Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 21, 2020

Coronavirus - On Western Government Failures And Possible Therapies

The U.S. intelligence services fear to come under questioning for not raising enough warning about the novel coronavirus pandemic. To prevent any criticism they asked their favored stenographers to write an exculpating piece.

Thus the Washington Post headlines:

U.S. intelligence reports from January and February warned about a likely pandemic

U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting.

The intelligence reports didn’t predict when the virus might land on U.S. shores or recommend particular steps that public health officials should take, issues outside the purview of the intelligence agencies. But they did track the spread of the virus in China, and later in other countries, and warned that Chinese officials appeared to be minimizing the severity of the outbreak.

If the spy services were really concerned about the issue why did they not warn the public? Instead of leaking new idiotic fairytales they could have leaked a warning about the pandemic. Instead we were given this:

If the intelligence services had taken the pandemic seriously they could have warned the public via their countless stenographers in the media. Instead they kept the media filled with false anti-Russian stories and told Trump that the Chinese are lying which they were in fact not. And now they blame Trump for not listening to them.

Trump of course would have not have believed the intelligence reports anyway. Why would he? The FBI and CIA have for three years tried to get him impeached. They created Russiagate based on a fake dossier. They lied to get FISA warrants to spy on his campaign. When Russiagate finally fell apart the CIA sent a fake 'whistleblower' to launch Ukrainegate. In Trump's place there is no reason to believe a word of whatever any of the 'intelligence officials' say.

The intelligence services failed to issue effective warnings. But they were not the only ones. All institution in 'western' countries and their leaders have lacked in their preparation for a larger outbreak.

China warned us early on. The WHO was informed in late December. On January 3 the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was informed by his Chinese colleagues. After China recognized that the new SARS-CoV-2 virus indeed jumped from person to person it took radical measures to get a grip on the epidemic and those measures have worked well. China has only 3,255 death in a nation of 1.4 billion people. Today all checkpoints were removed from Wuhan city and life there is slowly turning back to normal.

Other Asian nations have likewise reacted fast and effectively. It was and is the 'west' which, despite having been warned, is responding poorly to the crisis.


In 2002/2003 Asian countries fought the SARS epidemic. In 2015 South Korea had a large outbreak caused by the MERS virus. Those countries have learned the lessons from the outbreaks and worked early on to keep the current curves flat. Why was no western country able to learn from them?

Iona Craig أيونا كريچ @ionacraig - 18:22 UTC · Mar 21, 2020

You know the world has turned upside down when family and friends - including Yemeni friends in the UK, US & India - are telling you to stay in Yemen for your own safety. In a time of world firsts. In 10yrs living in or reporting on Yemen, 5 of them in war time. It's a 1st for me.

Meanwhile we learn more about the new virus and about possible therapies. This though isn't a reasonable one:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 14:13 UTC · Mar 21, 2020

HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains - Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents)..... put in use IMMEDIATELY. PEOPLE ARE DYING, MOVE FAST, and GOD BLESS EVERYONE!
@US_FDA @SteveFDA @CDCgov @HSgov

The claim that the anti-malaria drug (hydro-)chloroquine helps in SARS-CoV-2 infection cases comes from two Chinese studies which are only based on in-vitro tests on the virus and human cells. The doses were relatively high and chloroquine is know to have some bad side effects. There is also no sound way yet to get chloroquine into the lower lungs where the virus resides and where it would be actually needed.

There is also a small French trial with chloroquine based on real patients but which is unfortunately invalid. It was a non-randomized study with only 42 patients of which 6 dropped out.

The researches counted the number of viruses before and after the medication to see if it works. But they only took swabs in the throat to look for viruses. During the cause of a SARS-CoV-2 infection the virus does start to multiply in the throat but it then migrates down into the lower lung. Only there does the virus begin to grow in really big numbers and to cause serious damage. While that happens the virus count in the throat region goes down. The French researchers did not know that.

The above details are from the daily podcast no. 17 by Professor Dr. Christian Drosten, the chief of the virology department at the Charité in Berlin. German transcripts are available here. Drosten was involved in several clinical case studies with Covid-19 cases during which every development was measured and detailed.  He knows how the disease proceeds.

There is more to be criticized in that French study. Gaetan Burgio, a geneticist at the Australian National University, summarizes his own critique:

In short, all this hype on the clinical trial is based on a open label, non randomized and underpowered clinical trial on HCQ treatment against #COVID19 with viral load as an outcome that was not properly measured in 2/3 of the control cohort !!!

So to answer the question: What is the evidence of justifying using HCQ or CQ as a prophylactic or curative treatment against #COVID19. The simple or short answer is NONE. To ascertain it, we need a proper and powered randomized clinical trial

While I understand we are in a #COVID19 pandemic, there is no reason or whatsoever to throw away all the evidence based medicine and not doing rigorous science or a randomized clinical trial !

Chinese researcher believe they will have more success with interrupting the bonding process with which the virus sneaks into the cell:

The virus uses the outreaching spike protein to hook on to the host cell, but normally this protein is inactive. The cleavage site structure’s job is to trick the human furin protein, so it will cut and activate the spike protein and cause a “direct fusion” of the viral and cellular membranes.

Compared to the Sars’ way of entry, this binding method is “100 to 1,000 times” as efficient, according to the study.
Chinese researchers said drugs targeting the furin enzyme could have the potential to hinder the virus’ replication in the human body. These include “a series of HIV-1 therapeutic drugs such as Indinavir, Tenofovir Alafenamide, Tenofovir Disoproxil and Dolutegravir and hepatitis C therapeutic drugs including Boceprevir and Telaprevir”, according to Li’s study.

This suggestion is in line with reports by some Chinese doctors who self-administered HIV drugs after testing positive for the new coronavirus, but there is as yet no clinical evidence to support the theory.

There are now dozens of ongoing trials with real patients. Thousands of capable researchers are working on a therapy for the Covid-19 disease and on a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 virus. In a few months we are likely to have both available.

Meanwhile we can stay out of the way and learn how to make our own face masks.

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:

Posted by b on March 21, 2020 at 19:17 UTC | Permalink

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Exponential growth is hard to understand, but everyone understands 10x. You just add another zero. The MOST IMPORTANT number is how many days it takes to grow 10x. In America, it has been around 8-10, with about ~50 known on Mar 1st, ~500 known on Mar 9th, and ~5,000 on Mar 17th. We're now clearly on track for 50,000 by Mar 25th, although it seems to be accelerating slightly. A week after there will be 500,000, then 5M, then 50M, and it's got to top out at 250M adults if it's not stopped by strict quarantine before then.

These numbers are hard to comprehend, in fact inconceivable. But they're real. Unless people get their act together and stay at home.

The key point is you have to DIVIDE today by yesterday's numbers, not SUBTRACT them, to track the rate and see whether you've hit the knee yet. So comparing delta Italy vs. delta America is nonsense; you have to compare their growth ratios of today vs. yesterday (or 8 days ago) in order to find how well countries are doing.

Posted by: Imagine | Mar 21 2020 19:36 utc | 1

The Chinese have published a Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment in English, if anyone here is a doctor, or knows a doctor, please make sure they have a copy, it's only 68 pages and is a complete guide to what the Chinese have done in order to effectively deal with the virus.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 21 2020 19:42 utc | 2

Governments are lying by omission when they say they estimate about only 70%-80% of the population will get infected. What they neglect to tell you is that 20%-30% of the population is under around 18 or 22, roughly, depending on country. Oops.

And they're assuming magic that says that "children don't catch the virus". Which is probably not true; best data is (1) children catch the virus from their parents in a closed household (perhaps not from other children at school, no real proof on that one), but (2) children are largely asymptomatic or only get mild infections that are undetected, whether children can transmit to others remains to be seen.

Anyway, governments are assuming that, given baseline cases, soft cross-your-fingers "social isolation" lockdowns are probably going to be ineffective, and most every adult may end up getting it; so (2) hard lockdowns may end up being necessary.

