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    Judge blocks hospital from turning off ventilator of severely ill COVID-19 patient

    The order prohibited Mercy Hospital from turning off ventilation support.

    Judge blocks hospital from turning off ventilator of severely ill COVID-19 patient
    The order prohibited Mercy Hospital from turning off ventilation support to the patient.

    A Minnesota man with COVID who had been fighting for his life for months was transferred to a new hospital days after a judge blocked another hospital from taking him off a ventilator.

    The decision allowed Scott Quiner, 55, of Buffalo, Minnesota, to be moved to a hospital in Texas, where he is being treated.

    Quiner was initially admitted to Waconia Hospital, and then transferred to the ICU at Mercy Hospital, in Coon Rapids, on Nov. 6, after he tested positive for the virus in late October, according to a GoFundMe page in support of Quiner’s family, and the StarTribune, which was first to report this story.

    Anne Quiner, Scott's wife, was granted a temporary restraining order last Thursday against Mercy Hospital, after doctors informed her that day that they would be disconnecting her husband from the ventilator that had been supporting him since the late fall.

    The order, from an Anoka County judge, prohibited the hospital from turning off ventilation support, while Anne Quiner searched for a new facility to care for her husband.

    According to the court order, Anne Quiner told doctors that as her husband’s health care proxy, she “vehemently disagree[d]” with these actions and did not want her husband’s ventilator turned off.

    Over the weekend, Scott Quiner was moved to a facility in Texas for treatment, Marjorie J. Holsten, the Quiner family's attorney, told ABC News in a statement on Monday.

    “A doctor evaluated him and determined that he was severely undernourished. Scott has been receiving much-needed nourishment and hydration and medications that were not given by Mercy,” Holsten said. “He is being weaned off of the sedating drugs and has already been able to follow with his eyes movements the doctor made with his hands. He is making progress in the right direction, though he has a long road ahead of him and continued prayers are appreciated.”

    Quiner remains on a ventilator but the oxygen level has been lowered, the family's lawyer said.

    Representatives from Allina Health, which operates Mercy Hospital, told ABC News that they wish the patient and the family well, and have "great confidence" in their team's work.

    “Allina Health has great confidence in the exceptional care provided to our patients, which is administered according to evidence-based practices by our talented and compassionate medical teams. Due to patient privacy, we cannot comment on care provided to specific patients,” the health system wrote. “Allina Health continues to wish the patient and family well. Any information regarding the patient’s on-going care should be directed to his current medical provider.”…-serious-cases-1.10530817

    Clowns are back referencing fake studies about Israel and IVR. I wonder whether it is a joy to kill people or whether here is the only space where they can fully live out their fascist nature.

    Fact is most new serious Israel cases are among boostered. Most deaths currently are among 2xx/3xx/4xx vaccinated. And 30% are not vaccinated in Israel not as the Haaretz fake claims 15%... Studies older than one week won't help here for Omicron actual situation....

    Israel’s Vaccine Chief on the Record: COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Failed to Protect Israel by providing ‘Sterilizing Immunity’

    Israel’s Vaccine Chief on the Record: COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Failed to Protect Israel by providing ‘Sterilizing Immunity’
    Israel served as a sort of canary in the mine for the United States, Britain, and other nations in the “West” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rapidly

    Israel served as a sort of canary in the mine for the United States, Britain, and other nations in the “West” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rapidly adopting the novel COVID-19 mRNA-based vaccines, Israel used its small, condensed population and strong government in an unprecedented rapid mass vaccination program. With the highest booster rates in the world, Israel now embraces the fourth booster jab in just over a year. While the vaccines have, according to the Israeli Ministry of Health, reduced rates of hospitalization and death, TrialSite chronicled major waves of breakthrough infections there, including so-called breakthrough hospitalizations and death during the Delta variant-driven surge and now again with record numbers of new infections with the Omicron surge. Cyrille Cohen’s voice carries significant influence in Israel in all matters of COVID-19 as the professor and head of Immunology at Bar Ilan University, not to mention a member of the government’s advisory committee for vaccines. Cohen declared in a recent interview with a British conservative upstart media that Israel’s COVID-19 vaccine passport program probably won’t be relevant soon given challenges with Omicron, suggesting the program could be phased out. Predicting that the Israeli government will, in fact, eliminate such improper policies sooner rather than later, the top immunologist shared in this interview that he and colleagues are of the opinion that the COVID-19 vaccines fell far short of their purported goal of stopping SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The thought leader went on the record, questioning their approach—such as shutting down schools, business, and the like—along with other measures that shook up Israeli society in a desperate attempt to avoid mass infection as well as the dangers of hospitalization and death associated COVID-19. Cohen now acknowledges that “widespread infection is now an inevitable part of future immunity,” also known as “herd immunity.”

    The Expert

    A notable key opinion leader, Professor Cyrille Cohen currently works as Principal Investigator with the title of Head of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy at Bar Ilan University.

    Educated at Israel Institute of Technology, Cohen earned his BSc, MSc, and Ph.D. in Immunology and Biology. Dr. Cohen runs a lab named after him which centers on investigations into immunology associated with cancer.

    The Interview

    Recently interviewed on the conservative new media startup UnHerd, interviewer Freddie Sayers took in a recognition by one of Israel’s top immunologists that “mistakes were made” in Israel.

    With nearly 70% of the population fully vaccinated and over 50% boosted with the mRNA vaccine, the government now initiates a fourth booster dose.

    Sayers pointed out Israel’s importance in the global pandemic response in the West. America and many countries in Europe, such as the UK, look to Israel as “an example to follow,” given they were a fist to implement stringent travel restrictions. Israel also boasted the fastest COVID-19 mass vaccination implementation all backed by a “muscular” government believing the “virus could be controlled.”

    Of course, with Omicron-based cases raging the opposite is very much the case. Dr. Cohen, starting with what was most certainly guarded language, offered what some could interpret as bombshell admissions.

    In the first part of the interview, Cohen declared:

    “Today we are in a different phase of the pandemic. We are in a different stage of what we call COVID-19.

    Israel, where we were the first to immunize massively, exactly a year ago in January and February, enabled us to actually end lockdowns since March. Even before that, from February on, we started to open our economy, our society. And then we were confronted. We were the first to notice a decrease in the waning of the immunity following the second shot, and that’s when we had to decide, and believe me, it wasn’t an easy decision to decide that we needed a third shot, a booster shot. And we did that, and it helped us minimize the consequences of what we call here the fourth wave. And then Omicron happened.

    And Israel, I would say quite intelligently, closed its border again, which enabled us to get prepared during a month, where we had almost no cases of Omicron here. But again, we cannot delay that indefinitely. And now, we have Omicron.”

    What have they learned according to the top Israeli immunologist?

    The COVID-19 vaccines are excellent at preventing severe SARS-CoV-2

    Unfortunately, the durability of the vaccines are a real problem—their effectiveness against infection wanes or reduces in a short period of time—a major lesson for the world

    When asked by Sayers if the durability issue was a surprise, the Israeli scientist responded with a resounding “yes.” Cohen shared that scientists and health experts in Israel were quite bullish about the vaccine’s effectiveness after dealing with a deadly month last January, thanks to the initial vaccination push: not only did cases rapidly decline but society opened back up. Many of his colleagues thought the pandemic was “over” thanks to the Pfizer vaccine, and the situation unfolded from April through part of summer 2020.

    On the assumption that the mRNA vaccine stopped viral transmission, Cohen shared, “We did believe at that time [spring of 2021] that vaccines can prevent transmission.”

    But Cohen qualified this blocking of transmission was short-lived, and “not over a long period of time.” Thus, going on the record, he reported that they were surprised by the Pfizer vaccine’s questionable durability.

    Several studies emerged in summer 2021 that indicated that the Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness waned in a matter of a few months, which is by no means long in duration.

    Cohen and colleagues were most certainly surprised as to the durability challenges stating, “at the end of the day the vaccines are not protecting us, they are not causing what we call sterilizing immunity.”

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    Or perhaps not! Thousands if not millions say YOU are wrong. Ask the citizens of India who have no Covid.

    Scientist surprised by discovery of ‘99%’ effective, cheap COVID treatment

    Scientist surprised by discovery of ‘99%’ effective, cheap COVID treatment
    The scientist who combined two widely available over-the-counter compounds that inhibited the novel coronavirus by 99% in early tests told WND he's hopeful his…

    Scientist surprised by discovery of ‘99%’ effective, cheap COVID treatment

    University of Florida researcher tells WND people already reporting results from Benadryl

    Art Moore

    WND News Center

    The scientist who combined two widely available over-the-counter compounds that inhibited the novel coronavirus by 99% in early tests told WND he’s hopeful his treatment will be available “within months.”

    “An FDA-approved treatment could be in sight within months if pharmaceutical companies utilize existing clinical trial resources,” said Dr. David Ostrov in an email interview with WND.

    Ostrov, an immunologist and associate professor in the University of Florida College of Medicine’s department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine, combined diphenhydramine, which is marketed as Benadryl, and lactoferrin, a protein in milk, as WND reported in December.

    “My prediction is that antiviral drug combinations, such as diphenhydramine and lactoferrin, will provide a similar level of benefit as Regeneron monoclonal antibodies, Pfizer and Merck antivirals, at less than 1/100 the cost of those therapies,” he told WND.

    Ostrov said he knew he was facing an uphill battle in his effort to find a combination of cheap, safe and available drugs to combat COVID-19.

    “I expected failure, but you never know until you try,” he said. “My reaction was surprise.”

    His study, with early results showing 99% efficacy in inhibiting replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, was published Nov. 20 in the journal Pathogens.

    Ostrov told WND he’s been in communication with people who wonder if their use of the compounds has helped prevent them from getting COVID-19.

    He noted that “anecdotal stories are certainly not proof of efficacy,” but many people have contacted him about diphenhydramine and lactoferrin, and their results “are difficult to ignore.”

    “For many people, they say everyone around them got COVID, but not them,” Ostrov said.

    And they ask the professor if diphenhydramine and/or lactoferrin.

    “Without placebo controlled clinical trials, we will not have a definitive answer,” he said. “The answer for now, though, is maybe.”

    Ostrov mentioned a contact who takes a daily dose of Benadryl and regularly drinks milk. She said she had been in close contact for hours with someone who was hospitalized the next day for COVID-19. But after waiting five days from the time of exposure, she tested negative for COVID.

    He cautioned that people “considering their own concoction should understand that our experiments were carried out with human lactoferrin, not cow.” And the lactoferrin he used was purified in a special way to enhance its antiviral properties and is not likely to be found on the shelf.

    People should consult with their physician, Ostrov said, before taking any drug for a use other than its intended use.

    “Even though historically there are relatively few adverse events reported for diphenhydramine and lactoferrin, it should be noted that long term use of any medication, or combination of medications, could have unexpected consequences,” he said.

    Ostrov said he hopes that once FDA-approved, “people may benefit from this antiviral drug combination for two-to-three month intervals during each wave of COVID infections.”

    Read the Q&A:

    WND: I imagine there was elation in finding 99% effectiveness in inhibiting replication of the virus that has changed the world. Can you describe your reaction and your hopes for this possible treatment?

    DR. OSTROV: We were aiming to find a combination of drugs that would work much better against SARS-CoV-2 when used together. I expected failure, but you never know until you try. My reaction was surprise.

    My hope is that this antiviral drug combination will be shown to both prevent and treat COVID effectively (in placebo controlled clinical trials).

    Since these drugs are stable at room temperature, economical, widely available and have long histories of safety, diphenhydramine and lactoferrin have the potential to inhibit replication of the coronavirus (and the emergence of new variants) on a global scale.

    WND: Can you explain in layman’s terms why these two compounds appear to be effective in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2?

    DR. OSTROV: SARS-CoV-2 causes cells to undergo stress in a way that creates a good environment for the virus to replicate.

