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

« previous page

A team of doctors in Bangladesh claims success in treating patients with COVID-19 using doxycycline and ivermectin:

Kamal Kant Kohli, "Doxycycline And Ivermectin Combo May Be New Effective Covid 19 Treatment"

Doxycycline is an anti-malarial drug that was patented in 1957, became commercial in 1967 and is now a generic drug. Ivermectin, used to treat parasitic infestations, is available in the US as a generic prescription drug. Both drugs do have side effects. It will be interesting to see if either drug gets much attention in the global press beyond the medical literature if the Bangladeshi doctors continue to have success in treating their patients.

Posted by: Jen | May 19 2020 2:59 utc | 101

Just read Kamala Harris is proposing a bill to give everyone $2,000 a month for as long as the crisis lasts plus three months.

Hell, yeah, I'll take another $12,000 or so free from these idiots. Especially since my debit card got compromised yesterday (third time in a year), and someone tried to take $700 out of my account (Wells Fargo is on it, I'll get it back.) So much for buying from Chinese companies on Aliexpress (although the culprit could have been one of two small companies I purchased from in the past week or two - or for that matter, someone at Amazon.) I never use my debit card at retail stores, only online; it's simply ridiculous to trust retail stores - they're too easily hacked (but then, so are most online stores - PCI compliance is not easy and frequently lax.)

But I doubt that Harris bill will pass - that would be giving "too much" money to the little people and take away money that could go to the one percent. Also read today that the Dems are pushing a tax relief bill where 56% of the benefit goes to the one percent.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 3:01 utc | 102

Eastern Virginia Medical school covid treament protocol
Pretty recent update (may 14th)

Posted by: Jim | May 19 2020 3:28 utc | 103

Trump will be able to vaccinate enough supporters to hold large rallies after July (Stage 3 trials). Does not matter how well/if the shit works or not since the election will be over before the second head starts growing or whatever.

Posted by: Randy | May 19 2020 4:07 utc | 104

Trump says he takes hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection even though it’s an unproven treatment

No word on the dosage, however. My guess is it's the standard anti-malaria dosage, not the COVID-19 treatment dosage (either the France dosage or the research dosages.)

Or maybe it is the research dosage. Maybe someone convinced him to take it so they can assassinate him with a heart attack. LOL

Note he's also taking Z-PAK, so he's getting his zinc...

Or more likely, he's just lying to reinforce his previous statements that it was effective. Nothing Trump says can be considered anything other than BS.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 4:28 utc | 105

The Front-Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group (EVMS is part of that group) has this to say about HCQ:

Some have asked why our initial protocol included hydroxychloroquine, the anti-viral drug that was widely touted as a cure for the COVID-19 disease that is caused by the virus. Almost all ER and ICU physicians tried it before a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed it to have no effect on mortality in patients with severe cases of the disease. Our FLCCC Working Group currently believes that, if hydroxychloroquine proves to have any benefit, it will most likely be in the earliest stage of infection, while the virus replicates and the patient is still at home, before breathing difficulties or low oxygen levels necessitate a trip to the hospital.

A shortened version of their current treatment protocol (PDF):

Dr. Kory Senate Testimony before the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Hearing (Vimeo video)

Dr. Kory is Pierre Kory, M.D., M.P.A., Medical Director, Trauma & Life Support Center, Critical Care Service Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine Univ. of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health - one of eight medical professionals on the FLCCC team.

Note: I do *not* explicitly endorse any of this. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on MoA. But I find their arguments reasonable to the degree I can comprehend them.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 4:45 utc | 106

maybe rather then wondering about which drug will work or not or maybe we look at the underlying first world illnesses that seem to be thing that kills people who get the virus.
You know underlying condition such as

high blood pressure
pulmonary illnesses
etc etc?

would that maybe explain the difference in death from say Marocco vs England/US/France/Sweden etc?

Posted by: Sabine | May 19 2020 5:38 utc | 107

Prior infection with other coronavirus strains appears to confer an enhanced immune response to covid19. Smokers are at a lower risk of contracting covid19 infections. Perhaps the two observations are related? Smokers generally have poorer lung health and may be more likely to acquire lung infections such as those caused by other varieties of coronavirus and to develop antibody protection. So maybe their vulnerability to such infections has proved an advantage in this case?

Posted by: J Norwich | May 19 2020 5:43 utc | 108

"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."

Thanks for drawing attention to this, b.

The T cell/Common Cold factor may help to explain why children are less likely to be infected by COVID-19 than adults. I can recall that when each of my own offspring went through that miserable, snotty-nosed toddler phase, there seemed to be no upside for them or their parents. In retrospect, maybe it was producing a hidden benefit?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 19 2020 6:05 utc | 109

Just watched Dr. Kory's testimony before the Senate Committee I referenced above... Link again:

I recommend it to everyone. Again, I can't speak to the medicine, but I think you'll find him highly persuasive, if rather desperate to fit his arguments into the time allotted him (which he overran.)

At least we got a number for the patients treated with their complete MATH+ Protocol - merely 100 (at the time of his testimony.) That's not a high number that persuades me. But he also cites a number of other doctors around the country and in Italy who have tried corticosteroids and apparently they consider it a "game-changer" in treatment, in that it massively reduces the number of people needing to be put on ventilators. He emphasizes that the treatment is safe, physiologically sound, well-recognized as useful for the conditions caused by the virus for years, and although "off-label" for this disease it is not unusual to do "off-label" and that is supported by all the medical association ethical standards.

But he emphasizes that the treatment needs to be started as soon as respirator symptoms develop and he is concerned that too many people are avoiding going to the hospital until it's too late. This of course raises the question as to whether this is another treatment - like HCQ - that "only" works at early stages and therefore is not necessarily proven by trials, but is only supported by "observation" in the hospital.

Of course, the solution to that is run the bloody trial. Or at least use the treatment on a greater number of treatments and see how it washes out. He's concerned that they can't get the White House to listen - big surprise, there.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 6:26 utc | 110

The Argument Against the Argument Against Facemasks
Resistance rooted in liberty clashes with the unalienable right of life

Masks help stop the spread of coronavirus – the science is simple and I’m one of 100 experts urging governors to require public mask-wearing


Key takeaways:

More than 80% of Americans support closing non-essential businesses. Support for limiting restaurants, closing schools, canceling sporting and entertainment events, and group gatherings exceeds 90%. A total of 94% strongly or somewhat approve asking people to stay home and avoid gathering in groups; 92% support canceling major sports and entertainment events; 91% approve closing K-12 schools; 91% approve limiting restaurants to carry-out only; 83% approve closing businesses other than grocery stores and pharmacies. There are some partisan differences on these items -- Republicans are somewhat less supportive, but even among Republicans large majorities support all of these measures; and, as summarized below, support is largely consistent across every state.

A bipartisan consensus opposes a rapid “reopening” of the economy. Only 7% support immediate reopening of the economy, and the median respondent supports waiting four to six weeks. There is a bipartisan consensus on waiting (89% of Republicans as compared to 96% of Democrats opposed immediate re-opening), and Republicans support a somewhat faster re-opening of the economy than Democrats, where the median Republican supports waiting two to four weeks versus median Democrat six to eight weeks. As discussed below, even in those Republican-led states which are moving toward re-opening, few people support reopening immediately

Generally, Americans report adhering to social distancing, indicating that they had minimal social interactions with people outside of their households. That said, 56% reported encountering at least one person from outside of their home in the preceding 24 hours (and 7% reported encountering 10 or more persons); the survey did not contain information on the circumstances of those encounters (e.g., was it at grocery stores? were the individuals wearing masks?). Generally, there were not large differences with respect to age, gender, race, income, partisanship or education. An exception was that Asian Americans were substantially less likely to encounter other individuals, and more likely to avoid contact with other people. There were significant racial differences reported in wearing face masks outside of the home, with 51% of whites reporting following recommendations very closely, along with 62% of Hispanics, 64% of African Americans, and 68% of Asian Americans. There was also an age gradient in this regard, ranging from 50% face mask wearing for 18-24 year olds to 60% of those aged 65 or higher. There were also partisan differences: 51% of Republicans, compared to 64% for Democrats, reported wearing face masks outside the home.

I find the racial differences interesting, especially since in my observation fewer blacks are wearing masks. However, since I was specifically looking at blacks (due to the disproportionate number of blacks dying) in my walks, I may have under counted the number of whites not wearing masks. Also I suspect it varies between cities, states and more suburban or rural areas.

In any event, not enough people are wearing masks to re-open the economy - and we damn sure don't have enough testing, tracing and isolating capability and probably won't until September, according to one report I read.

A number of other interesting results. Check it out.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 6:47 utc | 111

Hi. My first post here. Fabulous place. Just wanted to add my two pence on the ''hidrocloroxine'' debate.

Here in Perú, we have a decent death rate so far (2,80) and we are using the hidrocloriquine-azitromicin combo. Our health system is utter shit, so I was expecting many more deaths, since our infections numbers have grown and most hospitals in the affected zones are colapsed.

The quinine is the plant from which this chemical compound comes, is native from the Andean region. It is on our flag, next to the vicuña which is a kind of llama. It turns out the llama has some antibodies that might, just might, work against the covid. Funny coincidence, hu??

Posted by: Mariátegui | May 19 2020 6:52 utc | 112

Another useful article on masks...which is likely to be the next hot-button issue for the idiots and trolls...

