Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 18, 2020

Cross Immunity, Nicotine Patches And Other New Covid-19 Science

Good news!

There is some cross immunity between a viral common cold and Covid-19.

T cells found in COVID-19 patients ‘bode well’ for long-term immunity - Science

Immune warriors known as T cells help us fight some viruses, but their importance for battling SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been unclear. Now, two studies reveal infected people harbor T cells that target the virus—and may help them recover. Both studies also found some people never infected with SARS-CoV-2 have these cellular defenses, most likely because they were previously infected with other coronaviruses.

The last half sentence is really, really good news. People who previously had an infection caused by one of the four known common cold coronaviruses have developed some capability to also fight the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. This must have already changed the way the pandemic developed. Had there not been this protection in parts of the population there would have been more Covid-19 cases and likely many more severe ones.

That some people already had some grade of immunity might also explain the two limited outbreaks on cruise ships that only hit a third to half of the passengers and crew. Without partial previous immunity more people on those ships would likely have fallen ill.

The two studies mentioned in the Science report are:

Targets of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in humans with COVID-19 disease and unexposed individuals
- Cell

Importantly, we detected SARS-CoV-2−reactive CD4+ T cells in ∼40-60% of unexposed individuals, suggesting cross-reactive T cell recognition between circulating ‘common cold’ coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2.


Presence of SARS-CoV-2 reactive T cells in COVID-19 patients and healthy donors - medRxiv

We demonstrate the presence of S-reactive CD4+ T cells in 83% of COVID-19 patients, as well as in 34% of SARS-CoV-2 seronegative healthy donors, albeit at lower frequencies.

The T-cells generated during a Covid-19 infection are more specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus than the T-cells generated to fight off a normal virus common cold. But a human who has recently had a virus induced common cold will have an immediate but imperfect immune reaction to a SARS-CoV-2 attack while those without such protection will lose critical time as they must build up the immune reaction from scratch while the viruses continue to multiply.

Since the Science report appeared a third study was published that detected a similar result for antibodies:

Pre-existing and de novo humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 in humans - bioRxiv

Using diverse assays for detection of antibodies reactive with the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) glycoprotein, we demonstrate the presence of pre-existing immunity in uninfected and unexposed humans to the new coronavirus.

The rise and fall of hydroxychloroquine:

Utah went all-in on an unproven Covid-19 treatment, then scrambled to course-correct - STAT

The saga of the drugs’ rise and fall in Utah, pieced together from documents STAT obtained through a public records request, provides a case study of what happens when hope and excitement about therapies outpace the evidence.

Two recently published studies provide that hydroxychloroquine does not help in mild or medium Covid-19 cases but has severe side effects in about 10% of the cases in which it is used.

Hydroxychloroquine in patients with mainly mild to moderate coronavirus disease 2019: open label, randomised controlled trial - BMJ

Conclusions Administration of hydroxychloroquine did not result in a significantly higher probability of negative conversion [i.e. release from hospital] than standard of care alone in patients admitted to hospital with mainly persistent mild to moderate covid-19. Adverse events were higher in hydroxychloroquine recipients than in non-recipients.

Clinical efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in patients with covid-19 pneumonia who require oxygen: observational comparative study using routine care data - BMJ

Eight patients in the treatment group (10%) experienced electrocardiographic modifications that required discontinuation of treatment. ...
[T]he results of this study do not support its use in patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 who require oxygen.

After reports from China that active smoker representation in severe cases of Covid-19 was less than expected a French researcher suggested a mechanism by which nicotine potentially hinders the virus replication. A trial with nicotine patches was started in France and another one is planed in the UK.

New data suggests that it is not the severity of the disease that differs in current smokers from others but that their risk of getting infected at all is much lower than for non-smokers. From a Lancet comment: Who is most likely to be infected with SARS-CoV-2?

Among chronic comorbidities examined, only those with chronic kidney disease had an increased risk of infection, whereas the risk in active smokers was around half that observed in never smokers.

A large data study from Britain about the progression of the disease supports that:

OpenSAFELY: factors associated with COVID-19-related hospital death in the linked electronic health records of 17 million adult NHS patients. - medRxiv

We found some evidence of increased risks in former smokers. In current smokers there was a slight protective effect, which was removed when fully adjusted for ethnicity. The risks associated with smoking have been disputed, with increased risks initially reported, but some more recent reports finding that smokers are under-represented in those with more severe disease, and a potential protective mechanism for nicotine has been suggested: smoking prevalence was lower than expected among hospitalised patients in China, France and the USA. Even if smoking does have a small protective effects against COVID-19, this would still be massively outweighed by the well-established adverse health effects of smoking.

The Economist has compared 'excess deaths' statistics for various countries. It has now published the raw data and the software its used to process them at Github:

The Economist's tracker for covid-19 excess deaths

New York State governor Andrew  Cuomo was much lauded for his reaction to the epidemic. But a more detailed look and a comparison to California paints a much darker picture:

Two Coasts. One Virus. How New York Suffered Nearly 10 Times the Number of Deaths as California. - Pro Publica

The reopening after the lockdown is not happening as it should happen:

Failing the Test — The Tragic Data Gap Undermining the U.S. Pandemic Response - NEJM

Reopening state economies without the precision provided by analysis of rigorously reported testing data seems a peculiarly American form of madness.

There Are Sensible Ways to Reopen a Country. Then There's America's Approach - Time

One of the severe economic consequences of the epidemic:

The next phase of America's coronavirus problem is a massive housing crisis - The Week

A reminder to keep the masks up:

Coronavirus: hamster research shows effectiveness of masks ‘huge’ in Covid-19 battle, Hong Kong scientists say - SCMP

The study, which the team called the first of its kind, found the rate of non-contact transmission – in which the virus was transmitted via respiratory droplets or airborne particles – dropped by as much as 75 per cent when masks were present.

Last but not least a must read:

Profiting from Coronavirus - Craig Murray


Some have criticized the current restrictive comment policy on coronavirus threads at Moon of Alabama. Others have explicitly lauded it. It will continue.

Comments that give dubious medical advice or hype this or that unproven remedy will be deleted. Those who insist on reposting such comments will get banned. There is already enough misinformation out there and it does not need further amplification.

Posted by b on May 18, 2020 at 13:31 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Good news. Great work!

Posted by: bevin | May 18 2020 13:53 utc | 1

This is GREAT news!

However,I immediately thought that some investigating should be done on whether there is some similar immunity process correlating to folks vaccinated for the flu.

Not a virologist, but if the recovered patient plasma treatments have had any positive effects, I can visualize biotech lining up to produce the protective elements in the plasma.

Posted by: Ruff Limblog | May 18 2020 14:21 utc | 2

USS Theodore Roosevelt

Posted by: Flatulus | May 18 2020 14:31 utc | 3

So it was a flu, yes we knew that.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 18 2020 14:40 utc | 4


There is NO, as in ZERO, evidence that hydroxychloroquine has ANY positive effect on ANY Covid-19 cases.

There is strong evidence that hydroxychloroquine has bad sideeffects in a relatively high number of people who take it.

I will delete all future comments of yours that insist on hype that nonsense drug.

Posted by: b | May 18 2020 14:57 utc | 5

b - jackrabbit is saying it has to include the use of zinc... i am not sure why he is so adamant about this..maybe he read a study... maybe the medical practitioners in utah never read the study he did and so they screwed up forgetting this important ingredient... either way, i am not sure why jr is so convinced of the 1-2 punch with zinc... it implies the rest of the medical community are a bunch of ignoramus's for not including it.. that doesn't make a lot of sense to me..