    Diphenhydramine binds a specific protein involved in cell stress and blocks the virus from creating a good environment for replication.

    Lactoferrin has antiviral activity for different reasons. Lactoferrin is thought to repel virus particles from target cells (by binding lipoproteins on cell surfaces). Lactoferrin is also thought to suppress virus replication.

    WND: How did you come to find out that diphenhydramine was potentially effective against COVID-19?

    DR. OSTROV: The story started before SARS, when my lab was studying drugs that bind ACE2, the molecule that turned out to be the receptor for SARS and SARS-CoV-2.

    We previously found that an antihistamine (hydroxyzine) bound ACE2, and in 2020 were able to test the ability of this drug to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in the lab. It was an “aha” moment when the data clearly showed that a common antihistamine inhibited the virus that causes COVID. Different scientists at the University of Florida College of Medicine used different isolates of SARS-CoV-2, and the results agreed with each other. An antihistamine can inhibit the virus!

    We then realized that there may be similar drugs that could inhibit the virus, perhaps even over-the-counter drugs. But which drugs?

    We collaborated with investigators and UCSF where they examined the medical records for more than 219,000 people tested for SARS-CoV-2. They found that usage of diphenhydramine was associated with a lower incidence of SARS-CoV-2. In other words, in this population, people were less likely to be infected with COVID if they used diphenhydramine.

    Why would taking an allergy pill lead to lower risk of COVID? There could be many reasons, but is it possible that a simple allergy pill can directly inhibit the virus that causes COVID?

    We did the experiments at the University of Florida College of Medicine, and the data was published in a peer reviewed journal. Diphenhydramine exhibits direct antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Diphenhydramine inhibits virus replication, inhibits virus shedding and inhibits host cell killing.

    WND: Obviously, treatments for COVID-19 are needed now, but further research and human trials are necessary, which take time. Assuming the further trials affirm your early findings, how long might it be before such a treatment is available to the public?

    DR. OSTROV: An FDA-approved treatment could be in sight within months if pharmaceutical companies utilize existing clinical trial resources.

    My prediction is that antiviral drug combinations, such as diphenhydramine and lactoferrin, will provide a similar level of benefit as Regeneron monoclonal antibodies, Pfizer and Merck antivirals, at less than 1/100 the cost of those therapies.

    WND: What is your caution to people who might try their own concoction, perhaps with Benadryl and lactoferrin? Could there be any harmful consequences?

    DR. OSTROV: People considering their own concoction should understand that our experiments were carried out with human lactoferrin, not cow. The lactoferrin we used was purified in a special way to enhance its antiviral properties. People are not likely to find this on the shelf.

    Could there be harmful consequences? People should consult with their physician before taking any drug “off-label,” meaning using a drug for a use other than its intended use.

    Even though historically there are relatively few adverse events reported for diphenhydramine and lactoferrin, it should be noted that long term use of any medication, or combination of medications, could have unexpected consequences.

    My hope is that people may benefit from this antiviral drug combination for two-to-three month intervals during each wave of COVID infections.

    WND: Are there any treatments for COVID-19 available now that you have found to be effective?

    DR. OSTROV: Current treatments seem to speed up recovery, but not as dramatically as we would like. We can expect that many monoclonal antibodies used for treatment will exhibit reduced effectiveness as circulating viruses acquire more mutations, such as in omicron.

    Based on our understanding of the mechanism of action, mutations in the spike protein are not expected to impact the antiviral activities of diphenhydramine and lactoferrin. This is important because it means that we may be able to inhibit the virus regardless of mutations that arise in the spike protein.

    Why a 4th COVID-19 Shot Likely Won’t Provide More Protection

    4th COVID-19 Shot Could Weaken Your Immune System
    Experts say our bodies need time to process the stimulation from COVID-19 vaccines and infections before a booster dose is given

    Regulators in Europe say getting too many COVID-19 booster shots may actually weaken your immune system.

    Scientists in Israel also report that a fourth vaccine dose doesn’t appear to produce enough antibodies to protect against an Omicron variant infection.

    Experts explain that our bodies need time to process the stimulation from a vaccine or infection.

    They recommend that people still practice safety protocols such as mask-wearing and physical distancing even if they are fully vaccinated.

    European regulators say giving COVID-19 booster shots too frequently may weaken immune response.

    At a press briefing, experts from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) argued that COVID-19 booster shots should not be given too close together.

    “We are rather concerned about a strategy that entangles repeated vaccination within a short term. We cannot really continuously give a booster dose every 3 or 4 months,” Marco Cavaleri, the head of Biological Health Threats and Vaccines Strategy at the EMA, said at the briefing.

    “If we have a strategy in which we give boosters, let’s say every 4 months approximately, we will end up potentially having a problem with the immune response, and the immune response may end up not being as good as we would like it to be. So we should be careful in not overloading the immune system with repeated immunization,” Cavaleri added.

    In addition, researchers in Israel say a fourth COVID-19 shot doesn’t appear to produce enough antibodies to prevent infection from the Omicron variant.

    This comes as Israel is offering a fourth doseTrusted Source of COVID-19 vaccination to those who work in healthcare and people who are over age 60.

    Dr. William Schaffner, an expert in infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, says it is crucial to give the immune system time to process what it receives in the initial vaccination series.

    “It’s just well established that the immune system needs some time to process the information that it gets: the stimulus from a vaccine or a natural infection. And then if you want to boost it, you have to give it a certain amount of time to ‘digest’ that information so that it can respond optimally,” Schaffner told Healthline.

    “For example, the traditional hepatitis B vaccine is given as a three-dose series,” he explained. “The first two doses are given a month apart, and then you wait 6 months, or even later, you could wait 2 years. And then the immune system, when it’s stimulated by that third dose, will respond. But you don’t want to give that third dose before 6 months. It’s a little bit counterintuitive, but the immune system often needs some time to process this new information, and in effect, train its troops to respond optimally to that booster dose.”

    Booster recommendations

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source recommends that everyone over age 12 who received the Pfizer vaccination in the initial vaccination series get a booster at least 5 months after their second dose.

    Those 18 years and older who received the Moderna vaccination in the initial series should get a booster at least 5 months after completing the initial series.

    Adults who received the single dose Johnson and Johnson vaccination should get a booster at least 2 months following their vaccination.

    In early January, the CDC issued guidelinesTrusted Source stating that those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and have difficulty retaining immunity should get a booster and additional primary shot, for a total of 4 shots. That extra dose is recommended to be at least 5 months after a third shot.

    “In the case of Israel, they’re trying to build a very robust population-level immunity to, in essence, eliminate COVID-19 as a problem. The question is… is it not enough with a third dose, the booster dose?” Dr. Edward C. Jones-Lopez, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Keck School of Medicine of USC, told Healthline.

    “It’s really about public health authorities trying to understand which is the best strategy here to try and get us out of this mess. Israel has the means to do it,” he said. “They have a relatively small number of people that they can… implement this in an easier way, let’s say compared to other large, somewhat more chaotic countries like the U.S. and some countries in Europe and so on. Each country is pushing, in their own way… trying to get out of this mess.”

    Dr. Otto O. Yang, an infectious disease expert at the University of California Los Angeles, says the four-shot offering occurring in Israel may be a good idea.

    “Based on the fact that immunity against this virus seems intrinsically short-lived, which is why immunity from the vaccines is short-lived, this is probably a good idea. The fact that the virus has evolved into Omicron is what has sped up the need for boosters — the antibodies against the vaccine are targeted against the original strain, and so much higher levers are needed against Omicron,” Yang told Healthline.

    “If the vaccines were adapted against Delta and Omicron, immunity would last much longer because lower levels of antibodies would be needed since those antibodies are directly targeted against those variants,” he added

    Two years into the pandemic and the Biden administration is now going to send N95 masks to us citizens. Two years of cloth masks and 800,000 deaths. Do you think it's a little late?

    Biden plans mask giveaway as Omicron surges

    The federal government has 737 million N95 masks in the Strategic National Stockpile sourced from 12 domestic manufacturers.

    Biden plans giveaway of 400M masks as Omicron surges

    The War on Treatment Is Fiercer Now Than Even Covid Itself

    The War on Treatment Is Fiercer Now Than Even Covid Itself
    By Mary Beth Pfeiffer This article is part of a publishing collaboration between Rescue and Trial Site News. The outstanding reporting by Mary Beth

    By Mary Beth Pfeiffer

    This article is part of a publishing collaboration between Rescue and Trial Site News. The outstanding reporting by Mary Beth Pfeiffer will be simultaneously published in both outlets. Please subscribe to Rescue and Trial Site News for incisive pandemic reporting.

    Dr. Mollie James turned covid around for her brother, Nick James, by treating him at home with high-dose ivermectin for ten days, hydroxychloroquine for five days, a blood thinner, intravenous vitamin C, and—the ultimate breakthrough— four days of hyperbaric oxygen treatments. He returned to his job as an insurance agent in Iowa the next week. (Photo courtesy of Mollie James)

    Omicron is tearing through the country, with Covid cases quadrupling and quintupling in thirty-five states from last winter’s peak.

    That’s the bad news, but only sort of.

    The good news: For the first time in twenty-two months, experts are uttering words we haven’t heard in answer to the central question: Are we nearing the pandemic’s end?

    “I think we are,” said Dr. Pierre Kory, a pulmonary and critical care specialist and president of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance.

    “I am optimistic for this,” said Dr. Harvey Risch, a Yale epidemiologist and treatment advocate. “The more Omicron cases the better until the peak starts to turn downward.”

    These two early treatment pioneers echo the sentiments of other experts, some guarded but mostly hopeful, that the highly transmissible, less-virulent Omicron may end covid as we know it.

    “I’m so happy that Omicron is milder, that Omicron is winding up the pandemic,” said Dr. Mobeen Syed, known to a half-million subscribers of Drbeen Medical Lectures on YouTube.

    From France, treatment advocate Dr. Christian Perronne, author of the aptly titled, Is There A Mistake They Didn’t Make?, told me, “It could be the end of the pandemic soon.”

    By all indications, the U.S. and Europe—where a “west-to-east tidal wave” is unfolding—will follow the South Africa–United Kingdom model. There, Omicron rose and fell fast, obliterating the more fearsome Delta, and leading to far lower rates of hospitalization and death.

    Experts are anxiously waiting for that to happen in exploding Omicron hot spots like the United States. But one certainty remains. The U.S. and first-world governments still do not want doctors to treat covid early and are doing all it can to stop them.

    This article covers that ongoing problem, how to adapt to a veritable blockade on safe effective generics, and how I got around those obstacles when I got sick.

    At the height of Nick James’s covid illness, he fainted twice, and his sister, Dr. Mollie James, momentarily could find no pulse. She treated him successfully at home with ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, a blood thinner, intravenous vitamin C, and hyperbaric oxygen. (Photo courtesy of Mollie James)

    ‘I Would Not Be Here’

    When Dr. Mollie James was infected with covid in March of 2020, she was working in an ICU ward in New York City, the hell of the exploding pandemic. She toughed it out because that’s all there was.

    When she got sick again recently, she took a menu of trial-tested generic drugs. By then, she knew early treatments that worked—essential knowledge that is denied today, not by happenstance but by one-size-fits-all vaccine mania.

    Like Dr. James, I got covid in late 2021. I, too, was treated early—before the dreaded drop in blood oxygen that drives the untreated to hospitals. I did fine. Many people my age—north of sixty—have suffered greatly, and some have died because they were not treated at first symptoms.

    Indeed, our two stories of vanquished covid—me vaccinated, Dr. James not—demonstrate what most of the “civilized” world does not know: Covid can be resolved with available drugs and the freedom to use them.

    Dr. James believes she was infected last October while treating her brother, Nick, forty-one, whose severe infection, likely Delta, brought him to the brink. She had worried that her healthy but overweight sibling, he told me, was a “prime candidate for trouble.” At the height of his illness, Nick James could not breathe, fainted twice at home, and his sister momentarily could find no pulse.

