Covid-19 (WuFlu) News

  • THH,

    Along the same lines,

    Do you really believe he was actually telling people to inject themselves with bleach.

    What kind of blithering idiot would even consider doing that, even his zealots would never do that.

    The world sometimes surprises you. As a blithering idiot example take Mark Grenon:…cure-wrote-trump-11628259

    and, I guess, most of his followers...

  • What kind of blithering idiot would even consider doing that

    The kind of idiot who goes to a packed out church during a pandemic?

    The kind of idiot who pays convicted fraudster Jim Bakker $80 for his 'miracle mineral supplement'?

    The kind of idiot who decides to ingest fish tank cleaner / colloidal silver / hydrogen peroxide?

    The kind of idiot that burns down 5G towers?

    The kind of idiot that takes an assault rifle to a pizza-hut expecting to find Hillary Clinton abusing kids?

    The kind of idiot who forces bleach manufacturers to put a 'do not drink' label on their product in the first place?

    The kind of idiot who can't afford decent healthcare, but still votes against reforming the system?

    All these people? Almost 100 People Have Called Poison Control for Eating Tide Pods This Year

    And, as Jed correctly pointed out, your very own President is exactly the kind of blithering idiot who would consider doing it!!!

  • i

    Good point Lou. But we must be guided by the facts:

    (1) HCQ has very low toxicity

    (2) HCQ has been used a lot, and there is still no evidence that it actually works.

    Doctors have been burnt in the past by thinking treatments were effective, and using them, when they did no good but still killed people.

    There is no doubt that HCQ can kill people, just it is uncommon, and can be (almost completely) prevented by careful enough protocols, ECG monitoring, action on QT gap elongation, etc.

    We look at risk/reward and reckon that even if it works a little bit, and there are plausible reasons it might, it is worth including it for administration in hospital setting. I think though that many doctors would be uncomfortable with that, although as we can see many also reckon it is worth it.

    I don't see any politics in this. The politics got introduced when politicians (Trump, followed by Macron) started to talk it up. I agree it is now political, with anti-Trump politicians highlighting the possible negatives.

    Just keep the politics out of it, but don't go overboard advocating a miracle cure for which the evidence as yet is non-existent.

  • I wrote based on death statistics.. 6/18... Costa Rica versus NZ

    which is all that is known for sure.. there are are plenty of other unknowns.. some of which will become known some of which will remain unknown

    using death statistics to evaluate effectiveness of a treatment is a completely impossible task, because you have no information on infection rate, and case rates do not give you any good handle on that.

    However, the observational study of US veterans getting (or not getting) HCQ is better evidence. They have high quality data and detailed propensity scores which allows comparison.

    That shows no significant effect - but still is not at all conclusive because of confounding factors not captured (or not fully captured) by the propensity score.

    So I'd rate, going from high quality to low quality, with adjustments for size of study up or down.


    good quality non-randomised control

    good quality observational with control

    bad quality non-randomised control (e.g. Raoult)

    bad quality observational with control

    observational without control (e.g. Zeleno)

    Comparisons of country death rates

    The country death rate figures would go up this hierarchy only when we have accurate antibody test data for population infection. Even then it is highly problematic unless we also capture the age distribution of those infected.

    This hierarchy and the results so far explains why I'm pessimistic about HCQ.

  • Just in case people don't read links:

    The Guardian reports that Mark Grenon, leader of Florida's Genesis II Church of Health & Healing, which appears to be more of a moneymaking operation than a place of worship, wrote a letter to Trump earlier this week saying that chlorine dioxide, an industrial bleach, is a "wonderful detox" that can kill most pathogens in the body and cure people of COVID-19.

    What the Guardian didn't catch, however, is that Grenon is already the subject of a federal probe. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami last week announced an investigation into Grenon and several others affiliated with Genesis II for selling Miracle Mineral Solution, also known as MMS. The group claims the bleach product will cure, treat, or prevent COVID-19 and other conditions, such as Alzheimer's, autism, brain cancer, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis.