It is going to be critical to (a) educate people and treat them like adults, so that they are self-motivated to effect spontaneous hard-level isolation by themselves; otherwise, (b) fascist factions in "security" will feel called to enforce totalitarian control over populations.

We're already seeing this play out in Israel, with Netanyahu asserting the right to spy on everyone's phone conversations and track them (wtf? what does this have to do with quarantine?), along with folks in the Knesset saying "civilians are going to have to give up their individual liberties in order to survive". Remember America once had concentration camps for Americans of Japanese and even German ethnicity. It can happen again.

Posted by: Imagine | Mar 21 2020 19:51 utc | 3

Since when did the CIA, the NSA, the DIA and the rest of the much vaunted 17 alphabet-named intel agencies in the US ever provide much in the way of "intelligence"?

The CIA famously failed to foresee the revolution that felled Iranian shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and the role Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini played in it, in 1979. The CIA also failed to foresee the downfall of Communist govts in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in 1989 and 1991. Instead the CIA spends US taxpayer millions on brainwashing and torture programs like MK ULTRA and their like in universities and institutions in the US and Canada (McGill University) from the 1950s onwards.

The current activities of the CIA and FBI in promoting anti-Russia / anti-China propaganda and propaganda aimed at destabilising these and other nations that don't bow to the US are equivalent to a global witch-hunt hysteria. The CIA's patron saint should be 17th-century English self-proclaimed Witchfinder General Matthee Hopkins. Senator Eugene McCarthy probably wouldn't come close to this fanatic.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 21 2020 19:51 utc | 4

The French study added azithromycin purely by chance to treat other issues. They reported their results because the combination of HCQ and AZI cleared the virus (at least relatively) in 100% of those patients, compared with HCQ working in little more than half. Obviously, it needs to be more widely tested, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason to dismiss it. Do you work for a pharm co (both drugs are long established generics)?

Posted by: Rucio | Mar 21 2020 19:52 utc | 5

I wonder how local the corona infection can be. I read something about a percentage having contagious diarrhea so I imagined a deliberate infection of the intestines. A very clean pill which dissolves in the gut or something inserted through the rear entrance. Maybe it would lead to immunity (frequently) with a much smaller fraction of hospitalisation/intensive care. It's a statistical reasoning of course. You don't need to rely on a strict localisation of the infection .It may be enough that the infection affects the lungs somewhat later so that it is mostly conquered before it escalates to the deep lungs. And you have to be careful not to get infected twice.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Mar 21 2020 19:53 utc | 6

Typo in my comment @ 3: "Mathee" should read "Matthew" instead. Typing very fast on my smartphone! Apologies to all.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 21 2020 19:55 utc | 7

In Spain

"En algunos centros valoran la edad y el estado general del paciente; y en otros, como el Vall d'Hebron de Barcelona —el más importante de Cataluña —ultiman un protocolo según el cual los mayores de 80 años, los que padezcan demencia o los que tengan entre 70 y 80 pero sufran patologías previas recibirían oxígeno en mascarillas pero no respiradores"

Today in Madrid or Barcelona if you are +80 y/o or +70 and you have another pathology and you have the Covid-19, you are doomed

Posted by: DFC | Mar 21 2020 19:56 utc | 8

@4 Rucio

From my 2, Chinese treatment is

"At FAHZU, lopinavir/ritonavir (2 capsules, po q12h) combin
ed with arbidol (200 mg po q12h) were applied as the basic regimen. From the treatment experience of 49 patients
in our hospital, the average time to achieve negative viral n
ucleic acid test for the first time was 12 days (95% CI: 8-15 days). The duration of negative nucleic acid test result
(negative for more than 2 times consecutively with interval
≥ 24h) was 13.5 days (95% CI: 9.5 - 17.5 days).
If the basic regimen is not effective, chloroquine phosphate can be used on adults between 18-65 years old (weight ≥ 50 kg: 500 mg bid; weight ≤50 kg: 500 mg bid for first
two days, 500 mg qd for following five days).
Interferon nebulization is recommended in Protocols for Diagnosis and Treatment of COVID-19
. We recommend that it should be performed in negative-pressure wards rather than general wards due to the possibility of aerosol transmission.
Darunavir/cobicistat has some degree of antiviral activit
y in viral suppression test in vitro, based on the treatment experience of AIDS patients, and the adverse events are
relatively mild. For patients who are intolerant to lopinavir
/ritonavir, darunavir/ cobici - stat (1 tablet qd) or favipiravir (starting dose of 1600 mg followed by 600 mg tid) is an
alternative option after the ethical review. Simultaneous
use of three or more antiviral drugs is not recommended."

Posted by: TJ | Mar 21 2020 19:57 utc | 9

Why do so many people not understand the dynamics of political value in a crisis? There is a good book on political crisis management called The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. We are seeing the Dems battle the GOP on how best to react to the crisis not by what is actually best, but what makes the other side look bad. Which is why we need people like Tulsi Gabbard as leaders instead of corporate tools, like we have. Tulsi Gabbard: The End Times

Posted by: Kali | Mar 21 2020 19:58 utc | 10

Posted by: Imagine | Mar 21 2020 19:36 utc | 1

The key point is you have to DIVIDE today by yesterday's numbers... you have to compare their growth ratios of today vs. yesterday (or 8 days ago) in order to find how well countries are doing.


This is what I wrote on March 11:


...Any lockdown of quarantine is slow to show effects as there are some eleven days of infections not yet showing symptoms or diagnosed. In Wuhan the lockdown was highly effective in preventing new infections as the epidemic was eliminated in three weeks. Still the number of cases grew almost a 100-fold from under 830 to 67773.

My simple mathematical model says that the total number of infections corresponds to a 11-day growth at the current rate of growth. As the daily growth numbers vary, the "ten-day rule" says that ratio of total or expected cases to already diagnosed cases is the ratio of the number of cases today to the number of cases from ten days ago.

...This is a 38.6-fold increase in ten days.

The very latest number reported from the USA is 1052. Multiplying this by 38.625 gives a total of 40633. This is my estimate of the total number of COVID-19 cases in the USA if Wuhan-style lockdown and quarantine measures were implemented. Most likely it also corresponds to the number of people already infected.

For more on the mathematics and Italy see the full post.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 21 2020 19:58 utc | 11

I assumed that people believed in herd immunity because they didn't go through the math, namely that in low numbers we can keep the CFR and the mortality in the order of the Hong Kong flu(rich man's chances) while for big numbers it's more Spanish flu (or poor man's chances).

But how bad will the economic impact be? Maybe it will be worse than the herd immunity approach. Our capitalism seems to drift towards a vampire version: it grows by sucking other things dry: resources, people, financial reserves for the future, security and risk, trust.. The Boeing scenario say. Maybe some people make that calculation in a manner which is less cynical than we think.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Mar 21 2020 20:06 utc | 12

Here in Morocco, both Hydroxychloroquine & azythromycine were readily available in pharmacies until the state decided to hoard them for treatment and King Mohammed VI has ordered Sanofi Maroc (French company Sanofi makes Plaquenil, brand hydroxychloroquine) to increase the production of this drug. I wouldnt dismiss chloroquine yet. I had malaria 3 times and it cured the illness in 3 to 5 days..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 21 2020 20:11 utc | 13

Thanks *b*.
Cheers & Good Health to You & All.

Posted by: Veritas X- | Mar 21 2020 20:11 utc | 14

Agreed: Not clear at all that hydrochloroquine helps with patients already hospitalized.
It *may* help with 1st stage nCOV - the virusemia phase.
From my own view, it is low cost, side effects and dosages are known and has promise from an anti-virus mechanism.
Not a miracle cure.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 21 2020 20:14 utc | 15

I thought it was well known that U.S. intelligence services don't exist to warn the public about possible dangers from abroad. They exist to create dangers abroad and at home.

"The U.S. intelligence services fear to come under questioning for not raising enough warning about the novel coronavirus pandemic."