    Ultimately, it took high-dose ivermectin for ten days, hydroxychloroquine for five days, a blood thinner, intravenous vitamin C, and—the ultimate breakthrough—four days of hyperbaric oxygen treatments to turn covid around and keep him home. He returned to work as an insurance agent in Iowa the next week; she went back to her clinic.

    How many other doctors, who mostly follow the mainstream dogma against such treatments, would have accomplished that, let alone tried?

    “I feel like I would not be here if it wasn’t for her,” Nick James said.

    Not Just a Cold

    Omicron is undoubtedly different from the Delta variant that had sorely tested the early treatment portfolio. But it also can defy the fabled “just-a-cold” description that, in some cases, may not call for treatment.

    “In November to late December,” Dr. Kory said, “I took my foot off the gas pedal and am now getting patients through with just the first-line treatments from our protocol—the combination of ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and fluvoxamine.” With Delta, “I was burning through those and using second-line medicines like dutasteride and spironolactone and even third-line medicines like prednisone in almost all patients. That last wave of Delta was dreadful.”

    Another difference, Kory said: “With Omicron, I worry less about the possibility of them going into the dreaded lung phase.” Symptoms can still be significant—high fever, painful sore throat, and intense fatigue. But, he said, “I have not had to resort to second-line drugs in the last ten days.”

    Other practitioners agreed. Dr. Bruce Boros, among the earliest doctors to use ivermectin, texted, “I try to get three days of ivermectin into them EARLY and they seem to perk up quickly. No hospitalizations, deaths, or vents!”

    Dr. Richard Horowitz, a Lyme disease-turned-covid practitioner, treats aggressively, especially “when you’re talking about 50 percent of the people with mild or no symptoms getting long covid four weeks later.” So does Dr. Ben Marble, who runs “I OVERTREAT rather than under-treat,” he texted me.

    Mary Beth’s positive covid test results.

    Have A Plan

    When a cloud of viral particles drifted silently into my soon-to-be-symptomatic person, I had a half dozen early treatment experts on speed dial. As a journalist who has covered the pandemic since March, 2020, I am fortunate to know doctors who reject the sicken-in-place, see-you-at-the-ER mentality.

    If covid hit, our writer was ready, having bookmarked this page from the FLCCC Alliance months before. (Image Courtesy FLCCC Alliance)

    But even without such access, I would have known what to do. I was already doing it. I had bookmarked the protocols page of the FLCCC. For months, I had been taking vitamins C and D, zinc, curcumin, and quercetin, along with glutathione and n-acetylcycstine in Horowitz’ protocol, with benefits I wrote about early on.

    When I took sick, I continued these supplements and added a few more from the FLCCC list, including nigella sativa, microbe-fighting honey, melatonin, nasal spray and mouthwash.

    The beauty of this: All of these are readily available online or in specialty stores. Moreover, studies, though preliminary, show these nutraceuticals can prevent or alleviate covid and may be enough to treat mild infections.

    “Because ivermectin is so difficult [to get], using the protocols without ivermectin does become a rational thing to do,” said Dr. Paul Marik, a founder of FLCCC, in an interview.

    Unfortunately, that may be the only recourse in the face of a de facto early treatment blockade, epitomized by the FDA-CDC “horse-paste” campaign.

    Early covid treatment means beginning treatment at symptom onset. Mary Beth received this text from Walgreens pharmacy, who would delay her ivermectin prescription by five critical days. Luckily, she was already ready.

    When I needed ivermectin most, Walgreen’s held up my prescription for five crucial days, telling me it was “delayed.” By the time I got it, I was nearly recovered, thanks to my back-up: mail-order ivermectin from India.

    I took the drug under the direction of Dr. Boros, who treated his first patient by cellphone in July of 2020 in a hospital that refused to give the prescription Boros had delivered. The gasping patient took it himself and was breathing easily within 12 hours.

    The lesson: Do not trust the pharmacy system to work. Nor, for that matter, a medical system ruled by agencies that falsely portray decades-old, safe drugs like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as dangerous and see “insufficient evidence” to support the no-brainer of covid prevention, Vitamin D.

    ‘Use Famotidine’

    Dr. Robert Malone may be among the world’s leading experts on covid, in particular vaccines. But, like me, he had trouble getting ivermectin when he and his wife, Jill, were infected late in 2021.

    “We were prescribed the full portfolio of agents—which our local pharmacies would not fill,” Malone told me. “(We) ended up self treating with high dose famotidine [also called Pepsid] and adult aspirin.” Both drugs are over-the-counter. The Malones, who are both in their sixties, were better within about a week.

    Malone discovered famotidine’s efficacy during his first run-in with covid in February 2020. “I thought I was going to die,” he told podcaster Joe Rogan. “My lungs were burning until I took famotidine.”

    The drug has been shown effective in a handful of studies, and Malone is continuing his research—using famotidine and celecoxib (Celebrex) in a new clinical trial.

    So what should patients take if they cannot get ivermectin, I asked Dr. Peter McCullough, a crusader for early, sequential, multi-drug covid treatment?

    “If no IVM,” he wrote in an email, “then use famotidine 80 milligrams a day.” McCullough himself took ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine among other drugs for his covid infection, which I documented in an October 2020 article. (His updated Omicron protocol is shown below.)

    Fighting the Blockade

    Indeed, “no IVM” is a common refrain. Last week, a nurse in Virginia shared a voice message with me from a United Parcel Service agent, demanding a prescription and “foreign passport” before delivering ivermectin and fluvoxamine from India. (The company did not respond to three requests for an explanation.)

    Patients in the UK and Canada report similar problems, while Australia has prohibited ivermectin for covid. A New South Wales resident was fined $7,992 for advertising ivermectin and zinc lozenges and claiming they were safe and effective for covid. “Border force is seizing imports,” a resident told me.

    Dr. Mobeen Syed, at home January 14, 2022, recovering from a likely Omicron infection. He was denied ivermectin by a pharmacist before getting sick. Then his physician refused to refer him for approved treatments like monoclonal antibodies. (Photo courtesy of Mobeen Syed)

    But it’s not just generic drugs that are hard to get. Dr. Syed’s pharmacist had earlier refused to fill a prophylactic prescription for ivermectin. So, when he who tested positive for covid last week, he asked his personal physician about government-approved early treatments such as monoclonal antibodies, paxlovid, and molnupiravir.

    Testament to what Syed sees as medicine’s and government’s utter failure to treat, he said the doctor told him approval would be needed from an infectious disease physician. But, believing Syed was ineligible, the doctor was unwilling to seek it on his behalf.

    “We have a very limited supply,” the doctor told him.

    “How embarrassing and shameful,” he said, that even approved covid drugs are not available. “How many people could have been saved if we had given these drugs right in the beginning?”

    Starting with last summer’s myth about poison-control centers overwhelmed with ivermectin calls, the struggle to obtain ivermectin has intensified. Pharmacy delays and refusals are common, escalating since the FDA’s anti-ivermectin advisoryDecember 24 to state medical boards.

    (Illustration by RESCUE; Photo Courtesy of Dr. Peter McCullough)

    The upshot

    It may take some effort and patience, but plan ahead. Here’s how:

    Get the supplements. Two well-supported options: FLCCC’s early treatment menu, and Dr. McCullough’s “six things in the over-the-counter toolbox.” These help prevent covid but also are essential if ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine or fluvoxamine are not available. “With Omicron it’s not as critical that you have those (drugs),” Dr. Kory said. However, “they would assure more recoveries and less long-haul.” Yes, in a perfect world.

    Assemble a list of potential practitioners. Dr. Marble’s MyFreeDoctor just moved to a new platform that will allow the donation-dependent service to add more doctors. “That is how we go from 500 patients a day [now] to 50,000 a day,” he said. The FLCCC and American Association of Physicians and Surgeons also post lists of doctors.

    Search out pharmaceuticals. The appalling practice by pharmacists to flout doctor autonomy and reject prescriptions is forcing patients to order covid generics online. I called a company in India that runs several websites, some of which are listed on a handy how-to-get ivermectin page of the FLCCC.

    Mit Patel, a marketer for the Mumbai-based company, said customers are given tracking numbers, and orders will be reshipped if they get waylaid. Three U.S. customers told me the company delivered without a problem.

    “Very happy to get ivermectin in this pandemic,” said one. I’d note that these drugs should be taken under supervision of a physician, as I did for my relatively uneventful bout of Covid. I believe the drugs helped assure a quick resolution, since I most certainly was infected with Delta.

    Palpable hope. But.

    Some experts are still guarded on covid’s future. Dr. Boros said he is making “no predictions for the future,” while Dr. McCullough said he simply did not know if Omicron will end the pandemic. Some say another mutation could occur; others that it would only make the virus less pathogenic.

    As I researched this article, the emails and texts I received, the news I read, and the comments I heard often made me smile and even tear up. The belief that Omicron is the likely end of the pandemic is causing palpable hope, even amid an unprecedented wave of cases.

    Omicron is clearly a game-changer. In a large new study by researchers from Berkley and Kaiser Permanente, just 1 in 52,272 Omicron patients died, compared to 14 in 16,982 Delta patients.

    In other words, it would take nearly three-quarter million Omicron patients to equal the number who died in that sample of roughly Delta 17,000 patients.

    “Compare this to flu, and it is almost nothing,” Dr. Syed said. “The Omicron death rate is tens of times less than flu now, according to the data from the recent California study.”

    “We need to think about how we can transition from the current pandemic setting to a more endemic setting,” Marco Cavaleri, chief of the European Union’s vaccines committee said in a press briefing January 13, pointing squarely at Omicron. Cavaleri even said, quite astonishingly, that too many boosters could impair the immune system.

    Still, Pfizer promises a likely unnecessary Omicron vaccine by March. Two days ago, I received this text from the New York State Health Department: “Anyone 12+ who received their Pfizer second dose at least five months ago is now eligible for a COVID booster. Get yours today!”

    “We know the boosters don’t work against Omicron,” Dr. Paul Marik, a founder of FLCCC, said in an interview, “yet all you hear is get vaxxed and vaxxed and vaxxed.”

    So will the drive to jab continue even after the pandemic winds down?

    “Yes,” Marik said.

    Anatomy of an antiviral: Nigella sativa (aka black cumin, charnushka, onion seed, and kaloji) has properties against covid that resemble ivermectin’s. (Illustration courtesy of the FLCCC Alliance)

    My Covid Cocktail

    For the record, below is the protocol I took from day one of my covid symptoms. I was fully better within about a week. I was fatigued and glum for another week, the aftermath, I think, of a brush with a disease with potentially long-term implications. I did lose my sense of smell for several weeks afterward; this resolved when, at the recommendation of Dr. Marble, I took 600 milligrams daily of alpha lipoic acid, a supplement I knew from Dr. Horowitz’s protocol. Marble’s eight months of anosmia had resolved with the supplement.

    Ivermectin: 30 milligrams daily, based on 0.4 milligrams per kilogram of my weight, for ten days.

    Supplements: Vitamins D and C, zinc, quercetin, curcumin, nigella sativa, honey, and melatonin.

    Daily practices: Frequent gargling and nasal rinse.

    Famotidine: This was recommended to me by Dr. Malone and is the only drug I took outside the FLCCC protocol; Dr. Kory told me he doesn’t see enough data yet to support it.

    Monoclonal Antibodies: I was nearly better when, on day five of symptoms, I got the infusion. I had read the research. It was available back then to people my age. I went for it

    Missoula doctor boasts new, cheap, and effective COVID-19 treatment…UlKY1FZaDBYLW8yMVZtX01PQw..

    In an off-label clinical trial, Peschel used this cocktail on six patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and measured their stats. None of the patients was admitted to the hospital, they all experienced few to no symptoms, and their immune response and oxygen levels stayed at normal levels.

