Covid-19 News

  • Wyttenbach - you are a very smart person, way smarter than me. So why would you not stay silent and let all the fools get vaccinated so that herd immuniity is reached - then you are a safe?

    Not very logical to tell others not to get vaccinated.

    In any case the future of vaccines are RNA vaccines, that is a fact.

    May be you missed it. The RNA cocktail you get injected is not a vaccine. For dilettantes it looks like a vaccine as antibodies are produced what is, first hand is nice to have. But the immune system does not work with masses of antibodies first hand, This is just a brute force solution. The immune system produces anti bodies on demand based on a complex mechanism.

    RNA pseudo vaccines give you no long time immunity. Further antibodies live in the inside of the body not on the mucosa. So there never will be something like CoV-19 herd immunity with an RNA vaccine. This is a big pharma marketing lie!

    An CoV-19 infection protects you at least 100x better than a RNA vaccine as it also works for variants. This is the result of 100 mio. years of evolution. RNA vaccines are the result of 50 years Harvard fast money disease.

    Why, W, in particular, do you consider these genetic vaccines to be more risky than others? the figures are that they are less risky than a non-genetic AZ vaccine?

    Really? When did the flu vaccine last time produce 100'000 deaths and 500'000 handicapped??

    So please stop spreading big pharma marketing FUD!

    Immediate personal risks: the evidence is so clear that vaccines save lives, and reduce long-term problems, I don't think even Navid & Mark U can contest it.

    Of course you know all long term risk of the experimental RNA drugs...

    CoV-19 + IVG --> Zero risk!

    I don't hear anything coherent from the anti-vaxxers here about this balance of risks.

    Looks like you are on speed full day. There are no anti vaxxer here - Are you?? We recommend vaccines for people age > 65 with reduced health and younger with 2 comorbidities.

    We very well understand big pharma marketing and know that the RNA gent therapeutic "vaccines" for younger are the much bigger risk than Delta.

    Please do not longer repeat the herd immunity lie and the lie that RNA gen treated people do not spread CoV-19.

  • How the FM/R/J/B mafia highjacks Google, Twitter etc...

    Sky News Australia barred for week by YouTube over Covid misinformation
    The digital giant bans the channel from uploading new content for a week over misinformation breaches.

    A spokesperson told the Guardian it "did not allow content that .... or which encouraged people "to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus". Neither has been proven to be effective against Covid.

    ---> Only experimental, untested high price drugs do work!!!!

    So we have to sue all these guys, according the Nürnberg, rules for supporting mass murder.

  • We very well understand big pharma marketing and know that the RNA gent therapeutic "vaccines" for younger are the much bigger risk than Delta.

    Why would a tiny qty of soon to be degraded RNA that cannot reproduce be riskier than a much larger qty of same RNA code - but with lots of extra bits added that code for proteins that allow its reproduction, keeps it active for several weeks, and also interferes with the immune system.

    On what planet is that your assumption? It is as batty as Gates microchips.

    I won't mention data because

    When did the flu vaccine last time produce 100'000 deaths and 500'000 handicapped??

    shows you have lost the plot when it comes to evaluating these figures.

  • Pandemic Capitalism: How Corruption, Censorship, and Groupthink Kept the COVID-19 Gravy Train Going

    Pandemic Capitalism: How Corruption, Censorship, and Groupthink Kept the COVID-19 Gravy Train Going
    Note that views expressed in this opinion article are the writer’s personal views and not necessarily those of TrialSite. Clinical experience and trials

    Note that views expressed in this opinion article are the writer’s personal views and not necessarily those of TrialSite.

    Clinical experience and trials from across the world indicate that existing drugs used “off-label” can be highly effective against hospitalization and death from COVID-19. But this happy finding does not fit with the official script and therefore meets unprecedented resistance and suppression from authorities, depriving patients of treatment worldwide and probably ceding considerable ground to the pandemic. Besides suggesting a malign de facto alliance of corporate interests with government “perception management” initiatives, this is a clear indictment of the top-down structure of medical decision-making.

    A Curious Fixation

    From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, health authorities focussed in on the prospect of a vaccine as the solution. And in view of recent medical history, it is quite reasonable to look to vaccination as an important means against a viral disease. But the exclusive focus on vaccines brings along a presumption, one without any obvious basis, that antiviral drugs would not play a role, at least not in the near term—even though antivirals are an established tool in the medical toolkit, and this virus was after all “novel,” unknown in its treatment characteristics. An obvious advantage of antivirals in a pandemic is that they can be given to infected patients to stop or slow viral replication, reducing or halting transmission, rather than waiting weeks for immunity to develop. They can also be used prophylactically, to prevent infection in the first place. So they have theoretical potential at least equal to vaccines for satisfying public health goals. While from early on in the pandemic scientists in the employ of big drug companies were quietly investigating patentable antivirals against SARS COV-2, the public message was wholly about mass vaccination.

    Given that vaccine development was at the time expected to take years, and given the logisitical and social challenges facing any rollout of vaccine to the entire world’s population, it is more than slightly peculiar to the lay inquirer, in retrospect, that the priority was not the reverse of what it was. Why not first look for drugs—starting with already existing ones, of course, since they have a safety record and might be off-patent and hence much cheaper and in any case are already available—that would disable the virus directly, stopping (to whatever extent) infection and transmission, and meanwhile begin work on a vaccine in case it is needed? Part of this may have come from historical experience with antivirals as compared with the brilliant successes of vaccines in some well-known instances. Understandably, it did not occur to people that as viral diseases go this one might be exceptionally treatable with therapeutic interventions. It was assumed that it would be like the flu: symptomatic treatment at home until more serious symptoms develop.

    If vaccines alone are assumed to be medicine’s solution to the pandemic, then the way to apply the tool of vaccination can only follow the model of polio and measles universal (ideally) innoculation in quest of either eradication or “herd immunity”2—rather than the model of vaccination against flu, say. With flu there is a yearly recommendation, especially for the vulnerable, no push for herd immunity and no expectation of eradication. Sometimes the antiviral tamiflu is also used (though on the whole is not very good). A quite natural “multi-pronged approach” in principle. But for COVID the eradication/herd-immunity model of vaccination was promoted without question, despite the prospect of non-vaccine preventive or curative therapies quietly envisioned by drugmakers. The public message was quite a dismal one: “It may take years to get a vaccine; until then we must put up with restrictions and repeated surges in death counts.” While doctors were forced to develop therapeutic strategies for hospitalized patients, there was no public mention of the possibility of looking into early drug interventions that might in the meantime lighten the load on hospitals as well as saving lives. Also never communicated by authorities, curiously to the lay observer, was the need for people at particularly high risk to lower that risk through diet and exercize, though even a somewhat high body mass index was clearly a risk-factor. Suggestions that supplemental vitamin D might be protective were ridiculed by officials: “You cannot ‘boost your immune system’!” Yet vitamin D turned out to be quite important in relation to COVID- 19, as explained below. We were unequivocally assured that we could do nothing but endure restrictions and wait years (it was thought then) for a vaccine. It is all more than a bit peculiar to the informed, thinking layperson.

    The Advocates of Early Treatment and their Battles with Censorship

    The political Right reacted against pandemic restrictions in line with their reflexive critique of government. At one point it was reported that a French doctor seemingly cured some COVID patients with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), which is used against the malaria virus. Reported on Fox News, this excited the Right, and the drug was touted by Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro, and others. Could COVID-19 be a curable disease, rendering the hated lockdowns and so on unnecessary? Some studies took place that were of questionable value; one was even retracted by the top journal Lancet; in any event the upshot was a general tone in press reports that the drug was found to be useless. But some doctors of independent spirit (to be discussed shortly) who actually pursued early treatment of COVID-19 continued to include it in their protocols, at least for a time. In any case HCQ continued to be touted in right-wing circles, the upshot being a politically polarized standoff symbolized by this drug. Right-wing support appears to have strongly politicized the early treatment question, stigmatizing in many peoples minds any and all suggestions about outpatient therapeutic drugs. For example, when Dr. Pierre Kory spoke before Congress urging a change of government policy on the use of ivermectin—which also suffered the stigma of having been mentioned by Trump—for COVID, Democratic politicians attacked him for pushing unscientific right-wing notions, even though his politics are left/progressive. Advocates of therapeutic drugs were casually tossed in the same basket as deniers and doubters of human-caused climate change. In their defense, the legislators were not hearing anything to the contrary from the major public health agencies.

    Dr. Kory, a pulmonologist, in the Spring of 2020 promoted steroid treatment for COVID-19 late-stage respiratory disease. Along with Jeffrey P. Kanne, he had recognized characteristics of an “organizing pneumonia” meaning it is purely inflammatory rather than infectious, in this case a reaction to viral debris left over from the infection. At the time this went against published academic guidelines. But because it provided undeniable relief in a desperate situation, steroid treatment became standard.

    Inspired by the work of Dr. Paul Marik, Kory became a student of treatment for COVID-19 at all stages and involved in its promotion; Drs. Marik, Kory, Eric Osgood, Joseph Varon, Hector Carvallo and others formed Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC). In the course of time they found particular success with ivermectin (best known as an anti-parasitic, but recognized also for antiviral properties), which became a centerpiece of their treatment protocols. Despite assiduous efforts they were largely unable to influence public health agencies to approve/recommend prophylaxis or early-stage treatment with existing substances. Moreover, they played a continuing cat- and-mouse game with social media censorship; some probable and possible reasons for this are discussed below.

