Yes, hydroxychloroquine is scientifically proven against COVID-19 – PART 1
By Filipe Rafaeli
December 14, 2020
If you don’t want to die in this pandemic, read it to the end, stupid! Here I do a historical reflection on science and I show all the irrefutable evidences of the functioning of the taboo medicine.
“He was capable of being so kind to the children, to have them become fond of him”, reported a witness about this man, with a shy smile, from the photograph. With a degree in medicine and a doctorate in anthropology, he was a famous scientist, productive and internationally renowned.
During his career, he obtained recognition from his superiors and reached important positions. His research area was genetics.
I was walking through Atibaia, in the countryside of São Paulo, looking at the mountains, thinking about science, when I remembered this scientist. In a discreet way, he lived a part of his life here in this region in Brazil. He resided in Serra Negra, a charming city a little over an hour away.
His end was tragic. He had a heart attack and drowned in 1979, when he was swimming in Bertioga, a coastal city three hours away, where we usually go in the summer.
Alone at the moment of drowning, they didn’t know who he was. He had been buried like a stranger. Neither his family was involved in the burial.
Remembering some stories of science helps to understand the current days of science. And here, in this article, you will follow, along with me, all the evidences and irrefutable proofs of the functioning of hydroxichloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19.
I affirm, without fear of making a mistake, that there is a monumental farce going on in the world. In this farce, a good part of the people on the planet are being inundated daily with the information that hydroxichloroquine does not work to fight the pandemic.
The New York Times, the most influential newspaper in the world, maintains a section on their website talking about all the treatment possibilities for COVID-19, the disease provoked by this pandemic. There they list hydroxychloroquine as “not promising”. This section is run by experienced and award-winning science journalists. For them, this drug is already a discarded subject.
Vanity Fair magazine decided to raise the tone. They have concluded that those who still talk about hydroxichloroquine are quacks. Simple as that. They commented that Donald Trump, the president of the USA, despite having been an enthusiast of the treatment with this medicine, when contracting the virus, did not make use of it.
For the important Vox website, they went even further. For them, anyone who talks about hydroxychloroquine can only be a fan of conspiracy theories.
The Guardian, one of the most important newspapers in Europe, bringing an end to the matter, informs that professor Didier Raoult, a French scientist, is being prosecuted in a disciplinary board for promoting the drug. This is nothing new. In the Netherlands, the doctor Rob Elens was persecuted for prescribing this drug.
The government of Australia, on reading this news, made a strict law, as if hydroxychloroquine is cocaine: people can even go to jail if they receive this medicine.
The mainstream media are treating this issue as something that is scientifically agreed upon. Like the scientists who defend the use are few, small, insignificant or crazy. They are not. Quite the contrary.
In this article I am not going to simply transform the treatment with HCQ (an acronym for hydroxychloroquine) from “not promising”, as the New York Times qualifies it, to “promising”. I will explain that it is scientifically proven, and in every possible scientific way.
In addition, I will explain how and why the biggest journalistic blackout in human history is taking place right now. Yes, that’s right. I’m telling you here that the New York Times and almost all the other mainstream media are doing dirty, lousy quality journalism.
As a result of this amateurism, a seismic tremor of gigantic proportions is being created at the moment, and without precedent, in the credibility of the mainstream world press, with unpredictable consequences for humanity in the coming decades.
And I warn you right now. I have no concern in producing a short article. There are many analyses to be done, nuances to be approached and many details that cannot be left out.
The farce is so big and with so many actors, that it’ s almost unbelievable that it can be dismantled with day-to-day facts and simple logic
There are scientific articles, facts and figures that no one wants to report or discuss. These studies have not become news in the major media nor have been cited by science journalists, but they have impacts like Muhammad Ali’s punches in the logic of those who claim that the drug does not work. Here they will come to the public.
My main point of view in this article is the evolution of the arguments of people who insist that the drug is ineffective against COVID-19.
This is my third article on the subject. In the first one (in French, English, Portuguese), three months ago, I explained my personal view. I had the goal of making a choice between taking or not these drugs, in case of catching the virus.
In it I have spoken about the political scenario and the incredible logical flaws of those who claim that the treatment does not work. I discussed how the “official story” is an incredible conspiracy theory and explained how the false narrative about this medication was formed, all in a timeline.
In my second article, I lamented the shameful censorship, pretending to be of service to society, that has been present in today’s world. In addition, I explained the inversion of ideological values, in the West, between right and left, when dealing with this topic. (Originally published on France-Soir in French. Also with versions in Portuguese and English).
Now I write this third article, where I bring all the main news from the scientific world in the last three months. It is to disassemble the last arguments of those who say it doesn’t work.
The world is standing still. There is panic and fear in the global population. More than one million three hundred thousand people have died. For the vast majority of these victims, a cure with a high percentage of success has been neglected. Another millions are depressed, with no prospect of life and happiness. All due to a perfect storm and gross errors. All conveniently taken advantage of by petty interests.
The four levels of readers in this article
You, reader, may have some levels of knowledge on the subject. The first is that you know very little about the subject. If this is your case, don’t worry. I will explain many things from the beginning, and with the effort to make everyone understand.
The second level is you who have already read about this subject, understand something of the scientific method and have already learned, after several explanations, what randomized and controlled clinical trials are. I know you’re reading with the following ready-made question: “Where are the randomized trials with positive results?” If this is your case, this article is especially directed to you. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that. And yes, there are several positive randomized trials.
The third level of reader is the one that likes to read conspiracy theories to see where the crazy arguments and connections of isolated facts are. I also like to read these texts. But if this is your case, I inform you that you will be frustrated. All I write is about concrete facts from reliable sources. Also, I put the links to scientific studies, official numbers o and I don’t use any anonymous source saying bombastic things.
The fourth level of reader is the one that has already concluded that it does not work. If this is your case, I know that for you this has already become a matter of faith. No fact or scientific study will change your way of thinking. For me, there is no problem. However, I will explain the exact, rather restricted point where you can maintain your opinion that “it is not scientifically proven”.
How the proposal of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment of the disease started
On March 17, 2020, a promising study on a treatment for COVID-19 was published. The origin was the IHU-Mediterranée Infection, a university hospital in Marseille, southern France. The main scientist of this study was Professor Didier Raoult, director of this research center which is considered of excellence.
According to the Expertscape site, Didier Raoult is not just any scientist. He is one of the world’s leading specialists in communicable diseases. This site does statistics, by specialties, of the world scientific production.
Raoult has the vastness of almost 3 thousand scientific articles published in Pubmed. He is definitely not just any scientist making fantastic claims, as some suggest.
Moreover, the idea of using hydroxychloroquine as a basis for the treatment of COVID-19 did not arise out of nowhere. It was a joint construction. In 2005, there was already a U.S. study speculating on the potential of this drug, both for treating the disease manifested by viruses and for prophylaxis.
This 2005 study was about the older brother of the current pandemic, the SARS-Cov1, a disease also respiratory, also by coronavirus and also began in China, which occurred in 2003, but did not spread around the world and had few deaths.
Furthermore, Didier Raoult’s and his team’s study was based on reports that in China, at the beginning of the year, they were using this drug to treat COVID-19 with relative success.
In this context, when the pandemic was already hitting France, the IHU-Marseille started a clinical trial, with few patients, in two arms. In the first group, they administered only HCQ, as suggested by China, and in the other, a pair of drugs: HCQ and Azithromycin (AZ), an antibiotic.
The application of the two drugs together was the big discovery of Raoult’s team. The six patients who received the double therapy, and right at the beginning of the symptoms, had a very fast recovery, with higher results than hydroxychloroquine alone. In just five days, all six had already gotten rid of the virus, the article reported.
Both hydroxichloroquine and azithromycin are old, inexpensive drugs, manufactured everywhere and without patents. A therapy with these two drugs costs approximately 5 dollars per patient.
Hydroxychloroquine, which is the basis of the treatment, is well known and very safe. It has 65 years of age and was originally used to treat malaria. Over time, they discovered it was useful for both Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the most common uses. There are also studies on the use of this medicine to fight AIDS, with results considered interesting but not definitive.
Three days after the release of the study, on March 21, Donald Trump, the US president, announced the discovery of Didier Raoult. He was responsible for putting the name of this drug on the agenda of all the newspapers in the world. Trump announced the possibility of a big “game change”. The pandemic was already hitting the USA.
In early April, a doctor in a small town near New York announced he was already treating patients with this protocol. Dr Vladimir Zelenko, in addition to hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, included zinc in the cocktail.
Zelenko, even being a simple doctor and not a scientist with a long history of research, apparently made a great discovery. All the information today suggests that the inclusion of zinc was an important evolution. Recent studies already link zinc deficiency with the severity of the disease.
At the beginning of April, Zelenko announced that he had treated about 200 patients, most of them elderly and other patients from risk groups. He reported that he did not have any deaths. Something very encouraging.
Claiming it is “anecdotal case” was the first argument against the use, but it was, in that brief period of time, a fair argument
The study from Marseille was only preliminary. They published the discovery despite being the result of only six patients with double therapy.
The study itself warned that it was preliminary. They published it quickly because the results were, according to them, very encouraging. They argued that the release occurred as a matter of ethics. They could not wait for a complete study, finalized, for publication. The news needed to be spread and lives needed to be saved from that moment on.
This is how we all learned what “anecdotal cases” are. What does that mean? That with few patients, without a more in-depth study, it cannot be considered scientific proof. It is needed to have more consistency.
Anecdotal cases are important in medicine because they suggest a treatment. From them, studies are developed, more complete, with a large number of patients.
Donald Trump announced with fuss. Anthony Fauci, the head of the U.S. task force in the fight against the pandemic, explained to everyone what the anecdotal cases are. He also detailed what the “gold standard” of science is, the maximum level of evidence: it is a placebo-controlled, double-blind, peer-reviewed, randomized clinical trial published in a prestigious medical journal with an impact factor.
According to Fauci, no medical treatment can prove its functioning if it is not a “gold standard” study.
What is a “gold standard” scientific study?
Randomized means to sort patients into two similar age groups, sex and previous diseases. In one of them, medication is applied. In the other, the placebos. The ones that receive the placebo are the control for comparing results.
Double blind means that neither the patients nor the doctors who are doing the treatment know which patients are receiving the placebo or the medicine.
Peer-reviewed means that, after the study is finished, before publication, other scientists check the scientific quality, do revisions and corrections. In other words, other scientists certify the quality of the study.
Scientific journals with impact factor are rankings created to designate the most important medical journals. It is a concept that seems to be interesting, but it is dangerous. Today the top three in the ranking are: the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet and Jama. There are several others. The bigger the ranking, the more prestige the published work has.
The acronym for randomized trials is RCT (Randomized Controlled Trial).