    “Let's give the high-risk patients the Peschel Protocol. They get their symptoms, get their diagnosis, and we start treatment as soon as possible,” said Peschel. “Treat them daily with these four drugs for the course of the illness, we measure the CRP, the oxygen sats, we graph it out, and we have almost normalized the most aggressive immune response to near normal. We’ve eliminated all the end point of hospitalization and death in both high-risk and low-risk patients, 100%,” said Peschel.

    Peschel has been working to obtain FDA approval; however, he says the process is difficult. He has been gaining more momentum locally, and Missoula Mayor John Engen voiced his support for the treatment.

    “FDA is a hard bureaucracy to crack. As Dr. Peschel will tell you, there's not much money to be made here, and that's part of the problem,” said Engen.

    Engen plans to help back Peschel in any way he can.

    “I've long been in support of Walt getting a chance to test this in a really meaningful way. What I know is that the folks who have volunteered to use the Peschel Protocol have seen chronic disease arrested,” said Engen.

    One of Peschel’s higher risk patients, Phil Currie, was put on the Peschel Protocol when he first tested positive for the virus. He says he had few symptoms and fully recovered.

    “I had a little bit of a stuffy nose, but that's all, and for somebody who's at high risk, I'm 80 years old,” said Currie.

    Right now, Peschel is prepared to expand his trial to more patients. He is willing to work with current providers and stresses that this is a safe treatment option.

    “I would recommend that we find out if the protocol reduces these endpoints adequately. I would then manufacture as much of this medicine as I could and use it to control the present pandemic” said Peschel.

    Those interested in learning more about the COVID-19 treatment are encouraged to call Peschel at his number directly: 406-880-3343

    This is obvious from actual Israel data too. The rate for severe illness among boostered is much higher...The gap actually is widening. Happy ADE days....

    Fourth COVID vaccine still doesn’t stop Omicron, new Israeli study shows

    Fourth COVID vaccine still doesn’t stop Omicron, new Israeli study shows
    The study raised questions about Israel’s decision to be the first in the world to offer a second booster shot — and fourth overall — to its over-60 population.

    Even a fourth shot of a COVID-19 vaccine is “not good enough” to prevent Omicron, according to a preliminary study in Israel.

    Sheba Hospital last month tested a fourth shot given to more than 270 medical workers, with 154 getting the Pfizer jab and 120 receiving Moderna.

    The researchers revealed Monday that both groups showed a “slightly higher” increase in antibodies than after the third shot — but still not enough to prevent Omicron, the latest variant responsible for the vast majority of infections around the world.

    “Despite increased antibody levels, the fourth vaccine only offers a partial defense against the virus,” said Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the hospital’s infection disease unit leading the study.

    The study saw “many infected with Omicron who received the fourth dose,” she said. “Granted, a bit less than in the control group, but still a lot of infections.”

    The vaccines, which were more effective against previous variants, offer less protection versus Omicron,” Regev-Yochay said, adding that the vaccines are “not good enough” to prevent the less-severe new variant.

    The findings have not yet been published and do not reveal specific data.

    But the study raised questions about Israel’s decision to be the first in the world to offer a second booster shot — and fourth overall — to its over-60 population.

    The government says over 500,000 people have received the second booster in recent weeks. But the country has still seen record-high infections recently, even though 80 percent of Israel’s adult residents have received two shots and more than half have gotten boosted.

    Hours after releasing the results, Sheba Hospital called for “continuing the vaccination drive … even though the vaccine doesn’t provide optimal protection against getting infected with the variant.”

    Hebrew media reported that the hospital was pressured into issuing that statement after the Health Ministry didn’t like the study’s results, according to The Times of Israel.

    Respiratory viruses that hijack immune mechanisms may have Achilles’ heel

    Respiratory viruses that hijack immune mechanisms may have Achilles’ heel
    One viral protein could provide information to deter pneumonia causing the body’s exaggerated inflammatory response to respiratory viruses, including the virus…

    Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus NS2 Protein Induces Autophagy by Modulating Beclin1 Protein Stabilization and ISGylation

    Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus NS2 Protein Induces Autophagy by Modulating Beclin1 Protein Stabilization and ISGylation | mBio
    Understanding host-virus interactions is essential for the development of effective interventions against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a paramyxovirus…


    Paramyxoviruses such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are the leading cause of pneumonia in infants, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals. Understanding host-virus interactions is essential for the development of effective interventions. RSV induces autophagy to modulate the immune response. The viral factors and mechanisms underlying RSV-induced autophagy are unknown. Here, we identify the RSV nonstructural protein NS2 as the virus component mediating RSV-induced autophagy. We show that NS2 interacts and stabilizes the proautophagy mediator Beclin1 by preventing its degradation by the proteasome. NS2 further impairs interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15)-mediated Beclin1 ISGylation and generates a pool of “hypo-ISGylated” active Beclin1 to engage in functional autophagy. Studies with NS2-deficient RSV revealed that NS2 contributes to RSV-mediated autophagy during infection. The present study is the first report to show direct activation of autophagy by a paramyxovirus nonstructural protein. We also report a new viral mechanism for autophagy induction wherein the viral protein NS2 promotes hypo-ISGylation of Beclin1 to ensure availability of active Beclin1 to engage in the autophagy process.

    IMPORTANCE Understanding host-virus interactions is essential for the development of effective interventions against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a paramyxovirus that is a leading cause of viral pneumonia in infants. RSV induces autophagy following infection, although the viral factors involved in this mechanism are unknown. Here, we identify the RSV nonstructural protein 2 (NS2) as the virus component involved in autophagy induction. NS2 promotes autophagy by interaction with and stabilization of the proautophagy mediator Beclin1 and by impairing its ISGylation to overcome autophagy inhibition. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a viral protein regulating the autophagy pathway by modulating ISGylation of autophagy mediators. Our studies highlight a direct role of a paramyxovirus nonstructural protein in activating autophagy by interacting with the autophagy mediator Beclin1. NS2-mediated regulation of the autophagy and ISGylation processes is a novel function of viral nonstructural proteins to control the host response against RSV.


    Previous studies have shown that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) promotes autophagy in mice and in cells to modulate the innate immune and antiviral responses during infection (10, 12, 13). Autophagy also regulates RSV-associated lung pathology and pulmonary disease in infected mice (10, 12). Although autophagy plays a multifunctional role during RSV infection, the viral factor(s) that mediates such proautophagy activity remained unknown. Here, our studies identified the nonstructural protein NS2 as a viral proautophagic factor that drives RSV-induced autophagy. Our study uncovered a dual proautophagy role of RSV NS2 protein: (i) NS2 interaction with the proautophagy mediator Beclin1 results in Beclin1 stabilization, and (ii) NS2 impairs the antiautophagic effect of ISGylation on Beclin1. These two mechanisms ensure abundant availability of active Beclin1 to engage in autophagy.

    Using immunoblot assays to survey the autophagy flux markers LC3II and p62, we found that RSV induces the formation and maturation of functional autophagic compartments. RSV-induced autophagy was characterized by early stabilization of the proautophagy mediator Beclin1, followed by LC3II formation and p62 reduction (Fig. 6). Additionally, the RSV protein NS2 contributed to RSV-induced autophagy, as NS2-deficient virus failed to stimulate autophagic flux or promote Beclin1 protein stabilization (Fig. 6). Coimmunoprecipitation and coimmunofluorescence assays showed that NS2 interacts and colocalizes with Beclin1 (Fig. 2), and this interaction is central to set the autophagy pathway in motion. NS2-Beclin1 binding stabilizes Beclin1, impeding its degradation by the cellular machinery (Fig. 5). Beclin1 protein levels are elevated due to NS2-mediated stabilization (Fig. 5), increasing the amount of Beclin1 available to form VPS34-VPS15-Beclin1-ATG14/UVRAG class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) complexes during autophagy initiation and maturation. Expression of NS2 protein augmented the autophagy marker LC3II and its incorporation into maturing autophagosomes as LC3II puncta, indicating a link between Beclin1 enrichment and autophagy activation (Fig. 1).

    Beclin1 is subject to activating and deactivating posttranslational modifications that regulate its ability to interact with other PI3K complex proteins (reviewed in reference 38). Beclin1 ISGylation occurs due to conjugation of interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) to Beclin1 domains BH3 and CCD (6). ISGylation of Beclin1 in domains BH3 and CCD (6) inhibits autophagy by competing with Lys63 polylinked ubiquitination, which is essential for autophagy activation (6). RSV infection induces ISGylation (37) and upregulation of ISG15 mRNA in lung epithelial cells (39), while ISG15 mRNA is also upregulated in clinical samples from pediatric RSV patients (37). Surprisingly, our studies show that the NS2-Beclin1 interaction hampers Beclin1 ISGylation (Fig. 7), creating a pool of “hypo-ISGylated” Beclin1 to engage in active autophagy. To date, there have been no reports of viral proteins controlling ISGylation to regulate autophagy. We report a novel mechanism of virus-mediated autophagy induction in which a viral protein (i.e., RSV NS2 protein) promotes hypo-ISGylation of Beclin1 and hence its activation for the autophagic response.

    Other RSV-related paramyxoviruses have evolved different strategies to manipulate the autophagy pathway by using viral proteins. The paramyxovirus measles virus (MeV) induces successive waves of sustained autophagy flux by three independent mechanisms (40, 41). One of the MeV autophagy-inducing mechanisms involves the nonstructural C protein, although the exact molecular basis remains undefined and a direct involvement of C protein in autophagy induction has yet to be established. Morbilliviruses also require interaction of the viral glycoproteins F and H with cell receptors and cell membrane fusion (i.e., syncytium formation) to induce autophagy and facilitate cell-to-cell spread (42). The NP and P proteins of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) induce autophagy through an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-related unfolded protein response (PERK and ATF6 pathways) (43). In contrast, the paramyxovirus human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3) induces incomplete autophagy by blocking autophagosome-lysosome fusion via its P (phosphoprotein) protein (44). Our study revealed a viral protein (i.e., RSV NS2) interacting with Beclin1 protein to modulate its stability and activation for a productive autophagic response. To the best of our knowledge, our current study is the first report of a paramyxovirus nonstructural protein directly activating autophagy by modulating Beclin1. Furthermore, NS2 manipulation of both the autophagy and ISGylation pathways is a novel function that expands its ability to control the host response against RSV.

    We propose a model of the molecular mechanism underlying RSV-induced autophagy (Fig. 8). We demonstrate that the RSV nonstructural protein NS2 interacts with and stabilizes the proautophagy regulator Beclin1. The NS2-Beclin1 interaction increases Beclin1 protein levels and makes it available for autophagy by disrupting Beclin1 protein ISGylation. Autophagy likely has multifold effects in the pathobiology of RSV by regulating lung inflammation and airway disease severity (13, 45). It may also have an immune-modulatory effect in the airway by controlling the adaptive immune response in the RSV-infected respiratory tract (13, 45). Furthermore, it remains unknown whether other redundant proautophagy mechanisms take place during RSV infection or how RSV proteins escape autophagy-dependent degradation. Understanding the mechanisms governing the ability of RSV to manipulate the immune response is valuable for the development of therapeutic and prophylactic interventions targeting the host. This is of paramount importance to control viruses that insidiously hijack and deregulate innate immune antiviral responses to facilitate virus propagation.

    Austria Will Mandate COVID Vaccinations and Impose Fines. The Rest of Europe May Follow

    Austria Will Mandate COVID Vaccinations and Impose Fines. The Rest of Europe May Follow
    Austria is set to become the first European country to make vaccines mandatory. Starting in February any citizen of Austria, 18 or over, who is

    Austria is set to become the first European country to make vaccines mandatory. Starting in February any citizen of Austria, 18 or over, who is unvaccinated against COVID-19 will be fined up 3,600 euros for violating the law.