Posted by: james | May 18 2020 15:02 utc | 6

Dear B, Having been exposed to a coronavirus other than SARS CoV-2, recently, and having an increased immunity response to SARS CoV-2 is the result of the earlier "cold" not "flu." It is very important to make this distinction when writing in English. No coronavirus infection with or without symptoms is a "flu." Many thanks, A.

Posted by: Atown | May 18 2020 15:08 utc | 7

@Norwegian - the flu does not this to human beings:

Paul Garner: For 7 weeks I have been through a roller coaster of ill health, extreme emotions, and utter exhaustion

@Flatulus - The Roosevelt has a few cases of people who are well but still shed the virus debris, not the active virus. That is normal for recovering covid-19 cases.

Posted by: b | May 18 2020 15:11 utc | 8


I suggest you do a google search.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 18 2020 15:21 utc | 9

Excellent news! Thanks for the great coverage, far better than any media within the Outlaw US Empire!

Today's Global Times Editorial opines "It’s US that fears probe on virus origin":

"The 73rd World Health Assembly conference that started Monday will discuss a proposal of the EU to investigate the novel coronavirus' origin. Media reported that 62 countries, including EU member countries, have backed the proposal. We believe Beijing will be open to a scientific and fair investigation while it is Washington that will worry about a serious and scientific investigation....

"To make its nonsense seem rational, the US wants a conclusion which claims Wuhan is the origin, ideally the virus was leaked from a Wuhan lab. However, what Washington has recently found goes against its wish. New findings have potentially altered the timeline of the coronavirus outbreak in the US, with a large number of COVID-19 cases misclassified as influenza last winter. What if the investigation finds the US is the origin of the coronavirus? That would destroy the Trump administration's narrative and its reelection strategy."

It's very clear China has No Fear regarding this type of investigation for as we've noted at MoA the timeline now greatly favors China's narrative of events whereas TrumpCo behavior long ago sank the current Blame China narrative due to its massive lack of credibility and Treasonous Do Nothing Policy.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2020 15:29 utc | 10

Excellent presentation! I'm not sure of the validity of these findings (although a philologist myself, I live with statisticians and public health specialists who harbor doubts -- that's there job!), but the presentation is eminently fit to be eminently discuss-able. What we see is a great lack of statistic intuition from the mis-education of North Atlantic journalists.

Posted by: JoveBove/區司 | May 18 2020 15:32 utc | 11

With all due respect to b, from Morocco where ALL patients are treated with a regimen of Hydroxy Chloroquine, Azithromycin, Zinc sulfate and vitamin D, irrespective of the stage of the illness, we have: 6930 cases with 3732 remissions and only 192 fatalities. Care to explain those numbers?

Posted by: Lozion | May 18 2020 15:35 utc | 12

America: "We demand an investigation, but the investigators must agree on the outcome that we specify before they begin investigating!"

Why not? It works for gas attacks, chemical weapons poisoning, and airliner shoot downs, so why not biological weapons attacks too?

Posted by: William Gruff | May 18 2020 15:40 utc | 13

Thank you b! my youngest grandson at less than 6 months contracted a corona virus and was diagnosed at an emergency center, his mother also becoming infected. I just sent them this very good news via your site, will read carefully all your links. Blessings!

Posted by: juliania | May 18 2020 15:54 utc | 14

@b, Atwon #7

A little confusion on this write-up. Corona virus v influenza virus? Perhaps this is a problem of translation - from medical terms to popular terms, or German-English. I am no medical expert, but I have been reading, like everyone else here.

b, you refer to "flu coronavirus" and "normal flu virus," in a way that suggests that flu/influenza virus and corona virus are equivalent, as far as these studies are concerned. I think I have the same confusion as Atwon #7.

I had read the Science article, too. My understanding is that the researchers postulated that a previous bout of some other corona virus had created resistant T-cells in some people, who had not been infected with the specific covid19 virus. I saw no mention of the influenza virus being protective.

Also, from other reading, I have the impression that the "flu" or "influenza" virus, the one in "flu" vaccines, is distinct from a "corona" virus, even though corona viruses may sometimes be described as having "flu-like" symptoms.


For the researchers, their chief inference from their results seemed to be: Some vaccine/ therapeutic research should be directed at production of T-cells, rather than B-cells, which produce antibodies. B-cell antibodies is where vaccine research is focused at present.

Posted by: smoke | May 18 2020 15:56 utc | 15

"@Flatulus - The Roosevelt has a few cases of people who are well but still shed the virus debris, not the active virus. That is normal for recovering covid-19 cases.

Posted by: b | May 18 2020 15:11 utc | 8"

Sources please.

Posted by: Flatulus | May 18 2020 16:00 utc | 16

In addition to Craig Murray's excellent essay eviscerating current UK propaganda b linked to above and I relinked:

"But if you read carefully through those articles, you find that the allegation is merely that they are attempting hack in to gain access to the research.

"Because the UK and the US are attempting to hide their vaccine and treatment research results from the rest of the world to make money out of them."

I highly suggest watching the 25 min long "The Karma of Big PHarma" Renegade Inc program featuring Gerald Posner who just published a book on the subject.

I've discussed patents before, shown why they're immoral and exposed the illogic that's called intellectual property and its theft. Copyright is altogether different as it doesn't try to monopolize something that has its basis in Nature.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2020 16:00 utc | 17

The Craig Murray essay is super-important!!!! Thank you, again, b.

Posted by: juliania | May 18 2020 16:00 utc | 18

ditto @ 18 julianias comment on murrays article and gratitude to b..

Posted by: james | May 18 2020 16:02 utc | 19

Dear B,

We have at least one active study investigating the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in my own hospital. It is in fact being compared with other forms of treatment.

I am not trying to bait you or anybody else, but just to say that research into HCQ is considered worthy and valid here in London. It may well be the case that it turns out to be relatively ineffective for all I know, but it is being investigated via a REC and HRA approved research study.

Best wishes to all.

Posted by: Glossopteris | May 18 2020 16:04 utc | 20

Next up from Craig Murray:

"...The study, which the team called the first of its kind, found the rate of non-contact transmission – in which the virus was transmitted via respiratory droplets or airborne particles – dropped by as much as 75 per cent when masks were present..."

Good on the hamsters!!!

Posted by: juliania | May 18 2020 16:05 utc | 21

[My post immediately above was the SCMP link, sorry!

Posted by: juliania | May 18 2020 16:06 utc | 22

@Lozion - "we have: 6930 cases with 3732 remissions and only 192 fatalities. Care to explain those numbers?"

That is a case fatality rate of 2.7% it will go up as some of the 3200 still open cases will also go critical.

That percentage does not differ at all from the death rate some other countries reported who do not use the medication Morocco is using. So the best you can claim is that it does not do harm.

(If one adds the usual not recognized deaths as in other countries the CFR in Morocco will also be higher.)

Posted by: b | May 18 2020 16:14 utc | 23

Altown May 18 2020 15:08 utc | 7

“important to make this distinction when writing in English. No coronavirus infection with or without symptoms is a "flu." Many thanks, A.”

Important point as such confusion can lead to people mistakenly think suffering through a case of flu could help them develop T-cell resistance to coronaviruses.

Posted by: suzan | May 18 2020 16:17 utc | 24


Instead of censoring information from long-time patrons who add value to the board, can you instead edit their comments to include a hyperlink to the post of yours that most effectively “debunks” the information? It would take less time than answering (like you answered lozion at 23) and only slightly more time than “delete”.

I would greatly appreciate this approach. I suspect your other readers would, too.

Posted by: oglalla | May 18 2020 16:25 utc | 25

@ Loizon 12
The US had 6357 cases and 121 deaths on March 17 for a CFR of 1.9%, lower than what you report in Morocco. That's pretending the numbers are accurate.