    Dr. Peter McCullough and several colleagues independently worked out a complex early (non-hospital) treatment protocol and wrote it up in an article which was published in American Journal of Medicine. It is a short article, remarkably easy to understand, and with a nice protocol flow-chart. These doctors are less focussed on ivermectin than FLCCC but do include it among an assortment of other substances. Naturally one would want to publicize such success against a deadly pandemic disease as widely as possible and without delay. McCullough made a video explaining the paper and it was taken down by YouTube.

    Dr. Tess Lawrie, founder of Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy which advises agencies auch as the World Health Organization and the British National Health Service, watched Pierre Kory’s impassioned testimony before Congress (which was afterward taken down by YouTube and later restored) and was moved to conduct, on her own time, a systematic review and meta-analysis—a procedure to quantitatively assess cumulative results—of the studies so far on ivermectin for COVID-19. She then brought in colleagues to review her work. Finding a strong signal of efficacy, she organized the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development group, or BIRD. They lobbied the British government to approve and recommend this safe3 and apparently effective drug to help combat the pandemic. As discussed below they faced unusual obstacles but finally achieved publication of their meta-analysis in a major journal. Many organizations allied with BIRD and FLCCC were formed around the world. Their efforts met adamant resistance from authorities. This resistance, as we shall see, had no basis in science, ethics, or risk-benefit analysis.

    Paucity of hospitals, and limited hospital capacity, spurred independent and creative doctoring. In March and April of 2020, Spain was experiencing a massive COVID problem, with hospitals overwhelmed to the point that many patients could not be admitted. During this time, doctors in the town of Yepes, in the state of Toledo, treated 84 nursing home patients with suspected COVID at two different facilities with various antihistamines, going by studies showing evidence of antiviral as well as anti- inflammatory properties (note: the evidence acted upon was preliminary and not confirmed in large rigorous trials). Ivermectin was not used. Some symptomatic patients also received the antibiotic azithromycin which is believed or suspected to be anti- inflammatory. All patients later tested positive for COVID antibodies. No patients died or required ventilation, whereas going by statistics for cohort populations in nearby areas, the doctors estimate that without the treatment 25 would have died.

    In South Africa, Dr. Shankara Chetty, who practices in an area where hospitals are not easily accessed, reports that he developed treatments with available drugs such as steroids, antihistamines, and blood thinners, managing to keep patients from requiring hospital treatment; he made only minimal use of ivermectin which was largely unavailable. Some colleagues to whom hospitals were more available switched to his protocol from the standard approach and found that their patients no longer went on ventilators. He claims also that none of his patients developed the so-called “long-haul” or post-COVID chronic or recurring disease that has proven a fairly common problem with the conventional approach (do nothing until hypoxia sets in).

    In Zimbabwe, where hospitals were similarly unavailable, Dr. Jackie Stone had a brief run-in with the law for prescribing unauthorized substances, but was vindicated when ivermectin began to be adopted locally for treatment of COVID. Later the government formally approved the drug for this purpose.

    In spite of the concerted lobbying efforts of doctors and medical data analysts, public health agencies (PHA’s) consistently declined to recommend ivermectin (or any early treatment) despite a long record of safety and strong signals of efficacy in the studies—and this in a deadly pandemic! (See section below for particular instances.) The vast majority of doctors followed PHA guidance, which meant that the standard of care was home care, no medical intervention, prior to either a low reading (low 90’s or below) on one’s home pulse oximeter or, if this device is not to hand, shortness of breath—then a trip to the emergency room. As for ivermectin the official view was that it “needs more study, needs large [involving thousands of subjects] randomized controlled trials [RCT’s]”; under examination this amounts to a formal excuse for a preconceived ruling, indicating some ulterior motive. For one thing, even one comparatively small study can provide strong evidence if the effect-signal is large, wherewith the likelihood of this being due to chance, if the study is well-conducted, can be fairly to quite small. Large randomized controlled studies are not the only kind of evidence on which decisions can be based; if they were, the practice of medicine would be seriously hamstrung. It is reasonable and ethical to administer something on weak or preliminary evidence of efficacy if the risk (here negligible) is low enough and/or the disease serious enough.

    With ivermectin there was by the end of 2020 an accumulation of a few dozen RTC’s with consistently positive results; this is already statistically powerful, and is not necessarily less compelling in ruling out chance than one large study. The meta-analysis of Lawrie et al found a reduction in risk of death averaging 62% in patients with mild to severe disease, and a reduction in risk of infection, when used prophylactially, of 86%4, reflecting the importance of early administration. One of the prophylactic studies in which a higher dose was given achieved an efficacy of 91%; this is a sign of dose- dependency which is an important indicator of genuine efficacy.

    A paper by Kory and four co-authors published in American Journal of Therapeutics gathered an impressive array of evidence for the effectiveness of ivermectin, including observational controlled trials (OTC’s), RTC’s, and epidemiological evidence such as comparison of cities that used it with those that did not. One reported trial by Dr. Hector Carvallo in Argentina enrolled 1195 health care workers in an OCT, with 788 given ivermectin prophylactically and 407 in a control group. Over a 3-month period there were zero infections in the intervention group whereas 58% of the control group became ill with COVID. A similar study in India gave ivermectin prophylactically to health care workers and infections were reduced by 83% compared with the control group. In view of these findings, the suggestion that large RTC’s are further needed to justify an immediate rollout to help control a pandemic, given the high degree of safety of the drug, hardly merits comment. In any case, only governments and well-heeled philanthropies will fund large, expensive studies on off-patent drugs with no expectation of profit; moreover, such studies take months to complete during which suffering and death will continue.

    From the standpoint of treating a patient, “more studies are needed” is not what is uppermost in the mind if a drug has so far shown efficacy and is well-tolerated. One factor in the official claim that ivermectin for use against COVID is “understudied” may have to do with how the concerns of Ivory Tower medical science differ from the concerns of day-to-day doctoring. Even so it is hard to conceive how an unbiased thought-process would deem the evidence here, given the safety of the drug, inadequate to recommend its use. It is as if the seriousness of the illness and the likelihood of death along with safety—even whether there is a downside at all—are simply left out of consideration. As an example of how this normally plays out consider that in June 2021 an Alzheimer’s drug is approved by the FDA despite shaky evidence of efficacy and serious side-effects (brain swelling, etc.); compare this with the official treatment of ivermectin in a pandemic, i.e., where need is also great. Demands for a certain level of proof of efficacy before recommendation regardless of conditioning factors are reminiscient of the formalistic dogmas of medieval Scholasticism, the epitome of unscientific thinking. It is either a pretext/cover-story for corrupt or ulteriorly-motivated action, or a collapse in institutional competence, or a combination.

    The drug fluvoxamine, widely used against obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression, got airtime on CBS 60 minutes as seemingly quite promising for early treatment, but there was little if any follow-up in the main media. Briefly interviewed on the program was Steve Kirsch, a wealthy Silicon Valley entrepeneur. He had established an early-treatment fund to make up for the fact that the government had at that point put money exclusively into vaccine research. He took note that epidemiological studies had associated the use of psychiatric drugs called SSRI’s such as fluvoxamine with resistance against certain diseases. So he funded a study of fluvoxamine for COVID that found its way into the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and which showed very high efficacy—yet the journal appended an admonition against its use for this purpose with no substantive explanation. It appears that the preventive effect of fluvoxamine is much stronger if administered early. However, it also appears to be useful at the opposite end of the disease process, the inflammatory phase (when the body is hyper-reacting to the presence of spike protein debris), as well as post-recovery chronic disorders or “long-haul syndrome.” According to the FLCCC protocols, its anti- inflammatory properties are useful for long-haul patients with neurological symptoms (e.g., “brain fog”), due to the fact that it can cross the blood-brain barrier. Kirsch offered a million dollars to anyone who can point to a scientific justification for the policy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Heatth Organization (WHO) toward fluvoxamine for COVID, and another million ditto for ivermectin. He kept his money.

    Dr. Mobeen Syed, a physician and popular medical educator, argues in his videos for a balanced approach to COVID, promoting vaccines and also the FLCCC protocols. But balance is apparently not deemed allowable; he is subjected to what he calls “book- burning” censorship by the social media giants and is forced to seek alternative platforms.

    Another advocate of the two-pronged approach is Dr. John Campbell, a health analyst and educator with a large (1,000,000+) viewership on YouTube. At one point he informs viewers of something “spooky” that happened to him. Excited by his discussions about ivermectin with Dr. Lawrie, whom he greatly admires, he put up one of these videos on Facebook to gain it extra attention. It was flagged by Facebook as “partially false.” Flummoxed by this, Campbell inquired as to who the author was and the reason or reasons given. The author stayed anonymous, and the reason turned out to be that it was asserted in the video that the drug is safe, having a long safety record, whereas the safety of ivermectin when used for COVID had not been tested. Campbell commented that this goes against basic principles of toxicology. If the thought is that the condition of having COVID could somehow elicit an unknown toxic property this is baseless speculation; moreover there is no sign of this in months of studies and clinical practice.

