Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 02, 2020

Some Covid-19 Science

Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently declared the anti-viral drug remdesivir as a "standard of care" based on unpublished trials. But the judgment was sketchy and has come under question as it seems that the government moved the goalposts to achieve this outcome:

Instead of counting how many people taking the drug were kept alive on ventilators or died, among other measures, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said it would judge the drug primarily on a different outcome: how long it took surviving patients to recover.

Death and other negative outcomes were moved to secondary measure status: They would still be tracked, but they would no longer be the key measure of remdesivir’s performance. The switch — which specialists said is unusual in major clinical trials but not unheard of — was publicly disclosed on the government’s clinicaltrials.gov website on April 16 but did not receive much attention at the time.
...
“It raises a lot of flags, and it requires a lot of answers,” Walid F. Gellad, a professor of health policy and management at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Medicine, said in an interview, “especially when people start saying it’s become the standard of care, and all we saw was a news release in a trial with an outcome that was changed two weeks ago. It really is striking."

A Chinese double blind study of remdesivir, previously published in Lancet, had come to the conclusion that the drug had no statistically noticeable influence on the length of recovery and the outcome.

One wonders how much White House influence was used to push that drug. White House influence may also have been used in this ventilator acquisition that was paid for but never delivered.

---

Children are less prone to catch the Covid-19 disease. Within households in China their chance of getting infected was only 30% of the average chance for all household members. For individuals over 65 years of age the chance was 150% of the household average. Children who catch the Coronavirus have in general only very mild symptoms. But they carry the same load of viruses as grownups do. That means that they are generally as infectious as adults.

During a normal school day a child will have often intense contact with some 47 other individuals. Typical adults only have some 15 inter-human contacts during a normal work day. That is why children, even when less susceptible to the disease, are still a very important epidemic vector. While closing schools can not completely interrupt an epidemic and is expensive it can lower the epidemic's peak by some 60%.

---

There were reports from South Korea that recovered Covid-19 patients had again caught the disease. This was always unlikely to be true. To test the patients the usual RT-PCR test was used. That test does not directly look for the virus but for distinct sections of its genetic RNA code.

We know that people can be infectious two days after they were infected. Around day five the first symptoms occur. Eight days later the infected persons will have stopped infecting other people.

But recovered patients may continue to shed non-infectious virus debris for several month. Professor Drosten, the now famous German coronavirus specialist, explained in one of his podcasts that it takes a while until clotted parts of the lungs reopen. When they do the virus debris contained in those parts will be shed just by normal breathing. An RT-PCR test may show these patients as positive but we can be sure that they are cured.

South Korea has now used other tests to confirm that those 're-infected persons' were indeed cured and no longer infectious.

Another Chinese study found that all people they tested who successfully recuperated from Covid-19 had developed antibodies:

Within 19 days after symptom onset, 100% of patients tested positive for antiviral immunoglobulin-G (IgG). Seroconversion for IgG and IgM occurred simultaneously or sequentially. Both IgG and IgM titers plateaued within 6 days after seroconversion.

The study used a special laboratory test, not the less reliable fast blood tests, to confirm the results.

That both types of antibodies reliably occur is very good news. We know from human reactions to other coronaviruses that these antibodies give immunity for at least a year. Even after that the body will react to a new infection much faster to find and kill the virus than in people who catch the virus for the first time. The symptoms of the second infection will therefore be much milder than those of the first one.

It is likely that the immunity will stay even longer than a year because the novel Coronavirus is so far less prone to mutate than the typical influenza viruses:

In fact, researchers have found that the coronavirus is mutating relatively slowly compared to some other RNA viruses, in part because virus proteins acting as proofreaders are able to fix some mistakes. Each month, a lineage of coronaviruses might acquire only two single-letter mutations.
...
That bodes well for vaccines currently in development for Covid-19. If people get vaccinated in 2021 against the new coronavirus, they may well enjoy a protection that lasts for years.

The genetic code of the novel Coronavirus is about 30,000 letters long. Two modifications per month per strain are unlikely to change its immune-system appearance or function. A vaccine that creates sufficient antibodies will likely be long lasting.

---

The evidence is piling up that severe cases of the Covid-19 disease are related to an unusual immune system response caused by the SARS-CoV-19 virus:

Benjamin tenOever at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and his colleagues found that cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 produce unusually low levels of antiviral proteins called interferons compared with cells infected with other respiratory viruses (D. Blanco-Melo et al. Cell https://go.nature.com/3bWE82b, 2020). But levels of some proteins, such as IL-6, that activate more general immune responses are higher in infected ferrets and people than in uninfected controls.

During the outbreak in Hubei province one local Chinese hospital tested a new way to keep its staff healthy. It used the human interferon alpha, an immune system related messenger substance, in nasal drops applied four times a day. Out of nearly 3,000 staff, a third of whom cared for Covid-19 cases, none got infected. While this was not a randomized double blind study it points into an interesting direction.

Nicotine can also play a role in balancing the immune system response in Covid-19 cases. Smokers have been the accidental guinea pigs that allowed for these findings:

A quarter of French adults smoke. Many people were surprised, therefore, when researchers reported late in April that only 5% of 482 covid-19 patients who came to the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris between February 28th and April 9th were daily smokers. The ratios of smokers to non-smokers in earlier tallies at hospitals in America, China and elsewhere in France varied. But all revealed habitual smokers to be significantly underrepresented among those requiring hospital treatment for the illness.

A new paper in Toxicology Reports explains in detail why this may indeed happen. If the SARS-CoV-19 virus is not defeated early and replicates in huge numbers it creates an imbalances of the mixture of chemical messengers substances that keep the immune system under control. Then a so called cytokine storm happens and the immune system starts to attack the inner organs. This explains why doctors see such a wide range of different organ failures in critical Covid-19 cases. The authors of the study conclude:


bigger
Once someone is infected with SARS-CoV-2, the immune system is mobilized. As the virus replicates, cell and viral debris or virions may interact with the nAChRs blocking the action of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. If the initial immune response is not enough to combat the viral invasion at an early stage, the extensive and prolonged replication of the virus will eventually block a large part the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway seriously compromising its ability to control and regulate the immune response. The uncontrolled action of pro-inflammatory cytokines will result in the development of cytokine storm, with acute lung injury leading to ARDS, coagulation disturbances and multiorgan failure. Based on this hypothesis, COVID-19 appears to eventually become a disease of the nicotinic cholinergic system. Nicotine could maintain or restore the function of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory system and thus control the release and therapy for Covid-19 cases.