Before starting the randomized clinical trials to confirm or not the functioning of hydroxychloroquine, Raoult and Zelenko were mercilessly attacked
They went to investigate Didier Raoult’s life in detail. The story that most viralized was the one of a site with an imposing name: “For Better Science”. It is owned by the German Leonid Schneider. The first one came out a few days later, on March 26. In total, about Raoult, there were five articles. “Witchdoctor” was one of the titles. “Mad and dangerous,” concluded Leonid.
The dossier on the scientist’s life even addressed accusations of bullying and that he had covered up cases of sexual harassment that occurred at his institute. “End of the game?” asked one of the articles about Raoult.
Leonid also addressed some alarming cases, such as fakes that occurred in IHU-Marseille’s work. They found at least five works with changed microscope images in the photoshop.
The information that Raoul has already produced almost 3,000 articles, and that this would be statistically irrelevant, Leonid omitted.
I went to follow what Raoult was saying: he explained that one of the students modified these images and that this had gone unnoticed by the whole team.
Soon the article went in another direction, more bureaucratic. Raoult was charged with being a friend of the editor of the journal where the preliminary study was published. This discussion highlighted what I consider today a fetish among scientists with publications and with the “impact factor” of scientific journals.
I read carefully the article by Leonid Schneider. What promised to be a bombastic report, created a lot of expectation during the development of the text, but did not have the information about what I really wanted: and after all, the six patients were cured in five days or not? He did not answer.
“Miracle cure” was the way the New York Times referred to Raoult. All these stories served to assassinate the scientist’s reputation, but they are not at all important when compared to the death threats Didier began to receive shortly after proposing treatment with two generic and cheap drugs.
In the U.S., the main spokesperson for the treatment has become Dr Vladimir Zelenko. He published videos on Youtube saying that he treated patients with the medications. He stated that he obtained good results and that the immense majority of patients improved quickly.
Youtube deleted his videos for being “disinformation”. There is an imposed rule: you can only say that the drug works on social networks, science sites and big newspapers if there is a RCT (Randomized controlled trial) study with a positive result.
Shortly after, they did a report about Zelenko in the New York Times. They stuck on him the same “miracle cure” stamp they stuck on Raoult. The newspaper created a conspiracy theory: Zelenko’s motivation to claim that the drug was working could only be political, after all, Trump was enthusiastic about this treatment. Zelenko became a “Right-Wing Star”, wrote the journalists of the Times.
The story was a detailed profile of Zelenko. It explained that he had no sympathy for Hillary Clinton, that he lived in the countryside, that he was recovering from cancer, but failed to investigate the only thing that really mattered: and after all, his patients, did they or did they not die?
Because if he treated 200 high-risk patients and nobody died, it would be the scientific proof of the functioning.
It’s that simple. It is the most basic rule of science: reproduction.
It’s really simple. The disease has a start, middle and fast end. In about 15 days after the symptoms are present, without any effective medication, a percentage between 3 and 6% of symptomatic patients need to be intubated to stay alive.
In this expectation, at least six patients should have died. Any number below that, in a normal distribution of American society, means that the drug worked.
And then a fork occurred between real life science and the science of scientific bureaucracy
With the information that medical recommendations can only be made with positive randomized trials (RCT), the “scientific method” was followed.
They went to produce RCT studies, to be peer-reviewed and then published in impact journals.
In addition, RCT studies are time-consuming, very expensive, take time to design, organize and present the results.
In this context, all science journalists began to write and explain what randomized, double blind, peer-reviewed studies are. And government decisions, from the WHO (World Health Organization) and the FDA, a U.S. agency, kept waiting for the randomized and controlled studies.
On the other hand, in real life science, with the good evidence of Didier Raoult’s first study and the confirmation by Zelenko, doctors began to treat patients with these drugs. Thus other types of studies began to be produced: the observational studies. It’ s faster and cheaper to make.
What are observational studies and what are the differences between them and RCTs?
Doctors, clinics or a hospital treating patients in the mid-pandemic can do observational studies with a certain degree of ease. They can either confirm an existing protocol, such as that of the IHU-Marseille, or they can include more drugs.
The difference between observational and RCT is that there is no placebo randomization and double blind control. Doctors know they are delivering the medications and patients know they are taking the medications.
The comparison, to know if the treatment was successful or not, is with non-medicated patients. These patients may be from the same hospitals, from other hospitals, or with an overall average mortality rate in the city, region or country.
And because of the lack of randomization, i.e the similar distribution of patients by characteristics, among those receiving the drug or the placebo, if the difference in clinical results between the groups is small, it is more difficult to judge whether the treatment worked or not.
The four possible kinds of hydroxychloroquine use against COVID-19
There are four possible uses of hydroxychloroquine. What Raoult proposed was early treatment. That is, the beginning of treatment in the first days of symptom, before the disease gets worse. This is the most obvious use. In every disease the doctors recommend starting the treatments as early as possible.
In addition, there are other possibilities. The first is the pre-exposure prophylaxis: this is when patients take the medication before having contact with the virus.
The second is post-exposure prophylaxis, which is when the patient takes the medication just after having contact with someone infected, and the third possibility is treatment already with the advanced disease, severe, in patients already hospitalized, needing oxygen or intubated.
In real life science, observational studies with hydroxychloroquine in early treatment shows spectacular results
There are several observational studies, besides those done in the IHU-Marseille, of treatment with the HCQ + AZ protocol in the first days of symptom. There are some in monotherapy and some with other combinations of medication. Here I bring some that made clear in their studies that it was an early treatment.
Timeline of observational studies in early treatment:
Retirement homes in New York, USA
Instead of the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, the second drug was doxycycline. The study led by Imtiaz Ahmad was conducted with 54 high-risk patients in three nursing homes in New York. Only 11% of patients were transferred to hospitals and only 6% died.
The comparison was with another nursing home. In King County, Washington, where there was no treatment, 57% of patients were hospitalized and 22% died. “Decreased transfer to hospital and decreased mortality were observed after treatment”, said the scientists.
It’s a huge difference, how can we say it doesn’t work?
Private clinics in France
In an study done by Violaine Guérin and her team, the results of 88 patients were followed. The combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin reduced deaths by 43% and recovery time by 65%, compared to the control group.
IHU-Mediterranée Infection, Marseille, France.
The institute where Didier Raoult is professor published his “final”, more solid study with 3737 patients. Earlier they had published two previous ones, with 80 and with 1000 patients.
From the total, 3,119 received the combination of drugs. The mortality rate was 0.5%. The most impressive result is that no person under 60 years of age died, and a good part of the total had previous comorbidities: 7.5% had diabetes, 13.1% hypertension, and 11.1% was obese.
People can criticize this observational study as much as they want, but one fact is unchangeable: no one under 60 died. This is an impressive fact.
For comparison, in the region of Ile-de France, where Paris is located, no medication was used. The deaths there, under 60, were little more than 9.7% among the fatalities. In another region of France, the Grand-Est, 4.3% of the deaths represented the population under 60.
In another public hospital in Marseille, about 2.5% of the infected died. Among the patients who knocked on the door of the IHU-Mediteranée Infection, only 0.5% died.
It is a brutal difference. How does it not work?
The study was conducted by Tarek Sulaiman’s team from King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and involved 7,892 patients treated in 238 clinics throughout the country. 3,320 patients received hydroxychloroquine, and the comparison was with 5,572 who did not had the medication.
It involved patients only with a positive test. Among those who took the medication, more than 70% in the reduction of mortality. “Early intervention with HCQ-based therapy in patients with mild to moderate symptoms at presentation is associated with lower adverse clinical outcomes among COVID-19 patients” concluded the scientists.
Nursing homes in Marseille, France
Done by Dr Tran Duc Anh Ly and his team, the study involved patients with an average age of 83 years. There were 226 infected residents, 116 treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. 53.5% fewer deaths among those who took the medications.
Hackensack University, USA
The study by Andrew Ip, from Hackensack University in New York, involved 1,274 patients. It was only with hydroxychloroquine, without azithromycin, and 97 took the medication. The comparison was with 1177 patients who did not take it. The early treatment was associated with a 47% reduction in the risk of hospitalization, concluded the scientists.
Nursing homes in Andorra, Europe
Coordinated by Dr. Eva Heras, the study occurred only among the elderly. It involved 100 patients and the average age was 85 years. Among the patients who received HCQ and Azithromycin, 11.4% died. Among those who did not receive the drugs, 61% died.
Study by Dr Vladimir Zelenko, from USA
Zelenko teamed up with Roland Derwand and Martin Scholz, two German researchers, to produce a study and publish it. It is about his patients treated near New York.
In besides the addition of zinc, there is a difference between his protocol. Zelenko did not treat patients who were not in the risk group. In other words, the drugs were prescribed only for those over 60 or, if under 60, with at least some comorbidity.
The study included 144 patients with an average age of 58 years. As a control group, 377 other patients from the same community. Among those who received the medication, only one died (0.7%), among those who did not, 13 died (3.5%).
How does it not work?
Hapvida Health Care Provider, Brazil
The Hapvida company is one of the largest in Brazil. It has millions of clients. The study involved 717 outpatients who were positive for SARS-CoV-2. All with 40 years or more. It was done by Brazilian researchers from Hapvida, the Federal University of Fortaleza and Professor Harvey Risch from Yale.
Among those who did not take hydroxychloroquine, 3.3% of deaths. Among those who took the medication, and in most of them together with azithromycin, the number of deaths was 0.6%. “This work adds to the growing literature of studies that have found substantial benefit for use of HCQ combined with other agents in the early outpatient treatment of COVID-19”, concluded the scientists.
Today, the day I am writing, December 2nd, there are 23 studies in early treatment with hydroxichloroquine. All, without exception, with positive results for the patients. Check all of them in this link.
A simple digest of observational studies in early treatment: among patients who took medication, less deaths
To have a look at all these results and say that the drug is not scientifically proven is similar to calling all these scientists imbeciles. It is hard to do.
Think along with me.
Scientists provide the medication, and they find that among those who took it, fewer patients died. And the scientists highlight this in their studies. The connection with the smallest number of deaths, of course, is with medication.
So you say it’s not scientifically proven. And that among those who took hydroxychloroquine, fewer patients actually died, but not because of the drug, but for some other random reason.
This in every early treatment study!
I don’t need to be a scientist, with a PhD in medicine or microbiology, to get angry with people who believe they are smart, intelligent and that all other people are morons. That is to go beyond the reasonable limit of civility.
Think about the following dialogue with a person who denies the functioning:
– In this study here, from France, there were 53.5% fewer deaths among those who took hydroxychloroquine.
– But the drug does not work, it is not scientifically proven.
– Are you saying that those who took it died less, but for another reason, is that it?
– But why did they die less?
– I don’t know.
– I do not know. It’s okay. There’s this other study here, from the U.S., only with old people. The scientists said that among those who took it, 6% died, and among those who didn’t, 11% died, but it’s not scientifically proven, right?
– That’s right. The drug doesn’t work.
– So among those who took hydroxychloroquine less died, but for some other reason, is that it?
– And Didier Raoult, what do you think of him?
– And Zelenko?
– Trump supporter.