The Science and Politics of Masks in the Covid-19 Pandemic

One of the key things to understand in thinking about the value of masks is the concept of the viral dose. While it seem logical that a single viral particle hitting a person’s mouth, nose or eye could cause an infection, strong laboratory and empirical evidence says that this is not the case — it takes a big dose of virus to launch a case of Covid. This happy fact means that masks for everyday use don’t need to block 100% of pathogens in order to prevent the disease from spreading. (Even the medical grade N95 masks don’t block every viral particle, but they block enough to protect the user, even when caring for patients with known Covid-19.)

A simulation by De Kai and colleagues makes the case that masks are most effective if at least 80% of people are using them. The figure below maps the rate of transmission with the expected deaths from Covid-19 in a nation the size of the UK. According to the simulation, social distancing alone without masking would lead to 1.16 million deaths by May 31st. However, with 50% of the population masking, the projected death figure drops to 240,000. With 80% masking, there are 60,000 deaths. If Professor De Kai’s mind-blowing video (below) doesn’t convince you of the virtue of mask wearing, I just don’t know what to tell you.

Video referenced above:
Visual simulations show why we all need to wear masks now #UniversalMasking #masks4all #COVID19
42,341 views •Apr 26, 2020

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 7:03 utc | 113

@BM | 30
"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."

Worth repeating (like many of your posts BM). The elite already seems to have sure knowledge about a very dreadful "second wave". If not for the same reasons Fauci could predict a pandemic back in 2017, it's obvious immune systems degraded by the global house arrest will be easy prey to all sorts of germs once people have contact with life and the world again.

We consist of some 10^16 cells, and house some 10^17 bacteria and viruses. The notion that we can hide indoors until "the virus" has disappeared down the road is ignorant and absurd. The immune system lives by "talking" every day with the myriad of ever-changing microorganisms that are part of life. Inhibit this interaction and the immune system will starve and weaken. Chew this or that root or herb if you will, but it's irrelevant in comparison.

Good b reports now on background immunity obtained from prior contact with the large and varied family of Coronaviruses, about a third of people have background immunity. Add to that some 20-25% that have formed antibodies after an infection and that makes over half of the population an immune herd. Using an R0 of 2.0 (and falling), the infection should stagnate at and retreat below 1 - (1/R0) = 50% share of immune people. So no surprise that this flu variant has become old news and is retreating and even stopping in most places.

Posted by: Leser | May 19 2020 7:11 utc | 114

WTF has happened to MoA? I look at this thread which feels like it is the 57,000th thread on cronavirus and see that the arguments being advanced are identical to those offered up 2 weeks ago which were the same as those 2 weeks prior to that.

I acknowledge this site is favoured by 'news junkies' and the corporate news media contains little other than these regurgitated too many times angles on the virus, but surely that behooves us all to step outside the box for a proper gander.
'general' Haftar was arseholed from the al-Watiya airbase 20 hours ago this airport on the outskirts of Tripoli allowed al Haftar an almost impregnable 'railhead' right next to the city he had to capture in order to claim total dominion over Libya, it also contained his sophisticated Russian supplied air defense system which had given Haftar's fighters control of the skies. Without it he is screwed & this could signal a major change in control of hydro carbons across the Mediterranean.

IOW this is major and something vital in determining western hemisphere geopolitics.
I have no dog in that fight as AFAIAC both sides are mercenaries funded by corrupt foreign nations who want to play imperial escapades to steal Libya's resource like it is 1820 not 2020.

Any side that fails to include the brains of the Gadaffi administration, who so capably served the interests of ordinary Libyans for decades, is just another puppet hawking their fork to foreign imperialists.

Still given that the proposed change will have a major impact on the zionist arseholes who have been stitching up a sleazy deal even worse than their usual to deny Palestinians access to their hydrocarbon resources thanks to an arrangement that includes Greece and 'General' Haftar.

The recent successes of Libya's so called Government of National Accord throws a spanner into that despicable scam.

But I digress, my point is the amount of time & energy spent on the goddamn virus debating the same old same old over & over is distracting us all from much that is being done whilst by the usual arseholes.
Yemen is being royally fucked over as the al sauds & their UAE cousins fight each other destroying Aden town & Yemeni people equally, displaying no concern for humanity.

So c'mon! cronavirus bulldust is sapping brains everywhere even though the 'debate' hasn't progressed one whit in 3 months.
There are a mob of issues going down around the world my coupla examples don't scratch the surface. Things are getting really bad in Africa right now and as per usual the world is turned away from it.

Posted by: A User | May 19 2020 8:02 utc | 115

juliania @88

So the frogs cannot just jump out of the boiling water after all. But perhaps you are correct and no-effort salvation is available right around the corner. All we have to do is vote for a savior.

Maybe Elon Musk can save us? I hear he reads Twitter posts in which he is tagged, so maybe someone can talk him into running for President. I wonder if he would be so kind as to turn off the burner under the cook pot and allow the frogs to enjoy the nice hot water without being cooked the rest of the way?

Posted by: William Gruff | May 19 2020 9:19 utc | 116


It is precisely anecdotal. And briefly you give evidence you know the meaning of words.

If “lucky” means being hit by a car, dragged through an intersection under the car, completing a long and difficult rehab under strange circumstances, no visitors, no family, new procedures daily, then being told you have a fatal disease with no known treatment to be be concluded with a gruesome and miserable death.....if that is your notion of good luck I certainly wish you all the luck in the world.
If that is the luck you would wish on an old lady you have never met who has never done anything to you what sort of misanthrope are you? Is there anyone still sitting at the bar you have not attacked?

Posted by: oldhippie | May 19 2020 9:57 utc | 117

Posted by: oldhippie | May 19 2020 9:57 utc | 117

You're just one ignorant fuck, aren't you? Anyone with a comprehension of words knows that I referred the word "luck" in respect to not dying from the disease. Whatever else may have happened is irrelevant to the point I was making, which is that your story is anecdotal bullshit.

So fuck you one more time.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 10:11 utc | 118

The Moderna Vaccine the media is touting as a promising, miracle breakthrough that has only been tested on a limited group of 45 people, aged 18 to 55 has Grade 3 adverse effects in 100 and 250 microgram dosage.

So they're going to lower dosage to 50 micrograms and test it on the 56 to 70 and over 70 age groups. What about the group most Americans are in: the KFC, McDonald's, IHOP group?

Posted by: Circe | May 19 2020 12:05 utc | 119

A User @115--
Here Here

Posted by: arby | May 19 2020 12:38 utc | 120

re: wuhan city testing, which i find interesting


more detail would be nice but it is a very short report. "testing" over 400k people per day now. (does that mean samples collected? results processed?)

Posted by: ptb | May 19 2020 13:52 utc | 121

Whitney and Sweden again. Whatever, one thinks, Whitney has long been a credible writer/journalist, so one must consider his point of view seriously and refute it, when possible, with cogent argument. I am still out on the Swedish immunity strategy and thinks it needs close observation.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | May 19 2020 14:02 utc | 122

Yeah ditto the “here here.”

And along with James and all the probably many of us here, really best to turn off the tv or any media where we may be exposed to what some ruling class idiot dressed up and whose humanity is concealed and protected by a suit or degree. I mean, I thought this site was about “watch what is being done, not what is being said.”

So while I do have concern for the health and welfare of human beings, and while I am leery of some inevitability and my own and those I love’s mortality, nevertheless I find solace in Hamlet’s words “if it be now, Tis not to come If it be not to come, it will be now, if it be not now, yet it will come. . .Let be“

I do look forward to a return to that philosophy here, because this pandemic is sick and sickening. Pathetic, there’s a lot worse, really. Truly.

Posted by: Geoff | May 19 2020 14:04 utc | 123

On COVID and nicotine, results from a survey of observational studies:

Conclusions: Across 28 observational studies, there is substantial uncertainty arising from the recording of smoking status on whether current and/or former smoking status is associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalisation or mortality. There is low quality evidence that current and former smoking compared with never is associated with greater disease severity in those hospitalised for COVID-19.

Still early days, but I do expect nicotine will be found to have a complex effect. The Wikipedia article on COVID disease is useful, because it's patrolled by competent admins - very different experience from editing articles infested with Atlantic Council monkeys.

Posted by: begob | May 19 2020 14:18 utc | 124

Further, that article posted by a doctor who endured this disease, and who now needs a support group to cope with it, I mean, that is f@&#d up loss of any semblance of self awareness, anything good or virtuous, just complete absolute western self adoring mamby pamby lame bullshit without any proportion, anything meaningful, anything but some sick self pity.

Posted by: Geoff | May 19 2020 14:26 utc | 125

The French are really on the top! It took then until today, 19th May, to have a governmental advice where they recommend to people to contact their doctor if they have any mild symptoms such as cough, sour throat, etc.
A week after going into a softer lockdown (travel is limited to 100 km for half the country which is still in red zone) they have more than 25 new clusters.. in schools, slaughterhouses, etc.
The best part is that they are now testing 800 persons on -site in a slaughterhouse and that these people keep working until they get the results in 24 hours!

Posted by: Mina | May 19 2020 15:02 utc | 126

@ 112 Mariátegui ... welcome to moa! that is interesting... thanks!

@ a user.... this will be the 3rd ditto to you post... hopefully b is listening and might be able to provide some alternatives... yemen... those mental midgits from ksa - uae - get all the support from the usa because of the money... meanwhile real people are dying...

