There Will Be No Phase 3

Byy On
• In Bellingham,

“There is no getting out of this until we have a vaccine. There is no getting out of this. This will be in our community until we have a vaccine, ...”

On July 23rd, Whatcom Health Director Erika Lautenbach made her most blunt and truest statement yet (see Herald article here). However, she did go on to say “...unless infection rates drop.” Really?

Although we thought we had a dial with which we could manipulate the conditions around this virus by simple turns, the virus has a mind of its own and gives not a rat’s ass about our machinations. So, our dial turns out more to be a toggle switch, perhaps a three-position switch, but nowhere near the elusive and now manifestly imaginary dial. Given the ignorance, belligerence, stupidity, insouciance, forgetfulness, deliberateness, incapacity, denial, carelessness and mindlessness of human beings, we are stuck in position number two of the toggle switch. We seem unable to convince ourselves to revert to position one to shut down, and unable to move to position three to open further. A vaccine, which is still a year or more away, may allow us eventually to go to number three. Although we might find it abhorrent to return to position one, that may nevertheless be forced on us, as comes a tidal wave: first a comforting ebbing of the virus, followed by the crushing wave of a viral tsunami.

COVID-19 response extant
COVID-19 response extant

In Europe, where they thought they had the virus under some sort of control, there are troubling signs that there was no dial either. Belgium is on the verge of a total lock-down, while France and Spain are getting mighty nervous. Catalonia may have to shut down, and France, whose population has scattered to their in-country vacation spots, sees hot-spots popping up like a game of Whack-a-Mole. France and Spain also had some of the most stringent shutdowns countrywide, including heavy fines, but now are seeing all those gains fading like a bad paint job. (Europe braces for second wave of coronavirus)

At least most of the European countries had a modicum of national-level leadership. Here we had bupkis, and it is showing state by state as many governors deny reality and essentially murder their citizens (For what is it, if not murder?) with mis-feasance, mal-feasance and non-feasance, making a mockery of their oaths of office. Continuing travel among the states will ensure a non-stop re-seeding of the virus in all corners of the country. Attempts by individual states and the District of Columbia to control travelers coming into their territories is a risible effort when the travelers MUST, under pain of whatever, self-quarantine for two weeks before beginning the activities they came to do, be that tourism or business. Now that is a workable plan, eh?

In Whatcom County, we are still spinning the imaginary virus control dial to get around, work with, or ignore the virus, all while the talk about on-campus K-12 (here and here) school and university openings continues. Frankly, what you see now is going to be pretty much what we will see in the coming months. Anything north of our governor’s Phase 2 for Whatcom County is a pipe dream. Remaining in Phase 2 might eventually prove very problematic. But if you are among those not paying attention to the rules anyhow, who cares? Party hardy.

If we do get an effective and safe vaccine, the anti-vaxxers will rise up to thwart the vaccination process bringing with them a purposefully acquired ignorance and boundless energy to sow that ignorance and its resulting discord among our citizens. I mean, we can’t even get people to keep their masks on.

So we return to the quote at the top of this article, “...no getting out of this.” No normal. It will be a bleak winter.

About Dick Conoboy

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 26, 2008

Dick Conoboy is a recovering civilian federal worker and military officer who was offered and accepted an all-expense paid, one year trip to Vietnam in 1968. He is a former Army [...]

Comments by Readers

David A. Swanson

Jul 28, 2020

Bupkis from the dybbuk in the white house and his putz appointees. Oy vey!

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Randy Petty

Jul 28, 2020

What do you make of the articles saying that young people are a significant part of the current problem? It’s hard for me to fault them wanting to get out of the house. And many in their 20s and 30s can least afford to be staying home not getting a paycheck ....But what the articles are pointing out is that they then go home (and may not get sick at all ) and pass the virus on to older or sicker people living in the same house who may be significantly impacted.

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Dick Conoboy

Jul 28, 2020

Randy,

Thank for taking the time to comment.  It is apparent now that the 20 to 45 y.o. cohort is becoming infected at a much greater rate occupying almost a third of new infections.  This may be due to a variety of causes but the problem at the youngest end of the scale is these youth tend to lack fully developed brains when it comes to assessing risk and making decisions. This is very concerning for the re-opening of universities.  I covered some of this in my article:  Open The WWU Campus In September? What Then The Toll?

 

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Brian McNitt

Jul 28, 2020

Regarding your byline, “Dick Conoboy is a [...] military officer who was offered and accepted an all-expense paid, one year trip to Vietnam in 1968.” 

