It's easy for the coronavirus to just be news. But when someone you know contracts the virus, it suddenly seems more real. That happened for me this week when I learned that Greg Mundis—executive director of Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM)—got the coronavirus. His wife contracted the disease shortly afterward. Interestingly, the couple has been using a new drug on the market and it seems to be helping. Could this be the answer for many struggling with COVID-19?
When Mundis tested positive for COVID-19, the AGWM shared a call to prayer on Facebook, saying: "BREAKING NEWS AND CALL TO PRAYER: AGWM Executive Director Greg Mundis has been positively confirmed as having COVID-19. We ask everyone to intercede for Greg in this crucial time—for complete healing of his lungs and kidneys, and for the Spirit of God to fill his hospital room with God's healing presence."
I had the privilege of speaking to his son, Dr. Greg Mundis Jr., who is an orthopedic surgeon. I invited him on my podcast, where he shared with me what it was like for both of his parents to get sick with COVID-19. Greg tells me that his father hosted several French delegates recently and they held a few meetings together. When the delegates returned home, they began feeling ill, and Greg's father followed suit not too long afterward. When the delegates were told they tested positive for COVID-19, Greg's dad knew he had to get tested too.
"Monday morning my dad went through a drive-through testing center to get tested and was feeling very ill at that point," Greg says. "My mom was really worried about him by the time he got home. The EMS was called, an ambulance took him to the hospital and about four to five hours later he was on a ventilator."
Both of Greg's parents have been taking hydroxychloroquine, which seems to be helping them recover. Greg isn't sure about the extent to which hydroxychloroquine has helped his dad, but since he started taking it a day after his wife did, there's still room to see how he progresses. Greg says his mother, who was more at risk than her husband with her chronic asthma and diabetes, was able to leave the hospital after only three days, which is likely thanks to this drug.
Hydroxychloroquine is typically used to treat malaria, but it can also be used to treat and mitigate lupus and arthritis. The FDA is still testing it as a treatment against COVID-19.
President Donald Trump recently touted the drug as a potential cure for the coronavirus, which has given the medicine quite a bit of press lately. Some have criticized Trump for encouraging the use of this drug, while others see it as practically a miracle medicine.
But Greg has a middle-ground approach.
"It's not a miracle drug," he says. "You know, the miracle drug is staying home and not infecting other people. If we all do that, then the miracle's done, ironically. So yes, the drug has been used. It has FDA clearance for rheumatologic diseases and in the anti-malarial arena, and it's been used in this setting [of COVID-19] somewhat successfully by these published reports. So it's off-label use, but right now, it seems to be the best tool we have to fight this virus from a medical standpoint."
Greg encourages Christians to see God, not this anti-malarial drug, as their Savior in the COVID-19 epidemic. For those who feel stuck at home during quarantine, he says they can use that time to press deeper into God.
"Do not exercise social arrogance," he says. "Exercise social responsibility, because the cure to this thing is really staying at home, and then use that time to your advantage. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. I firmly believe that, and He's definitely exhibiting that in my life. So I encourage you guys, stay on your knees and get to know your kids a little bit better, your spouse is a little bit better, and stay home."
Greg shared some truly helpful perspectives in my podcast today, so I encourage you to listen to it. And of course, as always, share this article with a friend and spread the word!
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