    An April 16 complaint from prosecutors, which names Grenon and three codefendants, says Genesis operates out of Bradenton and does business in South Florida. The codefendants — Joseph Grenon, Jordan Grenon, and Jonathan Grenon — are "bishops" of the church and are involved in MMS production operations, according to court documents.

    The complaint claims the group is illegally distributing unapproved new drugs with misleading and false labeling and alleges the defendants' products don't contain adequate directions for use. (The website for Genesis' products explains "sacramental dosing" for COVID-19 and provides dosing instructions for adults and children.)

  • A French study found that only 4.4% of 350 coronavirus patients hospitalized were regular smokers and 5.3% of 130 homebound patients smokedThis pales in comparison with at least 25% of the French population that smokes A French study found that only 4.4% of 350 coronavirus patients hospitalized were regular smokers and 5.3% of 130 homebound patients smokedThis pales in comparison with at least 25% of the French population that smokes

    A Chinese study found a similar mismatch with the general population. Fumigation?

    This is fascinating. I think there is something here. Now, it is true that younger people in France smoke more than older folks:…-according-to-age-france/

    But this difference is not enough to account for the apparent low incidence of covid-19 hospitalization for smokers. So maybe fumigation is effective. Furthermore, the fact that smoking is strongly correlated with heart disease, and heart disease with covid-19 complications, it should have brought the numbers the other way. Fumigation overcame this negative confounder. This gives even stronger evidence that fumigation is effective. Furthermore, the fact that smoking is correlated with lower education and lower income, and the latter is correlated with crowding, and crowding is perhaps correlated with higher rates of infection and thus covid-19 hospitalization, it should have brought the numbers the other way. Fumigation has overcome another negative confounder.

    Now, what would be a fumigator that is probably less harmful than cigarette smoke, and probably has better antiviral, antibacterial properties? It is one of many chemicals on the EPA's list for disinfecting agents against coronavirus. It's used to disinfect our drinking water and our pool water. It's sometimes used to disinfect fruits and vegetables and meats. It's put in some toothpastes.

    It's chlorine dioxide, which some people confuse with household bleach. For anyone who wants to go down the rabbit hole as I just did in the last few hours:

    I guess that Trump's instincts were right yet again.

  • We should know in two or three weeks time which of the antiviral are effective. Meantime let's keep an eye on the stats of every country widely employin their use (Italy, France, Greece, Germany, India, Venezuela, Costa Rica, China, Singapore, S. Korea, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Sub Saharan Africa, Bangladesh, Myanmar to name but a few. Versus the UK and US which are acting as 'control's in this global clinical trial partly due to politics and risks of medical negligence claims perhaps? Control's due to either waiting too long to treat only death - bed patients (US) or smply having little interest in the scientific possibility of using antivirals clinically rather relying instead completely on hand washing and social distancing whilst waiting patiently for vaccines to be produced (UK).


    When it comes to conspiracy theories, it's pretty wild what some people believe — and what they don't.

    Those who doubted the Sandy Hook Elementary and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shootings have called the survivors "crisis actors" and tormented the families of those killed. A North Carolina man who believed online theories about a Washington, D.C., pizza place acting as a front for a child-sex ring opened fire inside the restaurant in 2016. (No one was hurt.)

    And there are plenty of people in the United States who don't believe the coronavirus pandemic is real, according to a survey conducted by Joseph Uscinski, a University of Miami political science professor who's been studying conspiracy theories for about a decade.

    The survey, which sampled 2,000 people nationally in the third week of March, asked two pandemic-related questions, among others: Do you believe the effects of the virus were exaggerated to hurt the presidency of Donald Trump? And do you believe the virus was purposefully created and spread?

    Uscinski tells New Times about a third of respondents said yes to each question.

    "It's sort of shocking," he says. "Thirty percent is sort of a high number for something like this."

    Uscinski says 20 percent is typical for questions related to medical or scientific conspiracy theories.

