MILWAUKEE — Dr. Lester Carter, who is known for owning the iconic Carter Drug Store on 24th and Burleigh for more than 47 years, is encouraging people to take a more natural approach to build up their immune systems while preparing to return to public spaces.
Carter moved to Milwaukee in the late 1960s after growing up during World War II, enlisting in the Marine's during the Korean War, and graduating from Creighton University's School of Pharmacy. Today, under what he calls "devastating" global health conditions, Carter says business is still strong.
"Our store is doing better financially and profit-wise than any other store and we are the smallest," he said.
Carter Drug Store, recognized as Milwaukee's only black-owned drug store for more than four decades, is currently being gutted and is undergoing a remodel while surviving a global pandemic.
"I can never ever, in all the years that I’ve been here, remember any type of medical issue that has the impact that this particular coronavirus is having," said Dr. Carter.
The popular pharmacist sold his store to Hayat Pharmacy Group back in 2014. That company now runs the prescription-filling side of the business, but 88-year-old Carter continues to offer his own natural and herbal remedies to customers. For now, Carter is working out of his apartment offering curbside pickup for the very first time in his 47-year career in Milwaukee.
"I’m now taking care of second and third generations," said Dr. Carter.
As the world re-opens, Carter is offering some advice publicly.
"So much emphasis has been placed on protective ways of living and isolating yourself," said Carter."From my standpoint as a medical practitioner, why not put some emphasis on the ideas that focus on building up the immune system?"
Dr. Carter's advice is to ditch fast food and to seek healthy, whole foods. He also recommends taking daily supplements.
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Carter said taking between 1,000 and 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C daily and taking doses of Zinc and Echinacea have all proven to help build up the immune system. He finds those supplements extremely important as people return to public spaces.
"If you can survive it and your body is strong enough, you can be around when so many others are gone," said Carter.
Carter is also speaking out as he follows the racial tensions in Milwaukee and across America.
"What's the sense of marching someplace else and destroying private property, especially in many cases in their own neighborhood, if they had nothing to do with it," said Carter, who was upset to see reports of looting and violence in Milwaukee neighborhoods following the death of George Floyd.
He said peaceful marches are acceptable but he is upset to know that some people are taking advantage of the situation to commit crimes.
"When something like that happens, it gives the bad guys the idea that now is a good time to rob, steal, plunge and carry on activities that will destroy the neighborhood but also give them an opportunity to fill their pockets. From my standpoint that has nothing to do with coming to help of the family of the people that were hurt or destroyed," Carter said.