Ironically, we all would be safer from COVID-19 in Vietnam right now. As of today, compared to the entire country of Vietnam with 438 cases and 0 deaths, Whatcom County has 863 cases and 48 deaths

An overall insufficient City and County response to say the least. Bellingham, WA has more confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths than a country sharing a border with China. (And people don’t understand why the border 20 miles north of here is closed.)

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Larry Horowitz

Jul 28, 2020

The only thing worse than anti-vaxxers is anti-therapeutics. I challenge a single NWC reader to watch this 9-minute video

Or read this study.

Or this press conference (but watch soon before it’s deleted again by YouTube).

Update: CRICKETS! Why all the fear porn when there are at least 3 successful therapeutics?

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Dick Conoboy

Jul 29, 2020

 Brian,

Alas, it appears that our idyllic Vietnam now seems to be on the verge of an explosion of COVID-19.  Guardian reports today: Vietnam on high alert as coronavirus cases detected in major cities

“Vietnam, which has been praised for its response to the pandemic, reported its first local case for more than three months last weekend, after a man in the central city of Da Nang became ill. Officials have said that the recent infections involve a new strain of the virus that has originated outside of the country, and which seemed to be more virulent.

and

“The government is evacuating 80,000 people from Da Nang, mostly tourists who had been taking advantage of discounted travel deals, who will be required to isolate at home. The city has been placed under strict lockdown, with flights suspended.”

Their toggle switch does not seem to be more useful than ours!  :-)

Dick

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Michael Riordan

Jul 29, 2020

I previously thought that we could open restaurants to 50% of capacity, but that was before I learned about airborne virus transmission via microscopic aerosol droplets. That is undeniably the reason that 52 out of 60 singers in the Skagit Valley Chorale became ill — and two died — after its March 10 rehearsal. This virus transmission pathway will affect diners who spend about an hour indoors, with masks off most of the time, eating, drinking and talkng.

Now I think that we have to shut down indoor dining at restaurants completely, and restrict them to outdoor dining or take-out service. This is what New York City has been doing, and closing off streets or parking areas to open the spaces up to outdoor dining.

And lets forget about opening bars and taverns until next year.

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Forest Cat

Jul 29, 2020

It’s like they used to say about “VD” (STI’s):  It’s not who you have [contact] with, it’s also every other person that they had [contact] with!” The college student population tends to have a larger social circle, many from different parts of the country, and they have the new parent- free freedom to circulate with few limitations or direct guidance.

I was thinking about renting a room to a graduate student, but now I’m thinking I’ll wait until next summer.  Let’s see how this thing shakes out after the winter holidays. I suspect that there will be another big national resurgence in January and February. 

Indeed,  Phase III is not happening any time this year under the present national failure of leadership.

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Dick Conoboy

Jul 29, 2020

 Larry,

I have seen that video of the doctors before and find it quite frightening.  There is a reason it has been taken down from different venues and that is because most of the info is false or misleading.  Here is a link to an article explaining the reason: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube remove viral video of doctors making false coronavirus claims

As for the study by Zervos, it is what is called a “retrospective analysis”.  Essentially a non-randomized review of existing data mostly used when the answer may already be known.  There is no control over the quality of the data or the means of collection.  To test a product like cloroquine you must use a double blind study of a randomized group.  Zervos should know better.

As for Tucker Carlson, I will pass on a guy who always looks confused but that would be an ad hominem attack so…  Nevertheless, if that group of doctors want to ally themselves with a member (Dr. Stella Immanuel) who pitches this nonsense then…

“Five years ago, she alleged that alien DNA was being used in medical treatments, and that scientists were cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious.

Some of her other claims include blaming medical conditions on witches and demons - a common enough belief among some evangelical Christians - though she says they have sex with people in a dream world.

“They turn into a woman and then they sleep with the man and collect his sperm… then they turn into the man and they sleep with a man and deposit the sperm and reproduce more of themselves,” she said during a sermon in 2013.”

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Dick Conoboy

Jul 29, 2020

Forest,

I assume you read my post of today on WWU closing for the fall term.  I doubt very much if we will see the campus open until next year and maybe not even then.

Dick

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Forest Cat

Jul 29, 2020

WHO NEEDS FICTION!

Dr.S.I.‘s real statements are hilarious!

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Forest Cat

Jul 29, 2020

Well, Dick, I kinda have figured all along that either they won’t come, or I won’t rent, or both.

I certainly did read your last update about the status update on in person classes. Thank for the latest!

Your viewpoints and informative postings are much appreciated.

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Larry Horowitz

Jul 29, 2020

Sorry, Dick, not at all impressed with your reasoning or analysis.