Fear being questioned? U.S. intelligence agencies don't fear being questioned--I thought this was well-known too. It's going to be harder and harder to write articles from the perspective of being in favor of the U.S. regime using martial law on us without completely forgetting what the U.S. regime stands for in the first place.

The Corbett Report released a video today about martial law. In it, he shows us a German document from 2013, entitled:
“Information from the German government – Report on risk analysis in civil protection 2012”

"In it, frightening similarities with what is currently happening can be seen – in particular by explicitly mentioning the “SARS coronavirus (CoV)”. The scenario presented, in which the spread, course, duration, mortality etc. are described, goes as far as to make a drastic restriction of fundamental rights necessary.
The scenario states in this respect:"

“The competent authorities, first of all the public health authorities and primarily the public health officers, must take measures to prevent communicable diseases. The IfSG [Infektionsschutzgesetz] allows, among other things, restrictions of basic rights, such as the right to inviolability of the home. Within the framework of necessary protective measures, the fundamental right of personal freedom and the freedom of assembly can also be restricted. In addition to these measures to be ordered directly by the public health officer, the Federal Ministry of Health can order by statutory order that threatened sections of the population have to take part in protective vaccinations or other measures of specific prophylaxis, whereby the right to physical integrity can be restricted”.

Knowing that b is German, I thought this could be of interest to him;)

Here is the link to Corbett's video from today:
"Medical Martial Law 2020"

Posted by: SharonM | Mar 21 2020 20:18 utc | 16

@11 Tuyzentfloot

The disease COVID-19 is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, a very close genetic relation to SARS-CoV which caused SARS. A vaccine was created against the original SARS-CoV and in animal trials cause an immune overreaction called cytokine storm that resulted in the animals death. Given vaccine immunity is no different than immunity acquired from having been infected and recovered it is unlikely that herd immunity will work, more like the 1918 Spanish Flu where it was cytokine storm and not the virus that killed off such a large proportion of the young, of course it would then be endemic, with flu season being more like Spanish Flu season every year. I really hope this is not the case.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 21 2020 20:18 utc | 17

thank you b.... i heard that facemasks help very little...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2020 20:21 utc | 18

@9 Kali

That was a ridiculous article, Kali. I hope you didn't write it yourself. Gabbard is now supporting a warmonger who should be in prison. She is as fake as Biden. I hope she dissolves into a wave.

Posted by: SharonM | Mar 21 2020 20:27 utc | 19

Can't help but wonder how the Chinese economy fared during the height of their "lock-down." We're hearing about the medical
side, but almost nothing about the sociological side, and how the Chinese people handled it in their daily lives.

Posted by: ben | Mar 21 2020 20:49 utc | 20

"There is also no sound way yet to get chloroquine into the lower lungs where the virus resides"

chloroquine mode of action "Antiviral
Chloroquine has antiviral effects,[33] which work by increasing endosomal pH resulting in impaired virus/cell fusion that requires a low pH.[34][35]

Chloroquine also seems to act as a zinc ionophore, thereby allowing extra cellular zinc to enter inside the cell and inhibit viral RNA dependant RNA polymerase.[36][37] This mechanism of action was partly reported in a patent published in 2010 about the use of combination therapy of Trimethoprim and zinc at specific ratio. That was reported to have anti respiratory RNA virus infection."

That is from wikipedia but similar to what I have read elsewhere.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 21 2020 20:49 utc | 21

@TJ 16, I understand it can trigger a degree of cytokine storm . I was just hoping it would increase the chances of survival significantly in a "poor man's" scenario which will be the dominant scenario worldwide.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Mar 21 2020 20:50 utc | 22

SharonM @ 18; Yep, pretty much my take also...

Posted by: ben | Mar 21 2020 20:52 utc | 23

While it may be true that the drugs under consideration are not *proven* to work fully in stopping the virus, I see no reason why emergency authorizations to prescribe these drugs can't be done with patient consent.

The Chinese have the most experience with this virus. They use various specific protocols (including, by the way, intravenous does of Vitamin C equivalent to 3.5 grams a day - and intravenous means a much higher effective dose than possible orally - apparently to stimulate the immune system). Regardless of whether they are "proven" to Western standards, I suggest it would be prudent for Western medical professionals to follow their lead until ineffectiveness is proven otherwise.

From what I've read, hydroxychloroquine is tolerated better than chloroquine which appears to be why it's being preferred.

The bottom line is who dies after being dosed with these drugs and who doesn't. Even if the experiment is of limited value technically, it's worth noting and following up on. As I'm sure it will be. Dismissing the potential benefit of these treatments prematurely is unwise, although warning that they are unproven is not. It's not an either-or situation.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 21 2020 20:52 utc | 24

I wonder, b, if you can comment on why South Korea’s “COVID-19 Central Clinical Task Force, composed of physicians and experts treating the confirmed patients across the nation” have recommended chloroquine for treatment of COVID-19.

“For the antiviral treatment, the doctors recommended lopinavir 400mg/ritonavir 100mg (Kaletra two tablets, twice a day) or chloroquine 500mg orally per day.

“As chloroquine is not available in Korea, doctors could consider hydroxychloroquine 400mg orally per day, they said. There is no evidence that using lopinavir/ritonavir with chloroquine is more effective than monotherapies, they added.”

Posted by: Jeffrey Kaye | Mar 21 2020 20:58 utc | 25

My brother, this morning:email me from Ozzie.

Subject: Australian Infectious Disease Expert: We May Have A Cure For Coronavirus

Posted by: JC | Mar 21 2020 21:03 utc | 26

Make your own face masks? appears the Japanese found a better idea from the Philippines government...panties. OR, you could order a custom one from Pantsu Mask. ROFL

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 21 2020 21:04 utc | 27

"Coronavirus - On Western Government Failures And Possible Therapies"

Here's the U$A's favorite therapy for other nations;

Posted by: ben | Mar 21 2020 21:05 utc | 28

@21 Tuyzentfloot

Yeah, I get that. I have no idea if this thing burns through populations what the upshot will be, people have cinematic visions of Mad Max, but if I were to guess and it would only be a guess, you might end up with extreme reactions in people. One might be far more insular groups, like the Amish if not necessarily religious, and possibly other more Aleister Crowley "Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted" group like the Droogs in Clockwork Orange. I very much doubt the social bonds that have been weakened over the last few decades in the West will hold at all, personally I'd rather not find out.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 21 2020 21:07 utc | 29

james | Mar 20 2020 2:22 utc | 266

There are also at least two big US bases in North Italy, one near Vicenza, Veneto and another South of Lake Garda. (Probably also Veneto.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Mar 21 2020 21:17 utc | 30

The Economic cost vs human cost. A reasonable number that comment here think we should wear the human cost to avoid the economic loss.

Watching technology come in, the huge increase in productivity per man hour, which means we should have been able to achieve the same productivity for far less hours work. When I was young just the husband working a permanent job was sufficient in most cases to purchase a house and raise a family.

Now in many places, both husband and wife have to work to do the same thing. If we cannot slow down a bit in a time like this, suffer some production losses for perhaps a year, with the massive increases in production per man hour that we have seen in the last 30-40 years, then our economies deserve to be broken so that something better can be built. The old saying - if its not broken, why fix it...

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 21 2020 21:20 utc | 31

I just think that the US "Intelligence" and most of the US Administration just haven't got it. I suppose when you are waiting for the "rapture" anything that can add to the chaos is to be included.

1) Pompeo and Grenell reportedly arguing that coronavirus has created window of opportunity for a direct strike on a weak and divided Iran. They were arguing about the severity of the strike.

2) Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisian has criticized the #UK for not delivering millions of masks #Iran bought in preparations ahead of #Covid19 outbreak. The London govt. refused to deliver them citing US sanctions! Note that Germany took supplies meant for Switzerland, The US via the Italian Mafia (I suppose) gets masks from Bergamo. etc. Wonderful show of world-wide solidarity.

Pompeo should hold his "rapture" in his hot little hand and .....