Posted by: Colin | May 18 2020 16:27 utc | 26

This Week:

"... If Congress keeps universal stimulus payments flowing monthly (which will be easier logistically now that the first one has been done), and preserves super-unemployment as long as the crisis lasts, then just about everyone should have enough money to cover their bills indefinitely..."

Lots of housing front important assessments - b, you are on a roll!

Posted by: juliania | May 18 2020 16:28 utc | 27

Now, if Billy Mays returns from the dead and starts pitching “HydrOxiClean” as a cure for coronavirus, then go and delete. :-)

Posted by: oglalla | May 18 2020 16:29 utc | 28

Posted by: juliania | May 18 2020 16:28 utc | 29

"... If Congress keeps universal stimulus payments flowing monthly"

Seriously does that mean I'll get another $1,200 again and continue receiving? Bless you juliania.

Posted by: JC | May 18 2020 16:35 utc | 29

Importantly, we detected SARS-CoV-2−reactive CD4+ T cells in ∼40-60% of unexposed individuals, suggesting cross-reactive T cell recognition between circulating ‘common cold’ coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2.

Well, surprise, surprise! We don't need to huddle in fear, defenceless against the Doctor of Death after all, the immune system has the power to overcome Covid-19. But wait! That is what the immune system is for! That is what T cells are for.

It has been clear from the start that the state of the immune system is one of the most important factors determining (a) whether we get symptoms of the virus at all, and (b) how serious it will be. The most effective way of coping with Covid-19 is to support and strenghen the immune system.

The only trouble with that is that Western chemical medicine has a tradition of ignoring the immune system almost completely. Ignoring the immune system and encouraging people to adopt postures that weaken the immune system enhances the sales of chemical drugs. It's just yet one more downside of the corrupt Frankenstein that is Western chemical medicine.

There are thousands of natural plant medicines that have been scientifically proven to enhance the immune system. Many of these have been proven to boost the T cells. Some good examples are Andrographis paniculata, Phyllanthus amarus and Glycyrrhiza glabra (liquorice root) - all three have been massively studied by Western medical science for decades, including many randomised clinical trials, all three have been proven to boost the immune system (including T cells), all three have been proven to be effective against coronaviruses. All three have been used as medicines for many many hundreds of years.

There is nothing the slightest bit new about the fact that T cells can combat Covid-19 even without previous exposure - that is how the immune system works. It has long been known that the majority of people infected by SARS-CoV-2 have no symptoms or only mild symptoms. Is that due to magic? No, it is a simple reflection of the normal operation of the immune system.

It is not perfect, it does not succeed every single time ... but the reality is that we are immersed in a thick soup of millions of different types of infectious agents all the time, including many that we have never encountered before, and this wonderful immune system that Western chemical medicine finds it expedient to largely ignore, yet we never even notice them most of the time.

All these months we have had so much mindlessly repeated fear porn that this is a "novel" virus, there is no immunity, bla bla bla ... But I have a piece of information for you (not news but olds) - that's what the immune system is there for. The immune system DOES cope with "novel" viruses, bacteria and fungi that it has never ever encountered before. It is designed to do precisely that. There is nothing new about that whatsoever. What is new, is that after these months of propaganda, the predicted many millions have not died, those that have died were those most heavily laden with other diseases and old age (and, let's not forget, many thousands with NO Covid-19 but whose other illnesses were neglected), and meanwhile millions have been exposed to the virus with little or no ill-effect. With more and more studies showing that the death rate is not as high as the panic porn claimed, and that people with antibodies who never knew they even had contact with the virus are already widespread around the world, finally there is a need for a change in the narrative. That, ultimately, is all that is new.

Isn't it time to come back to the real world, finally?

Posted by: BM | May 18 2020 16:39 utc | 30

Measured and wise words from some catholic clergy regarding world situation.
Appeal to all people of good will:

Posted by: Cosmos | May 18 2020 16:41 utc | 31

@Flatulus @16 "sources"

Christian Drosten, chief virologist Charité Berlin in his podcast no 31. Available with transcript here.

Posted by: b | May 18 2020 16:42 utc | 32

Altown "is the result of the earlier "cold" not "flu." It is very important to make this distinction when writing in English. No coronavirus infection with or without symptoms is a "flu." Many thanks, A."

You are correct. (The English 'flu' is different from the German 'Grippe' and I at times forget that.)

I have changed the text to 'common cold'.

Posted by: b | May 18 2020 16:46 utc | 33

Lozion, b

Morocco been using HCQ+zinc since late March. Before they started there were already hundreds of cases and thousands of suspected cases.

Many of the deaths that Lozion cites could have been from those whose disease progressed before treatment of the population.

Hopefully, Morocco is studying the efficacy of those treated with HCQ+Zinc and will report that asap.

<> <> <> <> <>

FYI the NYU observational study is probably the best statistical in vivo evidence of effectiveness for now.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 18 2020 16:48 utc | 34

We'll see if the reaction was worth it at year end or in a couple of years when all the data is in. Hope it was worth it because there will be quite a few deaths from the reaction. Life is also changed for the worse, probably for rest of my lifetime. Feel like "novel" was thrown in as a fear tactic. By definition, any cold/flu that makes anyone sick is "novel" or it wouldn't make anyone sick. Sure feels like a spooky language power grab to me. Anyhow, hope it has been worth it since the reaction has f'ed life as we know it.

Posted by: Thomas Briggs | May 18 2020 16:54 utc | 35

Alastair Crooke's in fine form today bringing Jung, Euripides, the Outlaw US Empire's Culture Wars, and Zionist Imperialism together to illustrate "Our Civilisational Quagmire" and the imperative of "Looking Truth in the Eye." But all that's initially hidden as he begins by intoning:

"First, the bottom line: If you don’t solve the biology, the economy won’t recover."

A Truth far too many mostly in the West don't seem capable of grasping:

"But the biology is not solved, and the tension of trying to point in opposite directions simultaneously is igniting a separate, raging political brushfire....

"The pretence that the U.S. and the global economy is about to snap back, as soon as virus mitigation is lifted; the pretence that Covid-19 is either a fake (just another ‘flu); or, is ‘over’; the pretence that U.S. and Europe have competent and resilient political and economic structures – and the pretence that once Covid is over, we will all return to a world, just as it was?"

I wrote awhile ago that the pandemic provided an opportunity to use an analytical tool known as the Franklin Reality Model to see the values and beliefs held by differing nations and their cultures and ideologies as it exposes them so graphically they cannot be hidden by any amount of spin or propaganda. The revelations provided my empirical basis for judging Trump's response specifically and the West's generally to be one of complete Moral Failure. And not just Trump, but Pelosi, Biden and the vast majority of Democrats, too--their shared Neoliberal ideology's Immoral basis and Parasitic nature being one of the main roots of the problem.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2020 17:14 utc | 36

Very interesting (though should have been expected) news on previous exposure to Corona type "common colds" being protective to COVID19 infection.

Hmmm, I wonder if a "treatment" of purposeful exposure to a "common cold" coronavirus type virus (if such a thing is possible to apply like a vaccine, say a nose spray) would be a better prophylactic approach than an artificial and expected to be very difficult to develop vaccine for COVID19? You catch the corona-cold, you recover in a week, and you are much better protected from the major disease for a couple of years?

Does anyone know if any scientists are looking at it from that angle?

Posted by: Caliman | May 18 2020 17:19 utc | 37

BM @ 30.... thank you, most sincerely!