    In historical context this “fact-checking” procedure by Facebook is clearly part of a broader propaganda initiative that is not about promoting scientific truth. Serious scientific discussions of ivermectin and other repurposed drugs for COVID continued to be deplatformed helter-skelter from Twitter and other social media, blocking dissemination of knowledge that might well save lives and relieve people of debilitating conditions. YouTube adopted an explicit policy that any claims made for ivermectin (or hydroxychloriquine) as effective against COVID would be taken down, although this seemed to be selectively enforced.

    How Conservative Media Framed the Opposition

    Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson picked up the early-treatment hot potato by interviewing Dr. McCullough. Carlson found shocking and disturbing what was being said by this distinguished, highly published doctor: the suppression of information on life-saving and suffering-preventing early-treatment options as if to enforce public belief in the official dogma of vaccines as the sole solution, no matter the consequences! McCullough had testified before the Texas legislature.

    On this issue the Right is correct in blaming government, but it is mere tendentious rhetoric to blame “the Left,” as Carlson and his “team” sometimes do. The Left, liberals, and many Republicans are all in for some degree of chastening due to being culpable at least for a certain naiveté on this, but it seems to me that no political outlook is particularly to blame due to the unanimity of offical information and the ease with which dissenting views can be tossed in the box of “right-wing conspiracy theories.” Again, a heavy political stigma is unthinkingly attached to any and all suggestions about early treatment, and the designated authorities are silent about it. There is nothing about leftist or liberal thinking in particular that leads to uncritical acceptance of mainstream narratives. But it is true that Democrats and progressives have thoroughly missed the boat on this (Matt Taibbi and Glen Greenwald have at least pointed to the problematic nature of censorship of scientific discussions). And Democratic politicians in particular can be taken to account for pressuring tech companies to censor more and more information that does not fit with the official storyline (”vaccines alone can save humanity”).

    Fox News itself is not, however, an innocent bystander when it comes to official message enforcement. Journalist Ivory Hecker ran afoul of her employer Fox in seeking to pursue with integrity the story of clinical successes with treatment of COVID. She interviewed Dr. Joseph Varon, head of critical care at a Houston hospital and a founding member of FLCCC, and Fox barred her from mentioning HCQ (which he had used for a time) or other therapeutic substances. Journalists flocked to Varon because of his strikingly anomalous success with COVID patients, but they were all barred by editors from including information about the actual therapeutics used by Varon to achieve these exceptional results!

    Just as a stopped clock is right twice a day, when government goes awry the Right gets something right. But the Right may be inclined to minimize or overlook the evidence that certain aspects of the pandemic policy, which it in some ways rightly criticizes, are products of the corruption of agencies and politicians by oligarchic capitalism. They are less inclined than the Left to talk about the possible role of neoliberal ideology (the unfettered pursuit of private profit is the fountain of all good things) and its propaganda imperatives—here working in concert with the fixation on universal vaccination and its specific propaganda imperatives among which seems to be suppression of any hopeful news about effective therapeutics. Rather than the terms “neoliberal” or “corporate,” the Right is likely to use the term “globalist” suggesting a transnational governmental or quasi-governmental power-structure.

    Whatever the limitations of the rightist viewpoint, Carlson provides a valuable counter-perspective to the groupthink in single-minded pursuit of universal vaccination regardless of collateral damage due to suppression of alternative treatments. He held an enlightening interview with evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein, whose DarkHorse podcasts helped to publicize the achievements in preventive/early treatment. In the interview Weinstein placed blame (for what might be called the mass-vaccination exclusivist narrative and its ethically bereft propaganda requirements) squarely on corruption/capturing of the PHA’s. Weinstein believes that a rapid, global rollout of early interventions is necessary to prevent the evolving virus from becoming a permanent condition of human life. If I understand correctly his thinking is that since a vaccinated person can harbor virus in the respiratory tract—these vaccines are not “sterilizing”—and therefore can transmit, a vaccinated community can be a incubation pool with vast numbers of virus in circulation along with a “selection pressure” favoring variants that evade the specific immune response provided by vaccination. This view comports roughly with that of vaccinologist Geert Vanden Bossche, who thinks mass innoculation with this type of vaccine during a pandemic is a formula for disaster driven by natural selection. A more mainstream view touts the vaccines as potentially “containing” the virus, short of extinction, enough to allow a return to normal life. This predicts the same eventual state of affairs as Weinstein though it is evaluated differently. But the scenario of a lingering, low level, tolerable pandemic spotlights the serious limitations of a non- sterilizing vaccine, and favors antiviral drugs all the more as then needed for a mop-up operation.

    It is greatly in the interest of the Left and liberals to get out from behind on this issue. So far the Right is set to come out looking like a shining beacon of truth if this monumental scandal is ever blown open. On the other hand, as noted below, the Left has great opportunity here in that there is the potential for a general public discrediting of the neoliberal global order—which has recently become troublingly entrenched due partly to revolutions in electronic consumer gadgets, in this author’s opinion.

    Carlson’s second, more lengthy interview with Weinstein highlights common ground between Right and Left on a matter of great concern. Indeed it might turn out that the severe political polarization of America at present may be more postural than real when it comes to the need to address at least one urgent problem besetting our institutions; though suggested solutions may vary, consensus appears to be entirely reachable insofar as the nature of the problem, glaringly exposed by the pandemic response, is clear to both sides.

    The Complicity of Medical Journals and the Failure of Science Journalism

    Mainstream journalism’s go-to study on ivermectin for COVID is one reported in JAMA, but this highlights the failure—or rather the disappearance—of effective science journalism of which there are other historical indications as well. It is absurd to ignore the entire evidence-base apart from this one deeply flawed study, in which, among other things, there was not a high enough rate of disease progression to show any statistically significant difference. In any case, if one study is an outlier among many (here as seeming to show a small effect at most) it should be discounted or given less weight, since this can be an indication of bias or confounding factors. Dr. Lawrie notes that whereas there is normally a publication bias toward positive results, in the case of ivermectin the bias seems to be the reverse: negative results receive publicity despite flaws in the studies while many high-quality studies with positive results languish in preprint.

    There seems to be a dogma among the journalistic profession that when reporting on scientific matters one must acknowledge that one “does not know anything,” cannot come to any judgments, but can only defer to the words of experts. This is incorrect. Specialties can benefit from an outside perspective. For example, Dr. Barry Marshall’s discovery that the bacterium H. Pylori caused stomach ulcers was not accepted for over a decade due to a groupthink in the field that might have been pointed out by an inquiring journalist or a philosopher of science. I know of one instance in which a philosopher foresaw a revolution in genetics by studying the evidence with an unbiased eye.5

    Both Tess Lawrie and Pierre Kory had the unsettling experience of having their papers on ivermectin scuttled at the last minute after having satisfied every step of peer- review, Lawrie (along with Dr. Andrew Bryant and five other co-authors) with Lancet Respiratory and Kory et al. with Frontiers in Pharmacology. The latter instance was part of a sorry episode in which a team of four guest-editors of the journal put quite a bit of unpaid work into organizing a special-topic edition on repurposed drugs for COVID-19, overseeing the peer-review process, but in the end the issue was scuttled. All four guest editors resigned in protest; their letter of resignation can be accessed here.6 On the other hand, the British journal Pharmacy editorialized that it is “incomprehensible” that ivermectin is not being rolled out all over the world; apparently they did not get the memo, so to speak. The contrast is striking to say the least. Kory et al. later succeeded with American Journal of Therapeutics, as did the meta-analysis of Bryant, Lawrie, et al.

    Public Health Agencies Abandon Science and Foster Disease Worldwide

    For whatever reason doctors seem generally inclined to adhere strictly to “guidelines” from agencies such as FDA, CDC, and NIH as though from fear of repercussions, particularly when it comes to COVID-19, a more-or-less new disease. This is understandable but it should not lead to closing off information (say, from other doctors’ experiences) that for whatever reason does not flow through these agencies or goes against their edicts. It may feel slightly outside of one’s specialty to consider the possibility that the health agencies, of all things, might, like other government agencies, be corrupted or steered awry by the interests of powerful corporations, or even by ideological or social agendas. We should not allow the aura of independent science surrounding these agencies to unduly reassure us.

    Pierre Kory’s lobbying of Congress managed to get NIH to go neutral—neither recommend nor not recommend—on ivermectin. Is neutrality an ethically defensible position given the strength of the evidence, the safety record, and the obvious urgency of need?

    Dr. Campbell pointed out in one of his popular pandemic update videos that FDA made a false statement in its public release warning against taking unprescribed ivermectin. They stated that it is “not an antiviral” despite the fact that it is officially recognized for use against dengue, zika, and other viruses. FDA also highlighted lleged dangers of the drug, claiming it can damage the liver, though people who have looked into this have only found two documented cases of associated hepatic disease in 3.7 billion doses given, and these may be attributable to the remains of parasites targeted by the drug. These statements indicate either incompetence or a crude effort at manipulation.