Other researchers have investigated old and well known drugs that might be useful to influence the interaction between virus proteins and human ones. They found a few that work well in monkey cells and will now go on human trial. But they also found an often used drug that may help rather than hinder the virus. This one is of serious concern:

Interestingly, a seventh compound – an ingredient commonly found in cough suppressants, called dextromethorphan – does the opposite: Its presence helps the virus. When our partners tested infected cells with this compound, the virus was able to replicate more easily, and more cells died.

This is potentially a very important finding, but, and I cannot stress this enough, more tests are needed to determine if cough syrup with this ingredient should be avoided by someone who has COVID-19.

Dextromethorphan or the derivative dextromethorphanhydrobromid is not only used in cough suppressants but also in combination drugs which are regularly used against the flu. The last time I caught a bad flu I used "Wick MediNait", a Procter & Gamble product. It is a combination of paracetamol, dextromethorphanhydrobromid and some other ingredients. If the next 'flu-like' disease hits me I will be back to pure paracetamol to suppress the fever and to syrup with thyme extracts to lighten the cough. If it gets worse a Codein prescription will hopefully help.

Posted by b on May 2, 2020 at 19:15 UTC | Permalink

Comments
next page »

Remdesivir is the case I always thought would come. A drug of dubious use, but it's in patent, and costs a lot. The campaign against hydroxychloriquine was always because it's cheap and out of patent, and worse, made by the French.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 2 2020 19:27 utc | 1

I think this remdesivir authorization was a genius move by the Trump administration. So genial even Dr. Fauci must have immediately understood the catch and endorsed it, as it is probable the drug must not have any grave collateral effects on the patients (as is the case with hydroxycloroquine).

First of all, remdesivir helps one of America's biggest pharmaceuticals (Gilead). Therefore, it will also help American capitalist reproduction.

Second, it will trigger a nationwide placebo effect thanks to widespread optimism and petit-bourgeois euphoria, thus lowering the death rates (though not the infection rates), and giving Trump an election boost in crucial areas (by the astroturf protests pattern, important swing states in the Midwest).

Third, by the time the efficacy of remdesivir is debunked, the Trump administration can simply state they acted with good will, with the "evidence" available at the time, and gently apologize. It is the perfect plausible deniability.

Posted by: vk | May 2 2020 19:44 utc | 2

Fauci should be fired for promoting this crap research on remdesivir. Changing the primary endpoint is verboten, plain and simple. The only reason to change the primary endpoint is to cherry-pick data in order to claim "success". Honest journals, if they still exist, will not publish this rubbish, as it contravenes their industry's "Committee on Publication Ethics" guidelines. The control arm of the trial was halted, another giant red flag, so there is nothing to compare their cherry-picked data against.

This trial is now at the quality level of the rubbish research that "proves" homeopathy "works". How can Fauci not be totally embarrassed by this? There must be powerful financial forces behind this. No amount of air freshener can cover up the stink...

Posted by: Trailer Trash | May 2 2020 19:44 utc | 3

Looks like Artemisia, a plant common in Madagascar and South Africa may have good potential as a cure or at least prophylactic. Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea and Congo Brazzaville are ordering Covid-Organics from Madagascar..

Posted by: Lozion | May 2 2020 20:00 utc | 4

Recent developments and insights point out that SARS-COV-2 is not primarily a respiratory virus, it is mostly an epithelial virus. The lung surface is composed of epithelial cells, but so are many other organs in the body.

The virus binds to ACE2 receptors that are richly expressed in epithelial cells. ACE2 stands for the angiotensin II converting enzyme. By this binding action, it disables the function of this enzyme and therein lies the mechanism of the problems it causes in the body.

A cascade of reactions surrounding the angiotensin system results in the creation of, and acerbation of pre-existing oxidative stress at the cellular level. This is why the actual risk categories turn out not to be asthmatics and other pulmonary patients, but instead diabetics, hypertensics and people with coronary disease.

Many COVID-19 victims die not from ARDS, but from sudden heart attacks, strokes and renal failure, in many cases systemic blood clotting is found. The "ground glass" lung photos are in fact showing pervasive alveolar bleeding.

Check out the latest of many highly informative MedCram videos on the topic:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gzx8LH4Fjic

Posted by: Lurk | May 2 2020 20:01 utc | 5

thanks b.. a lot of good info... i am not following this nearly as closely, but i thought of what @1 laguerre has said as particularly relevant to the conversation..

@ 6 lurk.. i had to look up that word - epithelial.. thanks for your post..

Posted by: james | May 2 2020 20:14 utc | 6

Professor Drosten, the now famous German coronavirus specialist,

Fascinating article indeed. Point taken, no tap beer for me, ever.
So he is trying these drugs:
But Drosten wants his research to save lives. Large cardboard boxes in his office hold supplies of two medicines waiting to be tried in the clinic. One is camostat mesylate, a pancreatitis drug approved in Japan that Drosten and others found can prevent both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 from entering cells. The other drug is niclosamide, used to treat tapeworms and other parasites. In a paper posted on the preprint server bioRxiv this month, Drosten's colleague Marcel Müller showed that SARS-CoV-2 interferes with the cellular recycling process called autophagy. It's unclear how exactly that benefits the virus, but niclosamide counters the interference. Treatment with the compound reduced SARS-CoV-2's growth in cell culture by 70%, the authors write. Drosten hopes to start to enroll patients soon in a trial to test a combination of the two drugs.

Posted by: hopehely | May 2 2020 20:20 utc | 7

OK, comment no.1 is now out of my system.

Two days ago I watched a bio on French TV of Didier Raoult, the controversial champion of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for covid-19, broadcast just before an interview with the man himself. I knew already what he himself thinks. Hydroxychloroquine along with an anti-biotic whose name I forget is useful in the first week or so of infection, when the virus is massively increasing, but not useful in the second week when the viral mass is decreasing but you're still heading for death.