    "We have essentially one news story — the coronavirus," he says. "It's the only thing we're paying attention to. People are feeling uncertainty and powerlessness. On the one hand, the numbers are high. On the other hand, given the circumstances, you might say it's low."

    Based on some of the demographic information respondents provided, Uscinski says the people likeliest to believe those theories are Republicans.

    "In particular, people who really like President Trump," he says. "And that makes perfect sense because that was the early messaging from the president about the virus, that this was just the Democrats' new hoax."

    Uscinski says that although the study surveyed a representative sample of Americans, age wasn't a strong factor in a person's belief in conspiracy theories about the pandemic. The significant factors, he says, were partisanship, worldview, and a "predisposition toward conspiracy thinking," which leads to the rejection of medical and scientific findings.

    People who reject such findings related to COVID-19, for example, might not wash their hands, wear masks, or practice social distancing as directed, the professor says.

    "Another concern is that people who think [COVID-19] is a bioweapon might act as another extreme," Uscinski says. "They may begin hoarding essential goods because they think that some entity is trying to kill them."

    As seen during last weekend's protests against lockdowns in various states, sometimes there's no balance to be struck between public health and what some people view as austere governmental interference.

    "I'm sure a lot of those people think that the government measures are going overboard compared to the actual dangers," Uscinski says. "I think the governments have exerted a massive control over people's lives in a short time. While some of it may seem like the right thing, shutting down the economy and taking away livelihoods are fairly strong measures coming from governments. And it shouldn't shock anyone that there's going to be some pushback."

    He believes governments should evaluate and reevaluate their safety measures regularly because the policies being created now aren't just about the pandemic — they have a ripple effect on people's lives and livelihoods.

  • Is it reasonable to conjecture that political and economic motives hide behind

    media's (and social media's) coverage of prospective Covid-19 therapies?

    The world wide health mafia is organize by the same inner circles that rules the military industrial complex. Their only goal is to maximize the private profit of their members. The head of CDC is completely staffed with buddies of these groups. This group first wanted to developed their own covid-19 test - and failed --> missed at least one month to react. They also want to push their friends Remsdeivir, what is a more or less a useless drug just making you one more day suffer before you die like with most chemo therapy.

    HCQ (also Azitromycin + zinc) has been tested by more than 2'000'000'000 = 2 billion people world wide. It's use has never been controlled by doctors. Only a completely degenerated society like the US that will sue any doctor in case of a complication needs such an advise - use HCQ in hospital only. This is perverting the medical system to maximize private pharma/doctors profits.

    Of course you can hand out the patient a flyer with one sentence in capital letters (font size 48) to tell him if he has heart problems then immediately do shine up in a hospital.

    The same mafia did prevent the use of Ivermectin/Praziquantel in most western countries for the last 30 years as these drugs do significantly reduce the overall cancer cases. Now Ivermectin reduces the death toll of covid-19 by a factor of five. What excuse will they find now??

    If anybody can show a study with HCQ + " Azitromycin + zinc > 20mg that failed then do so. But stop to cite other nonsensical HCQ work.

    The above is public, more or less free (generic few $) medication, that must be taken after first symptoms did occur. If damage is already there then you should switch (add) to ivermectin.

  • So: two ideas here from Mark:

    (1) smoking reduces COVID infection, or COVID severity

    (2) ClO2 - taken orally - is a treatment for COVID

    Looks like somone has got to the ClO2 link before Mark!

    Oh - but - look at the entity proposing this trial - Genesis Foundation. Name sound familiar? Should be if you read my links. Those sound awfully like: Florida's Genesis II Church of Health & Healing, currently under FDA probe for peddling fake and dangerous drugs (they have been marketing ClO2 as a miracle cure for a long time, and have jumped on the COVID band wagon). Also note the date of this trial - just after the FDA probe was started I'd guess. They strenuously deny the accuasations, saying their stuff works... I can see how this one plays out in US courts.