@ 125 geoff... thanks... ditto your comment too..

Posted by: james | May 19 2020 15:52 utc | 127

@ 128 mina.... is the change going to be any better for the yellow vests and people of france??

Posted by: james | May 19 2020 15:53 utc | 128

With respect to highly addictive nicotine, it is not hard to find any number of “healthful” justifications for continuing with the (disgusting, imho) smoking habit.

Why, there is already an extensive body of scientific “evidence” one can latch onto that nicotine is beneficial in Parkinson’s disease:

And of course, one can also find numerous reports nicotine also helps schizophrenics to manage their symptoms:

But with regard to anecdotal/unverified [touch’e] claims of nicotine benefits in covid, one should not reflexively ignore the evidence to the contrary that conflict with one’s pro-nicotine bias/belief system:}

“Smokers more likely to express ACE2 protein that SARS-COV-2 uses to enter human cells”


“Tobacco smoking increases lung entry points for COVID-19 virus”

“They looked at the expression of ACE2, the molecule in the respiratory tract that the COVID-19 virus uses to attach to and infect human cells. They also looked at the expression of FURIN and TMPRSS2, human enzymes known to facilitate COVID-19 virus infection.

The researchers report in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine a 25 percent increase in the expression of ACE2 in lung tissues from ever-smokers, people who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes during their lives, when compared with nonsmokers. Smoking also increased the presence of FURIN, but to a lower extent compared to ACE2 . TMRPSS2 expression in lungs was not associated with smoking. They also found that smoking remodeled the gene expression of cells in the lungs so that the ACE2 gene was more highly expressed in goblet cells, cells that secrete mucus in order to protect the mucous membranes in the lungs.”

But if you are totally bent on using a non-addictive feel-good drug that Israelis say may prevent/fight against the Corona-chan, try CANNABIS:

Posted by: gm | May 19 2020 16:13 utc | 129

I just heard a spokeperson for the union of private nursing home explaining that for now, 2 % of the residents of all care homes in Fr has died in the latest months, and that it would take months to get back to normal, i.e. 2-3 dead per place and per month, "because they have co-morbidities and their organisms are tired"...
and not because the gov has been giving criminal advice?

Posted by: Mina | May 19 2020 16:13 utc | 130

Yellow Jackets in the "green" areas have been demonstrating last saturday, but I guess the covid will have the same effect as Anthrax in the US in 2001...

Posted by: Mina | May 19 2020 16:14 utc | 131

@Posted by: Mina | May 19 2020 16:13 utc | 132

And I fear there is an ugly surprise in Sweden regarding nursing home resident and worker covid infections/deaths that has not been openly disclosed yet, but will be coming out at some point.

According to this source (1997): "Nursing homes in 10 nations: a comparison between countries and settings"

10 pg pdf , at least 13% of Swedes over the age of 65 yrs are cared for in longterm care facilities.

In last decade there has been large shift in Sweden to for-profit care facilities employing low wage (probably mostly immigrant labor?) workers who for cultural and economic reasons, live in more crowded multigenerational family living conditions than traditional Swedish socially distanced culture.

Posted by: gm | May 19 2020 17:06 utc | 132

Re: Posted by: gm | May 19 2020 17:06 utc | 134

Oops. I made an error. according to link, Sweden's 1997 long-term >65yr old care rate was 5%; Iceland's rate (adjacent column in Table 3) was 13%.

Posted by: gm | May 19 2020 17:25 utc | 133

From the most recent CDC COVID-19 mortality data report, Feb 1 to May 16:
>US deaths 62,515 [which are inflated, and yet comparable to annual flu deaths]
>US deaths from all causes – 97% of expected deaths. [i.e. no 'excess' deaths] . .here
>The media currently reports 90,694 deaths which they get from Johns Hopkins. That's an organization which ought to be examined. CDC data is not used by the media, but CDC doesn't have a great record either:
>CDC estimates that, from October 1, 2019, through March 28, 2020, there have been 24,000 – 63,000 flu deaths . .here
>For 2017-2018, the CDC first estimated 80,000 flu deaths, then later reduced the estimate (their word) to 61,000.
>In the news now: San Diego County California public health first reported 194 Covid deaths out of a population of 3.3 million. After autopsies and testing of tissue, health department reported only 6 of the 194 actually died of Covid.
>Meanwhile the lives of millions of people of all ages have been adversely affected.
>But hey, the banks have more money.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 19 2020 18:05 utc | 134

Don Bacon @134--

Good to see a comment from you, Don! If you have the time and inclination, I'd appreciate your feedback on my comment here, which would entail your taking the time to view the first 45 minutes or so of the linked video. I hope you're doing well and enjoying life!

Posted by: karlof1 | May 19 2020 18:13 utc | 135

Thank you, Richard Steven Hack, for your several excellent posts on mask wearing - our governor in New Mexico came out strongly on this a week ago, and I had already sat down with needle and thread to make my own for my first sortie beyond the safety of my home. That was rather fun - I've made one that has ties rather than loops and is washable with a layered lining of old t-shirt material. So it can be washed and dried in the sun and is comfortable to wear.

Given that masks have been worn by disreputable folk in the history of this country, I'm getting to play cops and robbers again - what's not to like?

Posted by: juliania | May 19 2020 18:31 utc | 136

An MD wrote this op/ed dealing with the hypoxia caused by the coronavirus and provides evidence in support of Dr. Bush's video interview that can be reached through the link @135 above. Yes, the op/ed's a month old, but the dynamics of the virus haven't changed nor have the frequency of deaths within the Outlaw US Empire. Based on the doctor's first hand testimony and other studies, the initial treatment approach advocated by Dr. Bush and its reasoning seem quite pragmatic and logical. Comparison with Malaria yields almost no correlation aside from the malaria parasite's use of red blood cells as nurseries and lairs, which may explain why anti-malaria drugs used against COVID-19 in its initial stages have some positive results.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 19 2020 20:56 utc | 137

GM @ 132:

"... In last decade there has been large shift in Sweden to for-profit care facilities employing low wage (probably mostly immigrant labor?) workers who for cultural and economic reasons, live in more crowded multigenerational family living conditions than traditional Swedish socially distanced culture."

Actually, whenever the opportunity arises here at MoA, I have been posting comments about the state of aged care facilities in Sweden - run by regional or municipal governments in that country, with facilities housing up to 200 patients - and the fact that these institutions employ carers on contracts for low wages, with many if not most such workers drawn from refugee or immigrant communities; and how this situation helps explain the high levels of COVID-19 infection and mortality in both aged care homes and the refugee / immigrant communities in Sweden.

Over at Off-Guardian (hmmm, B might kill this comment), I posted a pretty long screed of which I'll reproduce part:

"[In] Sweden, aged care homes are large institutions housing up to 200 patients, are run by regional or municipal governments which employ workers on contracts to care for these patients. These institutions only accept patients who are already in poor health. The workers are very often refugees or immigrants from impoverished countries, working long hours on low incomes, and often working at more than one such facility to scrape enough money to look after their own, often multi-generational families in crowded housing. On top of that, these workers often have a poor grasp of Swedish and they may come from areas where access to information about COVID-19 and the measures they need to take to protect themselves and others is poor, because the information is either unavailable in their own languages or the areas they live in have been designated by police as no-go zones because of high crime rates.

From Bangkok Post: Sweden admits failure to protect elderly in care homes

'… Kommunal, Sweden’s largest union for municipal employees which includes many care workers, has meanwhile blamed precarious working conditions for the unfolding tragedy.

It said that in March, 40 percent of staff at Stockholm nursing homes were unskilled workers employed on short-term contracts, with hourly wages and no job security, while 23 percent were temps.

In other words: people who often can’t afford not to go to work even if they’re sick.

“There are a lot of different people who work at several nursing homes, and that also leads to a greater spread,” the head of Kommunal’s nursing home division, Ulf Bjerregaard, said.

At the end of April, Kommunal filed a complaint to the Swedish Work Environment Authority, claiming that 27 of the 96 residents at the home where [one victim] lived had so far died of the virus, and yet staff were not being provided protective gear or offered testing …'"

The Bangkok Post article is supported by this Foreign Policy article "The Hidden Flaw in Sweden’s Anti-Lockdown Strategy"

"... But for the writer and activist Nuri Kino, who has been focused on the pandemic’s impact on immigrants and in particular on his own community of Assyrians/Syriacs in Sweden, it is still hard to get certain messages across to the authorities and the media because of a prevalent fear of stigmatizing immigrant communities. “I’ve tried to raise the alarm over the fact that many of those who live in these hard-hit areas work in nursery homes and as home carers and they do not have enough protective equipment,” said Kino, who himself ran a home care service firm for two years. “I understand this is a sensitive matter because it can lead to a blame game, but there’s a risk factor here that we should at least consider.”

In early April, Swedish media reported that a third of all elderly care homes in Stockholm had recorded cases of COVID-19. On April 16, the Public Health Agency said a third of all COVID-19 deaths in Sweden—at the time, there were 1,333 confirmed fatalities—had occurred at care homes. While a large proportion of the workforce at those homes is made up of immigrants—28 percent are foreign-born, and in Stockholm the figure is 55 percent, according to the National Board of Health and Welfare—drawing a link here would be “purely speculative,” according to [Swedish State epidemiologist and health advisor Nils Anders Tegnell] ..."