What interested me from the bio was that apart from his somewhat entrepreneurial foundation of his own institute, no doubt with much help from French big pharma, he'd once been invited to consult on a virus that had broken out in Briançon. It was localised to the abattoir, and he solved it with Hydroxychloroquine. So he's just been repeating what was done before.

In the end, Hydroxychloroquine is an ancient medicine, discovered nearly a century ago, with well-known secondary effects, and some benefits. Quite why Remdesivir is now being boosted totally escapes me.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 2 2020 20:22 utc | 8

Posted by: james | May 2 2020 20:14 utc | 7

@ 6 lurk.. i had to look up that word - epithelial.. thanks for your post..

My god, james, did you have biology in school?

Posted by: hopehely | May 2 2020 20:24 utc | 9

Fauci lowered the bar because the goal is not to cure people who might have died without remdesivir. The goal instead is to achieve herd immunity faster without overloading hospitals. A medication that gets the recoverable out the door faster means that herd immunity can be achieved sooner.

Posted by: James Speaks | May 2 2020 20:45 utc | 11

There is a missconception that there are few labs that engineer viruses, in fact there are thousands of labs playing russian roulette with viruses, of course with very ethical and laudable causes, see for axample this article of 2010 (I can put many dozens more):

https://academic.oup.com/peds/article/24/1-2/53/1466225

In the abstract they say:

"Chemically and/or genetically engineered viruses, viral capsids and viral-like particles carry the promise of important and diverse applications in biomedicine, biotechnology and nanotechnology. Potential uses include new vaccines, vectors for gene therapy and targeted drug delivery, contrast agents for molecular imaging and building blocks for the construction of nanostructured materials and electronic nanodevices."

Right now anytime, all the day, 24h/365d, full time full live there are many labs engineering viruses, all kind of viruses: adenovirus, lentivirus, retrovirus and the herpes simplex virus, alphaviruses, flaviviruses, measles viruses, rhabdoviruses, Newcastle disease virus, poxviruses, picornaviruses, etc... and many dozens of families of viruses, so why such scandal if someone is engineering coronavirus?

What could go wrong?

Now in bio-technology the viruses are the "Saint Graal" to solve the medical problems: cancer, bacterial resistance to antibiotics, vaccines, auto-inmune disease, etc...thanks to the engineered viruses, we will have a brilliant future free of diseases...

Too many carreers, too many money of pharma companies, too many bribes, too many investment, too many Nobel Prizes in it, it will not stop, and as Nassim taleb said, it is only a matter of time something much more ugly hit us

Posted by: DFC | May 2 2020 20:45 utc | 12

@ Posted by: Laguerre | May 2 2020 20:22 utc | 9

France is home to the biggest hydroxycloroquine producer (and owner of the patent), Sanofi.

You could argue Dr. Raoult is simply in Sanofi's pocket, being the French version of Dr. Fauci.

Posted by: vk | May 2 2020 20:46 utc | 13

Laguerre @ 9:

Azithromycin is the name of the antibiotic that is to be taken with hydroxychloroquine. If memory serves correctly, zinc and vitamin C should be taken as well. The whole combination should be taken as a prophylactic (preventative) medicine.

Studies testing hydroxychloroquine in a hospital setting, when COVID-19 is already well-advanced among test subjects, will be bound to find the drug ineffective. That such studies continue even when knowledge about how the drug should be used is spreading among the general public either suggest stupidity among those who insist on carrying on with studies or a determination to counter public scepticism with an avalanche of such "studies". Nothing succeeds in the world of deliberate disinformation and brainwashing like repetition, repetition and more repetition.

Sanofi-Aventis, a French company, used to hold the patent on hydroxychloroquine until it expired recently.

Posted by: Jen | May 2 2020 20:53 utc | 14

Posted by: vk | May 2 2020 20:46 utc | 17

No doubt what you say is true, to a degree, but hydroxycloroquine is not in patent, it's a generic drug, having been identified nearly a century ago.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 2 2020 20:55 utc | 15

The biggest problem of this whole SNAFU is that no one, no one is an authority.

Posted by: steve | May 2 2020 20:55 utc | 16

Great coverage, B, it can’t be said often enough!

to Laguerre | 1
Something else about Remdesivir which I find very suspicious: Gilead Sciences began to increase production already back in January. That’s a whole lot of foresight. Back then, the chaps at the US consulate in Wuhan hadn’t even abandoned their post yet.

There’s something about the Science Direct explanation that I don’t get. How are nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) involved in the immune system and cytokine release? Not at all, I would think. So what’s the link between a supposed nAChRs-block and cytokine release? And another thing: speaking of nAChRs-block, the explanation seems to say, just in passing, that the virus has been found to mess with yet another receptor, if it can block nAChRs? In addition to ACE2 receptors? That’s news to me.

In my mind, Prof. Drosten has to be viewed as what we call in German “Bonze”. I mean, to go out of your way and make a fool of yourself just to cover up the utter lack of a) preparedness, b) initial responses and even c) willingness to work of the Merkel regime (masks)? “Fat cat” is said to mean “Bonze”, but I guess it doesn’t come close. Drosten’s Bundesverdienstkreuz must have broken his (scientific) spirit or something.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | May 2 2020 20:59 utc | 17

Posted by: Jen | May 2 2020 20:53 utc | 19

Thanks for that.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 2 2020 20:59 utc | 18

About the nicotine patches, I thought it was nicotine that is addictive in tobacco. Doesn't seem like a good idea to me, potential addiction for an unproven protection.

Posted by: Babyl-on | May 2 2020 21:02 utc | 19

DFC @ 16:

Your comment is missing one connection: who funds the bioresearch labs.

One might assume if they were funded by governments through science and higher education budgets, then most people working in the labs would be doing projects with the public interest in mind, and the types of viruses they produce would reflect the goal of the public interest.

If on the other hand these labs are under private control (through big pharmaceutical companies whose shareholders are the same people holding shares in banks and defence companies dependent on govt military spending) or rely on govt defence department contracts, then the people in these labs would be working on projects and producing results and pathogens whose attributes reflect a very different and very dangerous psychopathic agenda.

