BDE: Dr. Zev (Vladimir) Zelenko, Z“l

By Hamodia Staff

New York – Dr. Zev (Vladimir) Zelenko, a self-described “simple country doctor” who rose to national fame with his hydroxychloroquine-based “Covid protocol,” passed away Thursday after a long illness.

Zelenko was born in Kyiv in 1973, grew up in Brooklyn, and attended medical school at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

A Lubavitcher chassid, Zelenko eventually became a prominent doctor in Kiryas Joel.

When the new coronavirus hit the U.S. in early 2020, Zelenko began releasing daily videos, urging calm, assuring that people who were young and healthy were not at serious risk from the virus. Zelenko sent to then-President Trump, and publicly released, a protocol of medications and supplements to combat Covid, including the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, the antibiotic azithromycin, and zinc sulfate.

Zelenko shot to national prominence with the publicity surrounding his protocol, which was promoted by people close to Trump and hailed on the political right, while disparaged on the left.

In an interview with The New York Times published in early April 2020, Zelenko – who had a rare form of cancer and was self-isolating due to the coronavirus — said of his sudden fame, “It’s a very surreal moment. I’m a simple country doctor, you know. I don’t have connections.”

Zelenko remained in the public eye, popular in some circles, criticized in others. He sold vitamins online, and opposed the covid vaccine.

He was banned from Twitter on December 2020; the social-media company said Zelenko had violated its rules against “platform manipulation and spam.” Republican Senator Ron Johnson tweeted in response, “It is outrageous that @Twitter has suspended the account of Dr. Zelenko @zev_dr, a man who has devoted his life to saving other people’s lives. How many #Covid_19 patients has [Twitter CEO] ‘Dr.’ Dorsey @jack treated? How many lives will be lost because of his censorship?”

Zelenko continued to battle illness in recent years, and passed away Thursday afternoon.

As medical bills piled up over the months and years of his illness, the financial resources of the Zelenko family have been exhausted. A fund has been established to help ease the financial situation of the family, which includes his wife and numerous children, as they try to pick up the pieces of their lives.

Dr. Zelenko is survived by ybl”c his parents, Mr. Aharon (Alex) and Leah (Larissa) Zelenko; his wife Rinat; his sons Levi Yitzchok, Nochum Dovid, Shmuel Nosson, Yaakov, and Menachem Mendel; his daughters Shira and Liba; and his brother Reb Efraim.

Yehi zichro baruch.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!