From the early days of the COVID pandemic, WorldNetDaily was a huge fan of Vladimir Zelenko, a doctor in a Hasidic Jewish community in New York who declared that his treatment of hydroxychloroquine, zinc and other drugs for COVID cured every single patient he tried it on -- never mind the statistical improbability of that, or that he had no competent documentation to prove it. Zelenko departed the community shortly afterward when community leaders rebuked him for making irresponsible claims, but he went on to fame and fortune in the right-wing community that WND occupies, in which legitimate doctors are ignored and denounced and fringe figures like Zelenko whose research is shady at best -- and whose "Zelenko protocol" still lacks any legitimate research into its effectiveness -- are treated as the real experts. WND loved Zelenko so much, in fact, that earlier this year it made a business deal with him to offer readers a discount code to buy a supposed COVID preventer called Z-Stack from his website.
Zelenko died last month -- surprisingly, not from COVID but from cancer -- and chief WND COVID misinformer Art Moore served up a hagiographic obiturary in a June 30 article:
When Dr. Vladimir "Zev" Zelenko countered the government and medical establishment orthodoxy in his development of a successful treatment for COVID-19, he knew he was on borrowed time.
On Thursday, his colleagues at Zelenko Labs announced "with immense sorrow" that he has died after a four-year battle with cancer.
In 2018, Zelenko was diagnosed with pulmonary artery sarcoma, an extremely rare disease that has a 100% mortality rate. He had open heart surgery and lost his right lung, then had very difficult chemotherapy treatment. More surgery and more chemotherapy followed in subsequent years.
In an interview with WND in March 2020, Zelenko said he believed that after having a "foot and a half in the grave," God spared him for a reason.
"My purpose in life has really become to try to relieve pain and suffering. Not to think about myself."
He attributed the discovery of his "Zelenko protocol" for COVID-19 of hydroxychloroquine, zinc, azithromycin, steroids and other drugs to divine intervention.
He published a peer-reviewed paper of his data showing an 84% reduction in hospitalization of high-risk patients with his out-patient treatment. Teaming with Prof. Martin Scholz of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf in Germany and Dr. Roland Derwand of Munich, Germany, the paper was published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.
About that "peer-reviewed paper": A blogger reported that Zelenko's co-authors are hydroxycholorquine enthusiast, and the journal where it was published is linked to another HCQ enthusiast, Didier Raoult, which has published other dubious studies on the medication with equally dubious links between the authors and Raoult, raising questions about editorial independence. Raoult also tried to sue and doxx his critics for demonstrating his shoddy research, showing a certain lack of temperament for research.
Moore spent the rest of his article defending the honor of hydroxychloroquine and touting how Zelenko's so-called research got attention from Donald Trump and was criticized by Anthony Fauci. He didn't disclose the business deal WND had with Zelenko.