Our Strategy for COVID-19

COVID-19 is a very serious disease, especially if you are elderly or have a chronic medical condition. It is precisely because it is so serious that we all need to come together and take a new look at what we can do to combat it. By their own admission, local government and the health department realize that we are making little progress.

Of necessity we were forced to fly by the seat of our pants for the first weeks and months of this pandemic, because so little was known about the virus. But now we have a much better understanding and some actual scientific data on which to base our strategies. COVID-19 rapidly devolved into a political issue instead of a medical one and people have taken sides based on little more than emotions, political affiliation, and who is making the suggestions.

We are only now beginning to get an idea of what works against COVID-19 and what doesn’t. We all have the same goal, to rid ourselves of this menace as quickly as possible. Read more about our suggested strategy in the fight against COVID-19 below.

Dec. 15 Update

A Call for Volunteers

Watch: Dr. Jimmy Hoppers asks for volunteers to help in the fight against COVD-19. If you have just a few minutes a day to be a bridge between the “real world” and someone who otherwise might feel isolated and alone, please send him an email.

Learn more.

Dec. 14 Update

A request for volunteers

Physicians Quality Care has mailed nearly 600 letters over the weekend “to every church, every nonprofit, every civic club, and many businesses in Jackson hoping to enlist their help” in protecting the people who are most vulnerable to die from COVID-19, said Dr. Jimmy Hoppers, CEO of Physicians Quality Care.

Community volunteers are an important part of his strategy to prevent the elderly,  people with chronic medical conditions and other vulnerable citizens who have a higher likelihood of dying from the coronavirus.

“Do you realize who is most likely to die from COVID-19?” he asks. “It’s the people who raised us: our teachers, our coaches, our scout leaders, our mentors. It’s the very people who made Jackson and Madison County what it is today. Does everybody need our help? Certainly not. But many do. Our plan is simple, but it is going to take all of us working together.”

Jackson and Madison County has a long history of taking any challenge head-on and getting results, he said. “Please read the plan, and join us in this fight.” 

“Together, we can make a difference.”

Dec. 10 Update

Dr. Hoppers releases new message

In the absence of government action, Dr. Jimmy Hoppers is calling for volunteers to help Physicians Quality Care combat COVID-19.


Dec. 10 Update

Why are the Jackson City Council and Madison County Commission AWOL?

A statement from Dr. Jimmy Hoppers

For several weeks, I have been begging Mayor Conger and Mayor Harris to sit down at the table with the private sector to see if we can devise additional strategies to protect our parents, our grandparents, our elderly neighbors, and those with chronic medical conditions from COVID-19, but every attempt has been completely ignored or met with schoolyard insults.

But why should these two mayors bear the sole responsibility? We have 38 representatives on the Jackson City Council and the Madison County Commission. Where have they been in all this? Aside from echoing CDC talking points and insisting on a statewide mask mandate, what have they specifically proposed, individually or collectively, to mitigate the impact of this virus in Jackson and Madison County?

The only time a dissenting opinion was brought in person before the County Commission – mine, way back in August – I was immediately labeled as ‘arrogant’ by the county mayor and my comments were bitterly attacked, not on their merits, but solely on political grounds. I had dared to be politically-incorrect.

The Jackson City Council has done no better. Not one single council member, to my knowledge, has gone on record with any original suggestion or new idea to lessen the effects of this virus. It is not surprising that the only strategies to come from the City Council collectively only repeat CDC talking points; after all, Mayor Conger chairs the meetings and he is not known for welcoming dissent.

There are 38 smart people representing us on the City Council and the County Commission. Either they simply have no new ideas or the fear of self-inflicted political wounds has made them all gun shy. Maybe they really do believe that government’s and the health department’s actions for the past nine months are actually working, so why should they rock the boat?  Either way, it seems obvious they have a duty, as elected officials, at the very least, to publicly explain and defend the path they are forcing us all to follow.

Are they leading or just following the pack?