    The WHO came to a recommendation on ivermectin: “for clinical trials only.” In a video discussion with Dr. Campbell, Tess Lawrie analyzed the way this was arrived at. It seems they cherry-picked studies, then undertook dubious procedures to make the evidence look questionable (see footnote 11). Even so their result came out positive for ivermectin, but they recommended against it anyway! Campbell remarked on their “…flawed meta-analysis. Here they’ve found high levels of efficacy for ivermectin and they’ve recommended against ivermectin. Am I missing something? Can you help me out here?”7 Dr. Mobeen Syed was similarly disconcerted, in his own interview with Lawrie, by the stark cognitive dissonance entailed in the WHO recommendation. FLCCC published a white paper on their website about WHO’s procedure. But the problem is evident even to the layperson: The argument given by officials comes down to the claim that only some magic degree of proof of efficacy would under any circumstance justify and rationalize use, which is arbitrary dogma removed from clinical reality.

    Another tale of intransigence on the part of health authorities concerns vitamin D. A study in Spain found that administration of the active form of the vitamin, calcifediol, to hospitalized COVID patients reduced deaths by 60% and critical care admissions by 80%. Other studies have shown a relationship between seriousness of COVID disease and vitamin D deficiency (which is very common). Moreover, there is strong background science supporting an immuno-modulatory role for vitamin D, and it appears to reduce markers of inflammation. This is important because the more serious and lethal (late- stage) consequences of infection with the virus are all about inflammation, i.e., immune- system overreaction and dysfunction in response to viral debris. British MP David Davis, who has a science background, cogently argued in session that the studies so far are sufficient to demand action to make vitamin D serological evaluation and treatment standard for COVID patients. Little happened in this direction though there was a change in Irish policy. Arguments that the studies are preliminary and not peer-reviewed, that they need to be repeated, larger, etc. are specious given that there is no downside to the therapy, which may have other benefits, and that there is a high degree of need given the dismal propect of dying on a ventilator. The Spanish Journal of Geriatrics and Gerontology published a strong statement to this effect, writing: “Given the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic, the benefit–risk ratio of [vitamin D] supplementation calls for immediate action even before results of ongoing large-scale randomized trials become available.” In any case a large-scale study did appear in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showing a significant benefit of high blood levels of vitamin D on rates of hospitalization; still, not a peep out of the PHA’s. Part of the explanation might be reaction against a history of overclaiming on the part of supplement makers, but this is hardly scientific reasoning.

    Campbell, who is strongly in favor of universal vaccination, finds Lawrie’s meta- analysis of ivermectin trials compelling. He repeatedly informs his audience how he reached out to British authorities to try to persuade them to approve and promote, or at least to study, this drug for COVID-19, but received only “deafening silence” (same for vitamin D). He makes his own view clear: While some people promote exclusively therapeutics, and others promote exclusively vaccines, he supports a mix of both. Eminently sensible. Unfortunately, the reason for the “deafening silence” is almost certainly that the authorities view the two-pronged approach as in danger of goring the sacred cow, namely the perception on the part of the public that vaccines are their sole salvation from the dreaded disease. This is because “vaccine hesitancy” is deemed Public Health Enemy Number 1, and anything that might play into it, say by reducing the level of fear with the promise of a cure, must be squelched. You cannot have the public believing there is an alternative to vaccines. But what about the suffering and death that might be prevented during the span of time that is in any case going to elapse before the entire public is immunized? Apparently this is viewed as an unavoidable sacrifice!

    Another insidious factor here cannot be ruled out: the instinct of institutional self- protection. Suppose ivermectin or fluvoxamine or both—or better, the FLCCC protoccols as a whole—were rolled out rapidly and maximally, and that this resulted in the pandemic being fairly quickly brought fully under control. This appears entirely possible in light of the evidence so far. If this happened, after all that had transpired to that point, it would be a catastrophe for those authorities responsible for the implicit doctrine that already existing drugs were of no avail and that humanity could only wait for a global rollout of fast-tracked vaccines while enduring lockdowns and months of tragic news. FLCCC and other groups have made sure that they cannot plead ignorance. This is comparable to officials in Washington in the later days of the Vietnam War deeming that any halt to the now clearly pointless bombing and killing would unacceptably undercut the “credibility” of American military power.

    India suffered terribly with COVID in April and May of 2021. After a time, under lobbying and word-spreading by FLCCC and others, Indian health agencies began including ivermectin in their recommendations for early-stage treatment. WHO responded to these moves by tweeting a message reinforcing its baseless position that ivermectin should not be recommended for COVID. In the tweet it referenced information supplied by Merck drug company, which has a large financial interest in preventing ivermectin from being rolled out more broadly and possibly proving its utility against the pandemic (more below). This action resulted in a lawsuit by the Indian Bar Association. The lawsuit cites the multiple failings and missteps of WHO since the start of the pandemic, stating that “…the world is waking up to your absurd, arbitrary, and fallacious approach…” A highly informative and stimulating discussion of these developments is found at this link8; among other things, Dr. Lawrie here presents a very interesting basic vision of a global health organization that would replace the now hopelessly captured and ineffectual WHO. Watching this discussion, one gets the sense that the neoliberal order may be currently faltering in the shoals of pandemic. Here we have the corporate/financial oligarchy, with its interest in the global vaccination industry, running squarely in conflict with medical science and the furtherance of public health. We see that during the disastrous COVID wave in India, while ivermectin was struggling for official recognition, demand surged among the wealthier classes for remdesivir at $3000 per dose and providing minimal benefit at best. Could systemic corruption be more evident? If there is a general discrediting and replacement of the corporate/neoliberal international order, these extraordinary developments at the intersection of health science, law, and policy in India could serve to epitomize the problem.

    From late April 2021, the national health guidelines in India included ivermectin for early treatment, and individual states pursued their own specific policies. In Delhi from May 12 to June 13 hospitalization rates and ICU rates for COVID declined dramatically.9 Similar results were seen in the states of Goa and Uttarakhand which gave ivermectin that official push that doctors seem to require. There were no rapid upswings in vaccination rates in prior weeks that could explain these declines. Taken individually they could be due to natural waning of the disease, reductions in vulnerable populations, or more transmission-reducing behaviors. However, the same pattern occurred in Mexico, Slovakia, and Zimbabwe following implementation of treatment with ivermectin. In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which did not institute an ivermectin protocol, the COVID problem continued to escalate.

    Whether or not ivermectin has been as successful in India, Mexico, and elsewhere as its advocates claim, the influential health agencies clearly discounted and/or ignored a critical fact: the value of a widely-available drug, even if it were only somewhat effective, for poor rural areas that lack hospitals and where vaccination faces major obstacles.

    The conclusion can only be that modern applied medical science has taken on a top-down authority structure that has proven, in this instance, a catastrophic failure. The alternative is horizontal dissemination of knowledge driven by clinical experience, and the full freedom of doctors to exercize independent judgment. In the present case we have a stark illustration of these two options. On the one hand what predominates globally is a rigid top-down edict of “no treatment outside of the hospital”; on the other hand a global community of doctors, facilitated by the Internet, is cooperatively working out successful treatments from prophylaxis to post-viral syndrome.

    So when Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and other social media companies make decisions about which medical experts and topics the public should and should not be exposed to, they can only turn to these PHA’s that have given up scientific integrity in favor of pushing a narrative.

    The Role of Hospitals in Enforcing Pandemic Capitalism and the Mass Vaccination Groupthink

    Hospitals in the west and in Australia have been especially, even downright weirdly (which is to say, crying out for explanation), intransigent when it came to any use on COVID patients of the safe, apparently effective drug ivermectin. White-knuckle- generating lawsuits have been brought by loved ones of gravely ill patients to try to force hospitals to allow doctors to administer it (while it works better if given earlier, ivermectin appears to have efficacy at all stages of disease, and is said to be effective against “long-haul COVID” as well). In several cases the plaintiffs won, ivermectin was given, and the patient recovered. Sometimes the plaintiffs won but the hospitals refused to comply with court orders! A compelling account of this phenomenon occurs in an article by award-winning New York Times author Michael Capuzzo.10 Legal liability has been cited as a reason; this seems dubious inasmuch as NIH does not give a negative recommendation; also a court order should provide legal cover, one would think. Similarly of note are reports of large pharmacies such as CVS refusing to fill prescriptions for ivermectin under orders from corporate leadership. These reported behaviors call out for investigation by journalists, legislators, and/or prosecutors.

    Direct Corruption of Health Policy

    Efforts to expand the use of ivermectin encounter an obstacle also in misinformation about its efficacy put out by the moneyed interests, in particular Merck drug company, the original producers of ivermectin, and the Gates Foundation (which owns stock in Merck). Merck has an obvious motive here; it is working on its own patentable antiviral against SARS COV-2. Going by the history of antivirals, the chances that it will have combined safety and efficacy comparable to ivermectin are slim. The chance of its being far more costly, of course, is 100%—and this on top of the unrecouped capital input from the American taxpayer of reportedly 1.2 billion. Moreover, it is said that its molecular structure and mechanism of action indicate that it verges on being repackaged ivermectin, and at least one expert says it lacks some of the additional mechanisms of action that make ivermectin useful against COVID. David Kessler, chief science advisor to the Biden Adminstration’s COVID policy, said in connection with this initiative, “We need this [new antiviral drug] to close out the pandemic.” So now that profit stands to be made, the two-pronged approach is all of a sudden not only acceptable to discuss, but necessary! But why should the American public spend billions on an antiviral that might some day end the pandemic when there already is one that is proven to be effective and safe and is readily available? We are contemplating a corruption of our governing institutions by the interest of profit that should astound even the most cynical.