– What about the scientists from Andorra, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, all fraudsters and defenders of Trump too?
– And you, how do you define yourself, a defender of science?
– What is your religion?
– I am a faithful devotee of the fundamentalist church of the randomized, controlled and double blind.
I am not a scientist. I think in a very simple way, but I think this is a conversation of those who need a straitjacket.
And science confirms that it is, yes, talk from those who need a straitjacket
In this pandemic there is a dogmatic definition: hydroxychloroquine can only be recommended by governments and organizations if we have a placebo-controlled RCT demonstrating positive results.
The other definition is that you can only say that the drug works, both on social networks and in newspapers, if you have a positive RCT. Anything other than that is “disinformation” and needs to be censored.
Furthermore, it is authorized to insult doctors who prescribe drugs without RCT. They are quacks, deceivers, conspiracy theorists and “anti-science”.
That’s probably how medical science has always worked, right?
No. It’s a fake speech.
The history of medical science is based on observational studies, but there has been a convenient change in the rule right now, in 2020, during this pandemic, right at the moment the world is in a hurry.
In a 2011 a scientific study by Dong Heun Lee showed that only 14% of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s treatment guidelines were based on the “highest level” of evidence, the requirement they want from hydroxichloroquine.
Have you ever seen a doctor who prescribes insulin for diabetics called an “anti-science” or a quack? They should be called that, because there has never been a “gold standard” study on insulin.
Have you ever been vaccinated against tetanus? It also does not have the “highest level” of evidence. Should we say that this vaccine was made without scientific basis? The theorists of the anti-vaccine conspiracy would go to the delirium.
It was never done for insulin or tetanus vaccine because it is not necessary. In a 2014 scientific paper, Andrew Anglemeyer, an epidemiologist at the University of Otago, New Zealand, explained that there are no significant differences in results between observational studies and the “gold standard”. In another study, published in 2000, Kjell Bensoncame to the same conclusions.
In other words, historically, the results shown by the observational studies match the “gold standard”.
Moreover, before the pandemic, science used to say something else. Angus Deaton, a scientist at Princeton University, USA, in 2018, explained that the gold standard is not as “gold” as they say. “RCT results can serve science but are weak ground for inferring ‘what works’”, he explained.
In a 2017 article, the scientist Thomas Frieden, appointed director of the U.S. CDC by Barack Obama, argued in his scientific article, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, that public decisions on treatment should not be based on RCTs.
Frieden commented on the “increasing costs” of “gold standard” studies, in addition to the delay in carrying out such research. “These limitations also affect the use of RCTs for urgent health issues, such as infectious disease outbreaks,” he wrote.
In recent years, just before COVID-19, medical science seemed quite reasonable, didn’t it?
How did the mainstream media handle the observational studies?
After Didier and Zelenko, as it was difficult to call all the authors of all these studies crazy, “miracle healers” radicals of the far right and fraudsters, the solution found by the media and scientific communicators was the silence. No news were published about the observational studies of early treatment.
The New York Times, for example, only reported twice on the observational studies. One which was later retracted by the Lancet for containing fraudulent data and another made in Brazil with a dose of 1.2 grams per day for 10 days, four times the dose proposed by Didier Raoult, and only in severe patients with the advanced disease.
Before we continue, a short story about AIDS between 1987 and 89
In 1987 a tense meeting took place. Present were AIDS activist Michael Callen, Dr Barry Gingell and Dr Anthony Fauci, the Federal Tsar on AIDS in the USA. Michael and Barry begged Fauci to help promote the use of the drug Bactrim as a prophylaxis for pneumonia caused by the disease.
The HIV pandemic was killing a lot. The world was scared and there was intense media interest. The two men explained to Fauci that front-line doctors, following the protocol of Joseph Sonnabend, a South African scientist, were using Bactrim very effectively, with a high percentage of success.
All scientific evidence of the drug’s functioning was refused by Fauci. Sonnabend was seen as controversial, polemical, and as someone who was attacking science. There was no “gold standard” study of Bactrim. At the same time, no one was in a hurry to conduct such a clinical trial.
It was a strange reaction, because some years before, when Dr. Fauci was studying another disease, Wegener’s Granulomatosis, he developed a treatment with only 18 patients. It was a purely anecdotal study, with no controls and no placebo. The results were compared only with historical data and his therapy became the standard of care, without encountering any barriers.
While this discussion continued, Bactrim’s competitor, the lucrative AZT, from a large pharmaceutical industry, with little efficiency and strong side effects at a cost of US$ 8,000 per year per patient, was approved in a record time of only 20 months. It was a reutilization. AZT was originally thought to be a cancer drug during the 1960s, but was archived when it was found not to be effective enough.
It was only two years later, in 1989, that evidence of cheap Bactrim was accepted and the recommendation happened. During this period, 17 thousand lives were lost.
Sean Strub tells part of this story in a report in the Huffington Post. This horror is well documented and told in several books and reports.
As this medical scandal occurred in people with AIDS, mainly affecting the homosexual community, a large part of the population understood these deaths as divine punishment for sinners. History has been forgotten, lessons have not been learned and no reform in medical science has been made.
Gilead’s Remdesivir easy path to the “gold standard”
Remdesivir, a competitor of hydroxychloroquine, was developed for Ebola. It did not achieve much success in its initial mission and was reused for COVID-19.
The manufacturer is Gilead, a pharmaceutical giant with 11 thousand employees and a monstrous revenue of US$ 22 billion.
In the first quarter of 2020, as the name of the drug gained notoriety during the pandemic, Gilead increased its spending on lobbying the administration and the U.S. Congress.
With a manufacturing cost of about $10, Remdesivir costs $3,000 per patient to treat COVID-19.
Being a “gold standard” drug, Remdesivir started directly with the expensive “gold standard” trial.
However, as the Washington Post reported, this study had, during the clinical trial, a change in metrics from mortality to recovery time. The drug did not reduce deaths, but only reduced the recovery time of those who would not die, from 15 days to 10 days.
And although failing to reduce mortality but having an RCT study, the U.S. government, on April 29, announced Remdesivir as the “standard of care”.
Gilead then signed a US$ 1.2 bi agreement with the US government to supply the medication. Soon the company made another deal, this time with the European Union, of US$ 1.0 bi. At the same time, Gilead was paying a $97 million fine to the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly paying illegal bribes.
In addition, while several news reports bombard us about the very strong side effects of hydroxychloroquine, which is false according to several studies, Remdesivir, which has been seriously compromising the kidneys of patients treated with this drug, leaving many of those who survived on dialysis machines, is not receiving the same media attention regarding the side effects.
And instead of reporting patients on dialysis machines, the New England Journal of Medicine, the world’s leading medical journal, took a friendly approach and published an editorial about the medicine: “Remdesivir — An Important First Step,” the title said.
On the difficult path of hydroxychloroquine to the “gold standard”, a porn actress enters the scene. And the world preferred to trust in her.
On May 22, a study about hydroxychloroquine was published in the Lancet, the second most prestigious medical journal in the world. The main name was Dr. Mandeep Mehra, professor of medicine at Harvard, USA. The research reported that he used data from 96,000 patients in 671 hospitals worldwide.
It concluded that hydroxychloroquine, promoted by Donald Trump, increased the risk of death. In addition, that the drug produced dangerous cardiac arrhythmia. There was a coincidence: the result matched like a symphony in the narrative of the mainstream media about the dangers of the medicine.
This study has become headline news in every major newspaper in the world, along with criticism of Trump, the U.S. President, for being anti-science and bringing risks to Americans for promoting this drug.
On May 25, WHO (World Health Organization), based on these results, interrupted their “gold standard” study on hydroxichloroquine. The Guardian, one of the most important newspapers in Europe, in addition to reporting the cessation of clinical trials, qualified Professor Didier Raoult as “controversial”.
Several other “ gold standard “ worldwide were also interrupted due to the Lancet study. Among them, Hycovid and Discovery, both in France. And an important detail: the partial results of both showed positive results for the patients who took the drugs, compared with the placebo, when the studies were interrupted.
Four days after the publication, on May 26th, the experienced professor Didier Raoult went to his Twitter and made a bombshell accusation: he said that the data from the Lancet study were manipulated or falsified.
It is certainly an accusation of those who need to be very sure before making it. He simply said that one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world published a fake study, and from a professor at Harvard, one of the most important universities in the world.
With an accusation of this level, either the data were really false, or Raoult’s career would be over at that moment. It was a tense moment in science.
With the favorable atmosphere to call charlatan, forger and censor anyone who says hydroxychloroquine works, David Gorski, professor of medicine, researcher, and who proudly boasts the position of editor of the website sciencebasedmedicine.com, where he proposes to teach the world what is medicine based on good science, decided to offend Raoult at the same time.
In addition to placing, without any embarrassment, a faecal icon to refer to Raoult, Gorski called him a liar and pathetic.
Then serious scientists mobilized on the alert raised by Raoult. They went to research where the data came from. The origin was an obscure company called Surgisphere. Among the data used to produce the study were nonexistent hospitals. One of the main employees of Surgisphere was a porn actress.
It’s one of the most pornographic scandals of science until the moment. With these data discovered, finally the backstage stories with hydroxychloroquine started to be published in the mainstream media.
In the end, the Lancet study, which involved a porn actress and a renowned Harvard professor, after immense pressure from the scientific community, was retracted less than two weeks after it was published. Didier Raoult was right.
“There are people who have tried and succeeded in making governments and the WHO believe that a medicine that is 70 years old, one of the two most prescribed drugs in humanity, have killed 10% of the people it was given to,” Raoult commented recently in an interview.
“It is something that should lead us to reflect on the state of our society, which can be deceived in an incredible way,” said the professor.
Still on the case, two curiosities: the first is that David Gorski still hasn’t apologized to Raoult. The second is that unlike the videos of Frontline Doctors, U.S. doctors who reported good results with hydroxichloroquine and were censored on YouTube for “misinformation,” the interviews of Mandeep, the author of the study with fake data published in the Lancet, talking about pornography on hydroxichloroquine, are still on air, available on YouTube.
In the bumpy path of hydroxychloroquine to the “gold standard”, another controversial study was published by NEJM
On June 2, 2020, two days before the Lancet farce came to light, a “gold standard” study was published in NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine), the largest impact factor in the world. It was originally thought to involve 1300 patients, but had just over 800.
Originally from the University of Minnesota, USA, led by David Boulware, it was about post-exposure prophylaxis. It is when the medication is given to people who had recent contact with someone contaminated. It is already one of the most controversial studies in the history of medicine.
The data from the study were presented as follows: although they showed positive results for those who took the hydroxychloroquine, they were only very modest and statistically insignificant results, that is, they could have occurred at random.
It represented the definitive burial of hydroxichloroquine. It is the study that most viralised in the medical world as definitive proof that the drug does not work. In any debate people sent this link.
After all, it was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study and published in the world’s most respected medical journal.