Posted by: Nancy E. Sutton | May 18 2020 17:21 utc | 38

Thomas Briggs @35--

I suggest you read this Atlantic article, "We Are Living in a Failed State: The coronavirus didn’t break America. It revealed what was already broken." And either before or during, take a gander at this Real GDP graph that still understates the genuine amount of GDP shrinkage since parasitic financial "gains" are added to GDP instead of subtracted as a cost to the real economy. Essentially since GHW Bush's recession, the real economy of the Outlaw US Empire's shrunk about 1.5% annually or @45% overall with the vast majority of economic gains accruing to the top 10%. That grim reality is the #1 reason why Trump won in 2016, and why he stands a very good chance of losing in 2020--"It's the economy, stupid."

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2020 17:29 utc | 39

Re: Karl, did the 'West' (Anglo-Zionist world) buy (or actually promote) the 80's 'Greed is Good' line, and ignore what Greenspan supposedly learned..."I have found a flaw...I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organisations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms."

Even the average American might be able to see that 'socialism' (i.e., Social Security, et al) is better than 'trickle down'... to put it in simple terms. Neo-liberalism appears to be killing many of us right now. The problem, seems to me, is how to turn the light bulb on for Amerian non-voters... obviously Bernie would have 'had a heart attack' if he'd gotten the nomination.

Posted by: Nancy E. Sutton | May 18 2020 17:42 utc | 40

@26 colin ,you are comparing a single US day with our total numbers since the beginning of the pandemic as a comparative? Ahem..

b, thats about a 50% remissions rate! Close to 50000 tested negative.
Only 190 fatalities and none for about a week now. Current R0 is 0.9%.
II say that regimen works..

Posted by: Lozion | May 18 2020 17:42 utc | 41

Very nice findings, thank you!

Cross-immunity, absolutely. I think this fills a blank spot in the puzzle that I for one didn't even know was there. Chances are, if it weren't for some mechanism like that at work, we'd be mown down like the natives in the Americas were by smallpox.

Nicotine, must have something to do with ACE2, blood pressure, I suppose.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll roll myself another cigarette from my additive-free Bavarian Virginia tobacco. ;-)

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | May 18 2020 17:46 utc | 42

Thanks a lot B, sites like yours keep the sanity going..

Posted by: Den lille abe | May 18 2020 17:46 utc | 43

BM | May 18 2020 16:39 utc | 30

Thanks for stating most helpful reminder that our immune system exists and is woefully neglected...not even taught as fundamental healthcare knowledge in the basic schooling curriculum.

Posted by: chu teh | May 18 2020 17:50 utc | 44

So far today The S&P is up over 100 points or 3.7%. What problems? lol

Posted by: arby | May 18 2020 17:54 utc | 45

BM @30--

IMO, the stark difference we see between the success of the Collectivist Asian response and that of the Neoliberal West's gross failure is a direct reflection of their belief systems and attitude toward pandemic response--They were ready, willing and able; the West was unprepared, did nothing to rectify that, and in the case of TrumpCo, still lacks a coherent plan. States like my Oregon that did their best to mimic the Collectivist response and shutdown early and hard had great success at keeping citizens alive, and we shall soon see what occurs as we gradually return to the status quo ante and tourists stampede into our county that has had only 7 reported cases and zero deaths. Here's a tale about how one death affected a very rural Texas community, and note the victim was 39--not at all the norm for those who died unnecessarily.

As we ask here: What's more important--the profits of your business or the health of your patrons? If your patrons die, what happens to your business?

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2020 17:54 utc | 46

Thanks for your post! We grow and forage mushrooms here in Illinois. You are totally accurate about how we in the West have a distorted view of "disease". This link adds to your comments and also emphasizes that no one single supplement, food or substance is a cure all. Mushrooms, however, are a critical component to a more conscious, vibrant lifestyle and, ultimately, stronger immune system.

Posted by: migueljose | May 18 2020 18:06 utc | 47

Analysis begins with close reading.

The BMJ article in top post refers to mild and moderate cases. All cases are hospitalized cases. What exactly does it mean to hospitalize a mild case? Is that standard practice for covid? The article has some discussion on this point but it basically makes no sense. Patients excluded from study does not begin to include all those who would ordinarily be contraindicated for HCQ. Then dosages of 1200mg per day to start are flat twice what is recommended by Raoult. After 3 days dosage cut to 800mg, which is still high. Dosage continued for two to three weeks where others would end after ten days.

The Economist article from top post is so badly in need of basic copy editing it just makes no sense at all. Perhaps the publication has given up on editing since that interferes with the constant right wing propaganda onslaught. Currently owned by Rothschilds.

I could give some notes here on actual clinical practice as given to me by those treating patients but old friends and HIPPAA have a lot of conflicts. Suffice it to say that politics is altering clinical practice. Which reminds of the article above about Utah. Utah is a theocracy. A theocracy of cranks and cultists. No, that does not mix with science.

If this comment is not yet suitable for deletion some notes on the pandemic as seen from Cook County (Chicago). The current case count is up to 62,000, deaths nearing 3000. There is no panic in the streets. A heavy blanket of fear uncertainty and doubt covers the city, there is no panic. More than 1% of the population is supposedly positive but everyone is asking each other “Do you know anyone who is sick? Do you know anyone positive?” And most do not know a soul who is sick. Fatalities I know of are in NYC. Most lack even that sort of connection. One friend lives in zip 60639 where 2-1/2% of residents are positive and he hasn’t heard a thing from neighbors. Supposedly there is a cluster of six deaths centered right around his house (neighborhood of single-family residences) and no one is talking about it

Finally I do personally know a case. Our mailman had it. Postal employees can be tested, most of us still can’t. He was sick ten days. First retest at two weeks showed positive even though he felt fine.Second retest at three weeks was negative, immediately allowed to return to work. Wife and daughter also got sick, also recovered easily. No tests available for them so no stats. No medical treatment but stay home and rest. On his own he took high doses of Vitamin C plus some zinc, but he does that for any cold or flu. After discussing symptoms with him am fairly certain that my wife and I had it back in January but will never know for sure. An antibody test would be interesting and even helpful at this point, no expectation one will ever be offered.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 18 2020 18:15 utc | 48

"Coalition of 116 countries back Australia's push for independent coronavirus inquiry" Discussion still going on.... China must insist US should be included as a party to conronavirus epidermic

Posted by: JC | May 18 2020 18:22 utc | 49

@ Bernhard

Have you see the latest from the conspiracy theorists?

Busted: Pentagon Contractors’ Report on ‘Wuhan Lab’ Origins of Virus Is Bogus

The document, which NBC News first published and reported on May 8, made its way to Capitol Hill just days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed in an interview that there was “enormous evidence” to suggest that the virus came from the lab in Wuhan.

He appeared to back away from that claim this weekend telling Breitbart: “We know it began in Wuhan, but we don't know from where or from whom.”

Posted by: Yul | May 18 2020 18:24 utc | 50

Considering that I get once or twice a cold every bloody year, that's quite good news for me. Odds are that I got hit by some coronavirus, and most probably more than once over the last two decades. On the other hand, that's annoying for people like my mom who barely have a cold since 2000.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 18 2020 18:28 utc | 51

@ 41 Loizon

No. I'm comparing the cumulative cases and deaths in the US up until March 17 to the cumulative cases and deaths in Morocco up to now, not a single day, obviously.

You are presenting a CFR for Morocco as if it is exceptional. It isn't.

Posted by: Colin | May 18 2020 18:31 utc | 52

I wonder how many ppl would have died 'OF' flu in past epidemics (especially those older & debilitated), IF the 'flu' had been required to be listed as cause of death, when only a symptom was present, not to mention a 'positive' test... if they had even been 'tested'. There may be a difference between dying OF Covid vs WITH Covid, but we won't know for a long time (if at all).