About Malaria and chloroquinine. The regular tablet schedule if taken as suggested, meant that once a week you were "sick" for a couple of days. So during the 3 years I was in the Pacific, mostly in Malaria infected areas, (and having had Malaria) the usual scheme was to not to take tablets until the onset of Malaria. (Shivering, etc) Then take a major dose (I think it was six-8 tablets) to be followed by half of that dose 12 hours later (3-4), two tablets the morning after, dropping to one/two tablets per day until over the bout. This only happened once or twice. It is NOT recommended by doctors as there are very nasty, permanent versions of Malaria (Cerebral malaria can leave you as a mindless vegetable)
However, being a lot younger at that time this was considered an acceptable risk. In the case of Coronavirus becoming a standard feature in the world, a "permanent" dose of whatever medecine is finally found would probably be only taken at the onset of the infection by the majority of people.
I remain unconvinced about "vaccines" as they are already being looked at as cash cows, and would give only limited protection if Coronavirus evolves.

There are possibly already two strains, one in China and the other in Iran. (This from an earlier report). Does anyone know which of the two is in Italy or is it another mutation?

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 21 2020 21:25 utc | 32

SharonM | Mar 21 2020 20:27 utc | 18:

Gabbard is angling for the VP position as Biden mentioned he's looking for a woman as a running mate. She better hope Biden remember what he said. I wonder what Biden's criteria for his candidates? Hmm...

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 21 2020 21:26 utc | 33

ben | Mar 21 2020 20:49 utc | 19

"The lockdown: One month in Wuhan", youTube a film from Chinese TV, there are many other videos there that I haven't watched.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Mar 21 2020 21:33 utc | 34

Starting to hide the result of cases and deaths?

Look for this titre : In strategic shift, doctors in America's two largest cities are told to skip some coronavirus testing

Posted by: PierreP | Mar 21 2020 21:33 utc | 35

@ ben

She's a loser. I hope Assad never again lets her into Syria, he's got more integrity in his little finger than she has in her whole body.

Posted by: SharonM | Mar 21 2020 21:35 utc | 36

Hi B,
Regarding the origin of the virus, it seems three ideas are floating around:
1. created deliberately as a weapon
2. accidentally released
3. natural development

The virus as a bio-weapon makes no sense at all. You have argued against it, and the Saker also makes a solid case that its not a weapon.

Accidentally released seems plausible to me after reading

I first ignored all stories with this slant because they appeared in anti-Chinese propaganda sites that are usually full of rubbish. The linked paper does include some links to these sites, but it also includes plenty of other supporting evidence. Its not proof - its a hypothesis that seems plausible to me.

I'd be interested in your view if you have any interest in looking at it.

The paper presents a number of arguments against natural development.

Interestingly, there is plenty of blame to go around. Although some may jump to blame the Chinese government for doing dangerous research and not being careful enough to stop the virus escaping, it seems NIH and USAID funded the researchers. Its likely the research was chasing many millions of dollars for vaccination research dangled by Bill Gates et al.

In brief, two Chinese researchers who worked at UNC. One created a virulent strain of SARS a few years ago. They both work at the Wuhan lab. When doing vaccine research, you sometimes have to create a 'monster' for the test vaccine to kill. Maybe the monster escaped accidentally. SARS has escaped accidentally 4 times from the Beijing lab in the last few years. That's the summary.

If the rebuttal of Nature's statement can itself be rebuffed, it would be very informative. Thanks.

Posted by: Deltaeus | Mar 21 2020 21:39 utc | 37

I want to thank the person who posted this link above:

It does a marvellous job, as far as I can tell, explaining that this virus is manipulated, which is exactly why we don't know where it came from. They assume it was manipulated by China. However, the text was written two months ago and they had no idea how much would change in such a short time. And by whom was it written? A professor who worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory (ironically, we have been mentioning the Manhattan Project a few times) and an NSA analyst. I can't help thinking of "plausible deniability" when reading this. It calls for closing these evil laboratories but make no mention of the Pentagon-run facilities that are just that.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Mar 21 2020 21:42 utc | 38

TJ @2 posted a link to a handbook on treating the virus. This is their qualifications..
"My special thanks goes out to the medical staff from FAHZU. While taking huge risks in treating
COVID-19 patients, they recorded their daily experience which is reflected in this Handbook. Over
the past 50 days, 104 confirmed patients have been admitted to FAHZU, including 78 severe and
critically ill ones. Thanks to the pioneering efforts of medical staff and the application of new
technologies, to date, we have witnessed a miracle. No staff were infected, and there were no
missed diagnosis or patient deaths."

Antiviral Treatment
At FAHZU, lopinavir/ritonavir (2 capsules, po q12h) combined with arbidol (200 mg po
q12h) were applied as the basic regimen. From the treatment experience of 49 patients
in our hospital, the average time to achieve negative viral nucleic acid test for the first
time was 12 days (95% CI: 8-15 days). The duration of negative nucleic acid test result
(negative for more than 2 times consecutively with interval ≥ 24h) was 13.5 days (95% CI:
9.5 - 17.5 days).
If the basic regimen is not effective, chloroquine phosphate can be used on adults
between 18-65 years old (weight ≥ 50 kg: 500 mg bid; weight ≤50 kg: 500 mg bid for first
two days, 500 mg qd for following five days).
Interferon nebulization is recommended in Protocols for Diagnosis and Treatment of
COVID-19. We recommend that it should be performed in negative-pressure wards
rather than general wards due to the possibility of aerosol transmission.
Darunavir/cobicistat has some degree of antiviral activity in viral suppression test in
vitro, based on the treatment experience of AIDS patients, and the adverse events are
relatively mild. For patients who are intolerant to lopinavir/ritonavir, darunavir/ cobicistat
(1 tablet qd) or favipiravir (starting dose of 1600 mg followed by 600 mg tid) is an
alternative option after the ethical review. Simultaneous use of three or more antiviral
drugs is not recommended.
Course of Treatment
The treatment course of chloroquine phosphate should be no more than 7 days.
The treatment course of other regimens has not been determined and are usually
around 2 weeks. Antiviral drugs should be stopped if nucleic acid test results from
sputum specimens remain negative for more than 3 times."

This is not a bio weapon and there is no treatment or antiviral....
Bean counting has its uses at times, but at times counting jars of jelly beans doesn't add up to reality.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 21 2020 21:43 utc | 39

Imagine and Petri Krohn

That 10 day rule looks solid. I did a similar analysis using the percent increase in new cases over the last 5 days and calculated a doubling time in days. From yesterday I predicted that the number of cases in the US will be 55,000 +/_5 on March 25. Just a coincidence that Imagine picked that day for his prediction. Imagine that.

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 21 2020 21:44 utc | 40

Chloroquine IS dangerous and not to be used as automedication. From the French studies we have heard (on local radio) that it provoked heart issues with some people. Just check any website for the side-effects of Chloroquine: it is not easy to use, as any anti-malaria treatment or prophylaxy.

#1 Imagine (the profits that the labs will make)
I have difficulties to believe in your maths. We are speaking of people who do not get tested and are allowed to contact the emergency numbers when they have been sick for a week or more (you can contact them before they just don't do anything and tell you to stay home and take paracetamol / proof is here from sick people calling a very popular radio program
Therefore the figures we see are first made of people with co-morbidities which indeed caught this bug instead of another one. That also includes many people who caught the same bug (starting with their families usually) and won't be affected too badly, especially if they are given a treatment before it reach the lungs.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 21 2020 22:02 utc | 41

ben | Mar 21 2020 20:49 utc | 19

Best watch CGTN....

Live: Medics leave Wuhan after supporting the coronavirus-hit city

Last night watched CGTN TV with Huawei Honor smartphone.

" from SW China's Sichuan Province leaves Wuhan today...brings you this bittersweet goodbye."
- Worked 8-12hrs shift.... 100 plus medical workers, 57 days ago leaving spouse, children and parents behinds
- Initially none or limited N95 masks - wore double for protection..
- In capitalist USA.... Fxxk the company or country, Strike, protests...
- 16 makeshift hospitals disbanded but two 16,000 beds still in operations.