The argument was that a “gold standard” study, for being a higher level of evidence, would invalidate the positive results of the observational studies.
Several controversies, which last until today, have occurred about this study. While the observational study, conducted in São Paulo by the Prevent Senior Health Care Operator, with positive results for hydroxychloroquine, was rejected by the medical community because the patients’ diagnosis was not due to COVID-19 tests, but by symptoms, the University of Minnesota study, also deficient in tests, but without positive results, was celebrated, without any criticism, by a large part of the medical and scientific community.
This study by Boulware, for having become a reference, generated heavy complaints from Raoult’s team. They sent an Expression of Concern to the publisher. They concluded: “NEJM, How long will you abuse of our patience? The biases shown in the studies on the COVID-19 have gone beyond, as in the Lancet for that matter, everything that has been seen so far. Please give us back a journal that we can use for medical education that does not contradict all principles we have used for so many years”.
The difference in approach can also be compared with the case of Remdesivir’s approval. In the case of the Gilead drug, the study that was used for its approval by the FDA showed modest results and not statistically significant, but this did not stop the approval, generating movement in the stock markets.
But Boulware’s study, in fact, scientifically confirms the functioning of hydroxychloroquine
Everybody is staying home a lot, afraid, avoiding to go out as much as possible and practicing social distancing. However, the pandemic has arrived for everyone and something new is happening in science: a large number of people have started to study scientific publications.
Before, the studies of medicines were very restricted in small groups of researchers and medical newspapers. Today a large number of scientists from various fields are checking all the publications in details.
The peer review process is undoubtedly one of the most important values of science. Thus many scientists, seeing hydroxychloroquine being denied to the population, and amazed that the drug showed significant results in observational studies and not showing the same performance in “gold standard” studies, contrary to the logic and history of medicine, decided to go deep in exactly the point that was blocking: the randomized, double blind and placebo controlled studies. In other words, these scientists went to play in the opponent’s field.
Marcio Watanabe, professor of statistics at the Universidade Federal Fluminense and PhD in statistics at USP, one of the most prestigious universities in Latin America, was one of the scientists who reviewed Boulware’s work at NEJM.
With an in-depth analysis, he found that the patients who received the drug earlier had greater effects. Boulware’s study was misinterpreting its own data and presenting it in the wrong way. When it takes a long time for prophylaxis and mixes all patients over time, the effect loses statistical potency.
When the data are analyzed taking into account the interval between exposure and the beginning of treatment, they reveal a clear pattern: patients who started treatment earlier had better results than those who started treatment later.
The data indicate that taking the hydroxychloroquine right on the day of exposure could lead to a reduction of symptomatic contagion of more than 50%, Watanabe concluded. Short times in post-exposure prophylaxis is normal in medical science. In cases of exposure to the AIDS virus, prophylactic treatments, to have effects, involve a few hours, not days.
I interviewed Watanabe to know what the outcome of his review sent to NEJM. “I never had a response from NEJM, neither negative nor positive. They said they would only analyze the letter at a future moment, without giving a date”, said the professor from Rio de Janeiro.
The mistake in Boulware’s conclusion is so evident that other scientists have done practically the same analysis.
A group led by David Wiseman, a scientist from Dallas, together with four other U.S. scientists, including some from the Henry Ford center of medical excellence, produced a second review on the same NEJM study. They reached numbers similar to Watanabe.
In a third review, Juan Luco, professor at the Universidad Nacional de San Luis in Argentina, also analyzed the raw data and arrived in statistically significant numbers. “It shows that the published conclusion of the group that HCQ does not prevent COVID type infective symptoms was fundamentally flawed and should be reconsidered.” he said in the study.
I asked Juan if he sent his review to NEJM. “I did not send anything to the NEJM. It is impossible to expect honesty and scientific truth from them about hydroxychloroquine,” he answered.
In a fourth review, six more scientists led by Alexander Chuan Yang, from Wayne State University School of Medicine, reached the same conclusions: “However, our re-analysis of the data suggests HCQ use for Covid-19 is time-sensitive”, they stated.
In a fifth review, the mathematician Phill Birnbaum, from Sabermetric Research, posted in his blog the study’s failed interpretation. “In other words: they stopped the study just as the results were starting to show up”.
That is, we have several important scientists who looked at the data, analyzed, wrote, put their names and reputations at stake and concluded that Boulware’s study shows wrong results.
Boulware’s study, as it stands, is positive within the margin of error. And with the correct analysis, it becomes positive outside the margin of error. But all revisions were ignored.
And what is known so far is that no one has been able to explain, by mathematics, that these revisions are wrong.
In other words: this is the scientific proof of the functioning of hydroxychloroquine in a “gold standard” study.
And another thing that is known is that it would not make sense for all these scientists of these reviews to be in a big corrupt global conspiracy to promote hydroxichloroquine. After all, it is a generic drug, cheap, without patents and manufactured by hundreds of laboratories around the world.
The question that remains on this case is: why NEJM ignored all these reviews that change the result?
And there is a second question: why is the mainstream media not reporting on this issue and demanding an answer from NEJM?
Before we continue, a brief explanation about statistical significance
People living in democracies have an easy understanding of what statistical significance is when hearing news about election polls.
“Candidate Joseph is leading with 46% of voting intentions. In second place is candidate John with 40%. They are tied within the 3% margin of error. 1200 voters were interviewed,” the news says.
Statistical significance relates to the margin of error. In other words, even with Joseph leading, there is a small possibility that they are tied with 43% each and the result was by chance.
But if the survey had been done 2 or 3 thousand voters, instead of 1200, the error margin would be smaller, 1% or 2%. In this case, the candidate Joseph would really be leading, and thus would be reported. The chance of being a by chance result would be much smaller.
Now follow me. On the same day another electoral survey with similar results comes out. Joseph is with 46% and John with 40%. Also with a margin of error of 3% and 1200 voters interviewed.
From that moment on, Joseph is really leading. The two surveys put him in the front. It’s no longer by chance, because the margin of error has reduced in a combined statistic.
That is, we have two surveys “within the margin of error”, but when combined, the margin of error has reduced. Joseph is no longer leading “ by chance”.
In medical research the principle is the same. Marcio Watanabe made some example calculations. One of the “scientifically proven” drugs was Dexamethasone. It reduced deaths by 30%. Dexamethasone works only for critically ill patients, intubated or in oxygen support.
The study had more than 2 thousand patients. If it had been done with the number of patients similar to the University of Minnesota study with hydroxychloroquine, with 821 patients, Dexamethasone would not be “scientifically proven”. And any doctor who speaks of this drug would, of course, be a quack.
All “gold standard” studies of hydroxychloroquine, in pre-exposure, post-exposure and early treatment prophylaxis, bring positive results to patients. It is scientific evidence at the highest level of scientific evidence
“It is increasingly difficult for them to say that hydroxychloroquine does not work”, Flavio Abdenur told me. One more “gold standard” study had just come out when he sent me this message.
Flavio is a mathematician. He has a doctorate from the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IMPA), was a university professor and today works with statistical analysis of data in the private sector. He is part of a group of virtuous Brazilians of which Watanabe is part. This group includes doctors, biologists, virologists, economists, mathematicians and statisticians.
They decided to study treatment options in depth. Flavio showed interest in studying the subject out of concern. “My parents are in the risk group,” he said.
At the top, studies that show positive results to patients. At the bottom, the ones that show negative results. None shows a negative result. They all show positive results.
Yes that’s right. In all “gold standard” studies, patients who received hydroxychloroquine had a better result compared to the placebo group.
But all of them, isolated by statistics, show a “tie within the margin of error” because they are few patients. Even with some benefits being of high values, such as the 37% reduction in hospitalization needs of the Skipper study. Or like the 30% death reduction in the Mitja study. This is because all these randomized are quite small. Its groups have at most a few hundred patients each. In the jargon of the area, they are statistically “underpowered” studies.
And when combined, they leave this margin. That is, the hydroxychloroquine is the coin that when thrown up always falls on the same side. Always. There is no longer the possibility of the results being “ by chance”.
“Remembering that these randomized studies used only HCQ. A long and growing series of observational studies indicates that, in combination with other medications, the effect is stronger, as long as they are used right at the beginning of the symptoms,” said Flavio.
One more analogy for everyone to understand: a race with two cars was organized. The hydroxychloroquine car and the placebo car. The winner is declared only after the car that leads complete 50 km.
The race had five starts. But the judge stopped all five after 10 km driven. But in all of them, when the interruption occurred, the hydroxichloroquine car was leading.
When you add the five races, the hydroxychloroquine car completed the 50 km in the lead.
The earth is not flat
It is simple. For someone to look at Flavio’s graph and find an explanation to say that hydroxychloroquine does not work, it is necessary to be as creative as the people who look at the picture of our planet and find a way to continue saying that the earth is flat.
Professor Harvey Risch from Yale made a meta-analysis with the same principle
The joining of studies for a general analysis is called meta-analysis. It is the highest level of scientific evidence. The award-winning professor Harvey Risch from Yale, one of the most important universities in the world, together with two other renowned professors, has produced a study with the same principle. These scientists went further than Flavio and did all the math, not just a graphic explanation.
It is also based only on “gold standard” studies. Objective? To eliminate the last argument of those who deny the functioning of medication.
The list of all studies is on the left, indicating benefits for those who have taken the medication. When combined, the margin of error disappears.
And a curiosity: this meta-analysis of professor Harvey Risch viralized in the social networks of Brazil. This was the trigger for Brazilian “fact-checking agencies” to expose their entire arsenal of infinite stupidity and demonstrate that they dare to argue what they don’t understand.
Lupa Agency wrote: “No double-blind, randomized study has so far proven the efficacy of the drug as prophylaxis or treatment in early stages of the disease. On the contrary: a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and cited in that meta-analysis, demonstrated that the drug is ineffective for the treatment of non-hospitalized people”.
Another agency, called “To the facts”, showed the same ignorance when talking about the studies used in meta-analysis. “All five have conclusions that go against the efficacy of chloroquine,” they said.
Yes, it is true. No study alone demonstrates efficacy beyond the margin of error, but when combined, the number of patients increases and the studies begin to demonstrate efficacy.
The agency’s statement also linked to an opinion piece by Carlos Orsi, a science fiction writer. And by the miracles that the Internet age generates, this writer feels qualified enough to say that meta-analysis is wrong. In the text, Orsi called scientists and doctors charlatans.
“It’s a pathetic text that shows that the author has no idea what a p-value or meta-analysis is,” said Daniel Tausk, professor of mathematics at USP, one of the most prestigious universities in Latin America.
“It seems that they are people who are used to some rather trivial debates against some bizarre pseudosciences and ended up extrapolating the aggressive attitude to complicated things, out of the scope of what they can evaluate,” he added.
Harvard professor made a similar meta-analysis, only about prophylaxis
Miguel Hernan, professor at Harvard, together with three other Spanish scientists, produced another meta-analysis on the same principle of joining the studies of Harvey Risch and Flavio Abdenur. This one is about the randomized HCQ as prophylaxis. It also found a positive and statistically significant result for the clinical effects.