Sooooooo much exaggeration, cherry picking, half-numbers, sketchy 'experts', etc, etc. on CNN; it is painful to consider how many people 'have to' believe this stuff... and how panic stricken the TPTB are that some real info is available... amazing to watch (as I sort of 'must').

Posted by: Nancy E. Sutton | May 18 2020 18:33 utc | 53

Nancy E. Sutton @40--

Greenspan issued his belated and stupendously weak mea culpa long after the horse left the corral and had galloped several time around the planet. One vital component was already deeply emplaced prior to his tenure that allowed those entities to "protect" themselves--Regulatory Capture. Recall "Banking Crises" began to become regular occurrences during Reagan/Bush. One of Hudson's great contributions is looking into how political-economic theory was captured and transformed into just economic theory, which he castigates as "Junk Economics" in his book of that title. At his website, there're numerous essays that deal with that topic; out of the several dozen I might link to is this one from 2011. Discovering how we were manipulated into the Neoliberal religion must be understood if we are to get out from under its boot, which is a tall task since millions must become informed, and the Neoliberals control the media. You asked How. My answer is for us to become informed such that we can inform others, which is why Hudson's written an excellent series of books that make it all easy to comprehend and transmit--I taught introductory college economics and know Hudson's works are vastly superior to the texts we used. The two pertinent books for debunking Neoliberalism are Killing the Host and J is for Junk Economics. For the overall historical perspective, his trilogy that begins with … and forgive them their debts will be a must, the second book he says will be ready for publication by New Years.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2020 18:38 utc | 54

odd that they're betting on nicotine patches working as (seemingly) well as the inhaled form. it seems more logical that direct exposure to the lungs would make a difference but maybe it's as effective in the bloodstream? i wonder where (flavorless) vaping would fit in the picture as it delivers a lung dose without the harmful combustion
(and ammonia and burn accelerators and etc.)

reminds me of a joke from the usually unfunny "married...with children". they're watching TV and see that a fitness guru they knew had dropped dead. the husband remarks that he "lacked our protective layer of tar and pollution in his lungs".

Posted by: the pair | May 18 2020 18:38 utc | 55

I’m always looking to see how this Covid has changed/is changing human life. Be it in the economic sphere, political realm,, or social issues.
My gaze just fell upon use of plastics.
In the restaurant industry — at least — which is now mostly pick up or delivery service, the use of ‘one-use’ containers, mostly made of plastics is skyrocketing.
Where are we going to heap this plastic trash? On top of the Texas sized plastic heap in the Atlantic Ocean?

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | May 18 2020 18:41 utc | 56

WHO's Hesitation to Granting Taiwan Observer Status 'Further Damages' Its Credibility, Pompeo Says

Err... Taiwan is not a country...

I have an idea: if we're in the mood to give provinces observer status at the WHO, then I think the USA should lead by example and give Texas observer status. After all, Texas practically considers itself its own country, doesn't it?

Posted by: vk | May 18 2020 18:43 utc | 57

playing with numbers.... it's dangerous when you don't know what goes into the numbers... to reference many americans and their corporate driven reality - the profit motive is in labelling all deaths as covid for the profit incentive, even when it might not be the primary cause.... we don't know what countries are doing with the data.. it is naive to think they are all being above board with it all.. i suspect it is a mixed bag, so one has to be careful reading the data off for example..

@ BM... i agree with a lot of what you say, but i don't care for other parts of your post... that is what the immune system is for - yes.... that is not how western medicine functions - yes... it is the other parts about the fear porn - propaganda that i don't agree with.. this isn't the ordinary flu... yes, it affects the elderly primarily, but also young people with compromised immune systems for the reason this is a significantly stronger flu... i think china handled this well, as have other countries, but the ones that haven't is a result of ignorance and slow action on their part in testing and isolating those who test positive.. so we see the results of malpractice on the part of politicians in the west primarily - the same ones eager to open everything up.. the social distancing and wearing masks has helped.. i don't see it as fear porn and propaganda as you state... thanks for your comment either way!

Posted by: james | May 18 2020 18:51 utc | 58

@ 48 oldhippie... i liked your line - "not yet suitable for deletion" could take a page out of jackrabbits book.. both of you keep the posts coming!

Posted by: james | May 18 2020 18:54 utc | 59

Testing....I agree with everything written above... Testing.

Posted by: Skeletor | May 18 2020 18:55 utc | 60

On Statistical Accuracy for Pandemics. Ideally, everyone ought to be tested. Otherwise, very large sample sizes are next best. My county has 7 total reported cases and zero deaths, but as of today we have a grand total of 7 test kits for our @55,000 citizens whereas Los Angeles is giving test kits away. Clearly, our stats would look awesome, but would they reflect reality? No, not at all. And the same is true from all medical stats--what's always missing except from peer-reviewed papers are the margin of error and sample size.

A study done that backs up my worry about reopening is reported here and deals with the spreading of COVID-19 into rural Michigan after the astroturf protests at Lansing, the state's capital.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2020 19:00 utc | 61

My main concern is not educating myself... I'm tired of going to events for the 'choir'. I don't need to know anymore... I want to know how we can communicate, educate the non-choir! ... who haven't the time or understanding to read MoA, Hudson, etc. Sure, "go read this book, this website, etc., and, btw, I'll prove to you that they are trustworthy, etc".

I think, if we have any chance, 'we, someone' will have to use the tools of marketing, as in '1% vs 99%', the 'Paris Hilton tax', et al, and where are the sound bytes that encapuslate, create a picture of the current situation? Bernie came closest.. 'economy is rigged, Wall Street is criminal and DC is corrupt'.. about summed it up, easy to remember, repeated often, and true, as confirmed right now. I'm spitting into the wind, and pining my hope on secession... but can't resist posting : ) (Too old for any more marching, demonstrating, sig collecting, vtr registration, ph calling, campaigning etc, etc. plus, we know for a fact elections are rigged - see Greg Palast. BUT, the desperation of TPTB gives me hope and only 9% of Brits want to go back to prior normal : )

Posted by: Nancy E. Sutton | May 18 2020 19:23 utc | 62

@Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2020 19:00 utc | 61

According to a news read at Spuntik today about the so suspicious it seems to some the case of the Russians having around two hundred thousands cases for Covid-19 and only around two thounsand deaths, the response is that they are mass testing and in the case of health workers they are being teste daily. To this add that they closed borders way in advance when they were not yet even hit by the pandemic. Then, in lockdown timing, they were later or more or less like Western Europe countries.

This is, in my view, the core of the issue, especially related to testing health workers.

In some organization I know by known insiders health workers were only tested for the first time in the last week before easing lockdown, and they have never been tested again...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 18 2020 19:32 utc | 63

James @ 58, I hope you have CNN (& MSNBC) (no..hubby can't stand FOX either) running 10 hrs daily, before you can say it's not fear porn and propaganda. The little & half-truth I can discern is buried in fear porn, propaganda, major omissions, posturing etc. (Of course, I wouldn't be as aware of all this lying if I wasn't following MoA posters & links, which makes it all the harder to have it in the background nonstop.)

Posted by: Nancy E. Sutton | May 18 2020 19:34 utc | 64

Apologies if this has already been addressed, as this article was a long one, but in light of upcoming electoral matters, the comparison between San Francisco and California in general and New York, both state and city is vital to the mix, those being large cities and large states. It most definitely will influence whether Trump can be re-elected, since the virus and its consequences are now and will be in future very much on the minds of the electorate. Who can keep the population safe is going to be of primary concern, and it won't be who comes up with a 'vaccine' that has been dubiously tested and kept from universal scrutiny by those who only are concerned about profit.