Posted by: Jen | May 19 2020 23:10 utc | 138

@ 138 jen... thanks for your post.. yes you have pointed this out before, but i appreciate the additional insights shared... i wanted to thank you for mentioning a possible cure that is being explored in bangladesh... i didn''t mention it when you posted it, but thanks for that and please do post with any updates if any become available..

funny the quote from foreign policy article uses the word nursery homes, as the poster vk did previously, when i believe they mean nursing homes.. it seems like a language translation issue, but i am surprised to see it also in the foreign policy article.. nursery is for young kids.. nursing home is for old adults...

on a related note, i notice a post you had made on thread had also disappeared.. i am having a hard time understanding this..

Posted by: james | May 19 2020 23:51 utc | 139

That is good news. Even without the T-Cells we all have the first line of defense which is the innate immune system. Many people are naturally immune to many pathogens and don’t need to seroconvert as their innate system crushes the invaders. Fauci said as many as 25-50% of covid infections might be asymptomatic. These people will likely not not develop antibodies, at least not at levels that can be detected, but they don't need antibodies for every infection as their innate immune system is good enough. Antibody development is a last line of defense

So little was known about the immune system before 20 years ago that immunology became too focused on antibodies and overlooked the importance of cellular and innate systems , both of which were also found to have memory or could be trained. Unfortunately the antibody dinosaurs still rule the roost.

Posted by: Kay Fabe | May 20 2020 0:43 utc | 140

James @ 139:

The disappearance of my earlier post was to be expected - I had mentioned the unmentionable. :-)

I know I'm beginning to sound like a Mobius-loop tape with that information on Sweden's COVID-19 experience but often that bears repeating. Interesting that not many news websites and blogs ignore this aspect of how Sweden is coping or not coping with the SARS-COV-2 virus and how the virus affects different communities in the country.

Thanks for the ongoing support.

Posted by: Jen | May 20 2020 2:36 utc | 141

I have been watching Dr. Roger Seheult’s Med-Cram Covid-19 lectures since he began doing them in January. They are truly wonderful, filled with factual medical information, explained beautifully on how this virus appears to be targeting not only the ACE2 receptors, but our very endothelial linings throughout the body, triggering a clotting cascade that has too often been deadly. He explains oxidative stress to a tee with great elegance; even a non-medical person could understand. He has mentioned HCQ in that it appears to be a “zinc ionophore” and allows zinc to travel from the extracellular spaces to the intracellular space more readily. Once there, zinc is able to stop RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, the nasty enzyme responsible for the virus’ ability to make copies of itself. As a Family Medicine NP for many years, I will hasten to add that I’d never heard that HCQ was “such a dangerous drug” until the last two months. That said, if a person already has a “long QT interval” on electrocardiogram, then HCQ can lengthen that QT interval which can then trigger potentially deadly arrhythmias. It should not be given out like jellybeans, but after a normal EKG is demonstrated, and there are no other contraindications, I don’t see a thing wrong with prescribing it along with zinc for an EARLY case of Covid-19- preferably, the day the first symptoms appear. Like any drug with anti-viral properties, the HCQ/zinc combination must be given early in the disease process. Studies are ongoing, and randomized, controlled, double-blinded prospective studies are still needed and ultimately, maybe it won’t pan out, but to reject it so vociferously seems suspect to me. Many patients take HCQ the world over for both lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and it does modulate immune responses. That is the science. And for the record, I dislike the president greatly. But politicizing medications that are inexpensive, and possibly helpful in this dreadful time, is not smart, not rational, not healthy. Thanks. ML, FNP

Posted by: ML | May 20 2020 3:13 utc | 142

I want to know how they got the masks on the hamsters.

Posted by: Linda Hagge | May 20 2020 4:40 utc | 143

The quinine is the plant from which this chemical compound comes, is native from the Andean region. It is on our flag, next to the vicuña which is a kind of llama. It turns out the llama has some antibodies that might, just might, work against the covid. Funny coincidence, hu??
Posted by: Mariátegui | May 19 2020 6:52 utc | 112

Mariátegui if you can get fresh unpasturised milk from the vicuña or llama, that is supposed to be extremely good for the immune system I believe. (If there is any tuberculosis around, it will have to be pasturised which is less potent but still useful).

Posted by: BM | May 20 2020 5:11 utc | 144

karlof1 | May 18 2020 22:57 utc | 83

Thanks your link Dr.Zack Bush interview. Helpful view[points that impinge on our current scene , I repeat ur link

Posted by: chuteh | May 20 2020 5:39 utc | 145

But with regard to anecdotal/unverified [touch’e] claims of nicotine benefits in covid, one should not reflexively ignore the evidence to the contrary that conflict with one’s pro-nicotine bias/belief system:}
“Smokers more likely to express ACE2 protein that SARS-COV-2 uses to enter human cells”
“Tobacco smoking increases lung entry points for COVID-19 virus”
Posted by: gm | May 19 2020 16:13 utc | 129

Touché again gm!

It is indeed desperate grasping at straws to believe that smoking will protect against Covid-19 when far higher quality research clearly indicates increased risk from smoking that the disease will be more severe (the latter also being the more plausible result).

As I commented the last time B raised this issue, there is one genuine effect of a past history of smoking that statistically reduces risk of death from Covid-19 - namely smoking significantly reduces expected lifespan, and therefore reduces the risk of living long enough to reach the highest risk age groups for severe Covid-19. Alternatively expressed - smoking kills you off first before you get a chance to be killed by Covid, if that is what you want. Post-hoc nicotine patches at a late stage deny you even that advantage.

There are some who parrot Big Pharma vested interests in ridiculing and denigrating hydroxychloroquine, despite the very notable positive results several countries such as China, Russia, Iran and Turkey have had with it, while vainly spouting the benefits of smoking despite complete lack of quality research papers supporting it and abundant quality papers against.

At this point it is worth reminding of criticism of the untrustworthiness of modern medical science from the editors of some of the top medical journals:

Skeptical of medical science reports?

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as editor of The New England Journal of Medicine”
Angell M. Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption. The New York Review of Books magazine.

More recently, Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, wrote that “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness”
Horton R. Offline: What is medicine’s 5 sigma?

The first of these two commentaries on clinical research publications appeared in 2009, the second in April of this year. These statements are being taken seriously, coming as they do from the experiences of editors of two of the world’s most prestigious medical journals. The first article showed how the relationships between pharmaceutical companies and academic physicians at prestigious universities impacted certain drug-related publications and the marketing of prescription drugs. Potential conflicts of interest seemed to abound: millions of dollars in consulting and speaking fees to physicians who promoted specific drugs, public research dollars being used by a researcher to test a drug owned by a company in which the researcher held millions of dollars in shares, failure of university researchers to disclose income from drug companies, company subsidies to physician continuing education, publishing practice guidelines involving drugs in which the authors have a financial interest, using influential physicians to promote drugs for unapproved uses, bias in favor of a product coming from failure to publish negative results and repeated publication of positive results in different forms. The author, Marcia Angell, cited the case of a drug giant that had to agree to settle charges that it deliberately withheld evidence that its top-selling anti-depressant was ineffective and could be harmful to certain age groups. ...

Richard Horton’s statement was part of his comments on a recent symposium on reliability and reproducibility of research in the biomedical sciences and addresses a broader area of concern. Some of the problems he identified are seen in the veterinary literature. They include inadequate number of subjects in the study, poor study design, and potential conflicts of interest. He notes that the quest for journal impact factor is fuelling competition for publication in a few high reputation journals. He warns that “our love of ‘significance’ pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale” ...

Research is not created equal. There is good research (some, not so much) and there is bad research (bundles of it), mostly funded by vested interests, who where necessary direct the desired results. In general, research from China and Russia arguably tends to be higher quality and more reliable because those countries place the emphasis on health for society, not on profits for the corporations.

@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

B, have you looked into the Big Pharma vested interests of Drosten yet? I suggest you do so.

Posted by: BM | May 20 2020 6:17 utc | 146

@ BM... i agree with a lot of what you say, but i don't care for other parts of your post... it is the other parts about the fear porn - propaganda that i don't agree with..
Posted by: james | May 18 2020 18:51 utc | 58

James, if you care to contemplate carefully and honestly exactly what fear porn means, exactly what propaganda means, what constitute the usual (generalised) motives behind both, and what the general results of both are, then I am confident you will see them hiding in full sight in front of you.

Fear is a very basic emotion, fear of infectious diseases the most basic of them all. Spy agencies have made a point of studying them carefully and knowing how to use them to control populations as effectively as possible for the benefit of their masters.

Posted by: BM | May 20 2020 6:36 utc | 147

Interesting to see how the official fear propaganda on Covid has changed away from "it's so infectious and deadly, it will be like the Spanish Flu, probably worse". Most countries have no excess mortality at all (Germany - so far on a 3-year low, most of Europe), some a bit such as the UK where this flu is on par with the 5 strongest flus of the last 25 years, i.e. a 5-year event. Spiegelhalter in the BMJ (the heart of the UK medical establishment) just said two thirds of Covid-attributed deaths in the UK are in fact caused by the lockdown. The rest is as dubious as elsewhere since all and sundry is attributed to Covid.

Since the deadliness-scaring has become untenable, now the propoganda has switched to continuous feeding of individual freak Covid deaths with ghastly details. Playing on the well-studied human bias to irrationally focus on remote but vivid dangers. Similar to people being scared of sharks rather than the much greater risks of succumbing under terrible suffering to cancer/stroke/asthma.. you name it.