    Let us suppose it turns out that there are serious limitations and problems with worldwide universal vaccination—now projected to take years if it is doable at all—such as the problem of emerging variants, waves of complacency, a concerning safety record (see below), and public reluctance and resistance in various forms. To the extent that mass vaccination fails or falls short this will represent another boon for industry: a perfect opportunity to introduce a new, patented, expensive antiviral. One can expect the big health agencies to continue to fully cooperate in serving the interests of profit. The main media will likely continue to blindly believe that their role is confined to uncritical reportage on “the science” as defined by designated authorities.

    Vaccine Safety In Context

    Risk versus benefit considerations about medical interventions take on a particular hue in the setting of public emergencies and when a public health issue is in play. It can cease to be solely about the health of the individual patient. An intervention might have a fairly high risk-to-benefit ratio for a particular person, thus be contraindicated, but considerations may override this about a risk to others from no intervention. Consequently, when small risks of death and serious illness appeared to be associated with the COVID-19 vaccines, authorities came out with apparently contradictory statements: “no causality is demonstrated” and “the benefit outweighs the risk” [note: not the “possible risk”] where the latter is a blanket judgment intended to overrule individual assessments excepting certain rare conditions that preclude vaccination. Here there is no tailoring of the recommendation to particular “cohort” groups, such as infants, the elderly, those with co-morbidities, etc. as is normally done. It is every individual’s social responsibility regardless. Even where a definite bulge in risk of heart disease is seen in a certain young age cohort with one type of vaccine, the recommendation is not adjusted (this evoked considerable consternation on the part of the admirably even-tempered Dr. Mobeen). It is as if risk to individuals is something never to be acknowledged in any form, the ends being thought to justify the means.

    But if something else is available that prevents or clears infection and therefore prevents transmission, the social responsibility rationale for immunization is undermined. Again, an effective antiviral is at least as protective of the public as a vaccine. Suppose there were advances in hospital treatments that eliminated almost all deaths; this by itself could undercut the case for mass vaccination considering its cost and risks. This is not to say that vaccines would not play a role.

    If effective therapies are in hand, the issue becomes a comparison between the safety and effectiveness of one option versus another; this has implications for public policy as well as for the individual. Ivermectin, e.g., raises little or no safety concern; fluvoxamine too is widely used without serious side-effects but might have some psychological effects in normal people that are not desired—though little more so, perhaps, than the general presumption that one does not want to take a drug unless there is a reason for it. Both are said to be at their best when used prophylactically. Note that this means preventing the establishment of infection, whereas a heightened level of immunity does not necessarily prevent a person from being a vehicle of transmission. Again, a prophylactic antiviral is better than a vaccine in this respect. Another distinct advantage in the case of ivermectin is that due to its mechanisms of action it almost certainly is equally effective against all potential variants of the virus. If cheap and readily available drugs are effective—and there is plenty of reason to think they are, especially given the considerable number of them and how they might be combined in various ways—this should have an impact on any rational risk-benefit assessment.

    Conspicuously missing from the main media is the fact that COVID vaccinations have racked up substantial numbers of temporally associated deaths and serious illness in the “pharmaco-vigilance” reporting systems (VAERS in the US, the Yellow Card system in Britain, and others) in a short time compared to other vaccines and drugs historically. In fact the numbers are quite startling in this context; the numbers of adverse events being allowed is unprecedented. “Correlation does not prove causation” (in individual instances) is the mantra, but an unexpected or unusual quantity of temporal associations should be enough (and normally is) to trigger the precautionary principle. A drug company cannot seek approval by arguing, “There is no definitive proof it is unsafe.” Again, there is a blanket assessement of risk by authorities conditioned by a perceived circumstance of emergency, resulting in a need for “messaging” (propaganda), the journalistic preoccupation of the moment. As happens with wars, it is deemed too dangerous to the program for the public to hear the whole truth.

    In June 2021, Dr. Tess Lawrie sent a letter to the British Medicines and Health- Care Products Regulatory Agency in which she analysed the reports accumulated so far in their Yellow Card system. Her analysis of the various categories of reported disorders tended to direct the light of suspicion toward vaccination as not only temporally associated but causative. For example, the categories included autoimmune disorders and the reactivation of viruses latent in the body, both typical (though rare) side-effects of vaccines. Also, it is well-known that the vaccines are associated with certain rare clotting events, most famously cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, but also portal vein (feeding into the liver) thrombosis. She claimed that the kinds of disorders recorded suggest that such clots are occurring not only there but “in almost every vein and artery, including large vessels like the aorta, and in every organ including other parts of the brain, lungs, heart, spleen, kidneys, ovaries and liver.” She avers that the data is consistent with the hypothesis, supported by studies, that spike protein expression induced by vaccination can produce toxic effects, clotting in particular, throughout the body. She concludes that there is “more than enough evidence … to declare the COVID-19 vaccines unsafe for use in humans.” She deems her findings “information that should lead to cessation of the vaccination roll out while a full investigation is conducted.” Particularly concerning numbers occur in the neurological category. Shortly after this open letter is circulated her Twitter account is suspended.

    The doctors at FLCCC began to talk about “post-vaccine syndrome” which is thought to have patho-physiological characteristics in common with so-called “long-haul COVID,” meaning recurring or chronic debilitating symptoms lasting months after infection, and thus to call for similar treatment. Post-vaccine syndrome has been discussed on Dr. Mobeen’s educational videos with a few different physician- interviewees. According to doctors associated with FLCCC the syndrome is treatable, which would mitigate this as a reason not to get vaccinated. But the phrase “post-vaccine syndrome” is not likely to be found in the main newspapers anytime soon.

    In short, a much higher level of risk is being assumed by the public than is normally deemed acceptable, for the sake of a public benefit that might well be attainable by other means.

    Comparing the Options

    The meta-analysis paper of Bryant, Lawrie et al states that “Developing new medications can take years; therefore, identifying existing drugs that can be re-purposed against covid-19 and that already have a strong safety profile through decades of use could play a critical role in suppressing or even ending the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.” This is couched in the appropriately cautious language of science. It was as true in March 2020 as a year later, but the official giddy entrancement with novel pharmaceutical technologies seems to have left this truth out of the picture. The question lurking behind this entire issue is this: Suppose that as soon as the efficacy of repurposed drugs had come to light this knowledge had, along with the drugs themselves, been disseminated and put to use swiftly and globally as one might deem natural in a pandemic. Suppose public agencies facilitated rather than impeded the process. Could this have quelled the emergency in a comparatively short time? Might it have brought the pandemic effectively to an end, rendering mass vaccination unnecessary (whether or not vaccines were to play some role)? These questions are not to be tolerated in the public aquare.

    Even if the vaccines had no safety concerns, the suppression of knowledge that might save untold numbers of lives worldwide during the years-long roll-out process is morally egregious. A vaccine bias may have been understandable at first, but policy should have shifted to a new emphasis as soon as the efficacy of early therapeutic treatment had come to light (which was before successful vaccines were announced). If there had been full and timely recognition and dissemination of advances in treatment,

    this might have undermined the argument that vaccines needed to be fast-tracked under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) rather than awaiting the normal study process; after all, the serious problem of public acceptance would not be helped by talking about a shortened testing regime.

    If the many pro-early treatment doctors have ascertained anything in over a year of experience it is that it is possible to keep a large majority of COVID patients out of the hospital. If this is true, then the officially sanctioned protocol of no treatment until life- threatening hypoxia sets in will go down as an historic failing of the medical establishment. “Do nothing” is particularly asinine advice considering that ordinary mouthwash (or that specially designed for this purpose) can reduce viral load which is a critical factor in infectiousness and progression to serious disease. On a charitable view the medical institutions on the whole have shown fatal intransigence and inertia in the face of the pandemic. One would prefer not to think there has been a deliberate policy of sustaining a real-life horror show to motivate compliance with mass vaccination. Groupthink, the influence of conformity on perceptions; these are powerful forces, but they do not explain why a particular commonly held view gets established.

    Conclusion and Closing Questions

    In retrospect, the exclusive fixation from the beginning on mass vaccination as the solution to the pandemic was a monumental mistake. Were it possible to step back from the historical biases of science, the proper procedure when this “novel” coronavirus appeared would have been as follows: (1) Explore treatments with already existing, available interventions for all stages of the disease, especially its beginnings so as to prevent serious disease and hospitalization. (2) Depending on the success of (1), seek to develop new therapeutic interventions; meanwhile begin research into a vaccine should it prove necessary. (3) To the extent that these efforts look inauspicious in the short term, develop vaccines on a fast track with the possibility of rolling them out under EUA.

    Among the unfortunate consequences of the misguided fixation on vaccines was that official policy from all quarters was engaged in countering vaguely defined “COVID misinformation” to the extent of pushing aside (can we say inadvertently?) the concern to save lives and minimize suffering. Continuation of the policy despite growing evidence of the efficacy of therapeutic interventions required deeming truth an enemy.

