would love if World did an interview with Dr. Gold and got her perspective on things. I don't find this group to be political but they definitely don't walk in lockstep with the CDC which has lost all credibility in my opinion.


This piece was embarrassing to listen to. It comes from an obviously slanted viewpoint and shows no effort to dig into the actual story behind the growing number of Americans looking for alternatives to the politicization of medicine. But that seems to be consistent with World's stance on the vaccine story and dangers. With every piece you guys have done in regards to vaccines, you have failed to understand or search out the other side of the story. You really need to apply your journalistic tactics of an open mind in this field as well. It has not happened thus far. We rely on World for fair, biblical, honest reporting. But this is one area we continue to see a glaring blind spot from you all.


I normally *love* the world and everything in it, but this particular interview sounded like something MSNBC would conduct, and we (my wife and I) got to the end of the interview and just looked at each other as though a skunk had just walked through the room. Charles Horton's responses focused on the politics and never really addressed the claims of the group or their recent lawsuit. The lawsuit itself is detailed and fairly well supported with data and research. Maybe Mary's questions are to blame, since she didn't focus on the true issues the way she normally does... this all felt like a vaccine-love-in, not an unbiased and substantive interview. Your audience wants to hear a balanced analysis of the *many* claims in the lawsuit...not whether or not the founder was in the Capital on Jan 6th. You guys are better than this!


A professional analysis by one doctor on the medical position another physician should focus not on attacking their political perspective but on their medical treatment. Dr. Horton offers no judgement on the AFLDS primary position of early treatment of COVID with a combination of hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin and ivermectin in combination with zinc. Both treatments have been shown by multiple clinical evaluations to be highly effective and completely safe. All other discussions of masks, lock-downs, testing and vaccines become irrelevant when these appropriate treatments are recognized and not marginalized by public health authorities promoting vaccination for everyone.


No members of AFLDS are interviewed to respond to Horton's assertions. This sounds more like a hit piece than an investigation, i.e. Horton refers to the founder of AFLDS as "a lady named Simone Gold," which subtly downplays her credentials: MD, JD, FABEM, board-certified emergency physician. Horton belongs in CNN for this type of reporting. Excuse my French.

harm schaap

This too funny,
It seems to me the good Doctor Horton should "HEAR" not just the "W.H.O.", but also at least the FLCCC Alliance, if "2 or 3 witnesses" applies for a less biased opinion.
Harm Schaap

Tom Kauffman

A couple things come to mind. Why the big hurry to have 100% immunization. this is something everyone needs to answer for themselves and be comfortable with. And Second, Horton gives us "Hobsons choice"--if your worried about rDNA technology, just take the J&J shot. Well, for some of us the fact that J&J was developed using Fetal Cells makes that a moral no go. But whether any of this is correct or not does not overshadow the fact that we once had the right to make our won decisions in this country. Let us pray we can come back to civil discourse.

Shelley Tuttle

The frontline doctors are giving a "second opinion" --one that takes into consideration factors other than just statistics that people rally around to advocate dictating more extreme interventions. After all, even one death seems to be too many for them, right? What is truly likely to happen, though, among children under 18? Why are immunizations thrust upon those who have natural immunity? Is 90% herd immunity, as Fauci has said needs to be reached, necessary? The State doctors lean toward seeing every possible mishap that could occur, much like an insurance salesman who adumbrates all the possibilities. We need these frontline doctors to give their expertise that is not based on worst case scenarios but on reality. I do hope World conducts an interview with America's Frontline Doctors who offer a second opinion from which to base our decision about whether to be vaccinated or not.


Thank you nurse youngheart and James! I agree; having one doctor report on only his 'research' into America's Frontline Doctors is poor reporting at best. All of the AFD were (and I assume still are) treating patients and saving lives (including older patients). My best friend (an RN) and her husband (ages 72 & 77 at the time) tested positive for Covid a week before Thanksgiving 2020. We go to the same doctor and they were not treated with anything, they just "toughed it out." They initially thought it was just a really bad cold, but their symptoms became influenza like and that's why the doctor recommended testing for Covid. They both recovered well after a couple of weeks (& she donated convalescent plasma). And guess what? They both would normally be considered high risk because of their age, weight, blood pressure, and he has a pace maker.
By the way, the "study" that scared so many into thinking that Hydroxychloroquine was dangerous was withdrawn shortly after publication, because of lack of peer review and has now been debunked... but the MSM has barely mentioned the debunking after having frightened the country about it (some 'reporters' are still saying it's dangerous). Talk about spreading 'disinformation'! WORLD magazine should look into that!


Sound Journalism for this particular story would include actually talking directly to individuals from America's Frontline Doctors in addition to or instead of Dr. Horton's assessment, which is biased at best and willfully disparaging of the group's leadership to downplay what are legitimate concerns expressed by the group and others (as evidenced by a "frontline" health care worker in other comments). You can do better, and Dr. Horton can do better.


I am a registered nurse with 52 years of experience, live in Arkansas and work part time with a family practice physician. Since March of 2020 we have used the drug combination of Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, and Zinc. Some of our physicians use Ivermectin. We don't go on TV and don't make video's we just take care of patients. Yesterday we saw 4 fully vaccinated patient's with symptoms and tested positive for Covid. Patients are truly shocked when we tell them they have Covid. They honestly did not believe they could get the virus after taking the shot. Dr. Zelenko a family physician in upstate New York has been treating his Jewish community with these same drugs.

Facts do matter, in an article from CNN Chris Cillizza states Arkansas only has 36% vaccination rate. On 7/26/21 the Arkansas Dept of health reported 40.92% fully vaccinated and 10.95% partially vaccinated. What is wrong with fact checking?

I appreciate Dr Horton's comments, but we are in the trenches out here and see things differently. Did I mention I am 73 years old took one of the first Pfizer shots in December 2020 and within 30 hours had a serious allergic reaction to the shot. I take a yearly flu shot and all necessary vaccines. I did not take the second shot. Last Friday I tested positive for Covid. I am just finishing my medications today. I keep my weight down, I am runner, I know my Vitamin D level and I take the proper precautions. I am feeling better and have had no complications.
Last week an 18 year old young man in Springdale, Arkansas took his second Pfizer shot and the very next day had chest pain. He was in the hospital with heart issues. You can find the article in the news. He will have to monitor his heart rate for the next 6 months. Cardiac side affects are only rare unless it is your son or grandson!
Thank you for allowing me to air my view point. I would never tell a patient to not take a shot, they do have a choice.
Sandra Thompson