Meanwhile the Bank of England expects the deepest recession in the UK in 300 years. Hopefully the lockdown instigators and fans get their fair share of it!

Posted by: Leser | May 20 2020 7:42 utc | 148

Blue Dotterel | May 19 2020 => 122

I've been following Mike Whitney for some while;
Usually he's spot on.
But in his comments on Sweden, he feels far removed from the reality of the bedridden

This from Marcello Ferrada de Noli, Swedish professor emeritus of public health sciences
former Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Posted by: David KNZ | May 20 2020 8:12 utc | 149

b., I have read every single one of your articles for years and have referred legions of people to read them, and will continue to do so. I have read your comment to Jack Rabbit. I don't know what he posted to deserve it but it seems that you're not following the absolutely marvelous Dr. Seheult (Medcram) as he just discussed a study involving zinc + hydroxychloroquine that has returned encouraging results.

The study is by Dr. Carlucci from NY and was released in MedRvix:

You recently asked not to copy entire sections from other websites so I'll simply paste the short conclusion:

"This study provides the first in vivo evidence that zinc sulfate in combination with hydroxychloroquine may play a role in therapeutic management for COVID-19."

The extended conclusion must be read. The study limitations to, as well as the honest statement that "more are needed".

Posted by: Melkiades | May 20 2020 8:22 utc | 150

An issue I have with science background ppl who say about the results from hospitals' trials with this or that drug (as in quinine etc) are not randomized, is twofold:
- as mentioned before here, doctors who receive the patients in emergency situations have no time for a debate and must give them something, i.e. there is a part that remains empirical, and it is based on the multiple factors which constitute the general condition of the patient
- all the protocols that have been used and shared show that hospitals used many different medicines in combination and adapted progressively to the patient's reactions and evolution, i.e. none of them used "only" this or that
-randomized studies are never using 5-10 drugs in combination (at least not those for covid yet) and therefore, there is absolutely no way they should be considered as proving anything about the effects of this or that brand of Schweppes or Peruvian plant.

Posted by: Mina | May 20 2020 9:19 utc | 151

(threefold wld sound more serious... need coffee)

Posted by: Mina | May 20 2020 9:44 utc | 152

and now this, for a possible case of animal/human transmission

Posted by: Mina | May 20 2020 9:46 utc | 153

i do hope that cannabis helps prevent developing a severe case of the virus.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 20 2020 12:22 utc | 154

John Helmer does an excellent deep dive into failed Aus/US anti-WHO/China campaign:

Truth Vaccine Kills Australian-American Campaign Against China in World Health Organization Debate

Posted by: John Gilberts | May 20 2020 15:31 utc | 155

Interesting to see how the official fear propaganda on Covid has changed away from "it's so infectious and deadly, it will be like the Spanish Flu, probably worse". Most countries have no excess mortality at all (Germany - so far on a 3-year low, most of Europe), some a bit such as the UK where this flu is on par with the 5 strongest flus of the last 25 years, i.e. a 5-year event. Spiegelhalter in the BMJ (the heart of the UK medical establishment) just said two thirds of Covid-attributed deaths in the UK are in fact caused by the lockdown.
Posted by: Leser | May 20 2020 7:42 utc | 148

Indeed. But don't forget the first phase before the panic porn phase! As China Started to suffer under the rapidly growing problem in early January and took decisive steps to bring it under control, the West, led by the US and UK psychopaths, were busy accusing China of "abusing human rights" with their "excessive" lockdowns, laughing off the seriousness of the disease, and making very little attempt to hide their glee at the predicament China faced.

Very important that people do not forget that first phase, as it is highly incriminating of Western governments - both with respect to their actions concerning Covid/China and with respect to their actions towards their own populations; even more so now as it becomes clear that they are forced to change their tactics again.


With respect to this, I found something very interesting and revealing in two papers, both of which were published earlier.

Phylogenetic network analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomes (Forster et al)

In silico comparison of spike protein-ACE2 binding affinities across species;
significance for the possible origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Piplani et al)

The Piplani paper measured the bonding energy of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to ACE2 receptors in different kinds of animals, showing that in some (such as horse) the bond is rather weak, causing low infectivity and no overt disease. In the hamster or monkey the binding energy was considerably higher, reflecting much higher infectivity. What was striking, though, is that the binding energies to human ACE2 cells were the highest of all, while binding energy to bat ACE2 was considerably lower.

What this means is that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing Covid-19) is highly adapted to humans. This is despite the fact that the Piplani research was based on the earliest virus genomes from the beginning of the infection in Wuhan, i.e. supposedly before it had any chance to adapt to humans. Furthermore it supposedly came from bats, yet there is absolutely no sign of its presence in bats, no sign of a Covid-19 epidemic in bats, no sign that it was gradually evolving into SARS-CoV-2 in bats, and furthermore the binding energy to bat ACE2 cells is far too low. This is highly suggestive that the virus was developed in the laboratory.

Now consider the Forster paper, which discusses the evolution of the virus from the earliest samples found in Wuhan, and the mutations that spread around to different parts of the world in the early stage of the pandemic (it does not take into account the huge number of mutations that have occurred since then, nor of course the earliest versions recently shown to have been present in the US and Europe in November 2019 or earlier). It is based only on the 160 largely completely sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes in the GISAID database in early March 2020.

Forster described the early varieties of SARS-CoV-2 as falling in 3 main groups, A, B and C, with A being the "ancestral" group which was closest to the nearest known virus that has been found in bats, BatCoVRaTG13. The "ancestral" group A is also divided into 2 subclusters, the T-allele (closest to RaTG13) and the C-allele (not C group!!) which differs only by the T29095C mutation. Nearly half of this C-allele subcluster is found outside East Asia, mainly in the USA and Australia (this is before early March, remember; after that it would be far more complicated).

Then there are two groups derived derived from group A (specifically, from the C-allele of A). The first, group B, is derived directly from A. The second, group C, is derived in turn from Group B. Now here is where it gets interesting - and remember this is only genomes already sequenced by early March, so only cases in February or earlier.

Group B is derived from A by two mutations, one synonymous and one non-synonymous. All but 19 of the 93 B group samples came from East Asia, mainly China 10 cases in neighbouring countries of East Asia. Every single sample of the earliest form of B-group (i.e. with just 2 mutations from A-group) was found in East Asians, while every single sample of B-group found outside East Asia had additional mutations. Thus there is a very strong implication that B group (and presumably also A group, but that issue is not discussed by Forster since it is virtually monopolised in East Asia anyway) is genetically adapted specifically to East Asian ethnic group. Where B group has been found outside East Asia, it seems to have required further mutations to adapt it (still at this point being classed as B group) to non-East Asian ethnic groups. Forster et al state:

A complex founder scenario is one possibility, and a different explanation worth considering is that the ancestral Wuhan B-type virus is immunologically or environmentally adapted to a large section of the East Asian population, and may need to mutate to overcome resistance outside East Asia.

Group C is further derived from group B, and differs by a non-synonymous mutation G26144T. In the dataset it is predominantly in Europe, with samples in France, Italy, Sweden, England, California and Brazil. It is completely absent (in this database) from China, but 5 samples are found in Singapore, and some also in Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea (notably, all of which are much more internationalised than China).


Now, there is a further twist, with reference to the following paper:

Geographic and Genomic Distribution of SARS-CoV-2 mutations

This involved a study of 10014 different SARS-CoV-2 genomes that had been sequenced by 20th April 2020, and analysed the differences by continent, by country, and by group. By the time of this paper the knowledge of the virus had progressed, and the grouping is different: here the 10014 genomes are classified into three clades, according to the main gene involved in the branching, and are referred to as clades S, G and V. S corresponds roughly to Forster's Group B, and G to Forster's Group C. Clade S seems to include group A. I assume V is another group that developed subsequently to Forster's paper, and I assume probably derived from clade G since it is found predominately in Europe.

Thus clade S is the ancestral group A/B that predominates in East Asia especially China. What differentiates clade G from clade S is the gene encoding the spike protein, which binds to the ACE2 receptor. In other words this is an adaptation to bind to Caucasian ACE2 receptors more effectively.

Furthermore, taking the earliest published genome (from Wuhan) as reference, the least divergence from this reference was found in the East Asian countries China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, plus Iran [Iran, though, according to another source, was a distinctly different genome, evidently optimised for Iran] in other countries the divergence from this reference is much greater, apparently evidencing an evolution to adapt to different ACE2 receptors. Furthermore again, the paper notes that all the different countries of Europe had exactly the same profile of expression of the different genes, whereas the different countries of East Asia showed marked differentiation between each other, especially Japan.

In other words the original form of the virus released in Wuhan was specifically adapted to ethnic Chinese ACE2 receptors. This strain of the virus seems to have had some difficuty infecting Europeans, and when it did infect Europeans the infection was mild. Could this be the explanation for the extreme overconfidence of the West from January to mid-March? They expected that Caucasians would be less affected by the virus than the Chinese, unprepared for such rapid adaptation through mutation.