    Setting aside the obvious motive stemming from the extreme profitability of mass vaccination, why has there been such implicit unanimity among medical professionals in positions of authority that the public should not place any hope in early or preventive treatment apart from vaccines? Why indeed was a vaccine presumed without discussion to be the best or the primary response to the pandemic when in fact a safe, effective antiviral would have several practical advantages as noted above? It is not unheard of for scientific milieus to get stuck in mistaken assumptions. Eighteenth-century astronomers were convinced it was unscientific nonsense to believe in rocks falling from the sky. In the 20th Century, the theory that the earth’s crust consisted of separate moving plates was firmly resisted for about three decades. It was some time before the scientific community accepted the evidence that H. Pylori caused stomach ulcers. Are we looking at this sort of thing? Did pressure from the corporate oligarchy actually shape the scientific creed de jour?

    Kory speaks of the “disinformation playbook,” as laid out by the Union of Concerned Scientists, being followed item by item on the subject of ivermectin. Does

    “more studies are needed” belong with the doubt-instilling11 fake science resisting tobacco legislation and denying climate change? The method may be the same, but the reasons are more complex and obscure. A proximal reason is clearly the official policy of universal vaccination as fast as possible, deemed to require unconstrained “perception management” as it is officially known. But a role cannot be excluded for a goal of indoctrination in neoliberal ideology and/or of a propaganda initiative to boost public compliance with vaccination in general.

    We are assiduously trained today that conspiracy theories are only for kooky and irrational people, which entails the idiotic claim that conspiracies (or those of a certain type) never occur. What better moment to carry out a high-level conspiracy, or perhaps more accurately, broadly concerted action, in a misguided effort to control public perceptions and behavior? Unanswered questions remain.

    1. This is intended to designate a species of “disaster capitalism” as described by Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine; no presumption is made as to whether Klein would agree with anything said here.

    2. An unfortunate ambiguity has recently beset this phrase. It is traditionally used to mean a desirable endpoint achieved through vaccination perhaps combined with infection-acquired immunity, but now it is often used to refer to a public strategy involving no or minimal “lockdown” restrictions in order to rapidly spread immunity-boosting infections. This strategy needs a different name.

    3. It is not recommended for people with a weak blood-brain barrier, such as infants and those with certain genetic conditions.

    4. https://assets.researchsquare.…a9a-b877-6d6cc8f79d54.pdf

    5. David Ray Griffin in his Religion and Scientific Naturalism pointed to evidence being ignored by scientists which indicated changes to the genome during the life of an individual, an idea supposedly long outmoded by Darwin; sure enough, epigenetics was discovered some time later.



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    8.…-whos-chief-scientist-dr- soumya-swaminathan/


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    11. See Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Bloomsbury Publishing, May 31, 2011

  • Why, W, in particular, do you consider these genetic vaccines to be more risky than others?

    I think that many people fear these things because they are new. Actually, they have been around for 20 years, but people think they were invented in 2020. Many people have said they are "untested" or "we don't know what the long term effects will be." That is another way of saying new technology is unknowable and unpredictable.

    That's true. It is somewhat unknowable. It is somewhat dangerous. There are many examples of new machines that turned out to be more dangerous than people realized at first. For example, mechanized stone cutting machines were introduced in the late 19th century (as I recall). They generated a lot of small particle dust, so stonecutters developed silicosis. People who cut gravestones for a living went to their own graves early. Stone cutting still causes problems:

    Outbreak of Silicosis among Engineered Stone Countertop Workers in Four States | Blogs | CDC

    Generally speaking, people are wary of novelty, and they should be. We shouldn't dismiss these concerns. But, as noted above, we already know that the long term effects of COVID can be severe. We don't know how long some of the "long haul" problems will last, but we know for sure that lung damage is permanent. Death is permanent. Furthermore, looking at the risk from mRNA vaccine technology, what we know about medical science, genetics, DNA and so on is reassuring. It seems unlikely there will be a problem. If there were a problem, it seems likely it would have emerged already, with more than billion people vaccinated. Experts say that nearly all vaccine problems and dangers emerge within weeks of the vaccination. There is no reason to think the mRNA vaccine will cause problems years after injection because all trace of both the RNA and the spike proteins vanish within days. Fears that it might change the genome (DNA) have absolutely no scientific basis, and should be dismissed.

    A lot of the fear of the vaccines is from people who know nothing about science and technology. They say things like "we have no idea what is in the vaccine." They probably have no idea, so they are prone to believe nonsense such as microchips being included. Anyone with an undergraduate education after 1965 who has read the mass media will know exactly what is in the vaccines: RNA and lipids. Ignorant people who have no idea what the difference between DNA and RNA might be, or what might be in the vaccines, cannot judge the situation, so they fall for the fear mongering of the Death Cult and the GOP. The GOP wants to use anti-science fear as a political weapon, to harm Biden and the Democrats. They have mainly harmed their own voters. As of July 5, 69% of Democrats were vaccinated and 45% of Republicans. 14% of the population says they will "definitely" never get vaccinated. Most of these people are Republicans. (…ore-republican-vaccinated)

    Being wary of new technology is wise. But many people distrust anything new just because it is new. This makes no sense.

    Some people love novelty for its own sake, including me. We should acknowledge that it frightens other people.

  • Being wary of new technology is wise. But many people distrust anything new just because it is new. This makes no sense.

    mRNA therapies and vaccines are not that new - the technology is 20 years old.

    I think it is the genetics thing. There is then no answering - why do they think it so much worse than COVID? Also RNA, of a much nastier self-replicating sort, that affects 1,000,000 X more cells and spreads just as widely at 1,000,000X the concentration.

  • Conservative host refuses to take vaccine and takes Vit D and Invermectin.

    "His position has changed. I mean it simply has…," Phil's brother Mark Valentine told WSMV.

    "He got it wrong he should have been more adamantly pro-vaccination, and he wasn't."

    Valentine tested positive for Covid-19 two weeks ago.

    He initially told his family and supporters that he was doing fine, even joking about his diagnosis on Facebook.

    "Unfortunately for the haters out there, it looks like I’m going to make it,” he wrote, adding that he expected to return to his show within a day or two.

    However, seven days later, his health took a dramatic turn for the worse and he was hospitalized in a critical condition with Covid-related pneumonia.

    Valentine, who once said that he wasn't going to get the vaccine because his chances of dying were "way less than one percent", is now hooked up to a ventilator at night, and an oxygen mask in the day, to help him breathe.

    "All of a sudden, he got weaker and weaker and felt worse and worse. And I think it was Friday a week ago; they x-rayed him and said that he had Covid-related pneumonia in his right lung," Mark Valentine said.

    "His situation deteriorated incredibly, and it scared everybody to death. He was very close to not making it."

    Valentine was still in a critical condition on Sunday afternoon but has since stabilized in the last 48 hours.

    Before he was hospitalized, Valentine also announced that he was “taking the vitamin D like crazy” and had found a doctor who agreed to prescribe ivermectin.

    Ivermectin, which is typically used to treat parasitic worms in animals, has been touted among some on the right as a promising Covid treatment but is not approved for use by the FDA.

    As his condition worsened, Valentine's family released a statement on Friday on his behalf insisting he wished he'd been more "vehemently" in favor of vaccines.

    "Phil would like for his listeners to know that while he has never been an ‘anti-vaxer’ he regrets not being more vehemently ‘Pro-Vaccine,’ and looks forward to being able to more vigorously advocate that position as soon as he is back on the air, which we all hope will be soon," it read.

  • Have you seen an improvement like this in any other large, densely populated city?

    Differences in a month, from May 12 to June 13, 2021 [in Dehli]
    COVID beds from 82% to 8%
    COVID Oxygen beds from 85% to 8%
    COVID ICU beds from 99% to 16%
    Ivermectin was included at the end of April

    I am getting a bit bored of the TSN ivermectin lies.

    (such repeated blatant misinformation seems like lies to me - perhaps the authors in each case are all just deluded. Perhaps the TSN editors selecting these things are similarly deluded. I guess they do not have the scientific credentials to think things through - but one at least Ron Brown - should not have that excuse).

    Luckily, everyone here does have the ability to reflect on facts and need not be confused. (OK with a few exceptions who I know ignore inconvenient facts).

    Note - I'm not saying it is impossible for ivermectin to help with COVID - there are some big RCTs in progress and no-one will be happier than I if it proves useful. Just that the claims there is currently evidence for this are 100% wrong. The claims there is a medical conspiracy to suppress evidence are based on muddle-headed interpretation of the data that can easily be refuted. The Dehli data (and that for India) is refuted below. It is a very solid refutation and I cannot understand how serious scientifically trained people (even if PhDs having done nothing else) could misread this.

    First of all note that the dramatic improvement in India (and Dehli) was driven by an improvement in cases - not an improvement in treatment or care. (see worldometer for Dehli and cases that go up and down steeply)

    Then see this analysis (I am too bored with this topic to do one myself)

    No data available to suggest a link between India’s reduction of COVID-19 cases and the use of ivermectin
    India experienced a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in May 2021. However, no data is available to support the claim that this is causally associated…

    You get the graphs as well from the link - text below. I've highlighted the two most obvious refutations either one of which destroys this claim - which is in any case weak because based only on a coincidental correlation - but there are many other details that show this epidemiological argument does not wash.