Posted by: Jen | May 2 2020 21:07 utc | 20

@all

anybody knows when can we expect a resumption of air travel around the world? my old parents are stuck in another country while visiting my sister. I haven't seen any prediction on the news.

Posted by: albagen | May 2 2020 21:14 utc | 21

@ 11 hopehely.. i essentially dropped out of school around grade 11 and science would be my least favourite topic.. it still kind of is! i went to burnaby north back in the 70s! what can i say? cheers...

Posted by: james | May 2 2020 21:15 utc | 22

@26 allbagen.. air canada thinks it will resume around christmas time... i don't know what they base that on..

Posted by: james | May 2 2020 21:16 utc | 23

thanks james

what the hell!? I don't understand why with strict controls the traffic can't resume.

Posted by: albagen | May 2 2020 21:20 utc | 24

Fauci did the same with AIDS drugs. Jumped on the first one regardless. Unfortunately, in those days, people died and HIV was blamed when it likely was the drug. But, he's got almost the same situation now. If you are deep with the virus, you'll probably die, so the drug used is excused.

Watch the vaccine the US finally chooses. They are talking already about pushing it out in this year, when the whole world knows it needs a year of testing.

Posted by: Red Ryder | May 2 2020 21:22 utc | 25

Posted by: Jen | May 2 2020 21:07 utc | 25

Yes, most biolabs are funded by Big Pharma, but I'm not sure that the results are always what they want. Raoult, for example, proposes a solution which doesn't cost much, doesn't cost much to his manufacturers.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 2 2020 21:24 utc | 26

Posted by: Jen | May 2 2020 21:07 utc | 25

Of course I am not talking about any conspiracy, it is all civilization works; all those people are working for the "betterment" of society, as is the case, in general, of the GMO project. It is to give a new impulse to the "Progress" of the human race, that is also the reason we have nuclear power or many thousands new chemical substances every year, all it is for the wellbeing of Humanity.

We think we can control Nature, we can be. thank to Science, as Descartes said: "The Masters and Posessor of Nature" full in control of all what live and what is dead, life, matter and energy....

In fact what really we are making is open more and more Pandora's Boxes, full of nasty surprises for all of us: nuclear, chemical, biological...

Good luck

Posted by: DFC | May 2 2020 21:24 utc | 27

Thanks b thyme oil is always good for nasal and sore throat and cough. Beware to use dilute like ONE drop in a nasal spray bottle or ONE drop in a spoon of olive oil for a throat gargle. Sprig of thyme in your shirt pocket is a fine thing.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 21:25 utc | 28

Posted by: james | May 2 2020 21:15 utc | 27

i essentially dropped out of school around grade 11 and science would be my least favourite topic.. it still kind of is!

Mmmm, I am not sure about that, you read this article, and you liked Lurks post... it seems you found that science is interesting after all!

Posted by: hopehely | May 2 2020 21:27 utc | 29

Andrew Cuomo Latest

12.3% of the New York State population is positive for COVID-19 antibodies

https://twitter.com/NYGovCuomo/status/1256602494165225472

2,4 million infected and 24 000 causalties.

That gives a large IFR of 1 %.

Posted by: Passer by | May 2 2020 21:37 utc | 30

@ Posted by: Laguerre | May 2 2020 20:22 utc | 9

“France is home to the biggest hydroxycloroquine producer (and owner of the patent), Sanofi.

Calling BS on this. While it may have a patent its out of patent, so many generic versions available. Until January hydroxychloroquine was available OTC very cheap in France when France Health Minister made bit prescription only. The French then prohibited its use except for serious cases of Covid-19 ( Fauci recommended the same) did many hospitals in US) despite Dr Raoults warning it wont be effective for them.

Sanofi is donating 100 million doses across 50 other countries (cant sell their stock in France). So apparently some think its effective. The patented version Plaquenil is in demand mainly by those in the west who have autoimmune diseases like arthritis since they take for long periods and its side effects are milder than generic versions made mostly out of India at a fraction of the cost but just as effective for Covid-19. India has restricted its export.

Sanofi is working on a vaccine with GSK. That will be far more profitable than hydroxychloroquine.

Your hypothesis makes no sense.

Dr Raoult has quite a track record. In 2014, according to ISI Web of Knowledge, he is the most cited microbiologist in Europe, and the 7th worldwide. Its a shame Big Pharma supporters resort to such smears to discredit him while Fauci is left to harm those he serves along with most of the top people in US/UK public health with so many financial conflict of interests it makes your head spin.


Posted by: Pft | May 2 2020 22:06 utc | 31

LET ME REPEAT --- I AM VERY CLOSE TO SURE THIS IS THE FINAL WORD ON 'COVID-19', AT THIS TIME (!):

Coming Out of Lockdown Unprepared

blues-1-0502a

Posted by: blues | May 2 2020 22:11 utc | 32

@Posted by: NWOdna | May 2 2020 20:50 utc | 18

Just heard a podcast by Daniel Estulin racounting the sequence of events since January 2020, including the sudden deaths of two WHO officials, one of whom was going to give a sensational news on the Coronavirus in a presser in the US, but died by choking eating broccoli!. Another event of which nobody has talked about so far, to my knowledge, it is when the US evacuated in a hurry its consulate in Wuhan...and what the Chinese found buried in the terrain surrounding the consulate.

He describes the following intends, after the Chinese declared that the virus had highly likely been unleashed by the US military, by the Trump administration on blaming the Chinese, as following the old motto "the best defense is a good attack"....

Another event he cites was the news on that certain US lab which had already a vaccine, a news which then was kinda denied and a veil thrown over it...

Well there are a lot os fishy events surrounding this pandemic...which should be taken into day light so as to know who really we must sue...I bet they are not the Chinese...


Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 2 2020 22:12 utc | 33

Many thanks for the straight shooting reportage on this pandemic... once again. Appreciated

Posted by: MadMax2 | May 2 2020 22:19 utc | 34

Great Post b.

Can anybody tell me if mosquitoes could be vectors for Covid19?