Here is my hypothesis: The US created this virus specifically to attack China. The genetic code of the spike protein was specifically designed to be optimised to attach to the Chinese ACE2 receptor. The form created by the USA would be the T-allele of Group A (the earliest known strain). Being artificial, it was genetically unstable, and quickly mutated after the start of the outbreak in Wuhan, first to the C-allele of Group A, then through two more mutations to the B Group, which was more stable for infections in ethnic Chinese - meaning, the virus is well adapted to attaching to Chinese ACE2 adaptors, therefore it does not need further selection to thrive in this ethnic group. This B group spread within East Asia, but could only thrive outside East Asia by further mutations - meaning that amongst millions of replications of the virus in non-Chinese hosts, those mutations that were better adapted to the non-Chinese ACE2 receptor would thrive better through natural selection. When B Group samples reached Europe, they quickly adapted to the new hosts through natural selection to attach better to the Caucasian form of the ACE2 receptor, giving rise to the new Group C (later classified as G clade). Thus, suddenly the virus became - contrary to US plans and expectations - well adapted to infecting Caucasian hosts. Thus, the strange delayed shock realisation that we have observed in Western politicians, especially British and American.

There are a couple of interesting predictions from this hypothesis, which can be tested if the relevant data eventually becomes available (I think it is bound to come out eventually). Firstly, my hypothesis is that the original strain leaked from Fort Detrick would have been the A Group (T-allele), which is not so well adapted to infecting Caucasians. This might be why it was relatively well contained before February. The US government, of course, would know this. After it escaped into the US community, though, it must have mutated. These random mutations would have been different from those which occurred in Wuhan, thus these mutations would all be different branches from A than those observed by Forster. If some of these early strains could be sequenced, they should be in this alternate branch - still derived from the ancestral Group A, but with quite separate development, as a distinct branch. This branch would have tried to adapt to Caucasian ACE2 receptors, but may have been more or less successful than Group C, and may have been both more or less infectious, and more or less fatal, than Group C. These mutations should be different from those found in China. There are many ethnic Chinese in the US military - did the US avoid including these ethnic Chinese in the Wuhan military games? What were the ethnicities of the 6 participants urgently evacuated from Wuhan during the games?

The second prediction concerns the early virus strains found in Europe in November or earlier. What type of strains were they? If they reulted from infections from the US team in Wuhan in October, they again must have mutated after reaching Europe, and they may have been yet another branch from Group A, with mutations different from both the US branches and the Forster branches. Alternatively, perhaps this was the origin of the C group - nevertheless this is less likely since C group is derived from B group, which according to this hypothesis should not have existed in Wuhan until after it spread amongst the Chinese. A third possibility is that the early European strains also came from the US leak, and started spreading - like the early US forms rather slowly - before the Wuhan games took place. In this case the early European branches should be derived from somewhere on the early US phylogenetic tree.

Posted by: BM | May 20 2020 16:35 utc | 156

BM | May 20 2020 16:35 @ 156

Thanks for taking the time to describe the research and share your thoughts about it.

My impression is that it's already recognized that the virus didn't come from bats. There's been talk of other animals instead: cats, civets, etc. Perhaps it's the research that you describe that has driven researchers to look elsewhere?

And I wonder how conclusive the East Asian ACE2 attachment is. Wouldn't the virus be expected to be adapted to the population where it first appeared?

One interesting aspect of the research that you highlight is that the Wuhan lab's bat research is irrelevant. AFAICT accusations against the lab have focused on its bat research.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 20 2020 17:29 utc | 157

And I wonder how conclusive the East Asian ACE2 attachment is. Wouldn't the virus be expected to be adapted to the population where it first appeared?
Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 20 2020 17:29 utc | 157

Indeed, it would be expected to adapt to the population where it first appeared - so why did it suddenly appear there out of nowhere, with that adaptation already complete? That is impossible, if it evolved naturally. Only if it was created in a lab is it possible.

As for "other animals" ... if it developed in another animal, where is the evidence of an epidemic in that animal? Where is the evidence of the long and necessary process of evolution in that animal. In both cases entirely absent.

Posted by: BM | May 20 2020 17:46 utc | 158

BM | May 20 2020 16:35 @ 156

I agree that the US/West delay in addressing the looming pandemic is suspicious. As is their strange attacks against China right after signing an initial trade agreement. But I'm not sure exactly what to make of it.

I also think there are other suspicious things that don't get much attention:

  • ARAMACO's well-timed IPO;
  • Trump's decision to sign a "Phase I" Trade Agreement with China (he had previously said that he would only sign a comprehensive deal)" - China is now having trouble meeting the terms of this agreement;
  • Designating all Administration discussions about the virus as a national security matter;
  • John Bolton's strange departure: resigned or fired? for no apparent reason;
  • Ft Detrick and vaping illness. WTF?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 20 2020 17:47 utc | 159

i just realized that hydroxychloroquine is the equivalent to walking around with a pocketful of posies. plagues call forth similar responses. "history doesn't repeat, but it rhymes"--or echoes.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 20 2020 19:13 utc | 160

@ jackrabbit.. hey jr, i tried to e mail you at the blog e mail address and it got sent back - rejected.. glad to see you are back here..

Posted by: james | May 20 2020 19:39 utc | 161


Yeah, I gotta fix that. I've been super busy during this lockdown

Try again in a day or two.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 20 2020 21:09 utc | 162

okay... will do! thanks..

Posted by: james | May 20 2020 21:27 utc | 163

@Posted by: BM | 156

That's some serious analysis, thanks for sharing here. It aligns with observations that 'Old Microbiologist' made on the Saker site some weeks ago, then picked up on unz as well. Also Judy Mikovits in the promo trailer for her book says that the genetic change from SARS-1 to SARS-2 if happening naturally should take some 800 years, not 10 as observed.

What makes me wonder is: if this wasn't expected to spread to the West, why was the incredibly detailed and all-encompassing lockdown playbook in place and ready at the push of a button, slavishly and ruthlessly enforced by practically every nation and every level of administration, against all reason. Or maybe it wasn't this particular virus that was supposed to bring the Event 201 playbook to life? Maybe Fauci had something else in mind when in 2017 he already knew about a pandemic to come?

Posted by: Leser | May 21 2020 11:25 utc | 164

It's an Epidemic, not a Pandemic:

Classification of the pandemic
In 2007, the US health authorities defined a five-tier classification for pandemic influenza and counter-measures. The five categories are based on the observed lethality (CFR) of the pandemic, from category 1 (<0.1%) to category 5 (>2%). According to this key, the current corona pandemic would probably be classified in category 2 (0.1% to 0.5%). For this category, only the “voluntary isolation of sick persons” was envisaged as the main measure at the time.

In 2009, however, the WHO deleted severity from its pandemic definition. Since then, in principle, every global wave of influenza can be declared a pandemic, as happened with the very mild “swine flu” of 2009/2010, for which vaccines worth around 18 billion dollars were sold.

Posted by: Leser | May 21 2020 11:33 utc | 165

What makes me wonder is: if this wasn't expected to spread to the West, why was the incredibly detailed and all-encompassing lockdown playbook in place and ready at the push of a button
Posted by: Leser | May 21 2020 11:25 utc | 164

Thanks. The comparison with Oldmicrobiologist was indeed flattering! He commented here during the Skripal fantasy, but unfortunately I haven't seen him here since Covid-19 (I saw him on Saker of course). It's good to know at least one person saw my comment, this thread seems to be largely dead already!

As to your question, clearly there are myriad mysteries in this saga, we will never know the whole story and probably nobody will (not even the main protagonists).

To some extent the preparations for handling a pandemic are and should be in place, but I think most of the actual responses seem to be ad hoc, and driven by a contradictory combination of panic and elitist intergovernmental conspiracy. Other than China, which handled everything extremely well, and Russia and a few other countries, if prepared plans had been expertly followed we wouldn't have the idiotic chaos that we in fact observe. Pandemics require real preparations, and the willingness to carry those preparations through if a real need arises. The response that we observes shows that something different has happened. My comment above might give some pointers as to what that might be, but that is speculation.

Posted by: BM | May 21 2020 11:56 utc | 166

From the open thread:
Pepe Escobar:
Posted by: bjd | May 20 2020 13:47 utc | 1

From the article:

After all, President Xi Jinping made it clear earlier this week that a “Covid-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available,” won’t be subjected to Big Pharma logic, but “will be made a global public good. This will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.” The Global South is paying attention.

That is an interesting proposition, in line both with its domestic medical ethos of aiming to serve the health needs of society rather than the profit greed of corporations, and with its status as the world's biggest manufacturer. As the latter, China can make gigantic savings on production costs - similar to what it is doing with low-cost consumer devices - and produce vaccines that are low-cost compared to the affordability of ordinary people in developing countries. Thereby it can extend its service to the health needs of society to the whole world, not just as philanthropy but making profit at the same time (a whole new ballpark of politico-economics, perhaps). In doing so it will exert a truly massive and global enhancement of its image, while making a truly massive and global benefit for humanity. No small accomplishment, that.

Now for the other side of the coin, which is just as interesting. If the Chinese vaccine is viewed as good quality, safe and effective for its purpose, nobody with an IQ higher than 10 will want to buy any other. If the Americans, Israelis, Germans, Bill Gates etc each produce their own vaccine hoping to sell at Remdesivir-like prices, they'll literally be wiped out! Competing with the literally unrefusable (that is, unrefusable for those that do want a vaccine anyway) offer from China will be impossible. It's a Knockout!

Posted by: BM | May 21 2020 12:59 utc | 167

A new approach developing in Turkey to open up:

"The authorities are hoping that the results of massive immunity analysis of the population will help them map out the cluster of vulnerable groups.