    According to official documents, ivermectin was included in India’s guideline as a possible treatment for mild COVID-19 as early as 28 April 2021. The daily number of COVID-19 cases started to decrease on 8 May 2021 after a sharp increase. However, the fact that event B occurs after event A isn’t enough to show that A caused B. Making this assumption without any further evidence is called the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. In this case, Gateway Pundit didn’t provide evidence to prove that the inclusion of ivermectin in the guideline caused the decline in new cases. Therefore, their claim is unsubstantiated.

    In order to support their claim, there are several lines of inquiry that need to be investigated. For instance, while there is a suggestion to use ivermectin for mild COVID-19 cases, we don’t know whether this has indeed translated into a greater use of ivermectin for mild COVID-19 throughout the country. Given the short span of time between the release of the guideline and the beginning of the decline in daily cases, specifically ten days, as well as the significant size of India’s territory and population, it seems highly unlikely that this guideline would have led to a nationwide uptake of ivermectin by a significant enough number of patients to already impact the evolution of the daily number of new cases.

    Furthermore, ivermectin is included in the guidelines as a treatment, meaning that it would be used on people who already developed COVID-19, and are therefore considered as COVID-19 cases. Even if ivermectin worked as a treatment, its effects would be to reduce the number of severe COVID-19 cases and deaths. But it wouldn’t cause the number of new COVID-19 cases to fall, since a treatment wouldn’t prevent new cases from occurring. Therefore, the reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases cannot be attributed to the purported effectiveness of ivermectin.

    If the reduction in COVID-19 cases were due to ivermectin, then we wouldn’t expect to see any sign of improvement until after the release of the updated guidelines. However, the data show a reduction in the reproduction number, known as R, starting from 16 April 2021 (Figure 2). The reproduction number R represents how many people an infected person will go on to infect on average. The higher R is, the faster and more broadly the disease will spread. If R falls below 1, the number of new cases in the population will also fall.

    The R number for India was estimated at 1.46 on 16 April 2021 and decreased to 0.97 as of 15 May 2021. Given that fewer new cases of infection were occurring, we would expect to observe a reduction in reported cases, as seen since 8 May 2021. Since R began decreasing before the new guidelines were issued, the reduction in cases cannot be due to ivermectin treatment. This observation contradicts the claim by Gateway Pundit.

    If ivermectin had an effect in curbing the spread of COVID-19, one might expect to only see limited contagion in countries that officially recommended this drug. Peru recommended ivermectin for mild COVID-19 as early as 8 May 2020. Official support for this drug also occurred in other countries in Latin America. However, these countries have experienced multiple waves of COVID-19 cases and deaths throughout 2020 and 2021 despite the ivermectin recommendation in place (Figure 3). Peru withdrew its recommendation in March 2021.

    As shown earlier, the epidemiological data doesn’t support the claim that ivermectin recommendation in India slowed the spread of the disease or reduced its death toll. In addition, clinical data don’t support the claim that ivermectin is effective for treating COVID-19. Many clinical studies and trials have been performed or are underway. However, few of them are designed in a way that would provide robust evidence. Health Feedback explained in several fact-checks that most of these studies are inconclusive because they were at high risk of bias.

    Bias in clinical studies may stem from an insufficiently large number of volunteers in the study, an inadequate randomization of volunteers between the test group which receives ivermectin and the control group, lack of control group altogether, or lack of blinding. Blinding in the process by which doctors and volunteers are made unaware of who receives ivermectin and who receives a standard treatment. Lack of blinding may lead to overestimation or under-estimation of subjective clinical outcomes such as symptom resolution.

    Upon reviewing the available data, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded in March 2021:

    “The evidence on whether ivermectin reduces mortality, need for mechanical ventilation, need for hospital admission and time to clinical improvement in COVID-19 patients is of ‘very low certainty.’ due to “the small sizes and methodological limitations of available trial data, including a small number of events.”

    Therefore, the WHO recommended that ivermectin use in COVID-19 patients should be restricted to clinical trials assessing the drug’s efficacy. In the same month, the European Medicines Agency also advised against using IVM for the general population owing to the lack of scientific proof of its efficacy.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration adopted a similar position in May 2021. Scientific societies such as the infectious Diseases Society of America reviewed the data, focusing on the clinical studies and trials of higher quality. They too recommended “against ivermectin for the treatment of outpatients with COVID-19, unless in the context of a clinical trial” and added: “well-designed, adequately powered, and well-executed clinical trials are needed to inform decisions on treating COVID-19 with ivermectin.” This shows that the Gateway Pundit claim that it is a “now-indisputable fact that [ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine] essentially kill COVID-19 within hours or days” is false.

    In summary, neither the epidemiological nor the clinical data support the claim that the reduction in COVID-19 cases in India is due to the use of ivermectin. Media outlets making that claim based this solely on temporal correlation without providing evidence of a causal relationship. Contradicting this claim, epidemiological data show that contagiousness began to decrease in India before the release of new official guidelines recommending the use of ivermectin.

  • FM1

    I'm going to suggest to you, since you have been posting and perhaps looking at a lot of the ivermectin stuff, that you consider doing a critical appraisal of the evidence.

    Thus: take the arguments for ivermectin working:

    • Retrospective and observational trials
    • RCTs
    • Epidemiological evidence (as above for India)

    You know that all this stuff does not wash as follows:

    • Retrospective and observational trials - prone to bias therefore cannot have weight when there are lots of RCTs
    • RCTs - neutral (you remember the very pro-ivermectin Bryant meta-analysis - which turns neutral if you remove two very obviously biassed RCTs)
    • Epidemiological evidence. Supremely muddle-headed see above. And in any case it is intrinsically very weak.
  • Looks like you are on speed full day. There are no anti vaxxer here - Are you?? We recommend vaccines for people age > 65 with reduced health and younger with 2 comorbidities.

    We very well understand big pharma marketing and know that the RNA gent therapeutic "vaccines" for younger are the much bigger risk than Delta.

    Please do not longer repeat the herd immunity lie and the lie that RNA gen treated people do not spread CoV-19.

    If you don't recommend vaccines for people like me - 60 - fully healthy - you are an anti-vaxxer in the sense that:

    (1) you have some political axe to grind


    (2) you are using false statistics to do the risk comparison between vaccine and COVID

    If anyone (similar to me) takes your advice then they risk (at a probability of between 1: 500 and 1: 50) death due to their unwisely following your advice.

    Now I happen to know that in your case both (1) and (2) are true.

    (1) You have some weird conspiracy theory about the mafia. I don't understand it - but I think it counts as political

    (2) You have consistently posted wrong numbers.

    It is actually worse than that. You have consistently used a high fraction of people in hospital with COVID vaccinated as an argument that vaccines are not effective at stopping hospitalisation.

    Now I have refuted that argument several times previously (once 24 hours ago). And you continue to use it after knowing it was not true. I do not believe your memory is so bad you did not remember that refutation, nor do I think you are incapable of understanding the logic. You may be incapable of doing the maths (simple probability theory) but given I believe you have a math background that too is unlikely.

    To repeat:

    The easiest way to see that the fraction of people in hospital with COVID who are vaccinated has no direct relationship to vaccine efficacy is to use reductio ad absurdum as follows:

    Suppose that all people in a country have been vaccinated. In that case, obviously 100% of hospital COVID cases will be vaccinated. That is true regardless of whether the vaccine is 90%, 99% or 99.9% effective at reducing hospitalisation.

    Therefore you cannot infer from a larger fraction of hospital patients vaccinated anything about the efficacy of the vaccine. You need a lot more evidence to do that.

  • I was "Withdrawn from professional services." After requesting Ivermectin, The official reasoning was for sending too many messages(4)..

    Colorado..Land of the free...

    Still better than Canada/NZ/Australia/ UK

    South Africa is a light to the Anglo world?

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  • Conservative host refuses to take vaccine and takes Vit D and Invermectin.

    "His position has changed. I mean it simply has…," Phil's brother Mark Valentine told WSMV.

    "He got it wrong he should have been more adamantly pro-vaccination, and he wasn't."

    Quoting this poor nitwit Valentine:

    Valentine had repeatedly downplayed Covid-19 and dismissed guidance from health officials about the seriousness of the virus and the importance of getting vaccinated.

    When the Pfizer vaccine was first approved for use in the US last December, Valentine wrote in a blog post that, because of "common sense", he wouldn't be getting a vaccine.

    "I’m just using common sense. What are my odds of getting Covid? They’re pretty low. What are my odds of dying from Covid if I do get it? Probably way less than 1 percent," he said.

    "I’m doing what everyone should do and that’s my own personal health risk assessment. . . .

    No, that's not what "everyone should do." That's like saying everyone should install their own electric wiring. People who try to do that will often kill themselves, or burn down the house. You should never try to make a difficult judgement about a technical subject you know little about. If you think you understand, that is the Dunning Kruger effect. There is a good reason why people for generations have followed doctor's orders and done what the authorities and experts told them to do. It is not obedience. It is common sense.

    Getting back to Valentine, his brother now says:

    "Phil would like for his listeners to know that while he has never been an ‘anti-vaxer’ he regrets not being more vehemently ‘Pro-Vaccine,’ and looks forward to being able to more vigorously advocate that position as soon as he is back on the air, which we all hope will be soon . . ."

