So, Rita Wilson (Tom Hanks' wife) has come out and said she received chloroquine when her battle with COVID 19 reached its zenith. She concedes that her fever immediately broke but then belabored the nausea and other side effects of the drug and questioned it’s efficacy: “My fever did break, but the chloroquine had such extreme side effects. I was completely nauseous. I had vertigo. I could not walk, and my muscles felt very weak.” She also stated, “We have to be very considerate about this drug. We don't really know if it's safe in this case."
The issue with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine is the amount of it available. Of course, it was made available to the wife of one of the World’s most famous actors. On the radio a few weeks ago, I spoke of unscrupulous doctors stockpiling it for friends and family. I believe it is concerns about its availability not its efficacy that is why many are questioning its impact on those suffering with the virus. I hope Rita hasn’t been encouraged to forward this narrative because, if so, that is frightening. The media’s complicity in minimizing the drugs’ clear impact on those suffering from this disease is only muddied as to whether it’s just another vehicle to slam the President (which would be silly, he provides them enough legitimate ammunition) or furthering the narrative for another more nefarious illegitimate reason. This echoes my criticism of the WHO’s and CDC’s absurd early assertions that wearing a mask would increase an individual’s risk of contracting the disease. In hindsight, it is clear the argument was made only to facilitate governmental stockpiling at the expense of public safety.
The WHO was also complicit in providing cover for the Communist Party of China’s attempts to cover up the potential scope of the pandemic by regurgitating the false narrative about no human to human transmission as late as January 14 despite knowing conclusively there was human to human transmission on January 10th and likely knowing pursuant to reports from Taiwan’s CDC on December 31st. The WHO very clearly placed politics over people. This is nothing new for the Director General of the WHO, who has had prior accusations of politically motivated epidemic coverups involving denials of cholera outbreaks in Ethiopia that were only refuted when it spread to neighboring countries. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the first non-physician to lead the WHO and he has been exposed as someone unwilling to tell difficult truths when they need to be told.
I think there is a strong case for an investigation and his removal. I also think there is a strong case for requiring more economic support for the WHO from other countries. But Trump’s threatened stripping of funding is just that: a hollow threat to make headlines and energize the hurrahs of people who want to hear that it’s all a grand conspiracy. Hopefully, what will actually happen is more accountability, more transparency and more parity in financial support for the WHO from other countries like China. I am not holding my breath. We are a sound bite culture with far too little follow through.
A treatment program that isn’t getting much attention (most likely because of its very limited availability) is one that was used to save the life of a 44-year-old doctor and former D1 football player at Northwestern who was on the early frontline of the pandemic outbreak in Seattle. What often kills people suffering from COVID 19 is something called a cytokine storm which is when the immune system attacks itself. A team of doctors used an ECMO machine that replaced the heart and lung function of Dr. Ryan Padgett while he was in a coma on the edge of death coupled with a medication called Actemra (a rheumatoid arthritis drug) and high doses of Vitamin C. The experimental treatment “calmed the storm” and saved his life. He acknowledges the efforts used to save his life go far beyond those often used for others.
This disease has laid bare the classism that exists for healthcare (even for those with coverage and able to pay) and the machinations of global political systems seeking to keep the public uninformed. But what it isn’t is the flu. Last night I played a clip that was sent to me on Instagram from a man who described himself as a physician lamenting fake news and suggesting those sounding the alarm about this disease should be as criminally liable as someone who yells “bomb” on a commercial airline. He is a chiropractor. Not a physician. He claims on his website to be able to impact the genetics of children by working with parents for two years prior to birth to “prevent those genes from being passed down.” Snake oil.
While I readily acknowledge both Dr. Fauci and the Surgeon General were as guilty as many others about downplaying the severity of this to the public in its early stages (as was everyone from Trump the self-described “cheerleader” to Pelosi to DeBlasio to Turner and Hidalgo), I think they have been delivering hard truths as of late and are being savaged on all sides because of it. Many people are reposting graphical arguments downplaying the dangers posed by COVID 19 that are easily debunked by simply researching the information in the graphic. I saw one that employed flatly false numbers to suggest the 2009 flu epidemic’s mortality rate was 17.48% by mixing the confirmed case and the estimated death numbers (confirmed cases were 1.6 million with 18,449 confirmed deaths, estimated infections were 700 million to 1.4 billion with 284,000 estimated deaths but by using confirmed cases and estimated deaths you get a scary fake number, it took me 30 seconds to debunk this). This was a flat lie. And people are eating it up on Facebook.
The truth is that we are staring down the barrel of a highly communicable disease that is showing a confirmed 4.2% death rate in the United States as of today. This number may be inflated by the inexplicable lack of readily available testing in the country that is supposed to have such great healthcare or it may be low because COVID-19 home deaths are not being recognized as such (there are arguments being made either way, I, personally, believe the number is slightly inflated).
We need to get the minimally invasive antibody tests to every American and implement a protocol for follow up testing to confirm existence of an active infection and isolation for those with disease coupled with distancing and safety protocols to further limit community spread that will allow the economy to reopen prior to development of a vaccine. It is far easier for government officials who aren’t missing a paycheck to shut it down and follow with increased taxes later than it is to define a more comprehensive response that will not destroy so many lives. We need new sanitation protocols for businesses. But we also need to allow people to conduct business instead of the current “shutdown versus wide open” solutions proposed by the idiots running our City, State and Country.
We also need to stop listening to those who draw false equivalences and are either being dishonest with the public to get attention or are woefully misinformed. As aforementioned, this is not the flu. This is not the “least deadly virus.” It is far, far more deadly than even the 2009 flu epidemic. It is also far more communicable. This is not alarmism. It isn’t fake news. I know many of you want to hear that this is being overblown. It is not. Our government is just doing a horrible job responding to it while also doing an equally horrible job being honest with us.
Scientists are not trying to mark us with the Number of the Beast. Bill Gates did not create this to effectuate global depopulation. It is not the result of 5G. It is, most likely, the result of a failure to follow the appropriate safety protocols at a Chinese lab which led to accidental community spread followed by the CPC (Communist Party of China) suppressing information and lying to the World with the help of a gullible media. But where it came from does not matter. The only question that concerns me is how do we save the most American lives while also not decimating our economy and losing our system that uniquely allows people to work hard and transition to provide a better life for their families through their own hard work and effort. And that is what we should be discussing.