This study, as it did not viralize, did not become a target of the “fact checkers”.
A third meta-analysis, using the same principle, draws the same conclusions
A group of scientists who preferred to produce in anonymity, due to the various numbers of layoffs, attacks on reputations and possible future budget cuts, produced a meta-analysis in which one of the points focuses only on randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled papers.
Including only the “gold standard” studies in prophylaxis and early treatment, the chance of being “the work of chance” is only one in 100, they concluded.
For comparison, the “scientifically proven” standard of medicine is if the chance of being at chance is one in twenty. This barrier has been broken several times.
In the graph, the same concept: all studies show positive results. None shows negative results.
None of these meta-analyses are peer-reviewed or published in any “impact factor” journal. Apparently, nobody wants to publish. It’s an incendiary subject. But from the moment you have four distinct groups doing the same statistic, with practically the same method, and arriving at the same result, one study represents the revision of the other.
No one has appeared, nor will they appear, explaining that these calculations are wrong. It’s mathematics and statistics. You can’t shout against numbers.
Therefore, anyone who denies these meta-analyses is a denialist of science.
Suddenly, scientists who did not pay attention to the statistical significance of the studies began to talk about this, but about the masks
Recently a study was published on the effect of masks to prevent the contagion of the coronavirus. It is from scientists from Denmark. It is a randomized study. 3,030 people were assigned to wear the masks, another 2,994 people were the control group.
The result of the study is statistically inconclusive: by itself, it is not enough to show that the use of the masks brings significant benefit to avoid contagion. Among those who used them, 1.8% were infected. Among those who did not wear, 2.1% was infected, but the probability of the result being at chance is big.
With the study of masks not pointing out scientifically the benefits, he should put himself against the use of them by the population, as he did with the randomized studies of hydroxichloroquine.
Suddenly, Topol analyzed that a study with few patients do not bring positive results, but apparently, he is only able to do this analysis on masks. “Underpowered,” he said.
And the sensible thing, with these results, is not to start a war to prohibit the use of masks by the population, but to wait for more studies with more patients. Probably it should have positive results. About 15 to 20% in the reduction of contagion.
Yes, hydroxychloroquine is scientifically proven against COVID-19 – PART II
By Filipe Rafaeli
December 14, 2020
Scientists have already discovered what to do for the hydroxychloroquine to work also in critically ill patients
A good part of the media confusion is that the immense part of the studies done with hydroxychloroquine, with or without the combination with azithromycin, occurred in critically ill patients, many in the ICU, opposing Didier Raoult’s initial idea of the application of the drugs at the beginning of the symptoms.
In critically ill patients, today, the day I write this article, December 2nd, there are 98 studies. Only 73,5 of them are positive.
Moreover, in these patients already with advanced disease, hospitalized, the effect on mortality is modest, about 20%. That is why there is contradiction in these studies. Some report positive effects and others report negative effects.
In contrast, in patients at the beginning of symptoms, we have 23 studies. And all of them report positive results for the patients. It is unanimous.
However, in two studies with severe patients, scientists have included new drugs, also generic and inexpensive, which potentiated the effect of hydroxichloroquine. In these studies the results were spectacular. And by coincidence, of course, these results did not become news in mainstream media, on Youtubers of science or on science news sites.
The first came from Spain, from the University of Cordoba, produced by the team led by scientist Marta Castillo. It’s a randomized trial, but instead of being placebo, half received hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, and the other half received hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and calcifediol, which is a vitamin D faster absorbed by the body.
Those who received the cocktail with calcifediol, 2% had to go to the ICU. Of those who did not receive the full cocktail, 50% went to the ICU. An impressive difference. It generated an 89.5% reduction in the number of deaths in patients with advanced disease.
The second study with good results in critically ill patients came from Iran. It was produced by the team led by Khalil Ansarin, from the University of Tabriz, one of the oldest in the country. In 39 hospitalized patients, hydroxychloroquine and bromhexine, another cheap generic drug. In another 39 patients, for comparison, only hydroxychloroquine.
Among the 39 who received the full cocktail, only one was intubated and nobody died. Among the 39 who received only HCQ, nine were intubated and five died. A very encouraging discovery of Iranian science. In China, they repeated the experiment with similar results.
In the case of the Iranian study, experts raise doubts about the role of hydroxychloroquine. The dose was quite low, 200mg per day, half of that used in Dr Zelenko’s protocol.
Two randomized with statistical significance in the studies themselves, but in the science editorials of the major newspapers, and Medscape of Topol, a deafening silence remains.
Every country that hydroxychloroquine is used on a large scale, fewer people die, but the drug does not work
It is most basic of the science classes. When you repeat the experiment and generate the same result you have the scientific confirmation.
This is one of the most interesting studies ever done. It is by the same group of scientists who prefer anonymity for fear of reprisals.
It is a cross-check of news from countries that use the medication with the amount of deaths. Hydroxychloroquine is state policy in many countries, with the respective scientists and authorities recommending it.
“The treatment group has a 69.9% lower mortality rate,” the scientists concluded in the last review on November 14. It is a research to keep in favorites. It is always updated with new data.
Newsguard, the U.S. fact-checking agency, also composed of incompetents, tried to disqualify the study using Brazil’s absence as an example. It was promptly raided by me. In Brazil the use of the drug is low. Information even confirmed by a recent research, published in Folha de S. Paulo, the most important newspaper in Brazil.
There are two possible conclusions, without more options: the first is that the drug works. The second is that the virus reads signs and respects borders, which seems less likely.
A statistical analysis in the USA: states where the laws allow people to have access to the medicine, fewer people die
Hal M. Switkay, PHD in mathematics, did pure science. Inspired by the study of use by countries, he made a cross of deaths versus the laws of each state in relation to hydroxychloroquine. Some states generate difficulties for doctors to prescribe, others do not.
All laws are linked on America’s Frontline Doctors website.
Switkay made the calculation on August 16. It is a portrait of the data and laws of that day. “Each additional level of HCQ restriction adds about 37%, on average, to the mortality from coronavirus,” he said.
The difference in mortality between the green states, where prescription is freer, compared to the red states, where it is more difficult, was 72% on that day.
Crossing laws that let the doctor prescribe with mortality, who needs a randomized, double-blind study published in a major “impact” magazine to conclude it works? COVID-19 is not a rare disease. It is a disease of millions of people.
You will not find this analysis in any scientific journal. Neither in your favorite science writer nor in your favorite Youtuber who talks about science.
How do you write about these calculations and end the article saying that there is no scientific evidence? You can’t. It is necessary to have a Julio Verne’s creativity. It is something rare.
In the US, the more voters get angry at Trump, the more likely they are to die of COVID-19
It is from Morocco the masterpiece of scientific studies of this pandemic. Among all, this is the hors-concours. I believe to be one of the best candidates for the IgNobel prize.
However, it is also a proof of the functioning of hydroxychloroquine.
The pandemic happens all over the world and the data are available to scientists from all continents. Everyone thinks about the approach they think best. Some have set out for unusual studies. This was the case of professors Elbazidi and Erraih, from a university also with an unusual name: Tofail University. Yes, it’s true, that’s the name, here’s the link.
Looking to the USA, the whole world was amazed when it discovered that a man, just after Trump’s announcement, when going after chloroquine, entered in a pet shop, bought an aquarium cleaning product that contained chloroquine in the formula, took and died. This led to the FDA asking the pet shops to stop selling the product.
In the aftermath, the global population was amazed to see Trump suggest disinfectant to fight the coronavirus and saw over 100 people intoxicated.
Faced with this, the planet concluded that half of the U.S. population, the voters of the Republican Party, are stupid.
This remained until Elbazidi and Erraih, these two science legends, cross-checked Trump’s popularity and mortality data in each US state.
The voters of the Democratic Party associated treatment with hydroxychloroquine to Trump, not Didier Raoult.
Result? In states where Trump’s popularity is higher, there is a greater chance that patients will take the medication and heal themselves, and in states where Trump’s popularity is low, there is less chance that patients will be medicated. “Lucidity is increasingly an elite sport that few people practice,” concluded the teachers.
“The acceptance of HCQ-based treatment is strongly linked to Trump’s approval,” they wrote. “Surprising discovery: there is a strong correlation between the degree of approval of D. Trump and the fatality rate. Specifically: in the U.S., the more you approve of Trump, the less likely you are to die of Covid19.”.
In other words, the Moroccans equaled both sides. They have scientifically proven that Trump voters’ zeal to believe his drug is a cure is as profound as Biden voter’s irrational hatred driving them to reject a valid treatment. Democratic Party voters reach the point of dying due to the anger against the orange man. Literally.
It’s tied. The hydroxychloroquine works and you will not see this on mainstream media.
It’s not science, it’s politics, stupid!
From the series of studies that you will not see in the mainstream media, this is one among the most interesting. It is also high quality investigative journalism. It proves, definitely, that science when it is politicized stops being science and becomes a scientific garbage.
The scientific article is by Andrew Berry, from Larkin Community Hospital in Miami, USA, and four other scientists. Today there are over 150 studies on this medicine, it is already possible to gather statistics.
They decided to cross-check the results of each study on hydroxychloroquine with the scientists’ donations to political parties.
The first conclusion is that American studies on this drug are more likely to show negative results. 57.4% in the U.S. against 33.2% in the other countries.
Another finding is that if the authors of the studies donated to the Democratic Party, the opposition to Donald Trump, who promoted the drug, their probability of producing a negative study for hydroxychloroquine increased by 20.4%.
Among the editorial review articles in the US about HCQ, 50% were negative, 45.5% neutral and only 4.5% positive.
However, when the authors have a history of donation to the Democratic Party, 85.7% positioned themselves against hydroxichloroquine.
Is this the science that if I question it, some idiot tries to classify me as “denialist”?
“Unfortunately, the political climate that has persisted has made any objective discussion about this drug impossible, and we are deeply saddened by this turn of events. Our goal as scientists has solely been to report validated findings and allow the science to speak for itself, regardless of political considerations,” said an editorial from Henry Ford Health Systems in the U.S., which was producing studies with positive results for hydroxychloroquine in early treatment.
Shortly before the U.S. elections, the New England Journal of Medicine, which has yet to respond to Watanabe, Luco, Wiseman, Yang and Birnbaun, published an editorial. “Dying in a leadership vacuum”.
The text that calls others “charlatans” and asks for legal consequences for those responsible for the tragedy was signed by the journal’s 32 editors. It takes a stand against Trump, which promoted the drug.
According to a report, 14 of the 32 editors have made political donations to the Democratic Party, the opposition to Trump. None have made donations to the Republican Party.
Science shows a huge coincidence: the more money you received from Gilead, the stronger are your opinions against hydroxychloroquine
A good number of people already know that Didier Raoult is one of the greatest specialists in infectious diseases on the planet.