    The new rule was first proposed in December and has been subject to intense debate. Chancellor Karl Nehammer has acknowledged the mandate is a sensitive topic that has divided his countrymen. About 75 percent of Austrians have been vaccinated which is below the average of European Union countries. Nehammer has warned that restrictions will be tightened by mid-March against those resisting vaccination.

    Pregnant women and those with medical exemption claims may be excused from the mandate, according to Austrian authorities.

    “Without obligatory vaccination, we will always lag behind,” Austrian health minister Wolfgang Mueckstein said. He added the current Omicron variant will not be the last and it is still unclear whether immunity gained after infection will persist or compare to vaccine-inducted immunity. Austria has seen a record rise in new COVID cases in the past week. The country has recorded nearly 14,000 COVID deaths and over 1.4 million cases of the disease. Austria has a population of about 9 million.

    On December 15, thousands protested the new mandates on the streets of Vienna, following on weeks of mandate protests across Europe. Greece and Italy have already imposed vaccine mandates for “older” people with Greece beginning to fine unvaccinated people over 60 around 115 dollars a month.

    Austria’s new restrictions may spark more street demonstrations.

    Israel is the world leader in multi-dose vaccinations – an estimated 97 percent of the population has been vaccinated but the nation continues to experience high COVID infection and hospitalization rates. Ehud Qimron, a top Israeli immunologist called on the Israeli Ministry of Health to admit that mass vaccination has been a “failure”. Over the past week, Israel reported more than 48,000 cases and 27 deaths, which is a 92 percent increase over the previous week’s fatality count.

    Austria tweaks plans over being first in EU to make vaccines mandatory
    “Without obligatory vaccination, we will always lag behind,” said Austria's health minister Wolfgang Mueckstein.

    Fact Check: The Daily Sceptic’s Take on Triple-Vaccination and Omicron

    Fact Check: The Daily Sceptic’s Take on Triple-Vaccination and Omicron
    A Daily Sceptic report about preliminary analysis from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) in December has gone viral. The ONS

    A Daily Sceptic report about preliminary analysis from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) in December has gone viral. The ONS revealed that people who have triple vaccinations are more likely to be infected with the Omicron variant compared to the other variants. Other data also shows that Omicron is more transmissible compared to other variants and it is more likely to evade the immune response.

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) looked at the data from the COVID-19 Infection Survey from November 29 to December 12, 2021. Of 1,816 individuals testing positive with COVID-19, 115 had the Omicron variant. ONS compared the characteristics of people with Omicron and Delta variants, focusing on those with strong positive results, as weaker test results are less reliable at distinguishing between variants.

    Based on a two-week period, this early analysis identified seven characteristics associated with Omicron infection, one of which was vaccination status. Compared to the unvaccinated, people who had three shots of vaccine were more likely to have the Omicron variant.

    The Daily Sceptic explained that the data does not prove vaccines are to blame for increased Omicron cases among the vaccinated, but only that a vaccinated person is more likely to be infected with Omicron rather than other variants. The data suggest this is especially true for those who have received three doses of vaccine. The study does not address the effectiveness of vaccines for reducing hospitalization and death from Omicron. The study concluded that Omicron evades vaccines’ protection.

    Global studies and reporting on Omicron compared

    Reuters published a fact check on the ONS data and also concluded that Omicron has significant vaccine evading ability but said the findings have driven misleading social media posts that suggest that vaccines increase susceptibility to COVID-19. Jonathan Cook, communication officer at ONS, told Reuters that, regardless of the variant, the unvaccinated are more susceptible to infection.

    Reuters cited a study from Imperial College London which shows that Omicron can evade immunity gained both from the two-shot vaccines and natural infection.

    Nature also reported that studies from Sweden, Germany, South Africa, and Pfizer-BioNTech suggest that compared to other COVID variants, Omicron extensively blunts the potency of neutralizing antibodies, modifying vaccine effectiveness.

    Booster Shot vs. Omicron

    Various studies, including those from the UK Health Security Agency and University of Oxford, have shown that COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness against Omicron drops after 5-6 months. However, there is evidence that a booster shot increases it again.

    A preprint study from Statens Serum Institut showed that vaccine effectiveness against Omicron among recently vaccinated individuals was 55% for Pfizer vaccine and 37% for Moderna vaccine. Both vaccines’ effectiveness dropped rapidly over five months, but after the booster shot effectiveness increased to 55%. A study from Israel also showed that booster shot creates protection against the Omicron variant.

    A study accepted to be published in Nature from Columbia University and the University of Hong Kong showed that Omicron resists antibodies gained from four prominent vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson, and AstraZeneca. Even with a booster shot with an mRNA vaccine, the body shows diminished neutralizing defense against Omicron.

    Speaking on behalf of BioNTech on December 8,2021, CEO Ugur Sahin said “we expect significant protection against any type of COVID-19 mediated by Omicron in individuals who have received the third vaccine.” By December 20, 2021, the story changed as Sahin warned that three shots of vaccine won’t be enough to protect against Omicron. “It is obvious we are far from 95% effectiveness that we obtained against the initial virus,” he said. The company is developing a new vaccine based on Omicron spike proteins and their 32 mutations, which they hope ready by March 2022.

    Triple-Vaccinated More Than FOUR Times As Likely to Test Positive For Omicron Than Unvaccinated, Data Shows – The Daily Sceptic
    According to new ONS data, the triple-vaccinated are 4.5 times more likely to test positive for Omicron than the unvaccinated. The double-vaccinated,…

    WHO Pushes 70% Worldwide Vaccination Rate—Do They Have the Right Strategy? Time to Reevaluate the WHO Top-Down Approach

    WHO Pushes 70% Worldwide Vaccination Rate—Do They Have the Right Strategy? Time to Reevaluate the WHO Top-Down Approach
    While the fully vaccinated rate in India approaches 50%, the press from the world’s second-most populous nation touted a vaccination rate of 70%, an

    While the fully vaccinated rate in India approaches 50%, the press from the world’s second-most populous nation touted a vaccination rate of 70%, an unprecedented achievement. India’s rates of SARS-CoV-2 however, are on the rise again and the first turnaround and overcoming of the Delta variant-based surge seemingly had little to do with COVID-19 vaccination. Other nations have announced the 70% target and in fact, in India, about 70% of the population has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine but this doesn’t qualify as fully vaccinated. Yet, in a recent tweet by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 70% of the adult population met the target. India’s 70% figure, if they can be believed, applies to adults. What is behind this 70% milestone that triggered the urgency for the press in India? The answer lies with the World Health Organization (WHO). That institution’s Independent Allocation of Vaccines Group (IAVG) has called for the achievement of 70% coverage with COVID-19 in all countries “as a global imperative.” Underlying this target are several assumptions, namely that vaccination stops or slows the transmission of mutants such as Delta and Omicron.

    Based on inputs on WHO’s website, underlying the 70% goal are drivers of equity and efficacy of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. But why 70%? What is it about that number? Does some science exist establishing 70% as a number leading to herd immunity? How could that be when the world has discovered that SARS-CoV-2 herd immunity becomes elusive?

    TrialSite has reported on nations and territories where 100% vaccination (Gibraltar) and well over 80% vaccination rates (Iceland), (Seychelles), (Ireland), and (Israel) and many other examples led to just more infection and associated transmissibility based on variants such as Delta and Omicron.

    Yes, data does indicate the vaccines can and in fact do, inhibit more severe disease and mortality for at least a period. Data from health authorities such as the Ministry of Health in Israel and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others continue to show benefits of vaccination in reduction of hospitalization and mortality, yet those severe conditions aren’t distributed equally with SARS-CoV-2. The risks associated with severe disease and death correlate most of the time with known risk factors such as age and comorbidities. There are exceptions, however, and with just over 5.5 million deaths worldwide claimed as due to COVID-19, this pandemic of course ranks as the worst in a century.

    Given that vaccines have emerged as a health tool to protect against severe injury and death and that 90% of cases remain mild to asymptomatic, transmissibility continues with what are first-generation, leaky vaccines. Does a true economic cost-benefit analysis justify the current WHO approach—70% come hell or high water?

    What’s the WHO IAVG?

    Established just a year ago, WHO launched the IAVG to “validate and assess vaccine allocations recommended by WHO and GAVI’s Joint Allocation Taskforce (JAT) of COVAX.” As a reminder, GAVI, originally known as the “Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization” is a major player in global vaccine healthcare established in 2000 by national funders, including the United Kingdom and the United States. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a major financial backer.

    Working closely with WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank, and vaccine producers, among others, TrialSite reports GAVI has been a key driver of the COVID-19 eradication of COVID-19 via vaccination drive with plans on implementing digital health cards and a global vaccine database as key tools to strengthen health systems.

    COVAX Fails

    WHO’s COVAX was established to ensure an equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution model. TrialSite reported late in 2021 that the model to vaccinate the poorest countries failed miserably despite tens of billions allocated to COVAX via WHO and GAVI, along with participation by some vaccine producers.

    But why the failure? Was it shrewd industry monetization of the pandemic required by investors? While WHO founded the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative to ensure the equitable distribution and access of COVID-19 vaccines across the globe, the organization increasingly became entangled in a web of financial relationships, limiting its independence and objectivity.

    Backed by WHO, GAVI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the European Commission, and the French government, plus all the COVAX founding partners, COVAX’s facility mission involved the coordination of international resources enabling low-to-middle-income countries (LMICs) to access COVID-19 tests, therapies, and vaccines from Big Pharma and emerging biotech firms. Not in the plan whatsoever were bottom-up surprise developments such as the low cost, accessible repurposed drugs, given that 90% plus of SARS-CoV-2 infections continue to be mild and/or asymptomatic.

    By the summer of 2020, over 170 countries representing over 60% of the human population were participating in COVAX with a mission of equitable vaccine distribution. But the plans went in a southern direction. By the start of Q4 2021 with over 5.5 billion vaccines administered during the pandemic, 80% were administered in high-and upper-middle-income countries, reported WHO’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Tedros declared “Almost 90% of high-income countries have now reached the 10% target, and more than 70% have reached the 40% target. Not a single low-income country has reached either target.”

    Enter IAVG

    Again, WHO and GAVI’s Joint Allocation Taskforce (JAT) needed to better understand the COVAX situation—a validation and assessment of the equity targets for example, during this pandemic. IAVG was established to improve on what was a COVAX failure, at least partially. After all, COVAX was “envisioned to be the world’s primary distributor of COVID-19 vaccines with IAVG serving as an independent referee for needs-based allocation.”

    But according to the WHO, the rich countries such as America, the UK, and various players in Europe, Israel, and elsewhere largely “sidestepped COVAX, hoarding doses for their own populations and cutting deals directly with low-and middle-income countries.” This, of course, is one explanation for the COVAX COVID-19 vaccine equity distribution failure, or as WHO declares “….made the subsequent allocation decisions even more challenging.”

    But numerous forces and factors are involved, including Big Pharma lobby power and unfolding crony capitalism at the national and state level, incompetence, self-interest, and political dysfunctionality in wealthy national governments (don’t forget, America, the world’s richest country has the most deaths and a high case fatality rate comparatively speaking), and improper public health messaging that COVID-19 posed the exact same imminent danger to all population cohorts, creating outright panic as well as severe authoritarian-like policies in some Western governments.

    In some ways, during this pandemic, some Western governments strived to mimic China’s purported success staving off cases and deaths. TrialSite commented frequently over the past couple of years on the Chinese model during this pandemic frequently—known as the “Zero Tolerance” COVID-19 policy combined with mass vaccination starting in the summer of 2021.

    China’s model wasn’t free, however. It assumes vast export-based wealth combined with authoritarian, centrally planned governance, susceptible to corrupt practices from top to bottom to ensure the “Party” mission is complete. Much of the world doesn’t work this way despite WHO’s and even some Western places such as Australia’s attempt at replication.

    Does Central Planning Work or Global Health Care?