I'm sorry Greens, your main candidate was still, a week ago, talking to Chris Hedges (when the latter wasn't talking to him, and when the audio wasn't cutting out) about the multitude of crimes perpetrated under Trump and carried over from previous administrations. That's not enough! Right now folk are very aware that both the economy is in shambles and the social welfare/health structure is killing their families! Somebody has to start speaking in an immediate and urgent way about fixing this! Those are the questions that need to be dealt with today, tomorrow, next month and on. This is not the same country it was only months ago. This is no time to be discussing who sounds better than the other guy and which parts of the country he, she, or it appeals to. This country is in crisis!

I urge folk to have a look at what happened in San Francisco compared to what happened in New York. I went to a mainly NY based comment site last night - the mood there was struggling to be 'normal' but staggering in its leaden hopelessness. The virus has impacted that whole comunity exponentially worse than did the 9/11 catastrophe. That needs to be addressed by anyone who wants to lead this country, and not for electoral reasons but because the person running for office recognizes what is happening right now to this country and why! FDR could do it in his time - can't anyone do it today???

Posted by: juliania | May 18 2020 19:40 utc | 65

As I don't see any references to it, I will further recommend a read of the NEJM article b has posted. It is another slow read, but it picks up speed close to the end, which I will post to stir circulations as mine has been stirred:

"...That the United States is failing such a simple test of its capacity to protect public health is shocking. Collecting and reporting public health data are not rocket science. Other countries, notably Canada and Belgium, are already reporting nationwide data on testing at the individual level, including individual demographic data (using ranges for each person to protect privacy) and other key attributes for each test.4 The United States was once a leader in collecting systematic federal data on population health. Now our national disease-tracking effort seems stuck with well-meaning but scattershot efforts by tech companies using cellular phone signals, social media surveys, online searches, and smart thermometers as we try to guess where Covid-19 outbreaks may be lurking. Small one-off studies using convenience samples have popped up to try to fill the vacuum with basics such as percentages of cases that are asymptomatic and of symptomatic people who seek care. Because of sampling bias, these studies are producing wildly different and nearly uninterpretable results. Estimates are so wide ranging that modelers have little choice but to default back to imprecise assumptions.

In the information age, the United States seems to be swimming in big data. This country has generated many of the world’s largest, most innovative, most profitable data companies. Yet when it comes to forecasting the spread of a major pandemic that is killing Americans and wreaking havoc on our economy, we seem oddly lost. With more than 80,000 dead and no end in sight, our national efforts seem feebler and more halting than the 19th-century work of Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War and William Farr in England, where they used systematically collected epidemiologic data and rigorous analysis to save countless lives.

There must be someone out there ready to grab the reins and pull us back from the brink! Someone who's taken his C and D and zinc just holding fire,waiting for the right moment.

I nominate b.

Posted by: juliania | May 18 2020 20:06 utc | 66

Most countries’ COVID-19 responses rated poorly by own citizens in first-of-its-kind global survey
According to the findings from a first-of-its-kind global survey, citizens across 23 countries are largely unsatisfied with their own governments’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Western governments faring worse than their Eastern counterparts.

China’s Covid reporting truthful, contrary to US rhetoric
Far from 'unrealistic,' close analysis shows China mortality rate in line with
East Asian neighbors By JOHN WALSH

The anti-China narrative is based on falsities, and serves to distract people from the failure of neoliberalism. Davide Mastracci

Chinese ridicule Trump's China 'cut-off' threat
If the US unilaterally cuts off ties, the American people will pay a heavier price than us, because China's domestic market is huge and 75-80 percent of Chinese manufacturers are supplying China's market, and the 2 to 5 percent that supply the US can also be absorbed by the domestic market," he noted.

Posted by: Ashino | May 18 2020 20:26 utc | 67

juliania @66

That capitalism kills people and their families is not news. It has been doing that for quite some time. I find the sudden urgency to address that problem interesting.

"FDR could do it in his time - can't anyone do it today???"

No. Nobody can do that today for the simple reason that the Soviet Union isn't around anymore, the American labor movement has been thoroughly destroyed, and the entire working class programmed from birth with capitalist ideology. There are no capitalist solutions to the problems we face, but capitalist solutions are the only ones we can employ.

With that said, which private enterprises should be given tax breaks, subsidies, or other incentives to fix things? Amazon? Or perhaps Walmart? Or how about Google? A new WPA or TVA is out of the question, so focus upon what is possible given the abysmal state of class consciousness in the US.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 18 2020 20:35 utc | 68

Some anti-fear porn. Just made a food delivery to my 92 year old friend and got a report on her 88 year old neighbor. Who was in an auto accident, had surgery, was in residential rehab. And then got Covid. Prompt testing and diagnosis. Sick two weeks, not severely. Supportive care with C,D, zinc. I don’t know the lady well but do know she is overweight, has high blood pressure, has a horrible diet. Nothing in her kitchen I would eat. But she is still active and not nearly ready to die. Old, major risk factors, simple recovery. No question many are dying of this but it is not an automatic death sentence. The lady is back home and doing fine.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 18 2020 20:39 utc | 69

"That the United States is failing such a simple test of its capacity to protect public health is shocking."

Why is that shocking? Protecting public health hasn't been a priority in America for generations. The entire healthcare system is geared towards protecting private health for a profit, not public health. That is entirely as it should be in capitalism.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 18 2020 20:41 utc | 70


copyright is an enemy of knowledge, same as patents etc...

Posted by: Bec | May 18 2020 20:54 utc | 71

Hmm...(I must stop!)... so I'll start... "Covid will cure the sick Stock Market" "Try C,D & Zinc if you can't afford the Gilead $30K drug" "Covid is Wall Street's best friend" "Crunch time - choose fear or fellowship." ... crickets ? (It's OK..I'm always the only one, but at least I know I tried .. adios : )

Posted by: Nancy E. Sutton | May 18 2020 21:00 utc | 72

Thank you so much b for your great science - based reporting. I have nothing to add. Just would like to say that, here in Germany and as you probably know, almost all alternative blogs go totally nuts about this pandemic. It's a great relief to know at least one site with information rather than opinion.

Posted by: Cemi | May 18 2020 21:12 utc | 73

Bernhard thanks so much for your efforts.

Posted by: Copeland | May 18 2020 21:32 utc | 74

Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Shows Promising Early Results

Smell that? It's the sweet aroma of false hope.

Posted by: vk | May 18 2020 21:34 utc | 75

Posted by: james | May 18 2020 15:02 utc | 6

james, zinc is a old very, very classic standard in flue or cold treatment. I use it for decades now. No wonder it surfaces here too or is added in test with one or two other drugs. Cannot harm anyway.

Posted by: moon | May 18 2020 21:43 utc | 76

There is no truth to the rumor that Trump was publicly suggesting that people inject disinfectants, or take hydroxychloroquine, in the hopes that Joe Biden, sitting in his basement, would believe him and try it.

At least, I'm pretty sure there is no truth to the rumor...

Posted by: TG | May 18 2020 21:46 utc | 77

wie gehts b?

From Google news, CNBC, I am told that DJT is taking hydroxychloroquine on a "preventive basis"

Posted by: CarlD | May 18 2020 22:00 utc | 78

Willian Gruff @ 70 Yes, thanks for reminding me! We frogs should boil g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y. No jumping out of the pot! And TINA, doncha know?

Personally, I'd love a native american president, and a woman at that.

Posted by: juliania | May 18 2020 22:07 utc | 79

Last news is that Trump is taking Hydroxichloroquine, along with Zinc and Azythromicine to prevent Covid-19, as latest medical reviews are pointing out at neurological side effects from indiscrimante use of Hydroxichloroquine, that could explain last Trump´s moves in the international and national arena.