Dec. 9 Update

WBBJ interviews Jimmy Hoppers

Jackson television station WBBJ talked to Dr. Jimmy Hoppers about his strategy to combat COVID-19. Watch it here.

Dec. 9 Update

Have We Given Up?

A statement from Dr. Jimmy Hoppers

COVID-19 fatigue is real. We experience it every day when our kids study at the computer instead of heading off to school. We feel it when we don a mask at the grocery store and when we think twice about greeting old friends with a handshake or hug. We seldom say it aloud but down deep we wonder if things will ever get better. Positive tests continue to rise and we worry it might not be long before government forces my business to close and once again restricts the right of we the people to peacefully assemble.

In every other aspect of life, when something is tried over and over and it continually fails, we move on to other options. COVID-19 has been the singular exception. We seem accepting of our fate, resigned to be victims instead of tackling the problem head on. Should we blindly embrace every new idea that comes along? Of course not, but conversely, we should be careful not to dismiss every new suggestion simply because it doesn’t fit our political narrative.

We can no more stop this virus than we can prevent the tide from coming in; we can only mitigate its effects. Our first priority has to be protecting those at highest risk: the elderly and those with chronic medical problems. It’s our parents and grandparents, our elderly neighbors and those with significant medical issues who are filling our intensive care units and whose deaths we repeatedly mourn.

This is not a partisan issue. It is not a political game. Government neither created this pandemic nor has the ability to end it. We can continue to wear masks, we can continue to social distance, we can continue to contact trace, but regardless of what we do, the numbers are still going to rise. It’s the nature of the beast.

We have no choice but to come together, government and the private sector, to devise a strategy to protect our friends, our family, our neighbors, those who through no fault of their own find themselves in greatest danger. The people of Jackson and Madison County have always risen to the challenge. Now is not the time to consider ourselves helpless victims. It’s time to do something.

Fortune favors the bold.

Jimmy Hoppers, MD

Dec. 7 Update

Dr. Hoppers releases message for Jackson's mayor

Watch: Dr. Jimmy Hoppers invites Jackson Mayor Scott Conger to sit down and discuss their differences on the best approach to fight COVID-19.

Dec. 7 Update

‘How not to run a (COVID-19) Task Force’

A statement from Dr. Jimmy Hoppers

Not since Hillary Clinton’s failed health care task force in the nineties has a task force claimed to do so much yet produce so little.

When the Madison County COVID-19 Task Force was first announced, I was excited. Jackson and Madison County have a long history of meeting difficult problems head-on and devising solutions that work. The Carl Perkins Center is a shining example.

However, after nine months of meeting in secret, unaccountable to anyone, they have yet to produce a single solitary suggestion or strategy that can’t be found on the front page of a thousand websites: wear a mask, social distance, close businesses, trace contacts. Yet all we hear from City Hall is how hard they have worked and what a great job they have done.

We can’t go back and rewrite history, but there are some things that we can still do that can actually make a difference. The lone medical member of the task force is a registered nurse, but – and no personal offense intended – her training and depth of knowledge are insufficient for the task. There are no physicians on the task force, a fact I find remarkable considering this is first and foremost a medical issue.

So, the question becomes, what would I do differently?

Aside from altering the composition of the committee, I would stop putting my finger to the wind and simply parroting politically-correct suggestions that add nothing to what can be found on any website. Let’s first identify the population that is occupying our hospital’s critical care beds, both by age and co-morbidities (chronic medical problems that greatly increase one’s risk of serious complications or death from COVID-19).  We would then have real-time knowledge of who in Madison County and West Tennessee is most vulnerable among us. We could then gather together representatives from every medical facility in Madison County – something that should have been done on day one – and turn the resources we are wasting on futile ‘contact tracing’ into providing telephone manpower for these clinics.

Each clinic then identifies its roster of high-risk patients – something easily done through the electronic medical records – and calls and gives each patient information and suggestions. Coming from their own medical professional and offered with a carrot and not a stick, I’m confident the information will be carefully considered.

Then the caller asks if the patient would mind if ‘one of my colleagues called them later.’ With that permission in place, the real work begins.