What no one knows so far is that Raoult is also an excellent investigative journalist. Perhaps one of the best in Europe.
He produced, together with another scientist, Y. Russel, one of the biggest scoops on the pandemic. But even so, it didn’t become news in the mainstream media.
It was in the form of a scientific article and was published in a scientific journal. The two checked the public opinions of the experts of the French agency CMIT — Council of Professors in Infectious and Tropical Diseases, about the treatment of Covid with hydroxichloroquine.
They made a study and found that only 13 out of 98 members of CMIT did not receive any benefit, remuneration or agreement from Gilead Sciences, the manufacturer of Remdesivir, in recent years.
A surprise. The more money the experts got from Gilead, the more unfavorable were their opinions about hydroxychloroquine. The nine experts with “very unfavorable” opinions earned an average of 26,950 euros from Gilead.
In the study, only eight of these 98 specialists were very favorable to the treatment with hydroxichloroquine. The average value received by them from the pharmaceutical industry was 52 euros. Some of these “very favorable” received nothing.
Besides everything, Didier has fun writing. He quoted the famous phrase of the economist Milton Friedman: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”.
My conclusion is that if there’ s someone out there with extremely unfavorable opinions about hydroxychloroquine without his pockets full, he’s an idiot.
Studies from black people don’t matter
The discussion about hydroxychloroquine is interesting. There is a whole explanation about statistical significance, meta-analysis, differences between observational studies and “gold standard” studies.
Meanwhile, another drug, also cheap and generic, appears: ivermectin. And in the first study, a randomized one was done. It is not the “gold standard” 18 carats. But it is gold. And they already had results with statistical significance in the study itself.
It is about ivermectin. It was done by Waheed Shouman, from Zagazig University, Egypt. Post exposure prophylaxis was being studied.
From the moment people were identified with positive COVID, they could transmit to their families, in their homes. For the members of these families they gave the medication. In the other arm, there was no intervention. The reduction of cases in people who took ivermectin was 91%. An impressive number.
The second study was also a RCT. There were 183 in the treatment group and 180 control patients. Done by Reaz Mahmud, Dhaka College, Bangladesh. There was an 85% reduction in deaths. The progression of the disease fell by 55%. It was a double therapy, with ivermectin and doxycycline.
The third study came from Iraq. Led by scientist Hashim A. Hashim, from Alkarkh Hospital in Baghdad. It was also randomized and controlled. Also in this case with doxycycline. There were 70 patients in each group. The deaths reduced 66% in patients who started the treatment when the situation was already critical. For those who started a little earlier, 90% reduction in deaths.
A fourth study came from Iran, conducted by the team of scientist Morteza Shakhsi Niaee. Complete “Gold Standard”. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of ivermectin in hospitalized patients. Mortality of 18.3% in the placebo group and 3.3% in the treatment group.
An absolute success. A lot of “gold standard”, generating scientific evidence at the highest level. It was to be on the cover of every newspaper in the world. But they all fell into the spiral of silence. You won’t see any news about or on science sites.
From the history I’ve learned since March, I know what can happen if the information on ivermectin starts to become viral on social networks in the US and Europe: they’ll do some study saying it’s “more gold standard” than the others, they’ll give a dose to the horse and only at the time of the extreme unction.
And this will be published in some “impact magazine”, besides becoming news in all the newspapers: “it doesn’t work”, will be the headline.
And those who question will be taxed as “deniers of science”.
With hydroxychloroquine we probably don’t need a vaccine to eradicate COVID-19
The prophylaxis with hydroxychloroquine presents excellent numbers. In a study done in India, Mahesh Kumar Goenka and his team at Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, a renowned medical center in Asia, showed that the possibility of massive use of the drug can reduce the speed of the pandemic, in addition to avoiding deaths.
Among the 885 health professionals who did not receive hydroxychloroquine, 12.29% were contaminated. Among those who received the dosage set as certain, 400mg per week, for at least six weeks, only 1.30% was infected. The potential for reducing virus transmission is immense.
Another one, also from India, also with health professionals, reached the same results. It is from Sheila Samanta Mathai and other scientists from the Indian Navy hospital. They found 88.5% reduction of symptomatic cases using the drug in pre-exposure prophylaxis. The retrospective study involved 604 people.
Among the positive studies, there is one that has been “forgotten” by the scientific community. It was published in a “impact factor” journal, a peer-reviewed, with everything that is rightfully possible, but has fallen into oblivion. It also talks about prophylaxis.
It was made in China and was published in the Lancet. It is by Professor Jixin Zhong and his team. The research took place in Hubei province, in patients with rheumatic disease. These patients take this medicine on a daily basis. They found a 91% reduction in cases.
With so many positive results of prophylaxis and treatment, Professor Christian Perrone, from France, concluded in an interview to Jean-Pierre Kiekens, that with proper treatment “you can stop, easily, a pandemic”.
WikiLeaks reveals: Dr Anthony Fauci was thrilled to hear Hillary Clinton’s speech
In 2012, four years before the election of Donald Trump, who promoted hydroxychloroquine for some time, Dr Anthony Fauci said he was moved to hear a speech by Hillary Clinton, one of the prominent figures of the Democratic Party, opposition to Trump.
“Very rarely does a speech bring me to tears, but this one did it,” Fauci said in an e-mail that leaked. “Please tell the Secretary I love her more than ever,” he added.
The speech was about “Global Health”. It must have been very good. I used to think that nothing could beat Toy Story 3.
A 21 billion or almost 1 trillion dollar question
Besides the interrupted “gold standard” studies that I showed at the beginning of this article, there was one that exactly reproduced Didier Raoult’s protocol of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in early treatment.
It was announced in the middle of May. Two months after Raoult had released his protocol and its results, as if nobody was in a hurry. “Better late than never. Anthony Fauci regains consciousness”, provoked Raoult on the date of the announcement.
This clinical trial was not cancelled when the Lancet fraud was in place, like the others, but a few weeks later. It was from NIAID — National Institutes of Health, a US government agency.
Dr Anthony Fauci is the director of this institution.
The allegation for the cancellation? Few registered. The initial planning expected to have 2000 patients. Only 20 volunteered. A great contrast with the volunteers for the vaccines that have tens of thousands registered.
With 2000 patients, not being an undersized study, and with the strongest effect on the disease when it is dual therapy, there would be no doubt about the results. It would be statistically significant.
The most disturbing question of this pandemic is: why has no one conducted a “gold standard” study with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in early treatment and in patients at risk?
Yes, that’s right. Nowhere in the world has anyone done a “gold standard” study on risk patients, that is, over 60 years old, with Raoult’s protocol, where he gets 0.6% mortality.
Perhaps the answer to this question is James Todaro, an American doctor. He wrote an article with the following title: “Gilead: Twenty-one billion reasons to discredit hydroxychloroquine”.
Todaro also wrote about gains and losses in the stock markets and told some coincidences: in France, hydroxychloroquine was sold in pharmacies, without prescription, for years. In early 2020, it became “poisonous” by government classification, creating a barrier to its purchase.
“Why was hydroxychloroquine — a drug safely used for over half a century — aggressively labeled dangerous while a medication that proved ineffective for hepatitis C with an unknown safety profile got a pass?” asks Todaro, after evaluating ups and downs of Gilead’s actions at each moment of the pandemic.
“Perhaps no other company has more to gain in the immediate future from hydroxychloroquine’s failure than Gilead,” he said. James also demonstrated how the company finances WHO, contributing twice as much as countries like Spain and twelve times as much as Brazil.
In addition to all this, he explained the power of lobbying by the pharmaceutical industries in relation to the US government. This area of business spends more than twice as much on official lobbying as the oil industry, which is one of the main drivers of war conflicts with producing countries to establish democracies in those countries.
Another person who provides clues about the interruption of studies is Dr Lee Merritt. She made some interesting considerations about the history of medicine in her article.
Merritt begins by talking about an existing dogma: “Since I started medical school in 1976, until 2020, I have heard the dogma that viral diseases are not treatable (with some exceptions such as antivirals for HIV/AIDS)”.
She comments on the ban on hydroxychloroquine in many US states and made a comparison. “To my knowledge, neither governors nor boards of pharmacy have ever outlawed any legal drug — not even opioids like Oxycontin that cause about 30,000 deaths a year”.
The doctor asked a question that coincides with Professor Perrone’s thought. “Has the burgeoning nearly trilliondollar vaccine industry been built at the expense of patients’ lives?”.
“In the age of huge vaccine profit it has become the first choice for every disease,” she noted.
Recent news at Reuters reports that Pfizer is making an emergency use authorization request to U.S. authorities. The news suggests that another vaccine, from Moderna, will also do it soon.
The FDA government website informs us the law. Emergency authorizations happen when there are no alternatives.
The only argument left for those who wish to continue stating that there is no scientific evidence of the functioning of hydroxychloroquine
In this article, I have already shown that we have anecdotal cases, observational studies, randomized studies, double blind, uncorrected placebo controlled, meta-analysis, statistical studies by country, by ideology, by US states. All showing positive results for hydroxychloroquine.
There are no more rational arguments to say that it does not work. There are no more ways to prove it.
However, as I said at the beginning of the article, there is an argument for those who want to continue saying that there is no “scientific evidence”: it is to say that no positive RCT studies have been published in prestigious medical journals.
In fact, these magazines have published exactly the opposite. Now, at the beginning of November, JAMA, one of the most renowned medical journals, published an editorial. “Misguided Use of Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19”.
Right after the end of the text, important information about the author: “Dr Saag reported grants paid to his institution from ViiV Healthcare and Gilead Sciences”. When I was reading this, I laughed. And I affirm that the arguments Dr Saag were not able to change my option to take these medications in case I get the virus.
And not only Jama, the New England Journal of Medicine has published similar content. So has the Lancet.
But at the same time, the editors of the journals have already told me not to trust the scientific journals.
In a 2005 article, Richard Smith, a scientist who was editor of BMJ for 25 years, explained that “Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies“.
Richard commented on a phrase by Richard Horton, chief editor of the Lancet, who in March 2004 said: “Journals have devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry”.
He also commented on Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, who criticized the pharmaceutical industry for becoming “primarily a marketing machine” and co-opting “every institution that might stand in its way”.
Smith gave even more examples. He spoke of Jerry Kassirer, another former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, who argued that the industry “has diverted the moral compass of many doctors”.
But the question is, scientific truth is published in an “impact” journal, or is scientific truth simply, scientific truth?
This is a long article because I needed to disassemble all the arguments, one by one, from those that say there is no evidence.
However, scientific truth is really simple. One example is Brian Procter’s board. He is a doctor in the USA. He is treating everyone who knocks on his door with hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and a few more drugs in his protocol, like vitamins.
The board is in his office. Whenever there is an update, he posts a new photo on his Twitter.
On November 14th there are 754 patients treated, 11 hospitalized and only one dead. That’s right. Only one dead. Procter’s simple board is, and always has been, the scientific confirmation of the functioning of hydroxychloroquine. It’s that simple. And I remind you that there is no peer review capable of turning dead alive or alive turning dead.