For those interested and with open minds, Chloroquine (the pre-curser of Hydroxychloroquine) has been known since 2005 to be “a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread.” Source: Virology Journal, 8/22/05, Article # 69.

If you want to understand why HCQ is being rejected out of hand, simply follow the money and the politics. It’s very simple.

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Nicholas Sotak

Jul 29, 2020

Larry,

As far as I know, no well-designed study has found a benefit from hydroxychloroquine.  To say it is being rejected out of hand seems misleading when it has been tried on a fairly large scale and was initially given emergency use authorization. These activities were only stopped when no significant benefit was observed in randomized trials. In fact, if you follow the politics I think some would argue the exact opposite of “rejected out of hand” was what took place.  Many politicians of a particular persuasion were (and still are) pushing the therapy and experts in infectious disease were (and still are) waving flags of caution.

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Larry Horowitz

Jul 29, 2020

1) Treatment with Hydroxychloroquine Cut Death Rate Significantly in COVID-19 Patients,Henry Ford Health System Study Shows

2) White Paper on Hydroxychloroquine: “This white paper is to draw the reader’s attention to the indisputable safety of HCQ, remarkable efficacy of HCQ against SARS-CoV-2, and the worldwide political storm that has resulted in its use being restricted… There are innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. What has gone wrong in this instance is that innovators and early adopters have been stymied… Once Americans know they can buy a safe, cheap, generic, life-saving medication, should they need it, calm and rationality can be restored, not just to America, but throughout the world.”

“The safety record of HCQ is indisputable…There are dozens of studies demonstrating its effectiveness from all around the world. From China to France to Saudi Arable to Iran to Italy to India to New York City to Michigan to Brazil.” 

There are 19 Efficacy Studies listed as samples on pages 7-10.

3) Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread

“Conclusion: Chloroquine, a relatively safe, effective and cheap drug used for treating many human diseases including malaria, amoebiosis and human immunodeficiency virus is effective in inhibiting the infection and spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. The fact that the drug has significant inhibitory antiviral effect when the susceptible cells were treated either prior to or after infection suggests a possible prophylactic and therapeutic use.”

4) Dr. Stella Immanuel’s transcript. Source: America’s Frontline Doctors Press Conference 7/27/20

“Hello, I’m Dr. Stella Immanuel. I’m a primary care physician in Houston, Texas. I actually went to medical school in West Africa, Nigeria, where I took care of malaria patients, treated them with hydroxychloroquine and stuff like that. So I’m actually used to these medications. I’m here because I have personally treated over 350 patients with COVID. Patients that have diabetes, patients that have high blood pressure, patients that have asthma, old people … I think my oldest patient is 92 … 87 year olds. And the result has been the same. I put them on hydroxychloroquine, I put them on zinc, I put them on Zithromax, and they’re all well.

“For the past few months, after taking care of over 350 patients, we’ve not lost one. Not a diabetic, not a somebody with high blood pressure, not somebody who asthma, not an old person. We’ve not lost one patient. And on top of that, I’ve put myself, my staff, and many doctors that I know on hydroxychloroquine for prevention, because by the very mechanism of action, it works early and as a prophylaxis. We see patients, 10 to 15 COVID patients, everyday. We give them breathing treatments. We only wear surgical mask. None of us has gotten sick. It works.

“So right now, I came here to Washington DC to say, America, nobody needs to die. The study that made me start using hydroxychloroquine was a study that they did under the NIH in 2005 that say it works. Recently, I was doing some research about a patient that had hiccups and I found out that they even did a recent study in the NIH, which is our National Institute … that is the National … NIH, what? National Institute of Health. They actually had a study and go look it up. Type hiccups and COVID, you will see it. They treated a patient that had hiccups with hydroxychloroquine and it proved that hiccups is a symptom of COVID. So if the NIH knows that treating the patient would hydroxychloroquine proves that hiccup is a symptom of COVID, then they definitely know the hydroxychloroquine works.

“I’m upset. Why I’m upset is that I see people that cannot breathe. I see parents walk in, I see diabetic sit in my office knowing that this is a death sentence and they can’t breathe. And I hug them and I tell them, ‘It’s going to be okay. You’re going to live.’ And we treat them and they leave. None has died. So if some fake science, some person sponsored by all these fake pharma companies comes out say, ‘We’ve done studies and they found out that it doesn’t work.’ I can tell you categorically it’s fixed science. I want to know who is sponsoring that study. I want to know who is behind it because there is no way I can treat 350 patients and counting and nobody is dead and they all did better.

