N.J.’s medical marijuana chief douses senator’s pipe dream of legal weed for sale immediately after the election

EDITOR’S NOTE: NJ Cannabis Insider produces exclusive weekly content and monthly events geared toward those interested in the marijuana and hemp industries. To subscribe, visit njcannabisinsider.biz.

Not long after state Sen. Nick Scutari claimed on Tuesday legislators and regulators may “be able to flip the switch and people might be able to get marijuana, legally, right after the vote,” the head of the state medical cannabis program doused that pipe dream with a bucket of cold water.

“(Some dispensaries) literally do not even have the space to accommodate the level of demand that personal-use sales would bring,” said Jeff Brown, who helms the Department of Health’s Medicinal Marijuana Program. “I could say unequivocally that opening up sales even a few months after the election would be a disaster and would really hurt access for patients who need this as medicine. My number one priority is to ensure that the patients have access — that’s going to be our priority first and foremost.”

Since the passage of Jake Honig’s Law, the medical program continues to grow in terms of patients and demand — about 7,000 patients per month on average and nearly 95,000 patients enrolled in total — but the program continues to face supply challenges for just the current patient population due to the small number of operational cultivators and canopy space.

Scutari, in his comments during an interview with NJ Cannabis Insider streamed live on NJ.com’s Facebook page Tuesday, that “(the) currently operating medical cannabis dispensaries would have an opportunity to sell to the general public for people over 21, if they can certify that they have enough product to satisfy their patients that they’re already treating.”

Brown, who also participated in a closed portion of the webinar, tamped down the senator’s suggestion at the time. He said he wants to keep an open dialogue with legislators and make the program’s priorities clear to medical patients and Garden State citizens as a whole.

“Inventories at alternative treatment centers are increasing, too, but it’s uneven,” he said. “We have some that are expanding capacity and then we have others that are simply maintaining and have really no room to expand cultivation in their current footprints.”

For the past six months, Brown said, the medical cannabis program has averaged about only 2,100 pounds in sales per month, rising to nearly 2,500 in September with a similar trend in October. Based on an average of the patient population, patients typically only buy a half-ounce each month, he said.

As of this past Friday, Brown said, there were about 10,000 pounds of medical cannabis in the market — about evenly split between flower and extracts, though flower tends to have higher sales. That means there’s enough medical cannabis to last about four months, given current sales trends and more limited choices for patients.

Part of the challenges dispensaries face, Brown said, is the small indoor canopy. There’s a dozen cultivators in New Jersey, but the average dispensary only has a canopy of

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Latest information and helpful resources as coronavirus impacts North Carolina

Here you can get the latest information on the coronavirus, or COVID-19, in North Carolina and surrounding region, and resources to be prepared and keep your family safe.



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What’s New — Week of Oct. 25:

  • More than 9.0 million people in the country have been infected with the virus and more than 230,000 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
  • The latest surge of COVID-19 infections has brought the seven-day average of new daily cases to heights not seen since the pandemic began. The seven-day average of new cases hit 68,767 on Sunday, topping the previous peak of 67,293 reported on July 22. The two highest single days of new cases were Friday and Saturday, with more than 83,000 new cases added each day.
  • The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is driving up food insecurity across America. 54 million Americans are going hungry. Here is how you can get help if you are facing food insecurity today.
  • Immunity to COVID-19 infection lingers for at least five months, researchers reported — and probably longer than that.
  • As voters get ready to head to the polls on Election Day, many will do something they have never done before: put on a mask to go vote. Here are coronavirus guidelines for in-person voting.
  • Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 171 Wednesday to strengthen eviction protections and keep more North Carolinians in their homes.
  • Millions of Americans who have lost health insurance in an economy shaken by the coronavirus can sign up for taxpayer-subsidized coverage starting Sunday.

North Carolina Numbers:

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has not updated its coronavirus numbers for Friday because of a technical delay, it reported. It is working to provide an update as soon as possible, which is when this article will be updated.

  • There have been 274,635 cases and 4,378 deaths in the state as of Saturday
  • There are currently 1,184 people hospitalized
  • The state has completed 4,043,698 tests
  • 6.1% of tests returned positive, with 2,805 new cases reported Saturday
    • Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said the goal for this benchmark is 5%.