Based on those results, regular tests will be run on certain age and occupation groups, including traffic polices, bank employees, barbers, hair salon staff, cashiers, members of cabin crews, security guards and personnel in military barracks. The authorities also plan to run tests on people with flu and cold symptoms."
"People with the virus and the individuals who have contacted them will be isolated, instead of imposing restrictions on an entire city, they explained."

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | May 22 2020 7:18 utc | 168

Posted by: BM | May 20 2020 16:35 utc | 156

Thanks BM for an interesting post and following comments and commenters.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | May 22 2020 7:49 utc | 169

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | May 22 2020 7:18 utc | 168

That looks interesting, are they doing massive testing now then?

For those STILL with doubts about "with" vs "from CV:

Centenarian woman [aged 126] with 400 grandchildren [and great grandchildren] beats COVID-19 - Turkey News

A centenarian woman with 13 children and around 400 grandchildren became the oldest person in the world to beat COVID-19 in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş.

Aged 126 according to the official records, Eşe Gebelek, who has no idea of her real age, recovered from the coronavirus after a two-week treatment in hospital.


“Thanks to milk, yoghurt and cheese she has eaten her whole life, she has no other health problems,” she added.

Before Eşe Gebelek, a 113-year-old woman in Spain’s northeastern province of Girona was the oldest person to defeat the virus, according to official records.

Posted by: BM | May 22 2020 11:45 utc | 170

The lady in the picture doesn't look that old - more like 90. A sign of good health. I've seen a photo of three men from Pakistan, all over 120, the oldest of them looked the youngest. In that area they eat a lot of bitter apricot kernals (that would also be good for Covid-19! But B would disagree of course!)

Posted by: BM | May 22 2020 11:49 utc | 171

1/ "What makes me wonder is: if this wasn't expected to spread to the West, why was the incredibly detailed and all-encompassing lockdown playbook in place and ready at the push of a button" Leser@164
There was no such playbook. The nature of capitalism's ruling class is that it does not plan for the future. It reacts quickly and ruthlessly. It turns on a dime-always looking for the immediate profit to be made. In this case, as in 9/11, it saw an opportunity to get what it wanted.And acted very quickly.
The real question is why, after centuries of their acting in this way, the capitalists are so regularly misunderstood by people with critical faculties.

2/A "study, published in The Lancet, examined the medical records of 96,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients on six continents and found that "drug regimens of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with a macrolide was associated with an increased hazard for clinically significant occurrence of ventricular arrhythmias and increased risk of in-hospital death with Covid-19."

"It's one thing not to have benefit, but this shows distinct harm."
—Eric Topol, Scripps Research Translational Institute
"Patients who were given hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic, a combination Trump has touted, had a 45% increase in risk of death and a 411% increase in risk of heart arrhythmias, the study found. Patients who received hydroxychloroquine alone had a 34% increase in mortality risk and a 137% increase in risk of irregular heartbeat.

"The authors found "no evidence" of benefits from hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19 patients—a result that is consistent with the findings of previous studies on the drug, which is most commonly used as a treatment for malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis."
Common Dreams has the full article.
Any chance of apologies from some of the resident pharmacists who have been prescribing this dangerous regimen (plus zinc) until the people who really need it find that it is unavailable?

Posted by: bevin | May 22 2020 19:43 utc | 172

Office for national statistics Above average deaths returned to baseline week of May 8th. For this we shut down the world? You people are idiots for supporting this. The average age of death by covid is higher than the average life span. LOL.

Posted by: goldhoarder | May 22 2020 21:00 utc | 173

I'm still readin'. long as great comments appear.Regards toall.

Posted by: chu teh | May 23 2020 6:29 utc | 174

BM @ 156

Nice work sifting through all that.

It does seem that earlier severe coronaviruses (SARS and MERS) had an ethnic predilection. But human is human and obviously a very dangerous game to play tampering with these viruses.

Posted by: financial matters | May 23 2020 16:00 utc | 175

thanks for the posts BM... interesting info - all of it..

Posted by: james | May 23 2020 16:53 utc | 176

This crossreaction of T-cells is interesting. If it has moderate effect the disease is less severe. I'm guessing the risk of a cytokine storm is then also smaller. Level of contagiousness may also be smaller. Infection with an older corona virus can be considered in terms of vaccination.
If the crossreaction is strong then we are much further along herd immunity.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | May 24 2020 9:01 utc | 177

In reply to Don Bacon | May 19 2020 18:05 utc | 134
"US deaths from all causes – 97% of expected deaths. [i.e. no 'excess' deaths] . "

Interesting the lack of an apparent spike in the death rate. Not sure how I could explain it. There should at least be a correlative given the expressed inadequacy of our hospitals to cope with the 'novel' illness.

In reply to Jackrabbit
What do you have on the lack of attention to the possible relationships between vaping illness, SARS and COVID19? I've found nothing, not even speculation.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25 2020 4:05 utc | 178

As I understand the medical discussion in Germany, most Covid-19 patients die from thrombosis. So get out and move. Don't sit for hours typing in front of a screen. I also understand that sunlight kills the virus. Get out. Don't drink alcohol - it suppresses your immune system, and don't expose yourself to sunlight for too long, this suppresses the immune system, too.

If you google "Covid-19 Daily New Deaths in " you get the same curve on the way out whereever you look. Including Belarus where Lukashenka simply ignored the virus. Flatten the peaks in the graphs - they are simply weekends/days when no cases are processed.
Differences in levels are demography (mostly people within the span of life expectancy die, health system and the quality of care for the elderly. People in Germany saying it was a repeat of the swine flue panic are beginning to look like having been right.

My favourite conspiracy theory at the moment is a secret service social media campaign in the follow up of a WHO pandemic exercise providing the script. Aimed at shutting down Chinese economy and Chinese European trade. And yes, there will be elections in the United States.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25 2020 4:05 utc | 178
"What do you have on the lack of attention to the possible relationships between vaping illness, SARS and COVID19? I've found nothing, not even speculation."

Anything you do to weaken your immune system - and we routinely do a lot - will make you susceptible. When you catch the flue, you have to stop working and drink a lot of water. Many men fight the flue with alcohol. Don't. It dehydrates, weakens the immune system and you end up with thrombosis. Self medication , over the counter drugs that suppress the immune reaction, is dangerous, too.

Posted by: somebody | May 27 2020 6:51 utc | 179

Very well put. Algeria has announced it will carry on using HCQ because it has given results. The Canard Enchaîné revealed that it took two months for the French to come up with their app and a tracing process -not even systematically implemented yet- because the covid cases were not registered in the usual file for contagious diseases such as cholera, hiv etc.
Unclear who prevented that but it obviously came from high up.
Another gem is that greater paris northern councile Seine St Denis has 120% extra mortality. It is the cheapest area around Paris in terms ofhousing and yes, many frontline workers live there. That includes 15% of the parisian hospital staff and 16% of personal care staff working in paris...
Now they blame the excess mortality on poverty and indeed it is the poorest in france, but tracing and having to say that most peoole were infected in hospitals or through medical staff would be embarrassing.

Posted by: Mina | May 27 2020 7:31 utc | 180

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

HCQ can be dangerous depending on enzymes.

"It is the so-called glucose-6-dehydrogenase deficiency, or "G6PD deficiency", one of the most common genetic peculiarities, which can lead to threatening haemolysis (dissolution of red blood cells), mainly in men, when certain drugs or chemicals are taken. The following map shows the distribution of this deficiency...
I looked at the drugs that can cause severe hemolysis in G6PD deficiency and got really scared. One of the substances that is called very dangerous in all forms of this enzyme deficiency is the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).
But this is precisely the substance that Chinese researchers in Wuhan have been recommending against SARS since 2003. Along with the virus from Wuhan, HCQ now came back to us as one of the therapeutic options and was accepted as such. At the same time, HCQ was recommended as a promising agent against Covid-19 for further clinical trials with the support of WHO and other agencies."

Deficiency in Algeria

But counted and real covid-19 deaths in Africa will be minimal. The virus does not like sunshine. There is no money for tests. And Africans are young.

Posted by: somebody | May 27 2020 9:23 utc | 181

Don Bacon | May 19 2020 18:05 utc | 134
"US deaths from all causes – 97% of expected deaths. [i.e. no 'excess' deaths]."

Perhaps not in the US, but in Europe certainly. There's a big spike in excess deaths.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 27 2020 10:09 utc | 182

Posted by: somebody | May 27 2020 9:23 utc | 181

"HCQ can be dangerous depending on enzymes."

You fail to quantify this danger. It may just be a very rare side-effect, such that nobody noticed it in clinical practice.

It's very difficult to know under the weight of the powerful, heavy-gunned, Big Pharma campaign against cheap well-known HCQ, which has led in all the media recently. The campaign has been mentioned in every BBC radio bulletin for a couple of weeks. Quite why was revealed a couple of days ago, when we are now being told, again in every bulletin, that useless, dangerous, Remdisivir, at $1000 a go had been approved for use at state expense in Britain.

I'm sure that in France, now that the campaign to ban HCQ has succeeded, Mina will tell us in a couple of days that we are now hearing in France too, that the state approves that expensive useless product (Thanks to Mina for her nicely acid takes on the situation in France).