    WHO’s top-down, bureaucratic, yet industry intertwined approach has emerged as a serious force, and some could argue farce, in global healthcare —even posited by their website as a force for economic development in poor nations. Yet, the experience with Uttar Pradesh, India chronicled by this independent online media platform offers one example of how local or regional measures in LMICs are often superior for addressing health care contagion.

    After all, healthcare even in the richest nations such as the United States has always been a localized endeavor. The emergence of the Delta variant in India wreaked havoc there and in many other nations. The turnaround that occurred in India’s most populated state was praised by WHO as a model local public health strategy.

    While WHO advocated and provided testimony to notable regional public health strategies implemented in Uttar Pradesh—with little WHO backing or support—public health agencies and organizations in this Northern Indian state employed thousands of healthcare workers to visit tens of thousands of towns and villages, armed with SARS-CoV-2 tests, isolation and quarantine protocols, care coordination support, and home medicine kits which included ivermectin.

    In a press release, WHO announced Uttar Pradesh’s success taking on Delta, yet completely suppressed the fact that ivermectin was in those home medicine kits.

    The regional approach deviated from the WHO narrative of universal vaccination first, yet WHO also needed to tap into and leverage those regional public health mechanisms to achieve its aim of 70% vaccination. But that didn’t necessitate ignoring data and unfolding science. A shameless act promoted by self-interest; bureaucrats showed they were more interested in their own mission than the true health of poor people around the world.

    Other LMICs that embraced ivermectin were quickly lectured or worse, by WHO, who has the power to withhold much-needed funding in these poor countries. Individuals associated with three governments confided in TrialSite that very fact.

    The use of ivermectin in India showed so much benefit that the drug was placed on the national guidance list, much to the frustration of WHO and other international groups, not to mention industry, for a period, but continuous pressure and the waning of the Delta variant led to the removal of the national guidance.

    WHO’s disrespectful dismissal of Uttar Pradesh’s inclusion of ivermectin made healthcare activists furious—so much so that a group of Indian lawyers sued WHO and its chief scientist as a result.

    Because Uttar Pradesh’s approach to combating the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 deviated, in the minds and plans of WHO bureaucrats, from that rigid, top-down central planning approach of the agency: consequently, the agency employed nasty medical and scientific communications protocols to attack, even vilify a drug celebrated for its achievements, including a Nobel Prize in the war against parasitic disease in the tropical world.

    Omicron Intensifies Urgency

    WHO reminds all on its website that the emergence of the highly infectious Omicron variant represented yet another urgent reminder for the need to vaccinate 70% of the population. Ultimately, IAVG’s mission, again an arm of WHO to drive equity, now addresses the failure to achieve its goals during the pandemic, highlighted in a document labeled “The Strategy to Achieve Global COVID-19 Vaccination by Mid-2022.”

    A noble goal yet highly ambitious goal for one organization, WHO seeks to “minimize deaths, severe disease, and overall disease burden; curtail the health system impact; fully resume socio-economic activity, and reduce the risk of new variants.”

    WHO’s strategy document highlights “high population immunity is essential” for achieving the goals which equal broad-based vaccination. But why 70%? What is it about that number that matters?

    According to WHO’s latest strategy document, the organization’s goal of achieving the 70% target is “based on current knowledge:” that is that 70% of every target nation must be immunized starting with A) high-risk populations, B) adult population, then C) adolescent population.

    Question WHO

    Underlying WHO’s entire approach remains several serious assumptions that should be thoroughly vetted by external independent and unbiased experts. That vaccines do not wane in effectiveness—e.g., that these still immature products are not associated with durability issues fundamentally underlies many of WHO’s assumptions for its 70% target.

    WHO assumes that after 70% of those populations deemed high risk (elderly, comorbidities, etc.), as well as all adults and adolescents, are immunized, this leads to a reduction in transmissibility of the disease. But is this true? The data implies not over time, assuming continuous mutations.

    However, this primary assumption remains highly questionable based on unfolding data and science. Even Bill Gates, the financier of many of the public worldwide vaccination programs, went on the record recently acknowledging that the COVID-19 vaccines don’t stop transmissibility but rather help stop more severe disease and death. Yet again much of the population of sub-Saharan Africa may not fall in the high-risk categories for COVID-19 (e.g., young population, not obese, etc.).

    This, however, doesn’t stop WHO and its various groups and committees such as IAVG in its aggressive mission for worldwide immunization. Target totals include:

    Dates Targets

    End of Sept 2021 10% coverage all nations

    End of Dec 2021 40% coverage all nations

    End of June 2022 70% coverage all nations

    The price tag for this scheme? $55 billion based on a confluence of factors and inputs, including an average cost of COVID-19 vaccine per dose at $10. WHO declared in their strategy document that, “A majority of the vaccine doses needed by these countries has been secured by the significant financing invested through COVAT, AVAT, and bilateral contracts.”

    Yet, WHO still needs money. What for? According to the organization’s plans, they have economic urgency totaling a call for $8 billion (U.S.) associated with the mobilization and application of additional domestic, grant, and concessional financing to close the remaining funding gap for in-country program delivery of these doses. The entire strategy can be reviewed here.


    WHO has all but acknowledged that their goal of 70% vaccination of the poorest countries’ populations has fallen short while expressing in their recent strategy document the urgent need for an additional $8 billion from the U.S. to achieve their global goals.

    Key points to consider when considering the current WHO COVID-19 strategy:

    Not all nations and populations within nations face the same risk for severe COVID-19, yet they are treated as one-size-fits all

    The COVID-19 vaccines, at least the current batch of product, wane in effectiveness—hence, the boosting in the developed nations which could continue onward

    Plenty of study results advance the known science of the existing COVID-19 vaccines—with variants such as Delta and Omicron, after just several weeks transmissibility is not just probable but likely among the fully vaccinated given rapidly growing rates of breakthrough infections

    As related to above, what if continuous variants emerge requiring continuous boosts—is this a sustainable model—financially and economically as well as from a health perspective

    WHO doesn’t mention that the production and distribution not to mention specialized refrigeration needs of the mRNA-based vaccines cannot be easily reproduced in much of the LMICs

    90%+ of all SARS cases are mild to asymptomatic—hence, early treatment may likely represent a superior care model, especially in LMICs with not only emergence of pharmaceutical antivirals but also numerous possible repurposed treatments (fluvoxamine, ivermectin, famotidine, and many more investigational approaches covered by TrialSite)

    A top-down, bureaucratic, centralized planning approach to combating this pandemic is superior to decentralized health models—TrialSite seriously questions this model, particularly after two years of experience with the pandemic

    The model above assumes ever more billions of dollars to fuel an expensive, top-down model which in many ways is comparable to China’s approach—the latter is the world’s second largest economy with large export-led financial surplus—but even China, TrialSite reports, strains under a combination of Zero Tolerance and mass vaccination with subpar products

    Assumes no regulatory or agency capture by industry or financiers

    Many more assumptions could be included above.

    How well have national health authorities combined with international groups such as WHO done combating this pandemic given the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in just over two years?

    While the vaccines are touted, actually revered as amazing feats—and Big Pharma and biotech are capable of amazing efforts–just how amazing is a vaccine that requires four or even five boosts in just one year to 15 months?

    It’s time to take a step back and assess WHO and other pandemic fighting assumptions with a more objective, unbiased, and rational lens

    Intestinal bacteria could be behind Japan's low COVID deaths, study says

    Intestinal bacteria could be behind Japan's low COVID deaths, study says
    Many have searched for an X-factor to explain differing mortality rates between countries, and Nagoya University scientists think part of the answer might be…

    The abundance of a specific intestinal bacteria known to suppresses the binding of the coronavirus to human cell receptors is likely to play a role in the low COVID-19 mortality rates seen in Asia and Northern Europe, according to a study led by a team of researchers at Nagoya University.

    Many scientists have speculated there may be an X-factor when it comes to the low death rates from COVID-19 in Asia, including Japan, and some countries in Northern Europe such as Finland. Genetic and immunological differences, as well as the taking of the BCG vaccine in early childhood to protect against tuberculosis, have often been cited as possible reasons. An in-vitro study by the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine has also shown that compounds in green tea known as catechins significantly reduced the infectiousness of the coronavirus.

    The highly contagious omicron variant is known to lead to less serious cases than the delta variant, and the mortality rate has been lowered to be more or less comparable to that of influenza.

    But the death rate from COVID-19 tends to go up with age. Other risk factors include obesity, diabetes, smoking and a history of respiratory infections, though COVID-19 vaccination curbs the possibility of severe illness and death.

    To shed light on what the mysterious factor may be behind the low death rates in some countries, Nagoya University scientists analyzed raw sequencing data of gut micro-organisms in 953 healthy subjects in 10 countries from a public database.

    The team analyzed the relationship between the composition of intestinal bacteria and the mortality rates of COVID-19, applying an advanced machine learning model in February 2021, when vaccines were not yet commonly available. It analyzed 30 important intestinal bacteria and found that having the lowest amount of one called collinsella was the highest predictive factor behind high COVID-19 mortality rates, with a markedly high statistical significance.

    The scientists then categorized the data into five types of gut bacteriological ecosystems, called enterotypes, based on the compositional similarity of their micro-organisms. They compared them with the mortality rates of the 10 countries and found that the level of collinsella was negatively correlated with the mortality.

    Where COVID-19 mortality rates are low, such as in South Korea, Japan and Finland, the enterotype with the highest amount of collinsella was dominant, accounting for 34% to 61% of the total, the study said. In Belgium, Britain, Italy and the U.S., where mortality rates were high, the enterotypes with the two of the lowest levels of collinsella were predominant, and only 4% to 18% of subjects had the enterotype with the largest amount. The other countries examined were Canada, Germany and Mexico.

    “I’m not saying that intestinal bacteria alone can cure COVID-19,” said the study’s lead researcher, Masaaki Hirayama, an associate professor at the university’s Graduate School of Medicine. “The purpose of this study was to see if we could make a breakthrough in treatment if we could find at least one thing related to factor X.”

    Hirayama said that collinsella transforms the gut’s bile acids into ursodeoxycholic acid, which has been known to suppress the binding of the coronavirus to its receptor and inhibit the potentially deadly immune response called a cytokine storm.

    The study has undergone a full peer review and was published in the U.S. open access science and medicine journal Plos One in late November. Diverse factors, such as age and stress, can influence gut micro-organisms, but enterotypes are thought to be affected by intake of foods and are not strongly associated with race or gender, the Nagoya University researchers said.

    Hirayama says it remains unclear whether mortality rates are higher for vaccinated individuals whose collinsella levels are lower. But based on results of the study, he has already begun work on joint research with respiratory medicine doctors to see if substances produced by this intestinal bacteria play a role in whether some patients become seriously ill while others do not.

    “Serious cases of the disease have rapidly declined due to vaccination, so I don’t think we need to worry too much about low collinsella levels in some Japanese people,” he said. “In fact, most Japanese and other Asians have high levels of bifidobacteria and collinsella

    Toward wide-spectrum antivirals against coronaviruses: Molecular characterization of SARS-CoV-2 NSP13 helicase inhibitors



    To date, effective therapeutic treatments that confer strong attenuation against coronaviruses (CoVs) remain elusive. Among potential drug targets, the helicase of CoVs is attractive due to its sequence conservation and indispensability. We rely on atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to explore the structural coordination and dynamics associated with the SARS-CoV-2 Nsp13 apo enzyme, as well as their complexes with natural ligands. A complex communication network is revealed among the five domains of Nsp13, which is differentially activated because of the presence of the ligands, as shown by shear strain analysis, principal components analysis, dynamical cross-correlation matrix analysis, and water transport analysis. The binding free energy and the corresponding mechanism of action are presented for three small molecules that were shown to be efficient inhibitors of the previous SARS-CoV Nsp13 enzyme. Together, our findings provide critical fresh insights for rational design of broad-spectrum antivirals against CoVs.