Piedmont Triad County Numbers:

  • Alamance County has 5,511 positive cases, 89 deaths
  • Alleghany County has 311 positive cases, 2 deaths
  • Caswell County has 640 positive cases, 5 deaths
  • Davidson County has 3,836 positive cases, 44 deaths
  • Davie County has 786 positive cases, 11 deaths
  • Forsyth County has 9,121 positive cases, 121 deaths
  • Guilford County has 11,877 positive cases, 210 deaths
  • Montgomery County has 1,208 positive cases, 40 deaths
  • Randolph County has 3,921 positive cases, 64 deaths
  • Rockingham County has 2,125 positive cases, 26 deaths
  • Stokes County has 710 positive cases, 12 deaths
  • Surry County has 1,961 positive cases, 33 deaths
  • Wilkes County has 1,846 positive cases, 38 deaths
  • Yadkin County has 1,084 positive cases,
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Trial targets deadly lung cancer

IMAGE

IMAGE: Associate Professor Sonja Klebe, leader of Asbestos Associated Disease research at Flinders University
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Credit: Flinders University

With more than 650 Australians diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma last year, Flinders University is leading new research to discover alternatives to chemotherapy and even prevent deaths by early detection in future.

One novel approach, using natural therapeutic benefits of curcumin, a key component of the spice turmeric, will be put to the test in a clinical trial in 2021 as part of world-leading research at Flinders University.

While asbestos is now banned from being used for new buildings, many houses still contain asbestos, so exposure during renovations is common. Australia has one of the highest per-capita rates of asbestos-related disease in the world.

Flinders University researchers are studying the safety and feasibility of using a form of intrapleural liposomal curcumins to benefit patient survival and quality of life – with fewer toxic side-effects than chemotherapy.

“That’s why it’s important to explore alternative therapies and facilitate early diagnosis to reduce suffering and support early intervention measures,” says Flinders University lead researcher Associate Professor Sonja Klebe.

As well, the researchers are looking for early diagnostic methods with a special lung fluid test. “In most cases, malignant mesothelioma is not diagnosed until it is in the late stages,” she says. “We’re hoping to find a way to test for the disease before it becomes invasive.”

Patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the cancer caused by asbestos exposure, experience poor survival of 6-12 months following diagnosis and a five-year survival of less than 5%. Therapeutic options are limited due to high resistance rates to chemotherapy and the advanced age of patients (median age 75).

Associate Professor Klebe’s team will test the safety and feasibility of intrapleural liposomal curcumin to benefit patient survival and quality of life. Future treatments are expected to have fewer toxic side-effects than chemotherapy.

In addition, the researchers are investigating methods to facilitate early diagnosis, using novel techniques on the lung fluid that is drained in the early stages of diagnosis.

“In most cases, malignant mesothelioma is not diagnosed until it is in the late stages,” she says. “We’re hoping to find a way to test for the disease before it becomes invasive.”

In time for Asbestos Awareness Month in November, the experts warn the high number of cases could persist for years with hundreds more cases of the deadly disease possible after latency of more than 30 years from work-related (builders, plumbers, gasfitters, mechanics and marine engineers) or other exposure. Firefighters may also be at risk after the devastating bushfires razed old buildings and sheds across Australia.

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See the latest research publications:
‘Malignant mesothelioma in situ: diagnostic and clinical considerations’ (2020) by E Pulford, DW Henderson and S Klebe published in Anatomical Pathology (Vol 52, Iss 6, page 635-642)
DOI: 10.1016/j.pathol.2020.06.010

See also:
The potential utility of GATA binding protein 3 for diagnosis of malignant pleural mesotheliomas (2020) by S Prabhakaran, A Hocking, C Kim, M Hussey and S Klebe has

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U.S. records more than 90,000 Covid-19 cases in one day for the first time

The United States set yet another pandemic record with more than 90,000 new Covid-19 cases reported in a single day, the latest NBC News tally showed Friday.



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The new benchmark of 90,456 cases was hit Thursday just hours after the U.S. logged its 9 millionth coronavirus case and shattered the previous daily record of 80,662 infections, set a day earlier.

Also, the 540,035 new Covid-19 cases reported from last Friday, Oct. 23, to Thursday was the most for any seven-day period since July, the figures showed.