Posted by: Laguerre | May 27 2020 10:24 utc | 183

"But counted and real covid-19 deaths in Africa will be minimal"
True for the age pyramid but the problem is how for them to reopen borders to their people +relatives who live in Europe....North Africa and Sub-Saharan are facing this issue for the months to come.

Posted by: Mina | May 27 2020 11:14 utc | 184

by the way, no drug is good without medical advice
but the sales of Plaquenil are speaking for themselves

Posted by: Mina | May 27 2020 11:17 utc | 185

Laguerre 183

Quantification in the link above.

" G6PD deficiency is present in Algeria at the national level of 3% (+/- 0.5). The level is less high in the mountainous areas of arab culture, higher in the berber culture and in the Shara. Numerous new variants have been detected in Algeria. The G6PD deficiency predominating in Algeria is of Kabyle type, followed by Laghouat and El-Qued types. Types A-, A+ and Ibaden Austin of negro origin exist in the Sahara population."

Quantification for US army:
"African American males (12.2%) and females (4.1%), along with Asian males(4.3%), had the highest rates of G6PD deficiency. Most maleswere found to have class III variants while most females wereclass IV variants. The most severely deficient were Asian males(class II). These results suggest that universal screening forG6PD deficiency is clinically warranted, and particularly es-sential for those male service members who self-report ethnicity ity as African American, Asian, or Hispanic"

It is a well known deficiency that has to be considered for medication.

I agree with you on the pharma campaign and Remesdivir. I tend to think the pharma campaign hyped the danger of the virus, too.

Most people recover just resting, drinking lots of water. In Germany hospitals were warned from using lung machines too early as their success rate is low and cause damage to the lungs for the survivors.

Mina, you are correct. Borders will be shut for quite a while.CDC has just come out critizising the value of the testing, so proving you had it or have antibodies will be no solution.I tend to think the closures will function mostly one way - and this way was largely closed anyway. Going back and from will be a huge problem. They are bound to solve that though for business. I guess they already have solved it, as trucks and planes still transport stuff.

Posted by: somebody | May 27 2020 11:58 utc | 186

About masks, I think that rather than telling people "wear it or you are a criminal", citizens could better be explained that 1) if they are above a certain age 2) even more if they live in a moist environment (i.e. Asia, south of the US, other places), they definitely should wear it. In a confined space like planes and trains, why not too. But it is obviously used by some as a form of infantilization/militarization of society.

Posted by: Mina | May 27 2020 13:00 utc | 187

Curmudgeon | May25 4:05 @ 178

What do you have on the lack of attention to the possible relationships between vaping illness, SARS and COVID19?

About two months ago there was talk about a possible connection between vaping illness and the shutdown of Ft. Detrick by the CDC on August 8th with the speculation that SARS-COV-2 was (accidentally?) released by Ft. Detrick (implied: where it was developed).

That talk seemed to die down with the dual push for us to believe that: 1) China is to blame for the global spread of the virus, 2) the virus was a natural occurrence.

But new findings indicate that we can't rule out that the virus was man-made so questions about Ft. Detrick and vaping illness are likely to be raised again. AFAICT the most import of these new findings are that: the virus being unusually adapted to humans (BM wrote a good summary of this above) and a new Chinese study shows that the virus uses HIV methods to compromise the immune system (there have been concerns about "HIV inserts" in the virus).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 27 2020 16:49 utc | 188

Mina | May 27 2020 13:00 utc | 187

I believe the reason for masks is not to protect oneself, but to protect others. The masks we are to wear, as well as most surgical masks will not stop the virus. It seems that the virus is also able to enter your body through your eyes.

as I understand the mask recommendation, it is to protect others from water droplets that one ejects during coughing, sneezing, and even just talking. the droplets are caught in the fabric of the mask and do not go whizzing around to land on someone else.

since one can have the virus, be contagious, and not even know it, this seems to be a good idea. maybe altruistic, I think altruism was discussed some time ago here. We are nice to people so they will be nice to us when we need it.

Posted by: dan of steele | May 27 2020 20:11 utc | 189

In reference to altruism, i think it still depends on the density of the population where you live and on the number of persons you interact with.

For Somebody, how often is that that a blogger gets his articles translated in four languages? He says also that HCQ is among the things that are dangerous for ppl with G6PD deficiency, but he also states that "This hereditary trait is particularly common among ethnic groups living in areas with malaria. The modified G6PD gene offers advantages in the tropics. It makes its carriers resistant to malaria pathogens. However, G6PD deficiency is also dangerous if those affected come into contact with certain substances found in, for example, field beans, currants, peas and a number of medicines.

These include acetylsalicylic acid, metamizole, sulfonamides, vitamin K, naphthalene, aniline, malaria drugs and nitrofurans. The G6PD deficiency then leads to a disruption of the biochemical processes in the red blood cells and – depending on the dose – to mild to life-threatening haemolysis. The debris of the burst erythrocytes subsequently leads to microemboli, which block small vessels throughout the organs."

Posted by: Mina | May 28 2020 8:54 utc | 190

Posted by: Mina | May 28 2020 8:54 utc | 190

Dr Wolfgang Wodarg is not a blogger". He investigated the "swine flue" pandemic for the European parliament.

Euromomo - excess deaths per country. Covid-19 is a virus that causes a peak in excess deaths two weeks after lockdown in some countries but not in others.

I find it difficult to wrap my head around that. I suspect panic in care homes. Some people in Germany suspect the type of treatment in hospitals, ie. breathing machines used too early as they have serious effects on the lungs, Wodarg suspects cloroquine used without checking for enzyme deficiency.

Germans tend to think side effects of medication should be avoided by natural healing if possible. It has a long tradition in this country. So its cultural. I suspect mortality is also influenced by the way people tend to treat the flue. Main effect I can see is sunshine, like in any flue, as Latin America is now declared the new hotspot in the autumn flue season.

Yes, it is not clear, what the masks do, in Germany you can use any scarf. And yes, politicians for some reasons try to prolong the fear and the masks were introduced at that exact moment.

One thing for sure, pharma companies have sold their products for a long time now by claiming "prevention", so they may well be hoping to cure a virus that is on its way out.

There was a reversal of "responsibility" in the virus discussion in Germany. You are now protecting risk groups and ensuring their ability to take part in daily life by limiting yourself, instead of protecting risk groups by isolating them. At the same time risk groups were isolated without having a choice.

It is Orwellian.

Posted by: somebody | May 28 2020 14:03 utc | 191

add to 191

Japan has the best results (without forced lockdown) and the best health system. Their medicine is truely evidence-based, ie studies are ranked for quality and state health officials with no conflicts of interest regulate treatment recommendations.

Posted by: somebody | May 28 2020 14:32 utc | 192

Thanks for explaining who was the author!! Look at the layout:
I thought WOLFGANG WODARG (it does not say Dr on the page) was the journalist
who had interviewed the black guy in the picture. Most of the headers are questions, reason why I thought it was an interview.

As for the questions you have, until 10 days ago, the message every hour on French radios was to stay at home until you have respiratory problems.... They have now changed it and say that even with mild coughing symptoms you should contact your GP "to see if you need a test"..... Notice that in France it can be really hard to reach a GP. Impossible on a weekend and during the week, most of them rely on off-site secretaries (a bit like calling your mobile provider or computer warantee and ending up in India or Senegal).
Visits in care homes had been forbidden even before the lockdown on 16/3, so most of the people who died there have been infected by the staff.

Posted by: Mina | May 28 2020 15:37 utc | 193

Some many US experiments before the novel corona virus

Posted by: Stephane | May 29 2020 20:12 utc | 194

In reply to Jackrabbit @188@188

I'm slow but determined. I visited your blog expecting to find something on the correlation. Lost myself hours reading your content and enjoyed each moment.

I found what I was searching for on a reddit post which led me to a tuber vid. Some interesting insight both cases.

Coronavirus and the mysterious vaping related lung illness connection?

After comparing the symptoms of both illnesses, I’ve noticed a lot of disturbing similarities between the two. Everything from the fast onset to the breathing difficulties and the eventual pneumonia like symptoms that result in death from complications in many people.

Correlation is not causation, but in detective fashion it deserves some measure of investigation. The Youtube video is worth a look:

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Jun 2 2020 12:38 utc | 195

Big Data study in the Lancet and its authors.

Posted by: Mina | Jun 2 2020 13:02 utc | 196

In reply to somebody | May 27 2020 6:51 utc | 179
You're taking the common sense approach. Falling is flying with a bad PLF (Parachute Landing Fall).

I've plenty of practice with Flu, and this recent ailment, CV or not, was mild compared to past experience. I'm more concerned about the general reaction (dare I say it? yes over-reaction) than CV itself. They're freaking out at my expense, and I didn't take them to raise. Just a guilty bystander.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Jun 2 2020 15:17 utc | 197

Curmudgeon | Jun2 12:38 @ 195

Lost myself hours reading your content and enjoyed each moment.

Thank you!

PS I'm glad you found what you were looking for, even if it was elsewhere.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 2 2020 15:45 utc | 198

Jackrabbit | May 27 2020 16:49 utc | 188:

But new findings indicate that we can't rule out that the virus was man-made so questions about Ft. Detrick and vaping illness are likely to be raised again.

Haven't been following this virus story too closely (call it fatigue) but it would explain why the US left, or will be leaving, the WHO. It'll be a matter of time that we'll get to the bottom of this.

Posted by: Ian2 | Jun 2 2020 20:53 utc | 199

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