So I have a question: who should I trust to make my choice? In the “impact” medical journals or on Dr Brian Procter’s board?
Something tells me that I should believe in the Procter board to the detriment of the Lancet, which puts data from the porn actress.
And the confirmations are really simple. In São Paulo, Prevent Senior, a giant health plan, with 25% of the region’s elderly population as clients, announced at the end of March that it would treat all patients with the Marseille protocol.
Now, in September, one of the doctors of the health plan gave an interview to an almost unknown channel on Youtube. He informed that from the moment they implemented the protocol in early April, they reduced from 350 simultaneous patients hospitalized by COVID to only 60. In addition, recently, the company’s CEO said that fewer people died this year than in 2019, when there was no pandemic, even with Brazil moving toward 200,000 deaths.
Who should I trust? In the doctor’s interview on a unimportant channel on Youtube or the New England Journal of Medicine that also published an article with data from the porn actress?
I can stay hours and hours cataloging practical results of scientific confirmation, like the city of Porto Feliz, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, which compared to mine, has almost 80% less dead, with more or less the same amount of infected.
The mayor of Porto Feliz, Dr Cássio, is an enthusiast of early treatment. He has implemented the treatment in the whole city. On television and the mainstream media he was accused of being a charlatan. A short time ago we had elections for mayor. The people were called to give their opinion. He was reelected with 92.10% of the votes.
The economist Vladimir Vale generated several graphs based on official state data.
In this chart, all cities with a population between 40 and 60 thousand inhabitants of São Paulo state. All have similar public health structures. On the left, the lethality rate among those confirmed by positive PCR. In yellow, the cities in the same region. In red, Porto Feliz.
Or I can talk about the scientific proof of Sertãozinho-SP, who saw its ICU empty after it started applying the drugs. Or the city of Janaúba, in the interior of Minas Gerais, where the mayor said he “managed to control the advance of the disease and stop deaths,” the possibility explained by Professor Perrone, from France.
Or in Marseille, where Didier Raoult showed a graph explaining that fewer elderly people died this year than last year.
Well, if one wants to hold on to the “impact magazines”, as if scientific truth only exists if published in them, that’s fine by me.
However, that’s being a denialist of science.
At this time the biggest journalistic blackout in human history is taking place
It is much easier to understand than anyone imagines. Every newspaper has its own science publishing department. The journalists of this publishing house are, in the immense majority of the times, nerd journalists, fans of films like Star Wars and with a small notion of reality. Many are frustrated scientists who believe they have found a place where, finally, they are valued.
They don’t write about science. They are, in fact, dazzled by science. The editors-in-chief have always considered them entertainment writers. Their texts are usually published on days when newspapers have few ads. A good part of these professionals still don’t understand this.
Favorite Hobbie? Walking around the newsroom making jokes about another section that the editor in chief always considered entertainment: the horoscope. “The newspaper publishes pseudoscience”, they say, as a victorious pose, as if someone, besides passionate teenagers, took the stars’ influence seriously.
Another editorship that they pass far and treat with disdain is that of sports. “How ridiculous twenty-two men running after a ball,” they say smiling. That’s the way it is. I know these people. I’ve worked in the newsroom of a large newspaper.
“Gas is found in the atmosphere of Venus and the planet can have life,” says the headline of the science news. “Shiny fish with wings is found 4,000 meters deep in the Atlantic Ocean,” says another.
Did Wall Street go up or down when they found gas on Venus? How many billionaire contracts with various countries were made because of this latest development? If some other scientist says it wasn’t gas, but dust, are all the contracts threatened? No. It doesn’t make any relevant difference the gas on Venus.
Just as it makes no difference whether or not the shiny fish has wings. Nobody cares if someone says the wing of the fish has been peer reviewed. Just as no one is threatened with death for saying that the fish doesn’t have wings, disrupting the billionaire market for shiny fish.
From time to time, some subjects are taken out of the science editorship and become the responsibility of real journalists. It is the case of the Amazonian deforestation in Brazil. If it was under the responsibility of the scientific divulgers, they would be discussing the megapixels of the satellite cameras and orbital trajectories, amazed with videos of the rocket launchings.
Under the responsibility of investigative journalists, these space things do not matter. What matters are those who gain from deforestation: the prospectors, the agribusiness setting fire to the forest, and the government turning a blind eye. The natives being massacred also matter.
With conversations about “cells”, “cytokine storm”, “in vitro” tests, “peer review” and “impact publication”, basic and almost unnecessary knowledge to produce reports on this subject, these people managed to convince the editors that they should produce news of a trillion dollar industry. Thus, very few investigative journalists are reporting on the subject.
For fear of being called astrologers and deniers, these scientific publishers don’t know how to question. They just reproduce press releases and manufactured consensus contents.
The counterevidence of what I say is the absence of coverage on the higher probability of a specialist being against hydroxychloroquine if they received values and gifts from Gilead. It is a bomb. Look for this headline in the important newspapers, you won’t find it. And no serious journalist in the world is able to say that this is not a matter of public interest.
However, this failure of the traditional press to cover hydroxychloroquine properly will be expensive for humanity. At the moment, among the media that can be considered “ middle”, with penetration in their countries, only France Soir of France and Sky News of Australia have produced investigative reports about the strong powers that influence science. Fox News from the United States sometimes interviews someone who contests the “consensus”.
The remaining produces an absolute investigative deficiency. And this has occurred at a crucial moment, life-or-death, of the traditional press. The scary and excellent documentary “The Social Dilemma”, available on Netflix, shows that network algorithms have created personalized truths.
In this context, the lack of honest coverage on the subject in the “safe harbor” of the mainstream newspapers will lead us to a new wave of far-right populism, traditionally anti-science and anti-truth, throughout the west.
The deniers of reality will feel empowered. All due to an eminent fall in the credibility of “science”, politicized and monetized, together with a press in deep sleep that has unlearned to question.
At the same time, the Western left simply reacts to the demagogic speeches of Trump and Bolsonaro like Pavlov’s dogs, uncritically and without realizing that they have become an instrument of defense of “darkness”. The two one-eyed leaders, even without having taken any real attitude in favor of treatment, but producing cheap fancy scenes, by the image of their fanatical followers, will be raised to the rank of visionaries.
Didier Raoult in one of his recent interviews taught the road to the press. He asked some investigative journalist, not a science journalist, to question the people who decided to stop the “gold standard” studies in France: “I would love investigative journalists to question the people responsible for these tests and ask them: why did you stop them, what is the scientific basis when the preliminary results were in favor of hydroxichloroquine?
“Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness,” said Lancet editor Richard Horton in 2015.
I will repeat: “a turn towards darkness”. I didn’t say that. It’s the Lancet’s editor. And it is exactly this darkness that is being defended by the media with commitment, afraid to provide a voice for those who disagree and be classified as “anti-science”.
Why hydroxychloroquine will win the battle of narratives
On October 29, 2018, a Boeing 737 Max from Lion Air, an Indonesian company, crashed into the Java Sea. It had recently taken off and was on a steady climb, at almost 6000 feet. Even at normal speed, the plane’s nose dropped abruptly. The 737 dived into the sea. It was an unusual accident in aviation. Among passengers and crew, 189 people died.
The Max was the newest model of the North American giant Boeing. It had been in operation for just over a year. The 737 began in the mid-1960s and has consolidated as one of the greatest commercial successes in the history of aviation.
Since the beginning of the jet age, at the end of the 50’s, visually and aerodynamically, airplanes have changed almost nothing. Moreover, the speed has remained the same (except in the exceptional Concorde project, already out of use) with the airplanes, until today, crossing the skies at approximately 80% of the speed of sound.
The evolution in aviation took another path: in the on-board technology of the panels, facilitating the operation of pilots, in navigation techniques such as GPS, in the composite materials used in manufacturing, making the planes lighter, and in the increasingly economical and powerful engines.
So the 737 was being modernized. It started with the 737–200 model. Then the most popular was the 737–300. In the sequence, it went to the 737-NG, until the most updated version, the current 737-MAX.
However, the engines, which were below the wings at the beginning of this era, had a cigar shape. They were getting wider and wider.
This forced an adaptation in the projects. In the 1960s, when the 737 was initially thought, nobody imagined that the engines would get bigger. And in this plane the wings are not high.
From evolution to evolution, the engines were getting closer and closer to the ground. In the MAX version, the engines no longer fit below the wing.
Instead of Boeing investing in a new project, abandoning the 737 sequence and creating a new and taller aircraft, the company made the decision to continue modernizing the same model. A faster, more economical and profitable solution.
In the MAX, the engineers installed the engines further forward and upward, leaving them almost at the same level as the wings. They also increased the height of the landing gear.
After all the calculations made, Boeing saw that the engine higher up could generate turbulence in the tail of the aircraft. This could, under some flying circumstances, push the nose of the aircraft too far up.
To compensate for this, a new system had to be invented, the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System). The system was designed to identify the moments when the nose could lift too much and act prophylactically, automatically, pushing the commands forward. All without waiting for the pilots’ actions, taking from them the plane’s commands.
But turbulence, as well as epidemics, are difficult to predict by mathematical models. During test flights, MCAS action had to be increased. The nose of the plane rose more than predicted. The compensation needed to be bigger and rougher.
During the Lion Air flight, the prophylaxis system entered at the wrong time and pointed the plane’s nose to the ground. It was a strange accident. Suspicions were raised, but a narrative was created in which the pilots were bad and it was necessary to wait for a long final report to make conclusive decisions about the causes of the accident.
On March 10, 2019, just over four months after the first accident, a second Boeing 737 Max dove into the ground. All 157 people on board died. The plane was operated by Ethiopian Airlines. It had taken off six minutes before from Addis Ababa. The accident was similar to the one in the Java Sea. Again, suspicions were raised about the pilots’ ability. Again they said waiting for the final report would be necessary for any decision.
However, even bad pilots do not make mistakes in this way on stabilized flights, pushing the yoke forward and pointing the plane to the ground. It was extremely likely to be some design failure.
Any pilot knew the probability of it being a coincidence was tiny. As well as the probability that all places that apply Didier Raoult’s protocol, with the consequent low percentage of deaths, are incredible coincidences.
nvestigative reporters went to listen to pilots. None of them were accused of being “quacks” when they reported that there was no way that the two strange and similar crashes were simple coincidences.
On the same day of the second accident, Ethiopian Airlines stopped all its 737 Max. The next day, all Chinese companies stopped their planes of this model. Following this, the whole world stopped Max’s operations. Everyone concluded the obvious: it was no coincidence.
The FAA, the North American agency, was the last. It only admitted that it could not be a coincidence three days later. The headlines and investigative journalism of a press that does not eat at the hands of the aeronautical industry were essential.
Commercial interests, it seems, influence. “This is a tragedy that never should have happened,” said House Transportation Committee chairman Peter DeFazio. “We’re going to take steps in our legislation to see that it never happens again as we reform the system.”