And with Election Day now just days away, the grim numbers stood in sharp contrast to President Donald Trump’s oft-repeated campaign claim that “we are rounding the turn” on the pandemic.



a man standing in front of a bus: Firefighters and paramedics with Anne Arundel County Fire Department wear enhanced protective equipment as they load a patient into an ambulance on Oct. 26, 2020 in Glen Burnie, Md. (Alex Edelman / AFP - Getty Images)


© Alex Edelman
Firefighters and paramedics with Anne Arundel County Fire Department wear enhanced protective equipment as they load a patient into an ambulance on Oct. 26, 2020 in Glen Burnie, Md. (Alex Edelman / AFP – Getty Images)

Covid-19 infections have actually been increasing across the United States at the fastest rate since the start of the pandemic, and overnight more than 30 states reported having more than 1,000 new cases.

The U.S. now leads the world in the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths, with nearly 230,000 deaths, according to the John Hopkins University Covid-19 dashboard.

“The virus is a global scourge, but it has been an American fiasco, killing more people in the United States than in any other country,” the House subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis said in a scathing report Friday, which blasted the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic as “among the worst failures of leadership in American history.”

In other coronavirus news:

  • Donald Trump Jr. falsely claimed Thursday that Covid-19 deaths have dwindled to “almost nothing,” despite there being around 1,000 reported in the United States that same day. The president’s son, who is not a physician, also said on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” that the medical experts who have been talking about a surge in cases are “truly morons.”

  • Nursing homes, small physician offices and rural clinics have been struggling to secure N95 masks and other PPE because bigger and wealthier health care facilities have been stockpiling them, NBC News reported.
  • Restaurant owners who made it through the summer by serving patrons outside are worried they might not survive the winter as the weather turns colder and renewed restrictions are being considered as new Covid-19 cases are surging.
  • San Francisco hit the brakes on further reopening the city after a slight-but-worrisome uptick in new coronavirus cases, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. “We are tired of COVID-19 but COVID-19 is not tired of us,” Mayor London Breed said.
  • The temperature was expected to hit the freezing mark in Chicago on Friday night, but if you wanted to have a drink or meal inside a bar or restaurant you’re out of luck. New pandemic restrictions are in effect. And last call for outside drinking or dining is 11 p.m.
  • Ninety-percent of
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U.S. Lifts Cruise Ship Ban; Deaths in France Surge: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — New U.S. cases rose to a record of more than 89,000 after four consecutive days of increases, and now total over nine million. New Jersey reported the most Covid-19 patients in intensive care in four months. Utah’s governor called for anti-mask protesters to stop demonstrations at the home of a health official as the state again reported record cases.

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Global cases surpassed 45 million. Italy and Greece reported infection records, increasing pressure on their governments to follow Germany and France in further tightening restrictions on public life.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it would lift a ban on cruises in U.S. waters, even as government scientists warned that ships remain vulnerable to deadly outbreaks.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases surpass 45.3 million; deaths top 1.18 millionHospitals are under strain from Poland to UtahPfizer, Astra vaccines in accelerated U.K. reviewsOperation Warp Speed could shape up to be an $18 billion bargainLockdowns overshadow record growth in euro area’s big fourHow do people catch Covid-19?: QuickTakeVaccine Tracker: Clinical trials restart in hopeful sign

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

Trump Administration to Put 180-Day Ban on Many Asylum Requests (5:23 p.m. NY)

The Trump administration is expected to announce a 180-day ban on a range of asylum requests citing the threat posed by the coronavirus, according to two people familiar with the matter, in its latest effort to restrict immigration ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Under the new rule, anyone entering or trying to enter the U.S. by land from Canada or Mexico would be ineligible for asylum — and subject to removal — because of potential national security threats to the U.S. amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Colorado Issues Warning on Hospitalizations (5:09 p.m. NY)

Colorado health officials warned that rising hospitalizations could soon strain the medical system, surpassing records from the outbreak last spring within two weeks. “There is a small window to improve transmission control over the next few weeks,” said Dr. Jonathan Samet, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health. In a statement, state health officials said intensive care units could filled by December or January.

Denver has ordered most businesses to limit capacity to 25%. Pueblo, the state’s ninth largest city, imposed an overnight curfew amid a deadly surge.