Posted by: JC | Mar 21 2020 22:04 utc | 42

@ 29 foolisholdman.. thanks... milan is also a major airport hub...

@ sharon m / @ ben re tulsi... my thoughts too although i am just an outsider canuck following this...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2020 22:06 utc | 43

first hand report from venezuala on the lockdown...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2020 22:09 utc | 44

Equivalent respirator standards by country
. N95 (United States NIOSH-42CFR84)
• FFP2 (Europe EN 149-2001)
• KN95 (China GB2626-2006)
• P2 (Australia/New Zealand AS/NZA 1716:2012)
• Korea 1st class (Korea KMOEL - 2017-64)
• DS (Japan JMHLW-Notification 214, 2018)

I just recieved an email from a contact in China offering to help get FFP2 respirators if I needed or wanted any. She said KN95 were virtually non existent in China but there are limited supplies of the FFP2 respirators.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 21 2020 22:18 utc | 45

Having lived in Singapore and following the COVID-19 situation closely there, it is worth noting that although SARS was feared and caused a lot of protocol changes for viral infections there, the handling of the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 was what helped them prepare for COVID-19. SARS was largely a hospital infection, though a deadly coronavirus. H1N1 spread rapidly meaning tight controls on entering the country (and getting tighter; early cases were spread internally now they are mostly imported, Singaporeans returning from abroad.) Quarantines (14 days) have worked well to slow the spread. They just had their first two deaths (elderly people with chronic heart ailments) in about 290 cases, but more concerning is the number of "community spread" cases they are finding. At some point Singapore will quarantine the elderly and vulnerable (will be interesting to see how effective that is), as most of the younger population will become infected but the vast majority minimally affected (although France is supposedly different, half dying under age 60? I have yet to see any data or evidence for that?)

Posted by: michael888 | Mar 21 2020 22:18 utc | 46

The mad rush for toilet paper will be nothing compared to the mad rush to get tested. Here in my area things are rather subdued. Hospitals are seeing a rise in visits but telling people with mild symptoms to stay home. Wait to you really get ill then come in and then they will test you. I suspect the count on confirmed cases are those actually admitted to a hospital.

We are on day 4 or 5 our the mandatory stay home order. One death reported in my area of about 1.5 million people. Some stores are rather well stocked and some are ripped. Stores in the area are adding staff by the thousands.

The national guard has been called out to assist food banks in the state as staffing has dropped off and volunteers have dried up. People are still in need. LA is going to get hit hard like NY. The SF area seems to be getting along well so far. Many small business owners will be hit very hard economically. I will guess things should be back to normal somewhat in my area in May.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 21 2020 22:24 utc | 47

@44 Peter AU1

If you or anyone else is interested in masks / respirators I would recommend watching the videos by weaponsandstuff93 on YouTube. I am no expert on the subject but on his recommendation I got myself a mask that takes 40mm NATO filters ( the mask is a Belgium BEM4 )and some P3 level filters ( mine are Scott Pros ) this is different to 40MM GOST filters which were the Soviet standard.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 21 2020 22:29 utc | 48

[So to answer the question: What is the evidence of justifying using HCQ or CQ as a prophylactic or curative treatment against #COVID19. The simple or short answer is NONE. To ascertain it, we need a proper and powered randomized clinical trial]

It's a very weak assertion. Penicillin, Cortison , Streptomycin were all breakthrough drugs that did not go under such randomized protocol, because such protocol werent in use at the time, yet nobody doubted their efficiency, because they cured well known diseases, such as bacterial meningitis, tuberculosis and a wide array of inflammatory diseases without a cure before them.
Actually, randomized studies are useful to test and compare drugs between them. When there is no comparison, it is currently very common to actually cancel the placebo arm of a study if the novel treatment shows effectiveness, for moral reason (depriving actual patients from benefiting from the new cure would be indefensible).
In the case of the current terrible Covid-19 epidemics it is propably best to make the 2 well-known drugs - Azithromycin + Chloroquin - available to the highest amount of voluntary patients possible, once tested positive. It will become quickly clear whether they work or not.
Big pharma will try to block, cancel or denigrate this finding, in order to promote instead some patented and costly alternative "noveltis" that will never be tested against Azithromycin + Chloroquin, both old, cheap and widely available.

Posted by: Henri-Pierre Mathieu | Mar 21 2020 22:29 utc | 49

Is error to say "Senator Eugene McCarthy probably wouldn't come close to this fanatic"

That's the good guy, the drunken azhole commie hater was the other guy.

The azholee was Joe McCarthy.

One more time.

"weapon" does Not Mean "attack"

It looks like a very blunt weapon. So is an atom bomb. But of course that depends of the goal...and who's judging the affair.

Dr Evil might imagine it's a wonderful weapon.

Even so, that has nothing to do with whether of not it was intended, accidental, or natural in sense of not-from-man.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 21 2020 22:31 utc | 50

"The U.S. intelligence services fear to come under questioning for not raising enough warning about the novel coronavirus pandemic.

IMO, this is a misreading.

I think a better interpretation is that US media is providing cover for Deep State officials (including high-level intelligence officials) that gamed the virus response. In that regard, this is the key phrase:

The intelligence reports didn’t predict when the virus might land on U.S. shores or recommend particular steps that public health officials should take ...

The intelligence services failed to issue effective warnings."

But we know that they were providing very effective warnings: Senator Richard Burr, who is Chair of Intel Cmte, WAS getting appropriately dire warnings and acting upon those warnings: trading stock and telling his closest friends and supporters about the looming pandemic and the terrible effects it would have.

"But they were not the only ones. All institution in 'western' countries and their leaders have lacked in their preparation for a larger outbreak."

Well, we shouldn't over look the fact that the top US health officials are all currently or formerly military officers:

  • Head of CDC - Colonel, US Army 1977–1996;
  • Undersecretary for Health - Admiral, Public Health Service Commissioned Corps;
  • Surgeon General - Vice Admiral, Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

I expect that top health officials in other Western countries are also be connected to the military. These officials "failed us" in the same way that our media "fails us": they serve the interests of the EMPIRE-FIRST Deep State.

More here: The Empire Games Covid-19


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2020 22:32 utc | 51

Sorry b but prof Raoult has never spoke about % of people cured but about CASES.
Everything wrote about methodology is then pure BS.
What is more important, % or the fact that people are cured ?
And he has never said it's a " miracle " cure that can end the pandemie
He said : It works.

How many can be saved ?
We don't know.
So if only 1% are cured what do we do?
Try or let people die ?

Posted by: aleksandar | Mar 21 2020 22:52 utc | 52

This pestilence was created by and delivered from the Chinese. It's been obvious for months. The sheeple will never know or they're too scared to think about what's about to happen. But the Chinese made it. The sheep dogs know it. Now we'll see how the dogs respond. Don't be a shill for the commie bastards who just destroyed most of the world. This isn't a wild conspiracy. The Chinese research and researchers have been known for some time. The world knew they were researching a new corona virus.

Posted by: AJ | Mar 21 2020 22:56 utc | 53

AJ | Mar 21 2020 22:56 utc | 52 Wally thinks that is nonsense. All bsl4 labs make horrible germs, and they all leak... And this is past...thus has little relevance. Who is and has been attacking Chine since 1950? Is assumption of zebra in antelope country to claim Chine did to self, Friend. Stop bs.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 21 2020 23:03 utc | 54

Caitlin Johnstone also sees the response being manipulated to focus hate on China: Liberal NPCs Hate Russia, Conservative NPCs Hate China

But she sees this China-bashing as mostly a political reaction:

In reality these people are rallying behind the campaign to blame China for the health crisis they’re now facing because they understand that otherwise the blame will land squarely on the shoulders of their president, who’s running for re-election this year.
instead of a deliberate Deep-State strategy (which is my view).