    In addition - what is the quality of evidence to come from this trial? Well, it does not really say. not an RCT. Not even a controlled trial. Rather they are going to take 10 patients and see what happens. At least it is cheap.

    Now politics aside let us consider the science.

    (1) Smoking reduces COVID infection and/or severity

    This is counter-intuitive, as Mark points out, but with COVID, especially because severe symptoms relate to the virus interaction with the immune system in ways not fully understood, almost anything is possible.

    I point out the most obvious issue: smokers die 10 years (on average0 younger than non-smokers. Is it true that, as Mark says without having done any calculation to show it: But this difference is not enough to account for the apparent low incidence of covid-19 hospitalization for smokers.

    The age dependence of mortality from COVID can be quite well approximated as an exponential: pdeath = K.2^(age/7) where K is a constant. If we integrate this over age we can see that the older end dominates the statistics, and that the probabilities there depend on the cutoff, and scale as 2^(ageMax/7).

    If we suppose the same age distribution for the smoking population, but shifted younger by 10 years to match the 10 year lower average lifetime, we have a mortality decrease of 2^(10/7) = 2.7X

    So: this back of envelope calculation shows that non-smokers are 2.7X more likely to die of COVID than smokers under random selection from population conditions!

    This is very approximate, for a more exact number we need to take the smoker age distribution, and the non-smoker age distribution, and integrate the COVID age-related mortality over these two.

    That is a lot of work. Rather surprisingly, and nicely, the argument above depends only on the distributions being comparable and the COVID mortality being exponential with age. That is at least a decent first approximation. the real effect could be larger or smaller.

    The paper about French smoking and COVID has two interesting reviews:

    A review of the paper makes various points, rating the evidence here as 2/5. The strongest point they make is that the paper notes health care professional dominate the population of in and out patients. Therefore we would need to know the cohort smonking prevalence amongst this population. Since it is known that healthcare professionals have a much lower than typical incidence of smoking this effect could be large and explain the data.

    Another point made by a review related to the comparability of the reported status of these patients - when this is under conditions different from general population studies. Possible location bias (in hospitals!) and also temporal bias (many smokers may just now be trying to give up smoking thinking about COVID risk, or because of lockdown conditions).

    (2) Mark jumps from smoking being protective about COVID (which is possible, although evidence from that study is weak) to ClO2 is protective against COVID. In other words the Genesis Church of health and Healing are right and ClO2 is a miracle cure.

    You cannot rule anything out. But the likelihood of ClO2 being the active factor, if smoking is protective, is low. There are so many somatic changes, and drugs inhaled, due to smoking. Here is a better candidate with some biochemical (speculative) evidence

    There is a pressing urgency to find treatments based upon currently available scientific knowledge. Therefore, we tentatively propose a hypothesis which hopefully might ultimately help saving lives. Based on the current scientific literature and on new epidemiological data which reveal that current smoking status appears to be a protective factor against the infection by SARS-CoV-2 [1], we hypothesize that the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) plays a key role in the pathophysiology of Covid-19 infection and might represent a target for the prevention and control of Covid-19 infection.

    I am pleading here for everyone to keep an open mind and evaluate possibilities on evidence. That means not jumping on any one thing, and specifically not chasing thin evidence strands for political reasons.

  • The April 21 VA HCQ report is a crap study... as detailed in this youtube,,

    From tm 12.30.. bad quality nonrandomised hit piece..pathologist Chris Martenson

    RB - can we please discuss this at the level of written reviews of the preprint? There will be lots. I do not have time to listen to youtube and also find the opinion/fact ratios too high in videos as opposed to printed argument, so prefer the latter.

    In addition people are more likely to post youtube comments for political or other reasons, whereas print reviews, ignored by most, are more likely to be objective. You can find reviews on any of the places that publish preprints. They are open access but moderated on bioxriv / medxriv (I've published one myself).

    So, find the reviews that support your argument.