France Reports Biggest Death Toll Since April (4:51 p.m. NY)

France reported the most daily Covid-19 deaths since April, the same day a lockdown came into effect aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

An additional 545 people died from the virus, bringing the total to 36,565, France’s public health agency said on its website on Friday. Confirmed cases rose by 49,215 to 1.33 million, the second-biggest increase, trailing only that of Oct. 25.

The country has closed bars, restaurants, and non-essential services until at least December, while allowing schools and most businesses to operate. President Emmanuel Macron says the

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Man gets 26-years-to-life for killing California dentist over apparent affair with his wife

An Orange County man was sentenced Friday to 26-years-to-life in prison for stabbing to death his wife’s apparent ex-lover, an Irvine dentist, after trying to run the man down with a Mercedes-Benz SUV.

Hongli Sun, 43, was convicted earlier this month of first-degree murder for killing Dr. Xuan Liu, as well as felony assault for injuring a woman who tried to intervene during the attack outside a medical building off Barranca Parkway in Irvine on July 18, 2015.

According to court testimony, Sun divorced his wife, Cynthia Chen, after she had an affair with Liu, her longtime employer. Chen spent several months in China, leaving the couple’s young child with Sun. After her return, the two reversed their divorce, as they tried to reconcile.

But Sun still suspected his wife was having an affair with Liu. On the day of the attack, he drove to Liu’s office to see if she was there.

Sun found a letter on the office door that appeared to be written in his wife’s handwriting, saying they had gone to lunch. Sun waited in his car until his wife, Liu and two officer workers returned.

Sun drove toward Liu, striking him with enough force to knock him away from the SUV before the vehicle collided with a wall. Sun exited the SUV and chased after Liu, stabbing him 17 times and injuring an office worker who was trying to stop him.

That Sun killed Liu wasn’t disputed at the trial. Instead, jurors were left to decide whether Sun planned to kill Liu when he drove to the office that day, or whether he acted in the heat of passion.

During the trial, Senior Deputy District Attorney Mark Birney described Sun as being driven by “anger, jealousy and ultimately the desire for revenge.” The prosecutor told jurors that Sun felt shamed by his wife cheating on him, as well as the knowledge that others at Liu’s office knew of the affair.

Sun’s attorney, John Barnett, told jurors that Sun believed Liu had “drugged,” “debased,” and “seduced” his wife, had photographed her having sex and had given her a sexually transmitted disease. The repeated betrayals had caused Sun to “snap” and kill Liu, the defense attorney said.

Source Article

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Florida surpasses 800,000 coronavirus cases Friday

Florida surpassed 800,000 total coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic.

On Friday the state logged 5,592 additional infections, according to the Florida Department of Health. Since the first diagnosed case in March, 800,216 coronavirus infections have been recorded. More than 100,000 tests were processed on Thursday.

The weekly case average increased to 4,062 infections announced per day. This is the first time it has reached more than 4,000 since Aug. 21 during a summer surge of COVID-19 cases.

Florida also added 73 coronavirus deaths Friday, bringing the overall death toll to 16,927 people. The weekly death average dipped slightly to about 54 people announced dead per day.

Hospitalizations: About 2,330 people across Florida are hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. About 480 of those are in the Tampa Bay area.

About 22 percent of hospital beds and 24 percent of intensive care unit beds were available statewide. In Tampa Bay, about 21 percent of hospital beds and 22 percent of ICU beds were available.

Cases that resulted in a hospitalization increased by 178 admissions.

Positivity: Florida’s average weekly positivity rate is about 5 percent, according to both the Florida Department of Health and Johns Hopkins University.

The university changed how they measured Florida’s positivity this week. Before, the group would count an individual’s first coronavirus test only. Now the metric reflects the volume of retests.

If positivity is too high it can indicate there isn’t widespread testing and that mild cases of the virus are undetected. The World Health Organization set a recommendation for a 5 percent positivity rate or below.

Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 1,043 coronavirus cases and 31 deaths Friday.

Hillsborough County recorded 22 deaths, Polk recorded five, Pinellas had two and both Pasco and Citrus counties had one death each.

Hillsborough leads the area with the highest average weekly positivity rate at about 6 percent, followed by Polk, Pinellas and Citrus at 5 percent and Hernando and Pasco at 4 percent.