We can argue who created the virus (I'm still looking for any rebuttal to the Chinese claim that USA must be the source because it has all five strains of the virus), but the Empire's gaming of the virus outbreak seems very clear to me.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2020 23:10 utc | 55

TJ | Mar 21 2020 22:29 utc | 47

I am not particularly interested in masks at the moment. It was just some, what I thought interesting, information that may be of use to somebody, re the various standards and how they match.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 21 2020 23:10 utc | 56

JC @ 41; Thanks for the link. Always nice to have another source....

Posted by: ben | Mar 21 2020 23:29 utc | 57

Just to nitpick on the use of that semi-log chat comparing countries - it is a fantastic way to explain exponential growth to people. however, "total confirmed case count" is unfortunately not the same between countries due to the variation in testing capability, and testing policy. (e.g. Canada has 10x per capita testing vs US as of recent days)

If testing is limited, as is the case in the worst hit western countries, to whom do you give the available tests? In a scientific study interested in the spread of the virus, you would randomly sample the population - but obviously this would waste most of the tests in the actual crisis situation that exists, i would never suggest such a thing.

Anyway, the under-estimate in countries with relatively low per capita test capacity is a really important factor. In some places where each day's new symptomatic infections are of similar order of magnitude as the number of tests, the "total confirmed" becomes dangerously confusing, as it may show linear growth while number of infections is continuing to be exponential. (and, all this is in addition to the time lags due to incubation period and processing of the tests). Similarly, if a country takes isolation measures and a week later they reduce the exponential growth very significantly, it may look like nothing ia happening because the hospitals and tests are saturated. This is a terrible situation for national leaders....

Posted by: ptb | Mar 21 2020 23:30 utc | 58

Jackrabbit @ 54

China and Russia are placing the suspicions the US and the US blames China. Their populations are soaking it up. Sanctions, bio weapon blame, oil wars, trade wars. Such things are the foundations of world wars.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 21 2020 23:31 utc | 59

No doubt the remedies for USA involve violence... Well, they might.

global research ca > "We are dangerously close to a situation where ~ if the American people took to the streets in righteous indignation or if there were another 9/11 ~ a mechanism for martial law could be quickly implemented and carried out under REX 84. "

drum roll, please.

"” These camps are to be operated by FEMA should martial law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general’s signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached.” "

Geewhiz, Wally's not 'sprized. Momma said they would.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 21 2020 23:37 utc | 60

I read that the virus contains sequence first isolated from pangolin, and a sequence known from bats, basically, small inserts from one to another, very typical viral method of DNA exchange, so a bat infected a pangolin, pangolin infected a bat or some third species was involved. RNA viruses mutate very rapidly, leading to many identified genome that were classified into 5 hyplotypes. The origin scenario is unlikely in USA (I seen many critters smoking at my patio, but never a pangolin.) However, given global presence of US forces, NGOs, business people etc., presumably including locales with pangolins as well as those with horseshoe bats, USA was bound to get all strains under the sun.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 21 2020 23:46 utc | 61

Another little tidbit to consider regarding whether certain elites may have been informed of impending financial chaos --

Posted by: norecovery | Mar 21 2020 23:47 utc | 62

Our Brother T M has opinion, argument, and he's not a fool, but may not be correct...whatever, who can say of things as explosion takes place?

"Returning to the Covid-19 epidemic and the way governments are reacting to it, Thierry Meyssan stresses that the authoritarian decisions of Italy and France have no medical justification. They contradict the observations of the best infectiologists and the instructions of the World Health Organization."

Voltaire, "Covid-19: propaganda and manipulation", by Thierry Meyssan

Posted by: Walter | Mar 21 2020 23:52 utc | 63

I thought this article by the Russian doc in charge of the main Moscow Covid-19 treatment facility was very concise, non-alarmist, and helpful. Two big take-aways for me were that while he was obviously proud of the measures the Russian government has taken to minimize spread of the virus, he was not so cocky as to presume they are out of the woods yet. And secondly, for pretty much the same reason, he warned that the UK and other slow government responses is dangerous precisely because we have never faced this particular virus before, and simply do not know whether an acquired herd immunity is even possible.

Moscow Head Doctor on Coronavirus Pandemic Response

Posted by: J Swift | Mar 22 2020 0:03 utc | 64

From NPR: "Other countries can learn important lessons from Italy, says Dr. Giuseppe Remuzzi, co-author of a recent paper in The Lancet about the country's dire situation. The takeaways include how to swiftly convert a general hospital into a coronavirus care unit with specially trained doctors and nurses. "We had dermatologists, eye doctors, pathologists, learning how to assist a person with a ventilator," Remuzzi says. Some question why Italy was caught off guard when the virus outbreak was revealed on Feb. 21. TRemuzzi says he is now hearing information about it from general practitioners. "They remember having seen very strange pneumonia, very severe, particularly in old people in December and even November," he says. "This means that the virus was circulating, at least in [the northern region of] Lombardy and before we were aware of this outbreak occurring in China." He says it was impossible to combat something you didn't know existed."

Posted by: Godfree Roberts | Mar 22 2020 0:09 utc | 65

@ 63 j swift.. thanks.. however, your link didn't come thru..

Posted by: james | Mar 22 2020 0:11 utc | 66

Piotr Berman
A test tube is a convenient host in which two strains of virus could recombine.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 22 2020 0:47 utc | 67

There's much attention being given to how China and South Korea have reacted to the virus, but amazingly little to the response in Vietnam. The first cases in Vietnam arrived with the new lunar year, via Wuhan; quite quickly the number of cases rose to sixteen, and for several weeks stayed at that number. The Vietnamese government acted quickly, strongly and effectively, until all sixteen recovered (and the district near Hanoi which had been placed under lockdown had completed their isolation.
On March 2nd a flight from London, carrying a woman who was returning from the Milan fashion week:
"The country’s 17th case, imported on a flight from London, kicked off a new wave of cases, [now nearing 100].

Even with a new wave of cases, the numbers are far from those witnessed in the western world. The issue has been taken seriously, with all suffering symptoms put in quarantine and tested, while their places of residence are locked down and sanitised. Việt Nam was one of the first nations to declare an epidemic and has been quick in its response, both in handling current cases and ensuring the spread of the virus is as limited as possible. "
- taken from

It is notable that almost all cases of infection have been brought into the country, or at one-person distance from the person bringing it into the country.

Today there has been the announcement of the seventeenth reported recovery in Vietnam. So far there has been not one death.

Points in the reaction:
Public gatherings were stopped right away - even local community Women's Day lunches.
All citizens and all foreigners are now required to report on health, on recent travel, etc.
Everyone is now required to wear masks in public places.

Posted by: Hope | Mar 22 2020 1:02 utc | 68

new article by Pepe Escobar:

Earlier this week a delegation of Chinese medics arrived at Malpensa airport near Milan from Shanghai on a special China Eastern flight carrying 400,000 masks and 17 tons of equipment. The salutation banner the visitors rolled out on the tarmac, in red and white, read, “We’re waves from the same sea, leaves from the same tree, flowers from the same garden.”

In a stance of supreme cross-cultural elegance, this was inspired by the poetics of Seneca, a Stoic. The impact, all over Italy, where people still study the classics, was immense.

Posted by: occupatio | Mar 22 2020 1:53 utc | 69

Tested numbers are NOT infected numbers. Most of the "exponential growth" is simply nurses getting out their testing kits and finding it where it probably was for a long time.
Likewise deaths - one hell of a lot of old and sick people die in any year or week. About 20k a week in Italy die. The oldest and weakest of those will get diagnosed with something to do with the lungs, because mostly when they die it is the lungs that fail.
So again deaths are linked to testing as well as infections.

Plus there is the psychology of hospitals. No one writes a death cert with Covid on it unless a) the patient is young and the death unexpected so a lot or investigation went on, or b) the hospital has already had a dozen covid deaths, and there is no further embarrassment to write it.

Sick man, dying soon, turn off the ventilator, nil by mouth (he can't swallow so starve him), lungs fail - death by lung infection or virus, this is an every day occurrence. Call the virus Covid-19.