Posted by: CarlD | May 2 2020 22:25 utc | 35

Thanks b for that polite and quiet reference to:

Last month, the state paid Yaron Oren-Pines $47,656 per ventilator for 1,450 ventilators, three times the normal asking price,.....

...Oren-Pines has no known capability or expertise in making ventilators. According to BuzzFeed, his social media shows expressions of support for Trump since at least 2015.

He has not provided the ventilators, and New York state is attempting to recover the money, BuzzFeed reported. Oren-Pines would not comment to the online news site.

An unnamed official for the New York state government said the recommendation to deal with Oren-Pines came directly from the White House coronavirus task force. A spokeswoman for Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the task force, denied any involvement in making the recommendation.

The carpetbaggers are always in the lead if not the instigators. Perhaps he was on the last flight home.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 22:28 utc | 36

COVID-19 is a test run. The virus that will be released in November will be much more dangerous, causing a complete lockdown of at least the Western world. By March of 2021, hunger, privation and the new virus will have decimated many people, leaving the rest of us howling for whatever program Gates wants to inflict on us.

Posted by: JasonT | May 2 2020 22:28 utc | 37

Well an Italian study has shown hydroxychloroquine to be quite effective when used at the early stage of the infection.

Here is the link, please use the translate
option when you read the article -

https://www.iltempo.it/salute/2020/04/28/news/coronavirus-farmaci-efficaci-news-danni-cura-annalisa-chiusolo-artrite-terapia-idrossiclorochina-sars-cov2-1321227/

Posted by: gavishti | May 2 2020 23:23 utc | 38

One thing about science, it hates words like “likely”, “relatively”, “might”, etc. That NYT piece B linked to is not science

“It is likely that the immunity will stay even longer than a year because the novel Coronavirus is so far less prone to mutate than the typical influenza viruses:

In fact, researchers have found that the coronavirus is mutating relatively slowly compared to some other RNA viruses, in part because virus proteins acting as proofreaders are able to fix some mistakes. Each month, a lineage of coronaviruses might acquire only two single-letter mutations.
...
That bodes well for vaccines currently in development for Covid-19. If people get vaccinated in 2021 against the new coronavirus, they may well enjoy a protection that lasts for years.
The genetic code of the novel Coronavirus is about 30,000 letters long. Two modifications per month per strain are unlikely to change its immune-system appearance or function. A vaccine that creates sufficient antibodies will likely be long lasting.”

Basically just an article to keep people pining for a vaccine. Mostly speculative and hopeful. Not science

Yesterday a preprint of a collaborative study involving medical, genomic and virology researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico-US, University Of Sheffield-UK, Duke University in North Carolina-US, Sheffield Teaching Hospital-UK and the NHS-Foundation-UK, was released. No quacks there.

It shows that the Spike elements of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is mutating

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.29.069054v1.full.pdf+html

It uses real-time mutation tracking in the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, specifically on the Spike (S) protein because it mediates infection of human cells and is the target of most vaccine strategies and antibody-based therapeutics.
 
It monitored changes over the last two months from the early strains in Wuhan to the specific strains across the globe in conjunction with the GISAID data.
 
They focused on 14 specific sites on the virus and 2 Spike mutations were of particular interests: D614G and S943P.
 
It was found that D614G is increasing in frequency at an alarming rate, indicating a fitness advantage relative and enables more rapid spread. S943P is located in the fusion core region, and is of particular interest as it is concerned with spreading via recombination.

D614 is located on the surface of the spike protein protomer, where it can form contacts with the neighboring protomer. The mutation allows from a structurally perspective more easy ‘binding’ to human host cells through a variety of ways and from a immunological function, it disrupts antibody functions trying to attack it.
 
Hence the D614G mutation not only increases transmissibility, but also impacts severity of disease.
 
The S943P mutation however allows recombinant strategies for the virus to evolve.
 
The study of the other mutation sites L5F,  L8V V367F, G476S, and V483A all indicate that he virus can easily and evolve depending and conditions, displaying characteristics that it is even far more potent than HIV. There were also many other sites of mutations that the study covered.

So thats not very encouraging and doesn’t bode well. Not conclusive but just means this needs watching.

The other thing they noted is interesting.

“The seasonality of influenza is likely to be dictated in part by weather patterns
(Chattopadhyay et al., 2018), longer seasonal epidemics allow selection pressure to continue over a more extended period, enhancing opportunities for the development of
virus with novel antigenic surfaces that resist pre-existing immunity
(Boni et al., 2006)

....If the pandemic fails to wane, this could exacerbate the potential for antigenic drift and the accumulation of
immunologically relevant mutations in the population during the year or more it will take to deliver the first
vaccine. Such a scenario is plausible, and by attending to this risk now,
we may be able avert missing important evolutionary transitions in the virus that if ignored could ultimately
limit the effectiveness of the first vaccines”

Reading between the lines, extending the duration of the pandemic with lockdowns to avoid a higher peak is giving the virus more time to mutate and thus shorten the immunity of those already infected and recovered, and may render any vaccines developed with earlier strains ineffective.


Furthermore, even if a vaccine is developed, how well will it work?. So many vaccines don’t work in everyone (mumps, flu, whooping cough, etc) and experimental vaccines can have serious and unpredictable side effects especially when made by companies who have no liability for these side effects (you cant sue them)

The Moderna phase 1 trial skipped animal studies and are being used on health 18-55 yo. This is a group that suffers low mortality and serious disease. The target group should be 55-75 yo with comorbidities.

Then we must consider something called antibody enhancement. In SARS vaccine trials using animals , reinfection caused a more serious disease in those animals with antibodies (seen also with Dengue and RSV). Are they going to try and infect those humans getting vaccines in trials with covid-19 after they develop antibodies? I doubt it . Thats why you need to do animal studies.

And with vaccines making DNA changes you need a long term follow up to rule out long term effects. They don’t follow up for more than a week in childhood vaccines safety studies and they likely wont do it here either except to monitor for infection with covid to check for efficacy.

Despite all this hydroxychloroquine + zinc and IV vitamin C are ignored or discredit in favor of solutions which are expensive (profitable) and potentially unsafe.