  • Another interesting comparison between Turkey which is showing control stats and Iran which is showing rapid recovery since China shipped them a massive dose of chloroquine on or just after 25 March. I thought they were so badly affected because of US sanctions limiting medical supplies. Google it, the evidence is there.:) Agreed with RB about the vets study HCQ trialled too late with no fixed dose, no Zn in patients known to be Zn deficient. Politics involved here too, vested drug Co interests they admit to Gilead support. Can't trust any of it.

  • medrxiv HCQ paper: observational study of US war veterans

    Reviews after the paper. Looking at these:


    The issue with a "retrospective" study is that populations cannot be randomized. It is clear just looking at the data that the vitals and the biochemistry of the hydroxlchloroquine ("HC") or hydroxlchloroquine and azithromycin group ("HC + AZ") was inferior vs. the non HC or HC + AZ group. In other words the HC and HC + AZ groups were significantly unhealthier vs. the the non HC or HC + AZ groups. A randomized true clinical trial would have filtered this bias out, but a retrospective study structurally solidified this bias in. Thus, this study has a structurally solid bias that render's its ultimate conclusions suspect and of limited use.

    (similar BR, Philip Davies)

    Amazingly none of these people comment on the fact that the cohorts chosen were matched for propensity scores. So, yes, the populations overall were highly biassed. But the statistical analysis corrected for correlation with covariates.

    At baseline (date of admission), for each patient, we extracted demographic, comorbid, clinical
    (vital sign) and pharmacy data including information associated with increasing severity of
    Covid-19.10,11 Demographic and clinical characteristics included age, sex, race, and body mass
    index (BMI). For comorbid conditions, we utilized ICD-10-CM codes and calculated the
    Charlson comorbidity index from relevant patient data. Vital sign data include heart rate, pulse
    oximetry, respirations, temperature, and blood pressure (BP). All vital sign data were collected at
    the first set of vital results during the patient’s hospitalization and all were prior to ventilation if
    applicable. Laboratory data during hospitalization were also evaluated for each patient and
    consisted of liver function tests, albumin, bilirubin, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, erythrocytes,
    hematocrit, platelets, white blood cells, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, troponin, and
    erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

    Statistical processing:

    The statistical analysis for this study was conducted in multiple steps. First, we generated
    summaries of the baseline demographic, comorbid, and clinical characteristics for each cohort
    treatment group (HC, HC+AZ, and no HC). To summarize differences across treatment groups,
    continuous variables were analyzed with the ANOVA F-test and categorical variables with the
    chi-square test. Second, we compared the frequencies of patients who required ventilation, died
    or were discharged from the hospital by treatment status using the chi-square test. Third, to
    assess the association between treatment status and the study outcomes we estimated the Fine
    and Gray competing risk proportional hazards model.12,13 Models analyzing the outcome of death
    took into account the competing risk of discharge. Models analyzing the outcome of ventilation
    took into account the competing risks of discharge and death prior to ventilation. Using the Fine

    and Gray proportional hazards model we estimated the subdistribution hazard ratio, which
    represents the instantaneous event rate in patients who have not experienced the event or
    experienced a competing event.12 The proportional hazards assumption was tested as previously
    described14 using the implementation within the R package goftte.15 No violations of the
    proportional hazard assumption were identified. To account for non-randomized assignment to
    the treatment groups, we utilized propensity score adjustment. For the outcomes of death and
    death after ventilation, we created propensity scores for hydroxychloroquine use alone and
    hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin use during the hospital stay. For the ventilation outcome,
    we created propensity scores for hydroxychloroquine use alone prior to ventilation and
    hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin use prior to ventilation. Both sets of propensity scores
    were estimated via multinomial logistic regression of treatment group. All baseline covariates
    were included in the propensity score models. The propensity scores were entered into the
    outcome models with restricted cubic splines.
    16 Statistical analyses were performed with the use
    of SAS software, version 9.4 (SAS Institute) and R software, version 3.6.1

    Multinomial logistic regression should I think be able to keep with the continuous variable (age) that has a known highly nonlinear correlation with outcomes. Please, could somone who has looked at this more than me confirm - I'm interested but do not have time to learn a whole bit of stats I've never before looked at and therefore resolve this.