“I know you’re going to tell me that you treated 20 people, 40 people, and it didn’t work. I’m a true testimony. So I came here to Washington DC to tell America nobody needs to get sick. This virus has a cure. It is called hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax. I know you people want to talk about a mask. Hello? You don’t need mask. There is a cure. I know they don’t want to open schools. No, you don’t need people to be locked down. There is prevention and there is a cure.

“And let me tell you something, all you fake doctors out there that tell me, ‘Oh yeah. I want a double blinded study.’ I just tell you, quit sounding like a computer, double blinded, double blinded. I don’t know whether your chips are malfunctioning, but I’m a real doctor. I have radiologists, we have plastic surgeons, we have neurosurgeons, like Sanjay Gupta saying, ‘Yeah, it doesn’t work and it causes heart disease.’ Let me ask you Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Hear me. Have you ever seen a COVID patient? Have you ever treated anybody with hydroxychloroquine and they died from heart disease? When you do, come and talk to me because I sit down in my clinic every day and I see these patients walk in everyday scared to death. I see people driving two, three hours to my clinic because some ER doctor is scared of the Texas board or they’re scared of something, and they will not prescribe medication to these people.

“I tell all of you doctors that are sitting down and watching Americans die. You’re like the good Nazi … the good one, the good Germans that watched Jews get killed and you did not speak up. If they come after me, they threaten me. They’ve threatened to … I mean, I’ve gotten all kinds of threats. Or they’re going to report me to the bots. I say, you know what? I don’t care. I’m not going to let Americans die. And if this is the hill where I get nailed on, I will get nailed on it. I don’t care. You can report me to the bots, you can kill me, you can do whatever, but I’m not going to let Americans die.

“And today I’m here to say it, that America, there is a cure for COVID. All this foolishness does not need to happen. There is a cure for COVID. There is a cure for COVID is called hydroxychloroquine. It’s called zinc. It’s called Zithromax. And it is time for the grassroots to wake up and say, ‘No, we’re not going to take this any longer. We’re not going to die.’ Because let me tell you something, when somebody is dead, they are dead. They’re not coming back tomorrow to have an argument. They are not come back tomorrow to discuss the double blinded study and the data. All of you doctors that are waiting for data, if six months down the line you actually found out that this data shows that this medication works, how about your patients that have died? You want a double blinded study where people are dying? It’s unethical. So guys, we don’t need to die. There is a cure for COVID.”

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Larry Horowitz

Jul 30, 2020

5)  The Key to Defeating COVID-19 Already Exists. We Need to Start Using It by Harvey A. Risch, MD, PhD

“As professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, I have authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications and currently hold senior positions on the editorial boards of several leading journals. I am usually accustomed to advocating for positions within the mainstream of medicine, so have been flummoxed to find that, in the midst of a crisis, I am fighting for a treatment that the data fully support but which, for reasons having nothing to do with a correct understanding of the science, has been pushed to the sidelines. As a result, tens of thousands of patients with COVID-19 are dying unnecessarily. Fortunately, the situation can be reversed easily and quickly.

“I am referring, of course, to the medication hydroxychloroquine. When this inexpensive oral medication is given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control, it has shown to be highly effective, especially when given in combination with the antibiotics azithromycin or doxycycline and the nutritional supplement zinc.

“On May 27, I published an article in the American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE) entitled, “Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk COVID-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis.” That article, published in the world’s leading epidemiology journal, analyzed five studies, demonstrating clear-cut and significant benefits to treated patients, plus other very large studies that showed the medication safety.”

6) Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk Covid-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis

“Evidence about use of hydroxychloroquine alone, or of hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin in inpatients, is irrelevant concerning efficacy of the pair in early high-risk outpatient disease. Five studies, including two controlled clinical trials, have demonstrated significant major outpatient treatment efficacy. Hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin has been used as standard-of-care in more than 300,000 older adults with multicomorbidities, with estimated proportion diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmias attributable to the medications 47/100,000 users, of which estimated mortality is <20%, 9/100,000 users, compared to the 10,000 Americans now dying each week. These medications need to be widely available and promoted immediately for physicians to prescribe.”

7) An Effective Treatment for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

“Summary: Recent guidelines from South Korea and China report that chloroquine is an effective antiviral therapeutic treatment against Coronavirus Disease 2019.  Use of chloroquine (tablets) is showing favorable outcomes in humans infected with Coronavirus including faster time to recovery and shorter hospital stay.  US CDC research shows that chloroquine also has strong potential as a prophylactic (preventative) measure against coronavirus in the lab, while we wait for a vaccine to be developed.  Chloroquine is an inexpensive, globally available drug that has been in widespread human use since 1945 against malaria, autoimmune and various other conditions.”