“This airplane is designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys,” a Boeing employee said. Revealed by serious investigative journalism, proving that government decisions are not immune to the interests of large corporations, even when lives are at risk.
“ This industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way,” said Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, about another branch of business and other institutions.
In the case of hydroxychloroquine, today there are thousands of doctors and scientists showing, everywhere, the irrefutable scientific evidence of its functioning. Saying that such a coincidence is impossible.
However, without the help of an investigative press, it’s tingling work.
Meanwhile, every day that passes, all over the world, the equivalent of 20 airplane accidents per day, which could be avoided, keep on happening.
The mainstream media rehearses, in a shy way, to tell the truth. But they still don’t know how to connect the dots.
“Remdesivir may not cure coronavirus, but it’s on track to make billions for Gilead,” says the Washington Post headline. “And those limited options have helped remdesivir move to launch commercially in record time, even though it’s a modestly beneficial drug with little evidence it improves survival”. No remarks about the strong side effects have been reported.
Reuters decided to mix an important and an irrelevant piece of news in a single, very careful headline: “Maybe too soon to rule out hydroxychloroquine; tricking the immune system”. They talked about Professor Harvey Risch’s meta analysis. The undeniable statistic, for them, became a “suggestion”.
“The ‘very, very bad look’ of remdesivir, the first FDA-approved COVID-19 drug,” says the Science Magazine headline. They told stories of bad data ignored, strange approvals, bureaucracies and profitable negotiations.
“‘Instead of Coronavirus, the Hunger Will Kill Us.’ A Global Food Crisis Looms,” says another New York Times headline. “The world has never faced a hunger emergency like this, experts say. It could double the number of people facing acute hunger to 265 million by the end of this year,” the newspaper explains.
“Covid-19 Vaccine Protocols Reveal That Trials Are Designed To Succeed,”says Forbes headline. Perhaps one day the journalist will also discover the obvious: that it is possible to design trials with the purpose of failing, especially on low-profit products, such as patent-free drugs.
The BMJ, one of the most important medical journals, published an editorial. They, it seems, are already willing to write that there is corruption and politicization of science. “Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science” says the headline.
I believe that if they put the journalists who wrote these six articles together, confined, in quarantine, it is probable that after about three years, at some intense moment of geniality, they will be able to connect the dots.
In 2005, Richard Smith seems to have watched the future
In the same article that Richard Smith explained the swamp of conflicts of interest of various kinds in medical journals, he made a frightening list and gave “Examples of Methods for Pharmaceutical Companies to Get the Results They Want from Clinical Trials”.
He explained what seem to be constant dirty tricks the industry does to deal with competing drugs when producing “gold standard”, more valued studies: using higher, lower doses or producing studies that are too small, without statistical significance.
“Trial your drugs against too low a dose of a competitor drug,” he explained. “Conduct a trial of your drug against too high a dose of a competitor drug”, and “Conduct trials that are too small to show differences”.
It’s a scary recipe for how to kill competitors without bargaining power, like cheap, generic, patent free drugs manufactured by any laboratory.
The continuation of the sentence at the beginning of this article
“He was capable of being so kind to the children, to have them become fond of him, to bring them sugar, to think of small details in their daily lives, and to do things we would genuinely admire … And then, next to that, … the crematoria smoke, and these children, tomorrow or in a half-hour, he is going to send them there. Well, that is where the anomaly lay”.
The one who made this testimony was a Jewish medical prisoner. He was talking about Josef Mengele, “the angel of death”.
Mengele was a German Schutzstaffel (SS) officer. He was a doctor at Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration camp of World War II. There he had two functions. The first was to receive the trains with Jewish prisoners and select who would live or die.
Among the prisoners were gypsies, Jews, political enemies, socialists and homosexuals.
Those who were considered fit to work were admitted to the camp. Those who were judged unfit for work, about three quarters, were sent directly to the gas chamber.
Almost all children, women with small children, and pregnant women had the gas chambers as their destination. Of the elderly, there were no exceptions. All were sent to death.
In contrast to most doctors, who considered selection to be one of their most stressful and horrible tasks, Mengele took on the task with an extravagant air, often smiling or whistling a melody.
The second function of the “angel of death” was to select people for his scientific experiments. He had a predilection for twin brothers. His experiments included unnecessary limb amputations, intentional infection with disease, and blood transfusion from one twin to the other.
If one twin had died of illness in the middle of the experiment, Mengele would kill the other so that results could be arranged with a postmortem control group.
But his experiments didn’t stop there. Mengele tried to change eye color by injecting chemicals. On another occasion, the witness Vera Alexander described how he sewed two gypsy twins on his back in an attempt to create xiphoid twins. The children died from gangrene after a few days of suffering.
After the war Mengele was not sentenced for his crimes. He escaped from Nuremberg, where part of the Nazi criminals were judged and executed.
Some of the hanged, like Julius Streicher, never touched his hand on any prisoner. Julius was a journalist and was part of a conspiracy network against the Jews, manipulating public opinion with his publications. He helped create the atmosphere where all these crimes were possible.
Helped by a network of former SS members, Mengele managed to escape to Latin America. After passing through Argentina and Paraguay, he came to Brazil and lived in my region.
Unconfirmed reports say that he came to my city several times. Mengele was visiting the former colleague Franz Wagner, head of Sobibor, another extermination camp.
Wagner was known as “the beast” and lived in Atibaia for many years. And even though identified, he lived in Brazil unpunished, protected by the military dictatorship that killed and tortured, which occurred between 1964 and 1985. A fascist dictatorship that conspired against democracy and staged a coup d’état. A dark time celebrated by Bolsonaro, the far right president of Brazil.
Looking at the present times, today, December 2nd, we have 1,496,670 dead by the coronavirus. According to the most complete meta-analysis, 715,531 of these lives could have been saved with correct advice on treatments with hydroxychloroquine, a drug widely available worldwide.
Many more deaths will come, due to the disease itself and the hunger that is predicted to happen, due to the brutal decline in the world economy.
Moreover, suicide rates have become an alarming concern. It is a preoccupation that even affects children. And among young people, according to a CDC study, 25% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 have seriously thought about killing themselves.
This is the picture of the global crisis: suffering, deaths and the denial of effective and proven treatment. Everything already naturalized in our daily lives. In this context it is possible to make some conclusions.
Scientists and authorities have informed that it is only possible to make the recommendation of hydroxychloroquine with a positive “gold standard” study. If they said so because they are disqualified and have no knowledge of the studies of Anglemyer, Benson and Frieden, no problem. That’s fine. But if they did it out of commercial or political interests, I conclude: these people have the spirit of Mengele alive inside them.
The editors of NEJM did not correct the results of the first randomized survey of the drug, nor did they respond to Watanabe, Luco, Wiseman, Yang and Birnbaum. If they did not see these corrections or had no time, no problems. That’s fine. But if they did it for commercial or political interests, I conclude: these people have the spirit of Julius Streicher alive inside them.
Scientific journalists made videos and texts saying that people would go blind if they took hydroxychloroquine, and many people stopped taking the medicine because of it. If they did it because they are amateurs, ignorant, and have not studied, no problem. That’s okay. But if they did it to intentionally generate fear for any interest, these people have the scientific culture of Mengele.
Scientists have conducted studies on severe patients with very high doses of hydroxychloroquine, never used in any disease. If they did not read the Fiocruz study, which already explained that high doses were harmful, and if also, because of inattention, they did not see the correspondence from India warning that the doses were exaggerated, four times higher than normal, without problems. That’s fine. But if they gave a high dose to increase mortality and generate negative headlines defaming the treatment, I conclude: these scientists are the reincarnation of Mengele.
They conducted studies with false data, later published in the Lancet, which justified the stopping of several ongoing clinical trials. If they did it for some mistake or confusion in databases, no problem. That’s fine. But if they did it with the aim of destroying the treatment and generating headlines around the world to lie about the dangers of medication, I conclude: these scientists are the Mengele receiving the trains.
Several scientists who were doing “gold standard” studies with hydroxychloroquine interrupted them due to the false Surgisphere study, even with partial positive results. If they didn’t resume them for simple inattention, no problem. That’s fine. But if they didn’t resume them so that these studies wouldn’t give positive results for money or political interests, I conclude: these scientists are apprentices at the Mengele school.
Several “gold standard” studies have been done with young patients, where there is little statistical significance because they are not risk patients. Others were terminated early, also generating little statistical significance. If they did so due to various impossibilities or lack of statistical knowledge, no problems, all is fine. But if they did it with the objective of purposefully generating studies without results, to contribute to the blocking of medication, I conclude: these people possess the soul of Mengele.
The banality of evil
Israel was founded in 1948, three years after the end of World War II. Many Jewish survivors of the concentration camps moved there. A good number of these survivors, when telling the stories of extermination and Mengele’s studies, heard jokes.
Even with the evidence shown in the Nuremberg trial, which took place between 45 and 46, people did not believe that human beings could be so diabolical. The story was hard to believe. It was too evil. It seemed like an exaggeration.
These jokes occurred until the trial of Adolf Eichmann, an efficient bureaucrat who helped make the concentration camps run like clockwork. Captured in Argentina by Mossad, the Israeli secret service, in 1960, he was taken to court.
The Israeli government organized the trial in order to have wide media coverage, including television, a technology that was already popular.
Nuremberg, in the media aspect, was deficient and little didactic, besides being a new truth. The New York Times, for example, took time to believe. News about the gas chambers was only published for the first time in 1944. Almost at the end of the war.
In Eichmann’s case, the televised images made the difference. That’s just how everyone understood the proportion of everything that happened.
During this trial, Hannah Arendt created the expression “banality of evil”. She spoke about people who carried out orders without questioning, with the greatest care and efficiency, without reflecting on the good or evil they could cause.
In 1962, Eichmann was hanged. In Israel the jokes ended. Franz Wagner was found with a knife stuck in his chest. In 1979, Mengele, the most iconic psychopath who did evil in the name of science, was buried with a false identity.
And if anyone has any doubts about what I am talking about, I make it very clear: it is about crimes against humanity.
Filipe Rafaeli is a communications professional, filmmaker and acrobatics pilot. Anyone who wants to get in touch, comment, get news, go here. https://twitter.com/filipe_rafaeli
To the fact checkers: the chance of hydroxychloroquine not working, according to the most complete meta analysis, is 1 in 910 billion. Before you write anything, call statisticians who are not charlatans who say that this and the other meta-analyses I mentioned are wrong.
To social network censors: censorship is the tool of cowards without arguments. Moreover, it traditionally happens at the same time that crimes against humanity are committed. They always start burning books, then keep burning people. You’re spoiled kids from countries that have never been through this. In my country it’s a reality not too distant. I had relatives who were arrested and I know several people who were tortured for simply speaking what could not be said. So, be careful with these decisions, it might go into the history books.
To those who find possible errors: write in the comments whatever is relevant. I will make corrections.