We enlist civic clubs, churches, nonprofits, schools, and anybody who wants to help and assign each person several individuals to contact daily. In a friendly tone, and with the same person calling each day, we would make sure the elderly among us who might not have a solid support system, and those with chronic health problems, aren’t going without.

We make sure there is food in the pantry, that they have an adequate supply of needed medicines, and that their electricity hasn’t been turned off. In short, we do everything we can to keep them, for a while, out of the general population.  In addition, we give those who feel marginalized and isolated needed human contact and let them know that somebody in authority actually cares, that COVID-19 is more than a series of numbers rattled off at a press conference.

The dominoes then begin to fall. With the most vulnerable out of the population, the hospital’s critical care census will begin to decrease.  Positive cases will continue to climb in the general population, but now those who are most likely to succumb to the virus are, for the most part, shielded from the contagion. When enough people have developed immunity, whether naturally or artificially, this menace will begin to recede like the tide.

You say it can’t be done? That’s what naysayers said in the early eighties when a group of us came together at the Old Country Store and planted the seeds for what has since become the nation’s leader in fighting child abuse.

Government has proven over the past nine months that it believes itself to be the only entity capable of leading us through this. They refuse to listen to any individual who challenges ‘what everybody knows.’ Only if we the people let our voices be heard can we protect those at highest-risk and most vulnerable among us.

Tell government it’s time to lead or get out of the way.

Jimmy Hoppers, MD

Dec. 3 Update

Dr. Hoppers radio interview

Dr. Jimmy Hoppers was a guest on the Wake Up Memphis show and discussed strategies to fight COVID-19. The program on the Mighty 990 news talk radio station runs from 6 to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Nov. 30 Update

Dr. Hoppers releases new message

Dr. Jimmy Hoppers discusses strategies the community can take to combat COVID-19.


Nov. 29 Update

Read the White Paper from Dr. Jimmy Hoppers

Nov. 24 Update

A letter to Gov. Bill Lee

Dear Governor Lee,

I am not so delusional as to believe that this will ever be read by you personally but I hope that the spirit of this email reaches your desk.  I am a practicing physician in Jackson who owns two very busy clinics.  This month alone we will see around 9000 patients.  We are testing between 100 and 150 patients on any given day for COVID-19.  The authority you ceded to the Madison County Health Department has done little, if anything, to impact the spread of the virus here in West Tennessee.  Since this pandemic began we have had no fruitful contact with the health department.  No one has inquired as to what we are actually seeing on the ground even though we have seen more out-patients suspected of COVID-19 than all other medical entities in our area combined, including West Tennessee Health Care.  We have repeatedly offered our help and have uniformly been rebuffed.  We have on multiple occasions implored local government to sit down with representatives of the private sector to see if we together might develop strategies that would actually work, but each time our pleas have fallen upon deaf ears.  There are strategies that could and should have been implemented – and still could be - if authorities were actually interested in protecting individuals instead of merely playing a numbers game.  The local health department has done four things: encourage everybody to stay six feet apart, issue a universal “mask mandate,” provide “case” numbers at a press conference every Wednesday, and perform “contact tracing.”  As to the latter, contact tracing in an airborne respiratory virus, as any honest epidemiologist who doesn’t have a vested interest will tell you, is useless.  I pointed out this to Dr. John Dunn and he could not rebut this fact.  This is not a point-source infection.  Also, according to the latest and only controlled study concerning mask usage in COVID-19 from Denmark, mask usage does not prevent the spread.  Our continual promotion of such as a panacea lulls the populace into a false sense of security and does nothing to address actual transmission.

There are solutions out there.  I would implore you to use your authority to open up this echo-chamber of “authorities” and invite the private sector to the table.  Pull back the carte-blanche authority you have ceded to our local health department nurse whose fund of knowledge and experience is far too shallow to be issuing decrees.  The private sector stands ready and willing to help but a leader needs to rise to the occasion.  I have committed our entire advertising budget to try to convince local government to come to the table so that together we may find solutions that actually work.