“Conclusion: Chloroquine can both prevent and treat malaria.  Chloroquine can both prevent and treat coronavirus in primate cells (Figure 1 and Figure 2).  According to South Korean and China human treatment guidelines, chloroquine is effective in treating COVID-19.  Given chloroquine’s human safety profile and existence, it can be implemented today in the U.S., Europe and the rest of the world.  Medical doctors may be reluctant to prescribe chloroquine to treat COVID-19 since it is not FDA approved for this use.  The United States of America and other countries should immediately authorize and indemnify medical doctors for prescribing chloroquine to treat COVID-19.  We must explore whether chloroquine can safely serve as a preventative measure prior to infection of COVID-19 to stop further spread of this highly contagious virus.”

8) These People Say Hydroxycholoriquine Worked For Them

“I had Covid-19 in April. I decided to take Hydroxochloroquine. My wife is a doctor and she prescribed these drugs: HCQ 400mg + Azithromycin 500mg + Zinc Sulfate 220mg for 5 days, 1 tablet each a day. I am asthmatic and I have chronic bronchitis.” Deijivan Hanavan

“My husband had covid. After 12 days with fever, could not get out of bed, double pneumonia. His Dr. Prescribed hydroxychloroquin. Within 12 hours his fever was gone. Wish I would have asked sooner. He ended up with blood clot from laying in bed so long.” Denise Gallo

“HCQ saved my son in law’s life. After 3 days in ICU they FINALLY gave him HCQ with zinc, within a couple of HOURS his fever was gone and he had no symptoms of the virus, only severe lung damage which could have been prevented had he been given HCQ and zinc early on.” Mary Ann Cox

9) Dr. Zev Zelenko

“HCQ safe but causes psychotic breakdowns in patients afflicted by TDS, workers at toilet paper companies such as NYT, Washington Post, China News Network, shareholders of Gilead, creatures name Soros and Gates, a reptile named Fauci, and humanoid mutants named antifas.”

 

10) Health officials from China, Korea, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Bahrain, Turkey, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria, Senegal, Cuba, Italy, and 65 scientific studies have shown hydroxychloroquine is effective when used early against COVID19.

“On February 17th, Chinese health officials said that chloroquine was selected out of “tens of thousands of existing drugs after multiple rounds of screening” as the most effective treatment against COVID19.”

“On February 13th, Korea posted their official treatment guidelines utilizing hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID19.”

“Health officials from India’s ICMR have successfully been using Hydroxychloroquine as treatment and a preventative measure. The tablets are given to police officers, hospital workers, and family members of those who test positive.”

“The health director of Malaysia credits hydroxychloroquine for their low fatality rates saying, ‘We use it for patients that have been diagnosed positive, asymptomatic, or mild symptoms… We realize by using hydroxychloroquine, we can delay or even stop the progression.’”

“On March 26th, Taiwain issued interim COVID19 guidelines including the use of hydroxychloroquine with emphasis on early treatment.”

“Bahrain began using hydroxychloroquine two days after the first case of Covid-19 was discovered there in February. They did this based on “notable success in China and South Korea.” Now they have one of the lowest case fatality rates in the world.”

“In April, Turkey had the biggest coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East. Turkey’s Ministry of Health says the realtively low death toll is thanks to a treatment protocol including hydroxychloroquine.”

“In March, Jordan’s FDA authorised physicians to use hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID19 citing international studies.”

“The Health Minister of the United Arab Emirates credits hydroxychloroquine for reducing the duration of patient’s illness and the severity of their symptoms. The nation has been succesfully treating COVID19 patients with HCQ since April.”

“The Health Minister of Qatar in an interview with Al Jazeera said that Qatar is using hydroxychloroquine with “great success” and has a relatively low case fatality rate compared to other nations.”

“Despite safety concerns by the World Health Organization, Morocco’s health minister says “chloroquine leads to faster recovery” and that they intend to continue usage. Morocco credits hydroxychloroquine for their success in treating COVID19.”

“Health officials in Algeria have claimed to have “great success” using hydroxychloroquine in combination with antibiotics and have “not noted any adverse reactions” among several thousand patients who have been given the treatment.”

“Nigeria has found success with using hydroxychloroquine as a prophylaxis for COVID19.”

“In March, Health Officials from Senegal found “no complications and no deaths in patients treated with hydroxychloroquine”. They said they will continue treatment with hydroxychloroquine.”

“Cuban Medical Authorities have found “early hydroxychloroquine potent against COVID19”. Health officials are using low doses of the antimalarial drug to effetively treat patients in the early stages of the disease.”