    Anyway the key issue here is propensity scoring. If it is done properly, it can ensure that cohorts are matched, or as here can decorrelate confounders.

    The authors themselves point out that the biassed nature of the two cohorts make for a potential problem - if any confounding variable that is significant has not been captured as a covariate.

    That is why this paper is weak evidence. But still stronger than the evidence from Raoult!

    We await large properly conducted RCTs for definitive evidence.


    Research on Zika conspiracies!

    We find that elevated levels of conspiracy thinking are correlated with both concern over Zika and belief in Zika-related conspiracy theories. For example, a person scoring the maximum on the conspiratorial thinking scale is estimated to believe in .61 Zika conspiracy theories while a person scoring the minimum is estimated to believe in only .06 Zika conspiracy theories.

    The general topic of who believes conspiracy theories and why is IMHO relevant for this web site.

    (NB - mods - yes this is relevant to this thread - look up Zika virus)

    I wonder what it is like to believe in 0.06 Zika conspiracy theories? LOL

  • People do it. Just google it as a remedy and you will see lots of recommendations on it. Here is a story of a guy who drank a disinfectant:

    And here is a story of a lot of people doing it in Iran:…-methanol-cure-for-virus/


    Qualifier was “sane”.

    I’m sure we could all find a few unhinged people among our 7.5 billion that would do just about anything.

    However, like the media, it was not taken in context

  • For the past two days, the number of hospitalizations has been decreasing in France. It seems that we have passed the peak.

    But now we have to face the serious social problems caused by the erratic management of the crisis, and the civil war is not far away.

    Do you think I'm exaggerating? Want to bet ?

    Look at the last two major influenza pandemics. (1957 and 1968) In 1968, the "Hong-Kong flu" killed 35,000 people in France in two months. It’s more than the current Coronavirus epidemic. Who remembers?

    The death toll has been very high in all countries, and the social effects have been so great that it has erased the memory of the epidemic. All that remains is the memory of the politically induced effects: Riots in Mexico, student movement on the west coast and in France, (followed by major strikes in France, and this popular movement seriously shaked the power of General de Gaulle.), “ Prague Spring ”and Soviet military intervention in Czechoslovakia, etc.

    In 1957, the flu epidemic was followed by the fall of the 4th Republic in France, and the severes troubles in Algeria, leading to the expulsion of the christian and jewish minority. (And in England, all the air-cooled Windscale reactor directors were all in bed with the flu during the 9th dewignerisation of reactor n ° 1. There were only unskilled technicians left in front of the control panel. Who remembers it?)

    This is an "off-topic" discussion but no more than the rest of this thread: And in France, we have 6 million Muslims, many of whom were born in France. And the message we gave them during the Covid-19 crisis is: "We feared more than anything to lose our lives. All other things does not matter "(interruption of municipal elections between the two polls, voluntary shutdown of the economy ...)

    This is the first time in the history of France that we have interrupted an election in the middle. And yet, this epidemic was not war, it was not the "Blitz"!

    In front of us, we have a large part of the population of the world who hesitates between the values of our democracy and the temptation to cut the Gordian knot of the borders inherited from colonization and to choose a completely different political system. So began "Caliph" Ibrahim The Mercyless by blasting the border post between Syria and Iraq. The video continues to run on Youtube and it continues to turn upside down the minds, all around the Earth.

    Epidemics are mallets that resonate the noosphere. (To use a concept from Vladimir Vernadski.) What will be the effect of the epidemic which is ending?

    PS: I make the assumption that the antibodies obtained after the infections are protective antibodies. Whether or not SARS-Cov 2 carries proteins derived from the AIDS virus is unclear. (If not, in this case, we would be in the uncomfortable position of Pliny the Elder observing Vesuvius reddish lights from his beautiful library in his villa in Pompeii.)