Posted by: Pft | May 2 2020 23:31 utc | 39

I want to thank b again for the best updates on current events on the internet.

The most astonishing thing is watching an Empire collapse with nobody in charge by self-immolation. China, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia show that old fashion public health institutions by testing, tracing and isolation of the infected can defeat the Wuhan Coronavirus. The West cannot and will not do this. Testing and Tracking in the USA is a total SNAFU. Saving more lives would require the restoration of democracy and use of the Plutocrat’s wealth to fight the pandemic. The Elite are quite unwilling to do this. The unprepared haphazard reopening of the economy will kill hundreds of thousands more Americans. If North America breaks apart into nuclear armed regional states, millions more will die. Together with Climate Change, Armageddon approaches. VP Mike Pence knows he has been selected to be uplifted. Besides stupidity, why else would he walk around Mayo Clinic without a face mask greeting COVID-19 patients and doctors?

Posted by: VietnamVet | May 2 2020 23:31 utc | 40

Hi B,
I think that we don't know if remdesivir works or not. The trial used patients that were very sick. The virus had done its job and was no longer replicating exponentially. When you look at these lungs they are full of exudate and superinfection and the damage is done. I am surprised that there was any effect and the fact that there was is very encouraging. The time to give a chain terminator like remdesivir is early in the infection as soon as the patient presents and you have a positive test. You must hit the virus as it is exponentiating in the nasopharynx. That is when you have to do the clinical trial then the outcome is admission to ITU or not, then death or survival-- a really big trial.
I agree it is wrong to change the goal posts and it shouldn't have happened --- but the clinical trial was flawed from the beginning any way.
In defense of remdesivir it works rather well in feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) which is caused by a corona virus and is 100% lethal in cats. Remdesivir results in 100% survival with occasional relapse that is still treatable with the drug. In humans, remdesivir will work only if you give it early-- it is a powerful delayed chain terminator. So I do think the drug will protect people that are in the early stages of the disease- so everyone will get it and it will be huge for Gilead.

Posted by: cj | May 2 2020 23:41 utc | 41

In humans, remdesivir will work only if you give it early-- it is a powerful delayed chain terminator.

Yep, the first 48 hours, if our data is correct.
This is still early in the game.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | May 2 2020 23:52 utc | 42

I agree. So we have to aggressively contact trace and warn potential victims-- then treat with IFN2b and remdesivir together as soon as the first symptoms show. We target individuals over 50 especially those with co-morbidities. Its going to be expensive but not as expensive as shutting down the economy. I don't think we will be able to restart without a full mobilization along these lines. We need to do this before the second wave.

Posted by: cj | May 2 2020 23:59 utc | 43

Posted by: vk | May 2 2020 20:46 utc | 17
"France is home to the biggest hydroxycloroquine producer (and owner of the patent), Sanofi."

According to Wikipedia "Hydroxychloroquine was approved for medical use in the United States in 1955". So what patent are you talking about?

Posted by: joe | May 3 2020 0:13 utc | 44

This RT report will likely feed the speculation -

DARPA research lab designing ‘game changer’ rapid coronavirus blood test repurposed from BIOWEAPONS detection project

Germ warfare researchers at the Pentagon’s shadowy advanced projects unit have developed a new coronavirus test that could spot infected patients before they become contagious, originally created to diagnose victims of bioweapons.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says the new test may be capable of identifying infections within 24 hours, some four days prior to any of the test kits currently available, the Guardian reported on Friday. The rapid diagnosis could find carriers well before they show symptoms and become contagious, which typically occurs within two to 14 days after infection.
Initially designed to detect poisoning from biological and chemical weapons, the tests were hastily repurposed after the health crisis erupted late last year. Since they already employed the same polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines used to check standard coronavirus nasal swabs, the tests needed only “a simple tweak” to refocus them to Covid-19, according to Dr Eric Van Gieson, who helped to create the original bioweapons test.[.]

The test will look at the body’s immune response, rather than for the virus itself, which the researchers hope will detect infection faster than the nasal swabs available now. “Because the immune response to infection develops immediately after infection, a Covid signature is expected to provide more sensitive Covid infection diagnosis earlier,” [.]

===========

There was a Virtual March today for PPE.

[.] "For lack of a 75-cent piece of equipment, we're losing lives and putting more lives at risk," said Lisa Lattanza, MD, chair of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

I purchased masks this week that [usually cost] 75 cents per mask that were being sold for $5.50, $6 on the market. We had to pay it. It's either that or not have the masks," she said.
Lack of Masks Shows Lack of Value."[.]

March 4, 2020

HHS clarifies US has about 1% of face masks needed for ‘full-blown’ coronavirus pandemic

And still not done. Where is Jared Kushner?

Posted by: Likklemore | May 3 2020 0:21 utc | 45

Hydroxycloroquine will kill a large number of people (or descendents living around the world) from Malaria regions (Middle East, Afrika and so on).

In Europe the normal corona virus season should end in June. May was for the year 2018 the strongest month for corona virus (in Germany at least from data). If this holds true and German flu season is identical to Sweden than Sweden will be out in mid June.
Lockdown states in Europe should be able to completely open up in June too without much risk.

In December the corona virus (also Covid 19(84)) will return. This will be the month the West will finaly destroy itself from what i think is a misunderstanding or maniacal greed (big pharma, crazy scientist, polititians) or a big conspiracy.
My theory is that without the Covid 19 PCR test we would have a hard flu season and not the end of the world.

Posted by: TheWatcher | May 3 2020 0:21 utc | 46

We knew that a 'virus suppression' strategy which addresses the outbreak pro-actively, was the right strategy by mid-March.

'Virus suppression' requires widespread testing, moving those suspected of being infection to special facilities and treating them early with anti-malarial/anti-viral drugs. With proper prophylatic treatment, people can leave confinement in about a week.

Yet Western countries like USA are dragging their feet on changing the strategy. Instead, they astroturf a liberty movement that demands the lifting of lock-downs asap AND they approve a very expensive experimental drug when much less expensive alternatives are available.