“Costa Rica has been using hydroxychloroquine to treat early since a teleconference with health officials from China on March 18th. They now boast one of the lowest fatality rates in the world.”

“On March 29th, Italy finally began mass treatment with hydroxychloroquine. Italy’s death rate peaked a few days later and has continued to drop since then.”

“On April 2nd, a global survey of 6,000 doctors from 30 countries found hydroxychloroquine as the “most effective therapy” from a list of 15 options.”

“In April, The American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) wrote a letter saying that peer reviewed studies since January have provided clear and convincing evidence that HCQ may be beneficial in treating COVID19. In observational studies of 2137 patients, 91.6% improved clinically.”

“There are now 65 hydroxychloroquine studies that show high effectiveness as an early treatment against COVID19, while late treatment shows mixed results.”

“Hydroxychloroquine has been safely prescribed to hundreds of millions since 1955. The CDC website literally says that it can be “safely taken by pregnant women and children”. The WHO list it as an essential medicine.”

“How has Dharavi (setting for “Slumdog Millionaire”), Asia’s largest, densest slum had only 71 deaths out of 1,000,000? The same way India, the second most populated country in the world has, hydroxychloroquine as an early treatment and prophylactic.”

“How does Africa have a lower death rate than the United States and the rest of the world? Hydroxychloroquine.”

 

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Nicholas Sotak

Jul 31, 2020

Larry,

Several of the items in that numbered list reference the same retrospective study that showed a death rate cut in half. But the people who were given the drug were selected based on certain characteristics. Who’s to say those same characteristics wouldn’t have resulted in a lower death rate anyway?  Expert opinion, while better than non-expert opinion is still just opinion and is heavily influenced by bias.  Also, being effective against coronavirus in general does not mean it’s effective against this coronavirus - that’s similar to a benchtop analysis.

https://cebma.org/faq/what-are-the-levels-of-evidence/

You may be familiar with levels of evidnce already, but it’s worth pointing out that it’s not rare for opinions and recommendations to be reversed when randomized controlled clinical trials are conducted.  I was able to find two RCTs. Neither had large numbers and neither found significant benefit.

Expert opinion:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7184345/ - expert opinion based on review of evidence.

“...CQ/HCQ not only could be useless in treating patients with COVID-19 but may even be harmful..”

 

Bottomline, if there is a benefit it hasn’t been evident enough to convince a great many people.  The risks of the medication are real and widespread use will result in some harm, and not only to those using for COVID19. There are many people with autoimmune disease who DO benefit from the medication and may not be able to get it.  There is no political conspiracy to limit it’s use, only health experts with differences in opinion - something that’s very common.

 

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Larry Horowitz

Jul 31, 2020

Nicholas, with all due respect, if I had to choose between your opinion and the opinions of frontline physicians with decades of experience who have successfully treated hundreds, if not thousands, of COVID-19 patients with HCQ, Zinc, and Azithromycin, with no adverse affects, I’ll choose the opinions of frontline physicians. 

Here’s an interview with one physician whose opinion I respect. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poOGJ-wH-Fw

I note that you have not disputed a single finding I have presented. 

There is a global preponderance of evidence that this treatment works. HCQ is an FDA-approved drug that has been used safely for more than 60 years. All known potential side effects are easily treated. HCQ is not an experimental or “investigational” drug.

That said, no one is suggesting that you should choose to be treated with this combination should you have COVID-19. I posted this information for people who are open-minded and want to understand what options are available to successfully treat this virus.

People who are suffering now don’t have the luxury of waiting for a peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo study, something that new vaccines are not even required to provide. Fortunately, there are therapeutics now available to save their lives. 

I for one am thankful that these innovative physicians have made these discoveries. I can only imagine how many lives they have already saved. Perhaps a NWC reader’s life will even be saved by this post.

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Nicholas Sotak

Jul 31, 2020

“Nicholas, if I had to choose between your opinion and the opinions of frontline physicians with decades of experience who have successfully treated hundreds, if not thousands, of COVID-19 patients with HCQ, Zinc, and Azithromycin, with no adverse affects, I’ll choose the opinions of frontline physicians. “

I’m not trying to convince you of anything other than the evidence is not very strong and there are legitimate reasons why many experts are not jumping out to whole-heartedly recommend this treatment. Ultimately it is the choice of a physician and patient whether to try a given therapeutic.  The above statement I quoted misses an important point - there’s no strong evidence any patients treated with hydroxychloroquine would have had different outcomes without it. Further, your statement could be (unintentionally) misleading. There are no frontline physicians with decades of experience treating COVID-19 patients, and it’s unlikely more than a handful of physicians have treated hundreds, and definitely not thousands, of COVID-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine.