    Identifying compounds that exhibit a broad antiviral spectrum (34) by targeting highly conserved structures has proven to be effective against a wide array of viruses. In this sense, the SARS-CoV-2 Nsp13 helicase protein emerges as an attractive target given its sequence conservation and importance across all CoV species (15, 16).

    The first part of this study focused on deciphering the structural coordination that exists between the Nsp13 domains and the behavior of the enzyme’s complex with its natural ligands. The results from PCA and the DCCM matrix reveal a structural assembly that is characterized by a complex communication network among the five principal protein domains that is selectively activated by the presence of different natural ligands. As an example, the transition from Nsp13 apo form to Nsp13+ADP, the final product of the NTP nucleotide hydrolysis in the active site, gives rise to a high degree of interdomain communication that is absent in the apo state of the enzyme. A similar response was observed when both natural ligands, ADP and ssRNA, are incorporated into the assembly. A SASA analysis supports the existence of a communication mechanism between the ADP binding site and the ssRNA binding site in the RecA2 domain; the solvent surface exposure of regions 1, 2, and 3 is altered, and the increase of the active pocket volume (Fig. 3) serves to point out how the binding of ADP induces the opening of the RecA1 and RecA2 domains. Experimental studies on the previous SARS-CoV Nsp13 helicase have reported a similar behavior and response of the Nsp13 assembly to the natural ligand, ADP (10), suggesting that similar Nsp13 dynamics exist among CoVs. The opening of the RecA1 and RecA2 domains is also evident from the PCA, where the 1B and RecA2 domains (Fig. 2) separate from RecA1, either when only ssRNA or when both ligands are attached to the protein. PCA also highlights the rigidity of the ZBD and how the presence of the natural ligands affects its mobility. The cross-correlation maps reveal pronounced anticorrelations with the other domains upon binding to the natural ligands. The allosteric communication in the Nsp13 protein is also evident in the strain analysis, which shows conformational changes of the helicase conserved motifs located in the ADP binding site and the RNA binding region, with motif I (Walker A) and motif Ia showing the largest effects.

    Having characterized the structure and dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 Nsp13 protein, the second part of this work was focused on the characterization of three compounds that offer potential to hinder its activity. Specifically, we found that SSYA10-001, bananin, and chromone-4c all form thermodynamically stable complexes with the Nsp13+ADP+ssRNA assembly, with SSYA10-001 and chromone-4c exhibiting the highest affinity. Both ligands bind to Nsp13 at the RecA2 domain, in regions 2 and 3, underscoring these as important regions for the helicase’s activity (10). In addition, the numerical value of the binding free energies is in the same order of magnitude than the experimental values, giving confidence on the model and results obtained. On the other hand, the computed binding free energy for bananin underestimates its inhibition power, where the causes of that could be related to the limitations of the selected force field to capture the complex interaction in the adamantane motif present in bananin. On the other hand, it could be possible that bananin exerts its antiviral activity by inhibition of other molecular target apart from Nsp13. Shear strain and β-factor analyses revealed that the largest perturbations of the assembly take place in motif I (Walker A) and motif Ia; the reduced flexibility in motif Ia may be responsible for the reduced Nsp13 helicase activity, as reported for these ligands and as predicted for SARS-CoV-2 by our models. In addition, the largest strain responses occur in the three binding regions for ssRNA (190 to 210), (330 to 350), and (490 to 530). This result, in conjunction with the contact maps and LIE analysis (which shows a reduction in the interaction between the ssRNA oligonucleotide and the Nsp13 protein), could explain the helicase inhibition mechanism. SSYA10-001 shows a different behavior than that of the other molecules: This small drug leads to a large strain in the ZBD-Stalk region, which, in turn, induces a conformational change of the protein. Given the importance of ZBD in the helicase activity, as well as its leading role on the interaction among Nsp13 and the RdRp, it is reasonable to expect these perturbations over the enzyme structure and dynamics to impair its function. Following the important role of NSP13 in the RTC complex, additional atomistic studies on the protein-protein interactions are now being pursued. The possible mechanism of disruption of the NSP13-RdRp complex by small molecules will be the focus of that work.

    Authorities are concerned with Covid misinformation. YouTube videos have been taken down and every paper has a fact checker. Yet for two years a tik tok video has remained up for all our kids to see and maybe cook for you. They call it sleepy chicken, cooking chicken in NY quil. I call it meth chicken. It's still up!!!

    What Is the 'Sleepy Chicken' TikTok Trend, Exactly?

    The 'Sleepy Chicken' TikTok trend explained
    Doctors have warned about the dangers of the unusual chicken recipe that's been circulating on the video sharing platform.

    Long Covid: Common pill could help remove long term effects of virus

    Many who have contracted coronavirus report feel ill effects as much as a year later

    Common pill could help remove long term effects of covid
    Many who have contracted coronavirus report feel ill effects as much as a year later

    More than a million people in the UK are thought to be living with long covid - symptoms that last weeks or even months after the virus has gone.

    Symptoms of long covid, the NHS says, can include extreme fatigue, sleep problems and memory or concentration issues.

    There have been reports of people developing the condition, despite having had no symptoms when they tested positive for coronavirus.

    Many of us take supplements on a regular basis, to feel better and boost vitamin levels.

    One of these, a probiotic, has now been identified as likely to help treat long covid, according to research from a number of NHS Trusts.

    A year-long investigation was undertaken by experts at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) NHS Foundation Trust, Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Bedfordshire, and volunteer patients across both counties.

    It found treating the gut to a blend of five different friendly bacteria called lactobacillus probiotics, combined with a chicory-rich ingredient known as an inulin, could help with acute and long-term covid symptoms.

    The study involved 126 people, a third of whom had an acute Covid infection with the majority reporting a wide variety of longer term symptoms lasting over 100 days.

    Results, analysed by university statisticians showed that cough, fatigue, gut and well-being scores improved.

    Many said gut symptoms suffered for years were also resolved.

    Probiotics can be purchased in pill form from a number of health stores and pharmacies.

    Open Sourcing COVID-19 Vaccination: Pfizer & Moderna Look Out

    Open Sourcing COVID-19 Vaccination: Pfizer & Moderna Look Out
    With 10 billion vaccine doses produced since mid-2020, 70% of those doses have gone to inoculate people in rich countries. What if a COVID-19 vaccine

    With 10 billion vaccine doses produced since mid-2020, 70% of those doses have gone to inoculate people in rich countries. What if a COVID-19 vaccine sponsor could avoid the patient restrictions of Big Pharma? Perhaps, that is part of what is needed to ensure the development of an economical, easy-to-produce COVID-19 vaccine that could address vaccine equity issues in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). To date, COVID-19 vaccination has been highly skewed in favor of the wealthiest nations as measured by gross domestic product (GDP). But that could change soon as an investigational vaccine product developed by physicians at Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development could possibly be used worldwide to overturn vaccine inequity. Already hundreds of millions of doses are in production, quietly, with little mention in the heavily biased North American media.

    ‘The World’s COVID-19 Vaccine’ made in Texas

    Known as Corbevax, this experimental vaccine was recently showcased by Baylor College of Medicine. A protein subunit COVID-19 Vaccine, TrialSite reported that the product has already received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to launch in India with other underserved countries to follow.

    TrialSite provides a brief breakdown for a product update.

    What is the primary use case for this vaccine?

    The need for safe, streamlined, low-cost vaccines for middle-to low-income countries is central to the world’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Without widespread vaccination of populations in the Global South, additional virus variants will arise, hindering the progress achieved by currently available vaccines in the United States and other Western countries.

    In places like Africa, the total COVID-19 vaccination rate persists at under 10% of the entire population. In a place like Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, less than 2.5% of the population has received a full vaccination.

    Parts of Asia, South America, and the Middle East are unvaccinated. About 5% of the Syrian population is vaccinated while in Yemen about 1% are vaccinated.

    What’s the genesis of the vaccine?

    This group in Texas utilized more traditional methods of vaccine development to address the first SARS outbreak nearly 20 years ago.

    What research center initially supported Corbevax development?

    Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development with licensing managed by BCM Ventures, Baylor College of Medicine’s integrated commercialization team.

    What company received a license thus far?

    Biological E. Limited, a Hyderabad, India-based biotech company.

    How far along is Corbevax in the clinical trials process?

    The investigational vaccine product has been through two Phase 3 clinical trials involving over 3,000 participants; the results look good with the vaccine found to be safe, well-tolerated, and immunogenic.

    What are key vaccine highlights based on research to date?

    In the recent press release Baylor reported the following:

    CORBEVAX™ demonstrated superior immune response in comparison with COVISHIELDTM vaccine when assessed for Neutralizing Antibody (nAb) Geometric Mean Titers (GMT) against the Ancestral-Wuhan strain and the globally dominant Delta variant. CORBEVAX™ vaccination also generated significant Th1 skewed cellular immune response.

    CORBEVAX™ nAb GMT against Ancestral-Wuhan strain is indicative of vaccine effectiveness of >90% for prevention of symptomatic infections based on the Correlates of Protection assessment performed during Moderna and Astra-Zeneca vaccine Phase III studies.

    CORBEVAX™ nAb GMT against the Delta strain indicates a vaccine effectiveness of >80 percent for the prevention of symptomatic infections based on published studies.

    While none of the subjects who took CORBEVAX™ or COVISHIELD™ had serious adverse events, CORBEVAX™ had 50 percent fewer adverse events than COVISHIELDT™.

    In the continuous monitoring of phase II studies, CORBEVAX™ showed high persistence of immune response as indicated by <30% drop in nAb GMT till 6 months second dose as compared to >80% drop observed with majority of the vaccines.

    What’s the developer’s point of view?

    Dr. Maria Elena Botazzi, a professor and Associate Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development shared in their recent press release “Protein-based vaccines have been widely used to prevent many other diseases, have proven safety records, and use economies of scale to achieve low-cost scalability across the world.”

    While Dr. Peter Hotez, Professor and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development shared recently that their vaccine represented “an important first step in vaccinating the world and halting the pandemic. Our vaccine technology offers a path to address an unfolding humanitarian crisis, namely the vulnerability the low- and middle-income countries face against the delta variant.”

    How did they get this vaccine funded?

    As mentioned below, the U.S. government wasn’t of much help. TrialSite has chronicled the concept of regulatory capture and how vested industry interests ensured public taxpayer spend during Operation Warp Speed went to Big Pharma and biotech looking for large investor returns.

    Consequently, the researchers turned to the non-profit sector including organizations such as the following:

    Kleberg Foundation

    The Dunn Foundation

    JPB Foundation and more

    Apparently, a total of approximately $7 million was raised.

    Where has the vaccine been approved thus far?

    India is under emergency use authorization as previously discussed. Biological E. Limited is already producing 100 million doses per month.

    What other geographies are interested?

    Vaccine producers in southeast Asia from both Bangladesh and Indonesia have already inked deals to produce the vaccine, while Botswana is also in discussions to license the product.

    What is the implication for this approach?

    Hundreds of millions of doses could be made available in poorer countries at a fraction of the cost.

    Has the U.S. government supported this effort?

    Not according to Dr. Hortez. In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, he shared that “No one cared in the U.S. government, and no one still really cares.” Of note, Al Jazeera tried to get in touch with the U.S. government but no response yet.

    Noteworthy, the Biden administration did announce they would support LMICs with over 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2022. In fact, POTUS has claimed the U.S. does more than any other nation. To date, the actual number of vaccines shipped totals about 370 million.

    What’s the economics behind the vaccine product?

    The developers expect the cost at $2 per dose, according to the Indian government.

    What about commercial company in India?

    Based in Hyderabad, India, Biological E. Limited, was founded in 1953 and was among the first Indian private sector ventures to produce biological products. They pioneered Heparin production in India. Employing about 2,500, they are a major supplier of vaccines to international development groups such as WHO, UNICEF, and others.