We have been 'played' from day 1. First a reluctant response and false info (don't wear a mask) and now a relutance to do things that will reduce Gilead Sciences profits (maker of remdisivir).

What politicians and public health officials own stock or derivatives in Gilead Sciences? What is their trading history? And lets see their exposures to airlines, oil, boeing, and other sectors that have done very well or very poorly.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 3 2020 0:24 utc | 47

Why would Pence wander around without a mask? Maybe he has been given a secret vaccine.

Posted by: lysias | May 3 2020 0:25 utc | 48

" I do think the drug will protect people that are in the early stages of the disease- so everyone will get it and it will be huge for Gilead."

It amazes me that there is any support for allowing this drug, or any other of any importance, to be used to make investors rich. If the drug works it should be produced at cost and distributed to all who need it-wherever they might be.
The entire idea of intellectual property is nonsensical-in the field of medical research and pharmaceuticals, in which almost all groundbreaking work has been done by publicly funded institutions or has long been in what everyone concedes to be the public domain, it is particularly idiotic.
As to the morality of rich men trying to make money out of monopolising a life saving medicine- they can only conceive of doing so because they believe that the state will use violence to protect them from the righteous indignation of the public.
Gilead, if this drug works, will be in the position of a man with a warehouse full of grain in a country where the population is starving... you wouldn't want to be offering life insurance on someone in such a position.

Posted by: bevin | May 3 2020 0:30 utc | 49

58

Not only Pence, but what about DJT and Mike Pompeo?

All three seem unconcerned.

Posted by: CarlD | May 3 2020 0:40 utc | 50

TheWatcher @ May3 0:21

Hydroxycloroquine will kill a large number of people ...

No, it won't when prescribed by a doctor - which is recommended virtually everywhere.

Also, if taken in small doses as a prophylactic, it may be safe. One doesn't need to see their doctor to buy and consume tonic water (which contains quinine - hydroxychloroquine is a synthetic form of quinine).

Two large glasses of tonic water each day plus some Zinc (sunflower seeds are a good source) and Vitamin-C may be all that is required as a prophylactic.

=
In Europe the normal corona virus season should end in June.

No. It's been noted many times that SARS-COV-2 spreads in warm climates (Singapore, summer in Australia, etc.). So we should not expect that the outbreak will end when summer arrives.

=
My theory is that without the Covid 19 PCR test ...

Wrong again. Covid-19 is much worse than the flu and spreads much more rapidly. Without the lock-downs, we would have many more infected and many more dead.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 3 2020 0:47 utc | 51


France is home to the biggest hydroxychloroquine producer[.]
@ vk - post 17

Try India.


LINK
[...] India is the world’s largest producer of hydroxychloroquine, sales of which have soared across the world including in the United States, especially after President Donald Trump touted it as a potential weapon against COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.[...]

Fiercepharma
[...] "India, produces around 47% of the U.S. supply of hydroxychloroquine, according to Bloomberg Intelligence agreed to license its stock of hydroxychloroquine to "badly affected" countries and others that rely on its supply of the drug."[..]


Posted by: Likklemore | May 3 2020 0:51 utc | 52

@Jackrabbit May 3 2020 0:47 utc

Hydroxycloroquine will kill a large number of people ...

No, it won't when prescribed by a doctor - which is recommended virtually everywhere.

Also, if taken in small doses as a prophylactic, it may be safe. One doesn't need to see their doctor to buy and consume tonic water (which contains quinine - hydroxychloroquine is a synthetic form of quinine).

Two large glasses of tonic water each day plus some Zinc (sunflower seeds are a good source) and Vitamin-C may be all that is required as a prophylactic.



Unfortunately it will. It will kill Covid 19 patients which are resistant to Malaria from this region (or descendents of them) because of a Gen variation.

In Europe the normal corona virus season should end in June.
No. It's been noted many times that SARS-COV-2 spreads in warm climates (Singapore, summer in Australia, etc.). So we should not expect that the outbreak will end when summer arrives.
We will see it in Sweden in June. You could be right. But if it behaves like our local corona virus it will end in June in central europe.
My theory is that without the Covid 19 PCR test ...
Wrong again. Covid-19 is much worse than the flu and spreads much more rapidly. Without the lock-downs, we would have many more infected and many more dead.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 3 2020 0:47 utc | 61



Please note that the Covid 19 PCR test which Dr Drosten has developed (with others) will show positive for large number of corona viruses (not only Covid 19). It will test positive for Cats, Bats, Tigers maybe even Fish.
Without lockdown we would all just continue our lives but now we will destroy or economies and societies because of a mistake.

Posted by: TheWatcher | May 3 2020 1:07 utc | 53


This comment by B might explain why it is safer to live on the streets of Mumbai than to be a patient in a western hospital or nursing home!

One is of serious concern:

Interestingly, a seventh compound – an ingredient commonly found in cough suppressants, called dextromethorphan – does the opposite: Its presence helps the virus. When our partners tested infected cells with this compound, the virus was able to replicate more easily, and more cells died.

This is potentially a very important finding, but, and I cannot stress this enough, more tests are needed to determine if cough syrup with this ingredient should be avoided by someone who has COVID-19.

Dextromethorphan or the derivative dextromethorphanhydrobromid is not only used in cough suppressants but also in combination drugs that are regularly used against the flu. The last time I caught a bad flu I used "Wick MediNait", a Procter & Gamble product. It is a combination of paracetamol, dextromethorphanhydrobromid and some other ingredients. If the next 'flu-like' disease hits me I will be back to pure paracetamol to suppress the fever and to syrup with thyme extracts to lighten the cough.

I also like this forum comment.

Two large glasses of tonic water each day plus some Zinc (sunflower seeds are a good source) and Vitamin-C may be all that is required as a prophylactic.

Posted by: Ric G | May 3 2020 1:18 utc | 54

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 3 2020 0:47 utc | 61

>>No. It's been noted many times that SARS-COV-2 spreads in warm climates (Singapore, summer in Australia, etc.). So we should not expect that the outbreak will end when summer arrives.

Dear Jackrabbit. You have good posts and good intuition, but on this i do not agree. The studies are very clear in that sun and heat kills the virus.