“People who are suffering now don’t have the luxury of waiting for a peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo study, something that new vaccines are not required to provide. Fortunately, there are therapeutics now available to save their lives.’‘

In the above statement I’m not sure if you are referring to hydroxychloroquine (it’s not a vaccine), but the vaccines that are being developed to prevent infection of this choronavirus are in fact going through extensive trials, and while I’m not aware of the exact protocol with these trials, they are likely randomized controlled trials that are prospective and large scale. For vaccines it’s less critical to have blinding and a placebo if the outcome isn’t subjective (they either contract the virus or they don’t, vs. the severity of their symptoms after contraction). Fortunately we have a system in place that allows for emergency use of potentially beneficial therapeutics. The FDA gave that authorization, and then pulled it. You may believe it was pulled because of the reasons cited in your initial comment, but for people that trust the FDA even a little bit - they likely pulled it for the reasons stated: no evidence of benefit.  Readers can find out more here: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-cautions-against-use-hydroxychloroquine-or-chloroquine-covid-19-outside-hospital-setting-or

“I note that you have not disputed a single finding I have presented. “

That’s not exactly true. In your original comment you state: “If you want to understand why HCQ is being rejected out of hand, simply follow the money and the politics. It’s very simple.”  I refuted that in my first comment. 

“That said, no one is suggesting that you should choose to be treated with this combination should you have COVID-19. I posted this information for people who are open-minded and want to understand what options are available to successfully treat this virus.”

I have presented to the readers a different line of thought that is also valuable and supported by the FDA, NIH, and many other governmental and non-governmental agencies and institutions.  Perhaps a NWC reader’s life will be saved by this post - see the below information from Lexicomp, a widely used drug reference website:

“Cardiovascular effects: Cardiomyopathy resulting in cardiac failure, sometimes fatal, has been reported…”

There are others, but this one is the most severe could potentially happen during early therapy.  To suggest the potential side effects are easily treated is true for some of the side effects, but not all. See the FDA website for more information on safety.

I’ll say it again to be clear: the decision to use a particular therapeutic is an important decision that should be made after a discussion between the treating physician and the patient. The physician should be aware of the evidence before prescribing treatment. With any luck his or her recommendation won’t be biased because of politics.

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Larry Horowitz

Aug 01, 2020

The American Association of Physicians & Surgeons (AAPS) is suing the FDA to end its arbitary restrictions on HCQ. The following information is posted on the AAPS website:

This week the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons submitted additional evidence to a federal court for why interference with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) should end by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), in AAPS v. FDA, No. 1:20-cv-00493-RJJ-SJB (W.D. Mich.).

“As confirmed by another recent study of thousands of patients at the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan, HCQ is both very safe and highly effective in treating COVID-19, reducing mortality by 50%,” AAPS informed the court in its filing. “Countries with underdeveloped health care systems are using HCQ early and attaining far lower mortality than in the United States, where [HHS and the FDA] impede access to HCQ.”

Yet most Americans are still unable to obtain HCQ for early treatment of COVID-19, and virtually no Americans are able to access it as preventive medicine. HCQ has been used safely for decades by travelers to protect against malaria, but Americans are dying from COVID-19 while HCQ is withheld from them.

“Citizens of the Philippines, Poland, Israel, and Turkey all have greater access to HCQ than American citizens do,” observes AAPS General Counsel Andrew Schlafly. “In Venezuela, HCQ is available over the counter without a prescription, while in the United States pharmacists are prevented from filling prescriptions for HCQ.”

AAPS rebuts arguments presented by the FDA, which implied that medications are approved as safe only for certain conditions. In fact, HCQ and most medications have been approved without limitation, such that physicians can prescribe them for any off-label use.

The mortality rate from COVID-19 in countries that allow access to HCQ is only one-tenth the mortality rate in countries where there is interference with this medication, such as the United States,” explains Andrew Schlafly.

Polish chemists have even showed the world how to synthesize HCQ from cheaply, widely available ingredients. The cost of this medication is less than a dollar a dose, in contrast with the very expensive alternatives being pushed by FDA officials.

In its filing, the FDA insisted that the public has no right to access nearly 100 million doses of HCQ which were donated to the Strategic National Stockpile. HHS is having that medication waste away while Americans are dying from COVID-19.

“In some areas of Central America, officials are even going door to door to distribute HCQ,” Andrew Schlafly adds. “These countries have been successful in limiting the mortality from COVID-19 to only a fraction of what it is in wealthier countries.”