This could also well be explained....other president making this in any serious country would be relieved from duty asap..

Finally, and to definitely debunk the fake news spreaded by Trump on that the WHO is biased towards China, Russian FM, Sergey Lavrov, sets the record straight:

New channel on Kremlin News....btw...after the freezing of Vesti News since the general lockdown....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 18 2020 22:15 utc | 80

Bec @73--

I've never been impeded from learning due to a copyright. Yes, there're materials I can only gain access to via libraries and archives, but I find the lack of money and time are greater impediments to gaining access to those than copyrights.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2020 22:30 utc | 81

Since the immune system is supposed to take care of COVID19, provided it is supplied with Aspirin, Vit C, D and zinc, I have been shoring up my defenses.

I also take copper daily to keep my artery's walls strong and aneurysm proof.

I am a one-lunger and asthma sufferer from multiple allergies. Smoked 60 cigarettes a day for
thirty plus years. My blood pressure is nothing to be proud of. So I classify myself in the especially vulnerable
segment of the aging population.

Yet, I say to meself: What if COVID-19 catches me?

Either I survive or I die.

If I die, it will be from Hypoxia of a new kind where I am deprived by multiple thromboses from access to oxygen while not feeling the effects of being deprived of oxygen.

Then, I will slowly gravitate towards death when my brain is totally deprived of oxygen and life.

Not a painful way to die, after all.

I was afraid of the claustrophobia that catches me from merely wearing a mask.

I hope I will not be intubated and put on a ventilator. Sure to die that way.

So now I know.

If COVID-19 catches me, I will either survive (wonderful) or die painlessly. (blissful)

What else can I ask of an illness?

Posted by: CarlD | May 18 2020 22:30 utc | 82

What if the virus causing COVID-19 is first doing great injury to hemoglobin which then allows bacteriological infections to do their work? People are showing hypoxia, not all, just what become the worst cases. Those factors are part of an hypothesis developed by Dr. Zach Bush, a physician specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology and hospice care, that gets presented during this 1 hour 20 minute interview that covers more than just the COVID-19 issue. When finished, you'll have a completely different appreciation for the term Environmental Science.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2020 22:57 utc | 83

"We frogs should boil g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y. No jumping out of the pot!" --juliania @81

Sadly, there comes a point in the boiling process where the damage to the frogs is too severe and even knowing they must jump out, the frogs cannot do so.

Jumping out of the pot of boiling water involves a socialist revolution, with all of the struggle to educate oneself and one's friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family that such a revolution entails. Unfortunately, the damage is very severe. The frogs have all had their brains cooked by capitalist propaganda and think that socialism is all about dictatorship and everyone wearing identical grey coveralls and sharing the same toothbrush.

Can YOU jump out of the boiling water? I would love to be surprised.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 18 2020 23:31 utc | 84


Again, there is no controlled study with results from immediate OH-chloroquine administration upon first symptoms, as suggested by the first reports and the Turkish data. The BMJ papers state that administration was started within 48 hours from hospitalization and the NEJM study you referenced in your previous post was within 48 hours from ER admission.

Knowing the US and UK procedure and criteria for hospital admission, this will select relatively late cases and heavy viral load patients, no discussion about it. Keep in mind that patients are in principle invited to come to the hospital immediately upon their first phone call in Turkey and those calling their GP are said to also receive OH-chloroquine right away.

Again: As for the toxicity, of course the drug is toxic, of course it does prolong the QT interval and might lead to torsades de pointe etc. etc. There are a lot of other possible side effects but ***so what***! Like all drugs, prescribing is a cost to benefit calculus. It's already prescribed in some situations where the expected benefit exceeds the expected risk. If the presence of toxicity were an absolute contra-indication we'd never prescribe anything at all!

Mind you, I'm not saying that chloroquine in any form does anything in the case of CoV19. But certainly the relevant claim has not yet been investigated properly and these studies do not address the early viral clearance claim.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | May 18 2020 23:33 utc | 85

Opposition to lab leak "proofs" Posted by: Yul | May 18 2020 18:24 utc | 50

It is interesting that the opponents include intelligence agencies of Australia (32% of export to China, 5% to USA) and UK's Belingcat. Both would cheerfully join black propaganda before. Atlanticists have their limits. Australia can be ruined by a double hit from slack world-wide market and the closure of Chinese market if Australia joins an extreme version of a trade war that Trumpians seem to contemplate. I assume that exporters of Australia are well connected to their version of "bipartisan consensus". UK would not be affected with similar severity, but whatever the cost is, they have COVID-19 bills and their version of bipartisan consensus does not want to pay for a folly which is not their own British folly. Canada may also re-think their status as New Trumpland, while the fifth eye, New Zealand, probably is most pacifist of them all (and the exporters to China are farmers who are easy to be angry).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 18 2020 23:44 utc | 86

Posted by: JC | May 18 2020 16:35 utc | 29 "... If Congress keeps universal stimulus payments flowing monthly" Seriously does that mean I'll get another $1,200 again and continue receiving? Bless you juliania.

Heh, oh yeah, that would work for me. The government goes bankrupt while I profit. An anarchist's dream! LOL

The House did just pass the bill to send another $1,200, but that bill faces a big fight in the Senate, as the Republicans want to kill it. It's going to be a political fight, since the Dems want to "buy the voters" in the election by sending everyone money while the Republicans want to "buy the election" by spending most of the money on their cronies in industry and finance.

So no guarantee we get another $1,200. But if the bill does pass, Trump will probably sign it since he doesn't want to piss off his supporters by denying them another $1,200.

This is what US "democracy" has come to - buying the voters. Which is no surprise to me, that's pretty much how it usually worked, at least on a local level. There's the old joke about Lyndon Johnson and corpses coming back from the dead to vote for him. But now the bribery is national and overt.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 0:02 utc | 87

@ 86, That was my facetious description of what you were describing, Mr. Gruff. And being facetious, I should have thought you recognized that I didn't believe in it. My apologies, as I see you are after live game rather than conversation. I don't accept your TINA, to put it more plainly. People are not frogs. Nor have I been brainwashed by capitalism since birth. Or any other ideology for that matter. I have an inquiring mind, just as you do or I wouldn't be here.

karlof1, thank you for that video. I apologize though - I didn't think the charismatic young man was actually answering the question about the dangers the covid virus presents though I enjoyed his remarks and the video presentation about the goodness of viruses in general. Rather like 'tiger tiger burning bright in the forest of the night.' If he was getting to the point that it is rather we who have disrupted the habitat even of viruses, who are to blame, he probably does have a point.

Posted by: juliania | May 19 2020 0:07 utc | 88

debunking of debunking of HCQ oldhippie | May 18 2020 18:15 utc | 48

Honestly, there are hienas out there, wolverines, but big Pharma is the largest scavenger of them all (thriving on dead bodies).

The study in Utah that oldhippie described is similar in the setup to the study in Manaos, Brazil. Heavy overdose. In the case of Manaos, one could put it on the lack of competence in a remote provincial hospital (it is surely very remote). In the case of Utah, that can be willful sabotage. Detrimental effects of heavy overdose of HCQ are known for decades. The other suspicious aspect is the classification of patients, how they figured "mild cases", it was described that serious hypoxia starts in COVID-19 before the sick are aware of it.

Basically, all subjects of the Utah studies who got triple overdose should sue for willful or negligent poisoning. Unlike in Manaos, their heart condition was presumably monitored, but it is still a nasty thing to do.