    He is rewriting the past, and denying he said what said. In the 21st century people often do this. That is ironic because what you say is captured on the internet. Anyone can see that Valentine was an anti-vaxer. I hope he has learned his lesson, and I hope he recovers and tells his listeners to get vaccinated. In the abstract I do not have much sympathy for anti-vaxers who get COVID, but when confronted with an actual person, I feel terrible for them, even though it is their own damn fault.

  • Suppose that all people in a country have been vaccinated. In that case, obviously 100% of hospital COVID cases will be vaccinated. That is true regardless of whether the vaccine is 90%, 99% or 99.9% effective at reducing hospitalisation.

    Yes! Case in point: most of the 965 patients in the Provincetown, MA outbreak were vaccinated. But 95% of everyone in Provincetown, MA was vaccinated. There are not many unvaccinated people left to get sick. Furthermore, the vaccinated patients engaged in dangerous social interactions. They thought, "if you get the vaccine, you can go to a dance club, you can go to a house party and meet someone and make out." They did not realize that the Delta variant is more contagious than previous variants. No one knew that during the superspreader event on July 4.

    Fortunately, only 7 have needed to be hospitalized. If they had not been vaccinated, the numbers would be much higher.

    Therefore you cannot infer from a larger fraction of hospital patients vaccinated anything about the efficacy of the vaccine. You need a lot more evidence to do that.

    Yes. In the simplest case, you have to know what fraction of the surrounding population has been vaccinated. For example, if 50% of people age 30 to 40 are vaccinated, and 90% of hospitalized patients of that age group are unvaccinated, you know that vaccination reduced the likelihood of serious illness. The actual statistics for the entire U.S.: 57% of the population fully or partially vaccinated. 97% of hospitalized patients are unvaccinated. That is irrefutable proof that the vaccines reduce serious illness.

    With the Delta variant, you are more likely to get a breakthrough case than with previous variants. You may get sick for a week or two, perhaps with a few days of a high temperature. But your chances of getting seriously ill are about the same as they were with the previous variants. I do not want to get sick for a week, so I have gone back to wearing a mask in the grocery store and eating outside at restaurants, but I am no longer afraid of ending up in the hospital or the morgue.

    It is a darn shame that unvaccinated people are holding the rest of us hostage. Making us wear masks again. Destroying restaurants, entertainment, air travel and other industries. Threatening to wreck the economy. What is worst is they may be incubating a more dangerous variant. These people are irresponsible jerks. They are idiots. They endanger themselves more than anyone else, but that is cold comfort. It is like watching people smoke in 1970, knowing they were killing themselves.

  • Anyone can see that Valentine was an anti-vaxer.

    But Montagnier isn't... he is just anti Pfaccine anti M$NA..especially for kids


    3. Long-term effects: Contrary to the claims of the manufacturers of messenger RNA vaccines, there is a risk of integration of viral RNA into the human genome. Indeed, each of our cells has endogenous retroviruses with the ability to reverse transcriptase from RNA into DNA. Although this is a rare event, its passage through the DNA of germ cells and its transmission to future generations cannot be excluded.

    “Faced with an unpredictable future, it is better to abstain.”

    Nobel Prize Winner Warns Vaccines Facilitate Development of Deadlier COVID Variants, Urges Public to Reject Jabs - The New American
    Luc Montagnier, a French virologist and recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), has recently…

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  • But Montagnier isn't... he is just anti Pfaccine anti M$NA..especially for kids


    3. Long-term effects: Contrary to the claims of the manufacturers of messenger RNA vaccines, there is a risk of integration of viral RNA into the human genome. Indeed, each of our cells has endogenous retroviruses with the ability to reverse transcriptase from RNA into DNA. Although this is a rare event, its passage through the DNA of germ cells and its transmission to future generations cannot be excluded.

    Okay, so he is anti-biology. Anti-science. He is spouting nonsense.

    “Faced with an unpredictable future, it is better to abstain.”

    Yes. So let's all sit at home, in the dark, in a corner. There are risks to going out for a walk in the park. You might get run over, or bitten by a rabid squirrel. There are risks to eating a tomato. It is better to abstain from everything. The risks of a COVID vaccine are thousands of times smaller than the risk of the disease, but let's not take any chances. None whatever.

    “Bartleby,” said I, “are you aware that you are the cause of great tribulation to me, by persisting in occupying the entry after being dismissed from the office?”
    No answer
    “Now one of two things must take place. Either you must do something, or something must be done to you. Now what sort of business would you like to
    engage in? Would you like to re-engage in copying for some one?”

    “No; I would prefer not to make any change.”
    “Would you like a clerkship in a dry-goods store?”
    “There is too much confinement about that. No, I would not like a clerkship; but I am not particular.”
    “Too much confinement,” I cried, “why you keep yourself confined all the time!”
    “I would prefer not to take a clerkship,” he rejoined, as if to settle that little item at once.
    “How would a bar-tender’s business suit you? There is no trying of the eyesight in that.”
    “I would not like it at all; though, as I said before, I am not particular.” . . .

  • Okay, so he is anti-biology. Anti-science. He is spouting nonsense.

    I guess that's why Montagnier got the Nobel Prize in virology...Figure thumbnail fx1

    does JR know what epigenetics is? or oncogenes..

    perhaps it was after he did biology in college? mukashi mukashi.. 1974?

    maybe Montagnier follows after Sam Cooke..except for the French..Je t'aime. :love:

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  • Another anti-science.. anti-biology person.. Vive la Science

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  • Is it not strange that every single anti-vaxxer has the same set of political views - it is as though they were cloned. They all are sure:

    • Lockdowns are not worth it
    • COVID is not serious, no worse than the Flu
    • COVID was made in a lab

    There is in principle no reasons those views should be correlated with anti-vax opinion. I mean - I'm pro-vax - but I am not entirely sure on stark utilitarian grounds that lockdowns are worth it. I just don't have quite that religious fervour about it, and can see their inevitability in democracies. And while COVID was made in a lab looks unlikely I don't rule it out.

    Luc Montagnier has been a full-fledged anti-vaxxer for may years - it can happen to anyone - Nobel Prize or no. His COVID vaccine suggestions have been thoroughly debunked by facts (as they emerged) as well as other scientists (for the ones like "you are all going to die in 20 years" that cannot yet be debunked by facts.

    Luc has a much worse case of it than most. Like, he has gone way off the deep end, with claimed proof that DNA can teleport and other whackiness. This work is not sensibly publishable (in spite of his name). Bringing in Nobel Laureates who have gone rogue to support a false cause is quite a popular thing (you will remember Rossi tried it). It is a strange fact that famous professors quite often develop crackpot ideas as they get older (well maybe some would not find this strange!).

    In 2012 he supported the fraudulent Andrew Wakefield in his false claims about MMR and Autism at Autism One:

    This year's speakers include Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield, as usual, but also a new entry: Luc Montagnier.

    Jenny McCarthy has been a leader of the anti-vaccine movement for over a decade. She's a former Playboy playmate and MTV host, with no medical qualifications whatsoever, who is convinced that vaccines caused her son's autism. She's been spreading her anti-vaccine message very effectively, with particular help from Oprah Winfrey and Larry King, who gave her prime television exposure countless times. Oprah even offered McCarthy her own show, until McCarthy ditched Oprah for NBC.

    Andrew Wakefield, the thoroughly discredited doctor who falsified data in order to push his false hypothesis that autism is caused by the MMR vaccine - whose medical license was revoked in the UK, and whose famous 1998 paper on autism and vaccines was retracted after it was shown to be fraudulent - claims that his talk "offers solutions [that] will be ignored by those in power and the more dire of its predictions will result." Too bad I missed that one.

    It's no surprise that Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield, leaders of the anti-vaccine movement, are speaking at AutismOne. Much more surprising is the presence of Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier, co-discoverer of the link between the HIV virus and AIDS. What is he doing at this festival of pseudoscience?

    Well, apparently Montagnier has gone off the deep end into pseudoscience himself. He claims that his new group, Chronimed, has discovered in autistic children

    "DNA sequences that emit, in certain conditions, electromagnetic waves. The analysis by molecular biology techniques allows us to identify these electromagnetic waves as coming from … bacterial species."

    What the heck? In what seems to be a desperate effort to stay relevant, Montagnier is promoting wild theories with little scientific basis, and now he is taking advantage of vulnerable parents (see his appeal here) to push a therapy of long-term antibiotic treatment for autistic children.

    This is truly a wacky theory. Montagnier hasn't been able to publish this in a proper journal, for a very good reason: it's nonsense. He claims that quantum field theory - an area of physics in which he has no qualifications - explains how electromagnetic waves emanating from DNA can explain not only autism, but also Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Montagnier makes these claims and more in a self-published paper that he posted on arXiv.

    This isn't Montagnier's first crazy idea: just a year ago, he claimed that DNA molecules can teleport between test tubes, also based on some kind of quantum hocus pocus. This crackpot claim should have been ignored, and it would have been, if not for the fact that Montagnier is a Nobel laureate. He's also endorsed homeopathy, another quack treatment.

    This is a sad coda to a brilliant medical career.