As of the latest counts, Hillsborough has 48,148 cases and 825 deaths; Pinellas has 25,921 cases and 825 deaths; Polk has 23,088 cases and 622 deaths; Manatee has 13,403 cases and 332 deaths; Pasco has 10,923 cases and 245 deaths; Hernando has 2,757 cases and 174 deaths; and Citrus has 3,260 cases and 136 deaths.

• • •

HOW CORONAVIRUS IS SPREADING IN FLORIDA: Find the latest numbers for your county, city or zip code.

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THE CORONAVIRUS SCRAPBOOK: We collected your stories, pictures, songs, recipes, journals and more to show what life has been like during the pandemic.

A TRIBUTE TO THE FLORIDIANS TAKEN BY THE CORONAVIRUS: They were parents and retirees, police officer and doctors, imperfect but loved deeply.

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Producer Franco Porporino (‘American Chopper’) Launches COVID Certification Program For Non-Scripted TV

American Chopper executive producer Franco Porporino (coordinating producer, Regular Heroes) is starting a business called COVID Film Certification to educate production crews and talent on set as Hollywood resumes production.

He’s calling it a one-stop shop for non-scripted television, the area he knowns best. It offers – alone or in combination — industry-specific safety exams for production personnel, crew and talent on CDC guidelines and other best practices on set; compliance officer training; EPA approved PPE; consulting services by experienced showrunners to create customized budgets; and nurses who can also be trained as compliance officers.

“Many producers are facing significant hurdles in light of all the complications and challenges posed by COVID-19. Production companies need to get back to work but must do so in a way that prioritizes health and safety for all personnel,” Porporino said.

He started to explore the idea after hearing colleagues complain about expensive consultancies and inexperienced compliance people that were ripping productions off and possibly putting them in danger.

The COVID Film Certification program features training modules that include online exams covering industry specific COVID-19 protocols and best practices for all pre-production and post-production personnel. They get a certificate valid for a year if they pass, although Porporino said the company is not aligned with any official organization.

“I am hearing production companies are getting price gouged. People are selling them [costly] PPE and consulting fees. Or one colleague said they sent her a compliance officer who was her former PA. I heard from multiple people in the business that they are getting … people who are going on set playing with their phones,” said Porporino.

He worked closely on the concept with a friend Lori Rothschild Ansaldi, producer and CEO of Big City TV, who is on his advisory board.

“Big City TV, along with my partners at the Content Group, were not satisfied with simply ‘meeting protocols’ for our shows,” Ansaldi said. “Our goal is to always go above and beyond for our clients and talent to ensure that we create and maintain safe and healthy work environments.” She’ll be using the tests for crew and talent across Big City’s portfolio of projects.

Each exam costs $99. Porporino said he’s currently contracted with three productions that he can’t name because they haven’t been announced yet.

The program has partnered with a VIPrivate Care, a healthcare company based in New York, to provide medical personnel and testing and with another company for PPE.

The advisory board also includes Ra Kumar of United Talent Agency, Lucilla D’Agostino of Big Fish Entertainment, Hans Schiff, formerly a partner at Creative Arts Agency, Darin Frank, a partner in the entertainment law firm of Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern, and NYU Professor Peter Rajsingh.

Porporino it so happens also owns Fresco Da Franco, an Italian restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey, which was a whole other headache with COVID. Trying to reopen there gave him some ideas.

COVID Film Certification is 72.5% funded by Porporino and 27.5% by

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Why did an Oregon health official dressed like a clown read off the coronavirus death toll?

A video in which Oregon Health Authority officials dressed in costume give COVID-19 information is getting national attention, almost two weeks after it was initially posted.

The reason? A screenshot of the video showing an official in sad clown makeup reading off the daily virus death toll was shared widely on social media after it was tweeted by an Oregonian/OregonLive reporter, Samantha Swindler.

The story has been covered by Fox News, The Independent, TMZ and others.

Dr. Claire Poché, a public health physician with the Oregon Health Authority, kicked off the Halloween safety video by removing her surgical mask to reveal a full face of clown make-up, somewhat reminiscent of the Joker, one of Batman’s creepiest rivals.

“As of today, there have been 38,160 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon, with 390 new cases being reported today,” Poché said. “Sadly, we are also reporting three deaths today, bringing the statewide total for COVID-19 related deaths to 608.”