I'm not leaning one way or the other but someone needs to do this analysis.
Suppress, spread out the infection rate over a longer period, don't overwork the hospitals, reduce the deaths directly linked to Covid-19
Or accept it, short term much higher death rates, get back to near normal in 6-9 months. Recession over, hospitals start treating normal and younger patients again. Economy rebounds with many health and psychological advantages (not just re-election).

In terms of COVID deaths this is an easy win for Suppress.
In terms of QUALYS (Quality of Life Years) it really is a much harder choice. Most Covid deaths are not shortening lives by much, and are shortening quality lives by very little.
Failure to treat middle-aged diabetics could be taking 10 to 20 years off their lives.

It would be nice to see this analysis done (though the wording has to be very delicate).

Posted by: Michael Droy | Mar 22 2020 1:53 utc | 70

Imagine, ToivoS and others:
Indeed it tends to take 9-13 days to have a 10X impact, depending on the country. The other thing to take into account of course is that when you take a measure, its impact will be felt 10 days later, and not before, because of asymptomatic cases and of household contaminations that will happen after lockdown - actually, even later, say 14-15 days, when it comes to the deaths. So even if you close down your country completely, cases will rise for days and your system will be swamped by ill and dying people.

As for conspiracy, why would China hit itself first if its a bio-weapon? Then, most importantly, even if it was human-made, the culprit wouldn't be the only responsible, by a long shot. This is why Trump's "China" is bullshit. Every single country's authorities are fully responsible of what happened to them; had they taken measures to cut all entry points for the virus, this mess wouldn't have happened; and then they should have prepared for an outbreak, but no one bothered to put its industry on the warpath by making it build ventilators and masks, and no one bothered to mobilize its health workers adequately. We've all been failed by a bunch of useless morons pretending to be our leaders.
When this is over, people will see which leaders care about their people and which political and economic system guarantees total failure.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Mar 22 2020 1:59 utc | 71

Reasonably good site to track the numbers in the virus issue:

Posted by: Thomas Minnehan | Mar 22 2020 2:09 utc | 72

A new take on herd immunity by Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett. Opinions?

Posted by: Carlos Zarate | Mar 22 2020 2:15 utc | 73

Thomas Minnehan - 69
I will be blunt. This Aaron Ginn is basically a murderous piece of shit. And that's the "nice and consensual" way I have to put it. All his numbers and reasonings are wrong. His numbers are fucking outdated and a joke. Precautionary principles should trump everything and this asshole is doing what all our treasonousn and murderous governments did: if the economy risks to be hurt, better to let tens of thousands die.
Italy's mortality rate is now above 10%. It's not "7% of severe cases" in Italy, it's "10% of those who tested positive are now dead".
This complete retard has no idea about statistics and not the faintest clue what exponential growth is.
If China and Korea had a bell curve, as he shows, it's not because the pandemic died off on its own, it's because people were shut down and massively tested. Sure, any country will end up having a bell curve. After 70% or more of its people got hit. And that won't be a 0.5% mortality rate of that 70%, that will be closer to a 5% because the healthcare system will collapse in a few weeks and anyone that can't survive without very basic medical aid will be a goner.

When all this is over, there will be a lot of people that deserve to be sued and prosecuted for criminal incompetence and willful lying. Ideally, with justice served by mobs of grieving relatives and a nice display of heads on spikes, to serve as a warning to future rulers and authority figures.
Some ancient societies had a good way of dealing with this - the King and the Country are one: if the country is hurting, it's that the king has done a bad job, and he should suffer with his country, and eventually be sacrificed if the hurt is too immense.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Mar 22 2020 2:19 utc | 74

It just came to me that Trump has all his evangelicals congregating together so they are the first to get the virus and more likely to get medical care before the overload comes......

COVID-19 is being SNAFUed and played up by elements of empire because they needed a war to hang their global economic failure on and couldn't get one on so Plan B. The current economic collapse has been looking for an excuse since 2008 to blame itself on and the COVID-19 provides such.

No way in hell do I think COVID-19 is an accident of nature.......

Humanity is in a civilization war between private and public finance at the core of the social contract. Most in the West have no idea they live in a dictatorship of private finance but China and others continue to challenge that undiscussed structure of our form of social organization...the dictatorship of global private finance that has been in place since the lat 1600's. I hope public finance wins the civilization war.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 22 2020 2:21 utc | 75

Clueless Joe 72

Several countries took note of what China learned. My country has which surprised me. been working closer with the Chinese than the brits and yanks on this. Talking to my daughter this morning, and she said hospitals had geared up for possible outbreaks. Tracking has been good and large numbers tested, exceptionaly large considering the small population here. I have seen no mention of it but i think the government is ready to pour resources onto an outbreak if one ocurrs here and my daughter feels the same. Also they have been activly testing anti viral drugs on the few cases that we have here.
Russia has also followed a very similar course.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 22 2020 2:21 utc | 76

US must think this is an olympic race or something the way they are heading towards the lead in confirmed cases. I guess it will only be the supply of test kits that slow them down.
Numbers a bloody odd though. Death figures do not match number of cases. Same for Germany. I guess they just have a lot of deaths due to pneumonia rather than coronavirus.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 22 2020 2:27 utc | 77

The intelligence services failed to issue effective warnings. But they were not the only ones. All institution in 'western' countries and their leaders have lacked in their preparation for a larger outbreak.

No. There's evidence that in UDS they didn't just lack in preparation but actively sought to suppress testing.

NYTimes reported that a Seattle lab uncovered Washington’s coronavirus outbreak only after defying federal regulators …

By Feb. 25, Dr. Chu and her colleagues could not bear to wait any longer. They began performing coronavirus tests, without government approval.

What came back confirmed their worst fear. They quickly had a positive test from a local teenager with no recent travel history. The coronavirus had already established itself on American soil without anybody realizing it.

“It must have been here this entire time,” Dr. Chu recalled thinking with dread. “It’s just everywhere already.”

In fact, officials would later discover through testing, the virus had already contributed to the deaths of two people, and it would go on to kill 20 more in the Seattle region over the following days.

… and was then told to STOP TESTING. Then they were told that they could test, but only future samples – not samples that they had previously collected(!) AND that they had to get certified as a clinical testing facility (which could take weeks).

<> <> <> <> <>

A medical person would not try to suppress testing. That would be a "management decision" and its the Nation Security Council that was running the show (and which had classified all discussions related to virus preparations).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 22 2020 2:45 utc | 78

Americans soldiers can’t even defend themselves now? They need Iraqis to defend them?
You really can’t make this shtuff up. Can you?
“the State Department said Mr. Pompeo told Iraq’s caretaker prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, in a phone call that Iraq needed to defend American forces in the country and hold accountable the groups that attacked Camp Taji.”

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Mar 22 2020 2:50 utc | 79

@Stonebird #31
Your experience is interesting, but it is dangerous to post about the use of chloroquine as an anti-malarial vs. as a anti-viral.
Malaria is a parasite - it functions very differently when attacking vs. what the nCOV virus does. Secondly, the dosage of each pill you recall taking wasn't clear.
The risk is that the chloroquines/hydroxchloroquines are known to have severe side effects. It is conceivable that permanent damage would result if someone took 8-250 mg chloroquine phosphate tablets.
On the other hand, a light dose - 400 mg hydroxychloroquine or 1-250 mg tablet of chloroquine phosphate - is a commonly prescribed solution for rheumatoid arthritis.
It is not known if this dosage level is apprpriate for nCOV, but at least we can be fairly sure that the side effects at that dosage level are well tested and acceptable, as prescriptions at that level are numerous and have been done for many, many years.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2020 3:01 utc | 80


Dosage rates using chloroquine for malaria are available on line. Off memory, one gram the first day then 500 miligrams for the next few days.

As a preventive, 500 miligarams once a week at the same time each week. Chloroquine I believe is like quinine in that it spreads through the body and slow to pass through the system.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 22 2020 3:10 utc | 81

You said:

There is also no sound way yet to get chloroquine into the lower lungs where the virus resides and where it would be actually needed.