    What about Baylor’s BCM Ventures?

    BCM Ventures is the commercial engine of the health sciences university, created to support the translation of academic knowledge and intellectual assets to benefit society.

    The team is led by Shawn Davis, Vice President & Chief Ventures Officer

    Mass General Expert Predicts: No Boosters. Normal Life. We Can Move on From Covid

    Mass General Expert Predicts: No Boosters. Normal Life. We Can Move on From Covid
    By Mary Beth PfeifferThis article is part of a publishing collaboration between Rescue and Trial Site News. The outstanding reporting by Mary Beth

    By Mary Beth Pfeiffer

    This article is part of a publishing collaboration between Rescue and Trial Site News. The outstanding reporting by Mary Beth Pfeiffer will be simultaneously published in both outlets. Please subscribe to Rescue and Trial Site News for incisive pandemic reporting.

    The director of global diseases at the prestigious Massachusetts General Hospital made his hopeful diagnosis recently in a conference call to colleagues. Mass General (above left, facing the Charles River in Boston and backed by the city skyline) is the teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School that has been ranked the number one hospital in America by U.S. News & World Report and leads all hospitals in NIH-funded research. (Photo from

    The director of global infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital is predicting what was unthinkable less than a month ago: The end of the pandemic.

    Dr. Edward Ryan made stunning and encouraging comments on the Omicron variant that give hope for a return to normalcy. Among these: Omicron will make boosters unnecessary. The covid virus will join the ranks of the “common cold.” And the latest wave will enter “clean up mode” shortly.

    “We are fighting the last war with COVID and should be pivoting back to normal life,” the summary of Dr. Ryan’s comments states. “Spring/Summer will be really nice!”

    Dr. Ryan is professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He also directs the Tropical and Geographic Medicine Center

    and Travelers’ Advice and Immunization Center, which is supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    His comments come from an undated summary (see full text below) of a conference call with Ryan that was shared last weekend among doctors and provided to me.

    In response to a request for comment, Massachusetts General Hospital issued a statement acknowledging that Dr. Ryan’s remarks had been shared “from an individual’s personal notes.”

    “These notes lack context, details, and nuance,” the statement said, noting they fail to reflect “the role that vaccines play in mitigating severe disease or death,” or to note that at-risk people should “continue to take extra precautions.”

    Significantly, the statement did not take issue with the accuracy of the conference call summary, which I had forwarded to both Ryan and media officials. Ryan did not respond to requests for comment.

    Assessing the situation in the Boston region, Ryan said that close to 100 percent of cases were Omicron.

    “Delta is almost completely gone from New England,” the notes said, meaning, significantly, that a more deadly variant has been displaced by a far milder one.

    “This surge will peak [in New England] sometime between 1/10 and 1/21 and then begin a quick downhill journey of two to four weeks,” the summary of the call stated.

    Perhaps the most surprising, and potentially controversial, statement from the call notes pertained to Ryan’s take on boosters for Omicron.

    “We won’t need a booster for omicron because they wouldn’t be able to develop one before it’s completely gone and we’re all going to get it which will give us the immunity we need to get through it,” the summary states.

    The booster statement is particularly startling in view of the near-universal mainstream medical support for vaccinations and boosters, including for children as young as five years old.

    Ryan allayed fears of rising hospitalizations. “Most of them are secondary admissions,” the summary states, meaning people admitted for something else but who test positive for Omicron.

    SARS-CoV-2 will be transformed by Omicron, the comments suggest.

    “COVID will join the 4 other coronaviruses we deal with that cause the common cold, upper respiratory infections, RSV, etc.,” a reference to respiratory syncytial virus, which usually causes generally mild, respiratory disease.

    “Lots of good news!” the summary concludes.

    Dr. Edward Ryan, director of global infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, ranked the number three hospital in the world by Newsweek, told colleagues that he believes Omicron will soon reduce covid to the ranks of the common cold. (Photo from

    Here is the full text from the notetaker’s conversation with Dr. Ryan:

    “Notes from a call earlier with Edward Ryan MD, Director of International Infectious Disease Service at Massachusetts General Hospital:

    1. Close to 100% of the positive cases in MA are Omicron. Delta is almost completely gone from New England.

    2. This surge will peak sometime between 1/10 and 1/21 and then begin a quick downhill journey of two to four weeks.

    3. We will end up with a 20-50% positivity rate.

    4. February will be clean up mode, March will begin to return to “normal”!

    5. Omicron lives in your nose and upper respiratory area which is what makes it so contagious. It isn’t able to bond with your lungs like the other variants.

    6. The increased hospitalizations should be taken with a grain of salt as most of them are secondary admissions (i.e. people coming in for surgery, broken bones, etc. who are tested for COVID).

    7. We won’t need a booster for omicron because they wouldn’t be able to develop one before it’s completely gone and we’re all going to get it which will give us the immunity we need to get through it.

    8. COVID will join the 4 other coronaviruses we deal with that cause the common cold, upper respiratory infections, RSV, etc. It will become a pediatric disease mainly affecting young children with no immunity.

    9. About 40% of those infected will be asymptomatic

    10. Rapid tests are 50-80% sensitive to those with symptoms, only 30-60% sensitive to those without symptoms.

    11. Contact tracing is worthless because we’re all going to get it and there’s no way we could keep up with it.

    12. We are fighting the last war with COVID and should be pivoting back to normal life, but society isn’t quite ready for it yet.

    13. There is no need to stay home from work or to be a hermit unless you’re immunocompromised or 85 or older, but he does recommend staying away from large gatherings for the next six weeks.

    14. Spring/Summer will be really nice!

    Lots of good news!!!”

    Here is the statement from Massachusetts General Hospital on Dr. Ryan’s comments:

    “We are aware of COVID-19 information circulating online evidently reflecting an individual’s personal notes from listening to a talk by Edward Ryan, MD, director of Global Infectious Diseases at MGH. These notes lack context, details, and nuance. For instance, the role that vaccines play in mitigating severe disease or death was not included, and individuals with comorbid conditions should continue to take extra precautions to minimize contracting COVID irrelevant of age.

    Ivermectin Delivered by A Novel Product

    Ivermectin Delivered by A Novel Product
    Note that views expressed in this opinion article are the writer’s personal views and not necessarily those of TrialSite. Joel S. Hirschhorn Moving beyond

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

    Joel S. Hirschhorn

    Moving beyond words is a new vote of confidence in using ivermectin to fight COVID with an innovative injectable product.

    There is good reason to have hope for a new way to deliver IVM to millions of people to fight COVID variants. It offers a very sound alternative to vaccines.

    With all of the considerable controversy about using IVM for treating and preventing COVID, something has slipped the attention of its supporters and critics. A relatively small French company has spent the past year or more developing an injectable product of IVM for prophylactic use and have it last in the body for months.

    It has successfully completed a safety study for relatively high doses of IVM over long periods. The company tested IVM taken daily in oral form to simulate the continuous release of the active substance by a long-acting injectable. It found the results fully supportive of their injectable approach.

    If the company is able to get the commercial product into the market and, if needed, get regulatory approval, their product could compete against COVID vaccines and avoid the need for the new Pfizer and Merck antiviral treatment drugs.

    This product would circumvent the many problems people face in getting IVM pills, in terms of its scarcity and cost. But the new product would probably require a prescription and a doctor, nurse or pharmacist to administer it. And so, it might be relatively expensive, though likely cheaper than vaccines and new Big Pharma drugs.

    One can imagine that this innovative product could be just like annual flu vaccines in how it is administered to large numbers of people in a multitude of places, including medical offices, drug stores and supermarket pharmacies. And it would be wonderful if medical insurance covered it like it does for flu shots.

    Here is some more information about this venture: The company is MedinCell. It has received financial support from the French government. It was started some years ago with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, before the work on IVM.

    Safety addressed

    At its website, it is possible to download a March 2021 lengthy and detailed assessment and review of IVM focusing on its history of intense global use and safety. The title is Medical Safety of Ivermectin. Here are the conclusions:

    “Hundreds of millions of human subjects have been treated with ivermectin for curative or prophylactic purposes worldwide over the last 3 decades. The reference list of this report demonstrates that a large body of data is available, which allows for a detailed analysis of ivermectin medical safety. Undoubtedly, uncertainties remain regarding ivermectin pharmacological effects and mechanisms of action, but when removed, this is not anticipated to alter the main conclusions of this report in any significant way as they rely on an extensive and consistent body of medical publications. Taking into account all the above, the author of the present analysis of the available medical data concludes that the safety profile of ivermectin has so far been excellent in the majority of treated human patients so that ivermectin human toxicity cannot be claimed to be a serious cause for concern.”

    About product design

    The company is based on the use of what they call BEPO® technology in the form of a pre-filled syringe, ready-to-use, with 24-month stability at room temperature. It creates the formation of a small subcutaneous deposit, fully bioresorbable, at the time of injection. This material acts as a mini pump that releases IVM regularly until it disappears or absorbs completely.

    The core mechanism is the controlled and extended release of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, such as IVM. The company claims a significant reduction in the quantity of medication required as part of a chronic treatment. The BEPO® technology makes it possible to control and guarantee the regular delivery of a drug at the optimal therapeutic dose for as long as several months starting from the subcutaneous or local injection of a simple deposit of a few millimeters, of the fully bioresorbable medicine.

    Optimism by the company

    Here is an optimistic statement about the prophylactic strategy for using IVM in the pandemic:

    “Our hypotheses are being confirmed, says Christophe Douat, CEO of MedinCell: the pandemic continues, and vaccination may not be enough to stop it. The body of clinical data and scientific knowledge supporting the efficacy of ivermectin at a therapeutic dose against Covid-19, in particular as a prophylaxis, continues to grow. In this context, our treatment, based on a widely known molecule, which could be stored at room temperature and which aims to offer protection for several months after a simple injection against Covid-19 and its variants, could become a key tool of the anti-Covid arsenal. Our goal is still to have a product ready in 2022. “

    In addition to wide preventive use by the population, the product could also be administered to people identified as Covid-19 contact cases to protect them. Here is another potential benefit: Assume that some people may continue to get ill with late stage COVID infection, even with a regular dose of IVM and come down with lung and breathing problems. But research and clinical evidence shows that the anti-inflammatory property of IVM can treat such lung issues and prevent death. Having IVM in the body for months could either prevent or greatly mitigate such late-stage problems, the major cause of hospital COVID deaths now.


    For those of us who have embraced the use of IVM as a prevention strategy, this novel product could be of tremendous global importance, especially as new COVID variants inevitably become a problem.

    Moreover, there is increasing recognition that repeated COVID vaccine booster shots are not justified because they can weaken immune systems and, inevitably, lose their effectiveness within short periods. It is good news that the limits of boosters are being recognized by some people and organizations. For example, Boosters “can be done once, or maybe twice, but it’s not something that we can think should be repeated constantly,” Marco Cavaleri, the European Medicines Agency head of biological health threats and vaccines strategy, said recently. “We need to think about how we can transition from the current pandemic setting to a more endemic setting.”

    And the World Health Organization just said: “a vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable.”

    Along this same line of thinking was this observation in a recent detailed analysis: “A plausible conclusion is that aggressive vaccination campaigns accelerate the pace at which an individual’s immune system reaches an ‘aged’ status due to exuberant generation of memory B cells in response to the artificial stimuli induced by repeated vaccination… An even more worrisome possibility is that these vaccines, both the mRNA vaccines and the DNA vector vaccines, may be a pathway to crippling disease sometime in the future.”

    The injectable IVM product should be seen as a potential alternative to vaccine shots not only because they are increasingly ineffective, but also because of their increasingly documented adverse health impacts and deaths. If COVID is to be seen as endemic, like the flu, then this new product merits serious support.

    The question to be followed is if and how Big Pharma takes actions to stymie the French company’s efforts to fully commercialize their IVM injectable product in many countries