State and local government’s biggest failing during this whole pandemic has been to reject the input from the private sector and to rely on so-called “authorities” who themselves may have other interests coloring their decisions.  It’s not too late to invite “us” to the table.

Jimmy Hoppers, MD

Nov. 23 Update

Dr. Hoppers releases new message

Nov. 19 Update

Letter to Local Officials

Nov. 6 Update

Dr. Hoppers releases new message

Dr. Jimmy Hoppers asks people concerned about privacy to contact Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and State Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey.


Oct. 23 Update

Dr. Hoppers speaks on national radio network

Dr. Jimmy Hoppers makes an appearance on the Todd Starnes Show to discuss privacy issues regarding negative tests for COVID-19.

Listen here.

Oct. 22 Update

Physician asks State Health Department to publicly announce whether it no longer requires detailed information on patients who test negative for COVID-19

Dr. Jimmy Hoppers, who is behind a patient privacy complaint to the Tennessee Department of Health, is asking the state to publicly announce its position on whether it will no longer require physicians to report detailed information about patients who test negative for COVID-19.

“We have had conflicting emails that the state health department has dropped the requirement, and we appreciate the state looking into this,” said Hoppers. “However, a casual email does not carry the force of law. We need the state to publicly announce its new position so physicians, patients and local health departments clearly understand that it will no longer require any personal information about patients who test negative for COVID-19.”

“Anything short of that is just words,” said Hoppers, who owns Physicians Quality Care, which has clinics in Jackson and Milan.

Oct. 21

West Tennessee clinic will defy state request to provide personal information about patients who test negative for COVID-19

A West Tennessee physician and clinic owner plans to defy a state health department order he received by email that demands he provide detailed information about patients who test negative for COVID-19. He is also encouraging Tennesseans to voice their concern to state representatives and local health departments about what he calls “a fundamental invasion of their privacy.”
“The state has no right and no legitimate or compelling medical reason to get this information about patients who are merely seeking medical care,” said Dr. Jimmy Hoppers, owner of Physicians Quality Care in Jackson and Milan. “After giving this much careful thought, I have decided to respectfully decline to provide the information requested by the Tennessee Department of Health. In our opinion, the reporting of negative test results without the patient’s consent is a clear violation of HIPAA statutes and individual rights.”
It could also deter people from getting tested for COVID-19, he said.
“Under the guise of ‘protecting the public health and safety,’ the Tennessee Department of Health is directing physicians to give them information that includes a patient’s name, address, phone number, birth date, race, sex, when the patient saw the doctor, the name of the doctor, the test performed, the patient ID number, and more. They are threating physicians who don’t comply with $500-a-day fines, legal action and dismissal from the federal Medicare program.”
Physicians Quality Care will, of course, continue to provide data on all positive COVID-19 cases, Hoppers added. And, it can provide the state with the number of negative test results so the state can determine positivity rates.
“However, if the patient doesn’t have the disease, is not contagious, and therefore obviously presents no danger to the ‘public health and safety,’ what right does the Health Department have to invade that patient’s privacy? What does it plan to do with this data? Who will have access?”
“And, where does it stop? Does this mean that next year we will be compelled to report all negative flu tests? Flu is a communicable disease like COVID-19 and is spread exactly the same way; it kills tens of thousands of Americans each year. Or will the state want to know the names of patients who have positive pregnancy tests under the guise of making sure the woman is getting adequate prenatal care and has the resources to care for her child?”
Hoppers is encouraging people to contact their local county health departments and state representatives.
“Let them know enough is enough. This is about our right to seek medical care without Big Brother looking over our shoulder. If we let big government get away with this, we have no one to blame but ourselves.”


COVID-19 Protocols

If you have fever, cough, and shortness of breath and are concerned that this might be COVID-19, please enter through the traditional ‘primary care’ entrance located between the main ‘urgent care’ entrance to the south and the ‘occupational medicine’ (OCCMed) entrance by the red Mack truck to the north. You will check in and wait in a dedicated area away from other patients.