The optics aren’t ideal, especially as Oregon, like many states, deals with surging coronavirus cases.

Robb Cowie, communications director for the Oregon Health Authority, said the agency regretted how that part of the video was handled.

“We regret that, earlier this month, three tragic COVID-19 deaths were announced during a Facebook Live event focused on preventing the spread of COVID-19 during Halloween celebrations,” Cowie said in a statement.

“We mourn every person who has died from COVID-19 and we acknowledge the pain and loss their passing has left in the lives of their loved ones,” he said. “We’ll continue to do everything we can to warn Oregonians about the risks of COVID-19 and the steps they can take to protect themselves and the people around them.”

The rest of the video was a little less dark.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping how Oregonians celebrate holidays, and that includes Halloween but it doesn’t mean Halloween can’t still be spooky and fun this year,” Dr. Shimi Sharief, a health adviser to the Oregon Health Authority, said later while dressed in a fuzzy animal onesie.

Sharief and Poché offered plenty of trick-or-treating alternatives and did an informative question-and-answer session, which included an explanation about why trick-or-treating is riskier than going through a drive-thru.

“Although outdoor activities are generally less risky than indoor activities,” Poché said, “trick-or-treating is high risk because kids tend to get excited, which can lead to crowding people who aren’t members of their household.”

It isn’t until seven minutes in that either doctor acknowledges they are wearing costumes, and they never discuss the decision to wear them.

Poché refers to herself as a clown obliquely about 12 and a half minutes into the video

“As for me, we clowns kind of took a backseat to Halloween,” she said. “We were kind of relegated to birthday parties for several years. There were some bad actors who dressed up as clowns back in Halloween, I don’t know, maybe it was 2015, but I’m hoping to bring us back as the fun-loving, and happy clowns that we

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Chesapeake OB-GYN admits backdating patient consent forms but denies unnecessary surgeries

Dr. Javaid Perwaiz knew that government-funded Medicaid insurance required that patients consent to sterilization surgeries at least 30 day before they were performed.

And yet he admitted during testimony Thursday in his criminal trial in U.S. District Court in Norfolk that he frequently backdated the forms to make it appear he’d complied with the rule, which prosecutors said was created decades ago to prevent low-income women from being pressured into getting sterilized.

“It was to help the patients,” Perwaiz said of his backdating practice.

Each had already expressed a desire to get sterilized more than 30 days before the procedure was done, he said, and he didn’t want to make them wait any longer. Even the ones who’d first come to him just a few days before getting procedures done had told another doctor they wanted it, he said.

Also, some were close to having their Medicaid insurance run out and he wanted to ensure they got the surgery while still covered. Perwaiz said he always informed them the procedure was permanent, but also told them it could be reversed later.

The 70-year-old doctor’s testimony came during the 11th day of his trial on 61 counts of fraud.

The trial began Oct. 14 and is expected to last several more days. Prosecutors have alleged Perwaiz performed numerous unnecessary surgeries and procedures on his patients for years in order to fund a lavish lifestyle.

The doctor first took the witness stand in his own defense Wednesday, testified all of Thursday, and is set to return Monday when the trial resumes.

During testimony Thursday, Perwaiz also conceded he never used scopes with cameras that could project what he was seeing inside the patient onto a monitor in the operating room — a common practice used by all the other OB-GYNs doing surgery at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center.

Perwaiz said the equipment wasn’t available when he was training in the 1970s, nor was it something he was comfortable using, or was required to use.

But the longtime physician strongly denied ever doing surgeries that weren’t medically necessary, or inducing pregnant patients to deliver their babies earlier than was medically safe. Prosecutors have alleged he regularly induced pregnant women early in order to make sure he was the one to deliver the baby and get paid for it.

Assistant U.S. District Attorney Elizabeth Yusi asked Perwaiz to explain why most of his pregnant patients in 2019 had their labors induced early, and almost always on Saturdays when he was at the hospital performing surgeries.

Perwaiz said that there were risks with letting a patient go beyond 39 weeks of pregnancy and he was trying to prevent that.

While prosecutors contend that the inductions were routinely scheduled at 38 weeks of pregnancy — which the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says is unsafe for the mother and baby — the doctor said he always did them in the 39th week.

He also said he was proud that his rate of cesarean section

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