This seems like an over-generalization.
The purpose of the lung is to oxygenate blood - taking oxygen from air and CO2 from the blood and exchanging. Therefore the upper and lower respiratory cells in question should have contact with blood - why would chloroquine in the bloodstream not at least potentially be able to affect lung cells?
Secondly, the mechanism in question for chloroquine is not attacking the virus. It is making it difficult for the virus to penetrate into new target cells. It is unnecessary for chloroquine to attack the virus present in the lining of the lungs, in mucus, etc if it is able to affect the lung cells and make them more resistant to attack from the virus that is in the bloodstream, as well as attacking from the "air" side. The link I referred to made it very clear: chloroquines do not affect already infected cells nor does it attack/destroy the nCOV virus in the bloodstream or elsewhere. It only keeps the virus from effectively infecting new cells - presumably giving the immune system a better chance to attack the virus that is already present.
The key point I am focusing on is: would there be harm - financial and/or medical - in taking chloroquine in the first stage (virusemia)? The answer seems to be no - if you take a dose equivalent to what is prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis.
Yes, it is possible that this dosage level will do nothing - but at least no harm will occur.
I do think it is asking a lot for people to just roll the dice if they contract nCOV now. The clinical trials are necessary but it is not optimal to do nothing, either, particularly if there is a non-harmful alternative (which cannot be said for a number of the other treatments).

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2020 3:15 utc | 82

Chloroquine has been around for a long time. Main reason it is not used so much against malaria is that a number of strains have become resistant to it. It is still used against one malaria strain that has developed resistance to other drugs. Side effects are known and do not affect all patients.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 22 2020 3:16 utc | 83

I see nothing wrong with testing Hyrodroxychloroquine together with azithromycin as long as its done safely and ethically to gain additional data. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. A lot of people are going to reject it just because it came from Trump's mouth. Drug companies will fight against it because they'd rather sell more expensive drugs.

Anti malaria drugs are part of the primary or secondary treatment recommendations in China and Korea. I'm pretty sure they were used in Japan as well so the first half of it (hydroxychloroquine) seems pretty legit though maybe not effective enough. Lets see what happens. I'd agree we lack sufficient data to make an adequate evaluation. Hydroxychloroquine is also being used with other things in trials. We'll see what happens there too.

** A dutch professor has announced an aerosol version of i believe hydroxycholoquine but it might just be chloroquine that is able to penetrate the lungs they claim. They also claim it can be manufactured immediately.

Posted by: alaric | Mar 22 2020 3:26 utc | 84

The very best I ever saw about this current pandemia-panic-scenario is a study by Aaron Ginn (not a journalist - calls himself a nobody) "Covid-19 - Evidence Over Hysteria" published by, just reprinted by Zerohedge. Beware - it's awfully long. But momentous stuff.

Posted by: Hans Guerth | Mar 22 2020 3:28 utc | 85

I just read and saw the photograph of Trump talk notes where Trump has written in "Chinese" relative to the virus.

So we have the face of empire consciously and repeatedly pushing an aggressive position on the origin of/fault for the COVID-19.

Trump is working overtime to have victim and broader social ire focused on China because public/private finance is the war that is being fought.

I think that a fearful America that is coming to be slammed with the virus because of poor leadership will be open to propaganda making China the enemy of the West.....If TP purchase/hoarding can be triggered, what other stupid responses are out of the question?

All this would make great Hollywood if it weren't our own real-time soap opera playing out and real people dying needlessly.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 22 2020 3:30 utc | 86

It seems that chloroquine and its use as a 'potent inhibitor of the coronavirus infection' has been known for a long time - since August 2005.

No money for big pharma therefore no interest.
They would rather let people die.

Posted by: ted01 | Mar 22 2020 4:03 utc | 87

We should all certainly be skeptical of such a small study (HCQ and azithromycin) but do keep in mind that you really can't trust industry and their legion of paid doctors and experts either.

For example:

The CEO of Ericsson once said "CDMA will never work." Maybe that was because Ericsson didn't have it working for cellular systems at the time. I worked in the cell phone industry as an analyst for some time. People say anything to sell their stuff. I'm sure pharma is equally bad.

Posted by: alaric | Mar 22 2020 4:19 utc | 88

Hans Guerth @86

A mish-mash that minimizes the virus threat and gives poor advice. Medium has now blocked it and it's under review.

AFAICT (after reading it on ZH) it's just part of the CYA propaganda that has appeared after US government's failure. This is just one of many articles posted by ZH that are transparent attempts to blame China.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

These are damning:

  • National Security Council's classifying all discussions about virus preparation (in mid January!);
  • Senator Richard Burr's warning his friends and supporters of the severity of the virus impact;
  • Health officials suppressing testing (as I described @79);
  • Blaming China for the West's failure to prepare - the West had all the info they needed (and kept it secret so they could game the response to benefit their own agenda).

If the Democratic Party were a Party of opposition instead of a Party of collaboration, they would be asking: What did the President know, and when did he know it?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 22 2020 4:24 utc | 89

@91 blame China ... and minimize the failing of USA/West response.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 22 2020 4:27 utc | 90

For those who can read french you should read this very interesting piece :

Posted by: laurent juillard | Mar 22 2020 4:34 utc | 91

ted01 "No money for big pharma therefore no interest. They would rather let people die."

That is about it. A dirt cheap generic drug can't possibly be any good. A pity so many here prefer to believe big pharma rather than the frontline doctors using it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 22 2020 4:35 utc | 92

John Bolton declares China 'responsible' for coronavirus outbreak, says world must hold them 'accountable'

<> <> <> <> <>

Bolton's tweet:

China silenced coronavirus whistleblowers, expelled journalists, destroyed samples, refused CDC help, and concealed counts of deaths and infections. It's fact there was a massive coverup. China is responsible. The world must act to hold them accountable.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 22 2020 4:57 utc | 93

Chinese doctors Chloroquine or Chloroquine Phosphate - Formula C18H26ClN3
Trump Hydroxychloroquine - Formula C18H26ClN3O

Two different chemicals but I take it their mode of action is similar.

"The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$4.65 per month as of 2015, when used for rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.[7] In the United States the wholesale cost of a month of treatment is about US$25 as of 2020" (wikipedia)

Chloroquine Phosphate
"The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$0.04.[9] In the United States, it costs about US$5.30 per dose." (wikipedia)

Easy to see why Trump and big phama don't like Chloroquine.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 22 2020 5:02 utc | 94

The mortality figures from the Italian health ministry certain are surprising to say the least, and not in a way that support the MSM hysteria on this. A Swiss doctor provided an English version of the material, and the original site in Italian is linked within his report.

Posted by: Gary Weglarz | Mar 22 2020 5:12 utc | 95

@97 Gary

Bloomberg ran a similar story. Its worth pointing out because bloomberg is considered more credible, perhaps wrongly.

Posted by: Alaric | Mar 22 2020 5:25 utc | 96

I hate to sound flippant but it did not take long for Pfizer to relabel Sildenafil to Viagra for erectile dysfunction when they found it produced great hardons instead of treating hypertension. A money making event recognized.

Some hospitals in the SF Bay Area today actually have fewer patients than normal since they canceled elective surgeries. That was three days ago. I hear today the triage tents are doing a steady business. We are hoping for the best but are prepping for the worst.

A View From The Front Lines Of California’s COVID-19 Battle

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 22 2020 5:32 utc | 97

Gary Weglarz 97

If doctors in Italy are having to choose who to try and save as been reported, that report if genuine wont be giving a true picture.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 22 2020 5:33 utc | 98

"It is the existence of these serious cases (absurdly estimated at 15% of the cases, probably in reality 10 times less) that justifies not simply relying on group immunity. ..."

Hubei is the best figures we have at the moment. Still 5,000 or so active cases there but everything has stabilized enough to get an idea of percentages.
Numbers at the moment
Recovered 59,432
Deaths 3,144
Active 5224

That gives a death rate of around 5% of those infected. There will also be a good number have suffered permanent lung damage, perhaps another 5%.
No medical care and those numbers go a lot higher.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 22 2020 6:19 utc | 100

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