On another note, ponder that: (1) Russia has relatively low mortality among the cases, ca. 1%, (2) a Russian folk medication for common cold is a generous application of ethanol, taken orally, without waiting for symptoms to become severe (3) this is pretty close to Trumpian musing if antiseptic could help if introduced to the body of the patient. I would stress that 40% (80 proof) is the minimum, and a higher concentration may be better, BUT a triple overdose can be fatal (and equivalent of 100 ml of pure ethanol should be safe, 300 ml -- that is very, very risky).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19 2020 0:10 utc | 89

Long time reader, first time post.

I don't know about hydroxychloroquine's efficacy or not, though I would point out that it seems most general trials have been using protocols totally unlike those defined by prof Raoult in France. Also, if it is more of a prophylactic treatment, to be given to people who test positive but are either asymptomatic, or at the very early stages of the disease, it is essentially being given to people who by and large would not have fallen ill anyway, so very large numbers need to be observed for us to be able to see whether it is efficient or not. I don't know if any trials so far have enlisted the required the numbers.

In any case, HCQ may or not prove to be efficient, but one thing it is not, is dangerous, if prescribed by doctors who know what they are doing, as they have done for decades. I was prompted to investigate this since I know three people who have taken it for a long time, and never reported any problems, and became suspicious of an air of hysteria around its purported danger.

This blog post makes an extremely well-sourced, well-argued case for the high safety of the drug, while also commenting on the distorted view the French media have given of the drug as a highly dangerous one, and exposes a lot of the shenanigans around the statistics and numbers that supposedly show it is dangerous.

Dangerosité de l'HCQ: Fable mediatique

Its conclusion: Saying it is dangerous, and saying it in the way the media have been saying it, is an exaggeration of such enormity that Prof. Raoult is perfectly entitled to call it "a State lie".

Posted by: José de Freitas | May 19 2020 0:19 utc | 90

Appreciate reading your articles.
Continue the excellent work.
Was the first in my environment to make my personnal mask based on your article on the matter. Goes back to sometime at the beginning of April I think..
You had a lady surgeon in the US that showed us how to make it with here sewing machine and the other was aask used by firemen in Germany. Used the latter model
Danke schön.

Posted by: Jean-Marie Boilard | May 19 2020 0:23 utc | 91

Posted by: juliania | May 18 2020 19:40 utc | 66 I urge folk to have a look at what happened in San Francisco compared to what happened in New York.

I have to agree with that. The Bay Area counties were the first to lockdown (albeit imperfectly) and currently San Francisco stands at 2,131 cases and 36 deaths. The 36 has been true for several days now - however, I think the statistics are updated only sporadically. But clearly the lockdown here has reduced the potential for the city to become New York. People should remember that San Francisco has a Chinese population of 21% and a *lot* of travel between China and the city. If any city should have been hit by this virus, it should have been San Francisco.

The lockdown worked. It did its job - slowing the spread of the virus. Had there been testing, tracing and isolating, San Francisco would probably be open by now.

I still have concerns over the 17,000 homeless and 19,000 SRO residents. The city has done very little for them. The city initially wanted 14,000 hotel rooms to house them. They got around 2,000 - and only 1,000 are occupied. Now the city is talking about hotels with less than 150 rooms - probably because every other hotel chain told the city, "hell, no!". The city will probably find that most of the smaller hotels are already occupied by low-income people or are already part of supported housing operations like the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which runs my building. The city is also talking about "trailers" - good luck with that.

The city should have done what I suggested two months ago: bring in the National Guard, round up the homeless, install prefab temporary housing in Golden Gate Park, and provide food, medical help and testing for the virus. That's what Santa Clara county did using their fairgrounds.

Now, it's only a matter of time before the virus explodes in the homeless and SRO population. Hopefully, that "explosion" will be controlled and "flattened" rather than becoming a New York level problem. But I still see tons of homeless in the Tenderloin district, in small tent cities, no masks, no distancing.

The same applies to a large percentage of blacks I see both inside my building and outside in the city. There are still many, many people of all ethniceties not wearing masks. Given the situation in Wisconsin, I suspect any loosening of restrictions will result in a resurgence of the virus - and that could trigger a homeless crisis or be triggered by the homeless crisis.

Re-opening at this time is likely to be a disaster or at least a problem.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 0:32 utc | 92

Posted by: oldhippie | May 18 2020 20:39 utc | 71 The lady is back home and doing fine.

This is what is known in science as "anecdotal" - i.e., worthless - evidence. Can you say, "she was lucky"? I thought not.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 0:37 utc | 93

@ b | May 18 2020 14:57 utc | 5

Let's not throw anything off the table just yet.

It's too soon.

Posted by: blues | May 19 2020 0:45 utc | 94

Re-opening at this time is likely to be a disaster. Very likely.

Posted by: blues | May 19 2020 0:48 utc | 95

@ 65 Nancy E. Sutton .. i don't have a tv and i never listen to that shit... if people are stupid to listen to that - they deserve all the fear porn they get! have music on right now and was out fly fishing this afternoon... beautiful day here on the bestcoast...cheers..

@ 68 jen.. i don't doubt there is a turf war going on and that big pharma don't want to give a green light to something that costs nothing.. i was familiar with most of what you mention.. i got a kick coming in tonight and seeing trump has been using it... me and my friend in colorado - another astrologer - were thinking he might get covid or that he could have a scare with some health issue.. trump doesn't look healthy and the astro points to an overhang in this area... we'll see how it develops..

@ 78 moon.. thanks moon.. i took zinc many moons ago, but i hadn't heard about it being used up until recently with all the talk of medicine to address covid..

Posted by: james | May 19 2020 1:55 utc | 96

@Lozion (12) Have you ever heard of randomized controlled studies? Judging from your comment, I suspect that you have not.

Posted by: Rob | May 19 2020 1:59 utc | 97

Whitney Webb today writes about the "Moderna" mRNA vaccine being fast tracked by the USG. The gov allowed the private corp to skip the usual safety procedures requiring tests on non-human animals before giving it to humans; and the mRNA vaccine can potentially permanently alter DNA. Where am I? I do not recognize this place anymore.

Posted by: suzan | May 19 2020 2:08 utc | 98

@Lozion (12) Have you ever heard of randomized controlled studies? Judging from your comment, I suspect that you have not.

Posted by: Rob | May 19 2020 1:59 utc | 100

Lozion wrote that HQC + zinc + C was a universally adopted treatment in Morocco, and the outcomes were favorable. He presented a "population study" argument, often used in such situations.

Interestingly, Algeria is a country with similar population, demographic structure and culture (diet etc.), and a very similar number of detected infections. The outcomes are several times worse in terms of COVID-19 deaths. One could try to dissect that difference. One possibility is that the treatment in Morocco was better, but there are other possibilities too. E.g. Morocco had many more tests, so they could have a larger proportion of very mild and asymptomatic cases. Nevertheless, one can assume that Morocco authorities did not impose drastic overdoses that were featured in at least 2 trials that "debunked"HQC, and the outcomes prove the safety of the HQC combination. A more detailed comparison of the two countries would be very valuable.

After all, it is good to know if there is a high efficacy cheap approach that can be practical in "global South" and even in the "global North" that does not have to prefer expensive and ineffective treatments.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19 2020 2:48 utc | 99

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 0:02 utc | 89

Richard thanks you. It was a genuine question wasn't sure it's real and if Trump signed it I'll get the free money. In another word it's true. Richard to hell with the Duopoly they are corrupts. The money is legally mine I'll grab it for sure. I dun need the money but to pay insurance and road tax.

The country is dysfunctional and corrupt to the core instead of serving the citizens both parties continue infighting, bullying, sanction and regime change...,

Posted by: JC | May 19 2020 2:57 utc | 100

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