AAPS filed this lawsuit to obtain legal redress in support of Trump, by ending the obstruction by the FDA of his policies that would save lives. AAPS has represented physicians of all specialties in all states since 1943. The AAPS motto is omnia pro aegroto, meaning everything for the patient.

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Kevin Covey

Aug 01, 2020

For others reading who may be interested in more context on the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, see this Feb. 2020 (so pre-HCQ debate) article in the Atlantic; key excerpts include:

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons might sound like another boring doctors’ group politely debating telehealth legislation. But AAPS is a small yet vociferous interest group.

[...]

Though AAPS often takes positions that are associated with conservative groups, it sometimes goes even further, pushing fringe views that most mainstream conservatives do not endorse, such as the belief that mandatory vaccination is “equivalent to human experimentation” and that Medicare is “evil.” Over the years, the group seems to have coalesced around an ethos of radical self-determination and a belief that mainstream science isn’t always trustworthy. It’s the most curious of medical organizations: a doctors’ interest group that seems more invested in the interests of doctors, rather than public health.

[...]

In 2015, after measles broke out at Disneyland, AAPS put out a press release questioning the safety of vaccines. The group has suggested that women who have abortions are at a higher risk of breast cancer, though mainstream scientists say this is false. In 2008, an article on AAPS’s website suggested that President Barack Obama was covertly hypnotizing people with his speeches, and that this might explain why Jews voted for him. AAPS’s journal, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, has published articles raising doubts that HIV causes AIDS and questioning the wisdom of urging people to quit smoking, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.

 

Also from the Atlantic, published yesterday, and relevant to Larry’s posts on this thread: Beware of Facts Man

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Larry Horowitz

Aug 01, 2020

Don’t you just love it when people resort to ad hominem attacks rather than address the information directly?

Q1: Did the study of thousands of patients at the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan find that HCQ is both very safe and highly effective in treating COVID-19, reducing mortality by 50%?

Q2: Has HCQ been used safely for decades by travelers to protect against malaria?

Q3: Until recently, hasn’t HCQ been approved without limitation, such that physicians can prescribe HCQ for any off-label use?

Q4: Is the mortality rate from COVID-19 in countries that allow access to HCQ only one-tenth the mortality rate in countries where there is interference with this medication, such as the United States?

Every objection has already been addressed as part of Dr. Simone Gold’s interview.

Here’s the reality. A group of frontline physicians who have extensive experience successfully treating COVID-19 believe we now have a path to reopening the country safely. People can go back to work and school, and we can all start living our lives again. 

Could you imagine shutting down the entire country for influenza? With effective - and historically proven-to-be safe - therapeutics, like HCQ and others, we have a real shot at ending this shutdown.

Why would anyone oppose that?

Of course, if you don’t want to reopen the county and start living again, you can always listen to Nicholas and Kevin. It’s your choice.

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Ray Kamada

Aug 01, 2020

On Wednesday Dr Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force, told the BBC that hydroxychloroquine was not effective against the virus.

“We know that every single good study - and by good study I mean randomised control study in which the data are firm and believable - has shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of Covid-19,” he said.

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Larry Horowitz

Aug 01, 2020

Sounds good Ray. You, Nicholas, and Kevin should remain locked down and, by no means, should you accept any treatment involving HCQ. 

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Michael Riordan

Aug 03, 2020

This “conversation” helps explain why Larry Horowitz could vote for the Orange One.

After all that’s happened. Makes my head spin.

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Ray Kamada

Aug 03, 2020

“At this point in time, there have been five randomized, placebo-controlled trials that do not show any benefit to Hydroxychloroquine,” Admiral Brett Giroir of the Covid-19 Task Force said. “So, at this point in time, we don’t recommend that as a treatment. There’s no evidence to show that it is. we have many things that do work. Right now, Hydroxychloroquine, I can’t recommend that.”

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Larry Horowitz

Aug 03, 2020

John Servais, Dick Conoboy, and Deb Gaber,

Are you now encouraging ad hominem attacks? I thought NWC was a place where facts matter. Guess I was wrong.

Goodbye.

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Michael Riordan

Aug 03, 2020

It’s too bad Larry wants to leave Northwest Citizen, as we were fortunate to have him on board as a good local illustration of the self-delusion gripping parts of the country. —including certain parts of Whatcom County north of Bellingham.

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Ray Kamada

Aug 03, 2020

7 weeks ago, the FDA also revoked its prior authorization for emergency hydroxychloroquine use.

https://www.biospace.com/article/fda-cancels-emergency-use-authorization-for-hydroxychloroquine-for-covid-19/

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