In a warmer climate, the virus will survive less longer and in lower doses on surfaces and in the air.

SARS-COV-2 survives for at least 1 month at 4 C. 8 days at 22 C, and 1 day at 37C. It dies after 15 minute sun exposure. This also means that its doses in surfaces and in air will be lower.

Therefore it should be less prominent in southern areas.

Currently, southern areas of the US taken as a whole have lower average infection rate and death rate than northern US areas and southern countries in the world have lower average infection rate and death rate than northern countries in the world.

Even relatively older southern countries, such as Australia, Thailand or Cuba have lower coronavirus infection and death rates.

I'm confident that the spread of SARS-COV-2 will be lower during the summer, although it won't fully disappear.

Posted by: Passer by | May 3 2020 1:33 utc | 55

b, still no discussion of the vast age and vulnerability differences by age and co-morbidity, and the implications for a realistic Covid-19 if you don't want a long (till there's a vaccine?) and very deep economic depression.

Passer by | May 2 2020 21:37 utc | 35

IFRs
New York State: 1%
NYC shopping center: 0.6%
Santa Clara County: 0.1 - 0.2%
LA County: 0.1 - 0.3%
France high school: 0.0%
Germany, Gangelt: 0.37%
Bergamo: 0.57%
Lombardio: 0.87%
Iceland: 0.05%
UK: 0.9%
China: 0.66%
Boston homeless shelter: 0.0%
ICE prisoners: 0.0%

Posted by: fairleft | May 3 2020 1:33 utc | 56

TheWatcher @ May3 1:07

It will kill Covid 19 patients which are resistant to Malaria ...

I think you mean It would kill ..."

But it won't kill them because: 1) that susceptibility is well-known; 2) Every government and public health authority that allows use of hydroxyChlorquine for Covid-19 has mandated that it be used via prescription.

But, as I noted, quinine is available in small doses to EVERYONE via tonic water. So Chloroquine/quinine as a prophylactic is almost certainly safe.

=

Without lock-down we would all just continue our lives ...

Once again, no.

The lock-down slowed the virus outbreak. If we didn't have lock-downs hundreds of thousands more would have Covid-19. And tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, more would have died from it.

Furthermore, even if the PCR test is flawed, we know the tell-tale signs of the disease. These signs are different from a flu.

The absurdity of your statement is apparent when you consider this analogous statement: Without seat belts, we'd just have a bad year of traffic accidents.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 3 2020 1:45 utc | 57

Passer by @ May3 1:33

In a warmer climate, the virus will survive less longer ...

And yet, the virus spreads in warm places.

Perhaps that's because we don't live outside in the heat? We seek cool places in the summer. And in those cool places the virus will last longer on surfaces than it will outside.

PS Thank you for your kind words.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 3 2020 1:49 utc | 58

@Jackrabbit

But it won't kill them because: 1) that susceptibility is well-known; 2) Every government and public health authority that allows use of hydroxyChlorquine for Covid-19 has mandated that it be used via prescription.

But, as I noted, quinine is available in small doses to EVERYONE via tonic water. So Chloroquine/quinine as a prophylactic is almost certainly safe.


Well we will see if this is well known.



Once again, no.

The lock-down slowed the virus outbreak. If we didn't have lock-downs hundreds of thousands more would have Covid-19. And tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, more would have died from it.


If you lock down near or after the peak you will get full economic desaster and little benefit as the virus is already everywhere.

Furthermore, even if the PCR test is flawed, we know the tell-tale signs of the disease. These signs are different from a flu.
You understand that in a normal flu season 7-20 % cases are corona viruses? If you now apply this PCR test it will show 7-20 % positives but not for COVID 19 but for other variants and predecessors (maybe also successors). Iam not talking about false positives iam talking about what the test does. If Covid 19 would not exist you would still have positive result from the PCR test. If you test your cat it will show positive if it has a corona virus (including covid 19 but also other variants).
The absurdity of your statement is apparent when you consider this analogous statement: Without seat belts, we'd just have a bad year of traffic accidents.
No, thats a false analogy. But if you want if you jump with your car into a lake, you better not fasten your belt while sinking.

Posted by: TheWatcher | May 3 2020 2:07 utc | 59

@ Posted by: Likklemore | May 3 2020 0:51 utc | 62

This is irrelevant because Sanofi has the patent.

Even if some countries break the patent (it is legal to do so for drugs in many countries), you still have to face the fact that there would be a high productive capacity to be met if the hydroxycloroquine kool-aid is to be drunk by the entire world - which would necessarily involve Sanofi's entire industrial capacity for the drug. Sanofi wouldn't be able to jack up its prices 1,000% like the American pharmaceuticals do (e.g. with insulin) - but it would still be able to charge 10-30 times more the cost of the drug. And we know capitalism is all about profit rates, not total profits: it would still be a hell of a windfall for the French pharmaceutical giant.

Posted by: vk | May 3 2020 2:16 utc | 60

Posted by: fairleft | May 3 2020 1:33 utc | 66

You can add these too.

IFR USA 0,863
IFR Diamond Princess 1,2

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3590771

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.05.20031773v2

Posted by: Passer by | May 3 2020 2:20 utc | 61

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 3 2020 1:49 utc | 68

In warmer areas, it spreads at lower levels on average compared to colder areas.

Posted by: Passer by | May 3 2020 2:24 utc | 62

Pft: Thank you

Posted by: gwelhouse | May 3 2020 2:54 utc | 63

Thanks b for spending some of your valuable time on picking your way around the confusing deluge of COVID-19 drivel and balderdash to identify some potential avenues for optimism.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 3 2020 3:02 utc | 64

@61 Jackrabbit "Two large glasses of tonic water each day".....

You appear to be missing an essential ingredient in that drink.
And I'm not talking "slice of lemon" nor am I thinking of ice.

Something else, which would make that large glass much more pukka.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 3 2020 3:19 utc | 65

So I checked out the Judy Mikovits YouTube nonsense and my overwhelming reaction apart from "you've got to be kidding talk about snake oil sales" was that that poor gal has a problem with what some amerikans call hillbilly heroin. The continual nose swipe, the unending stream of disconnected self obsessive ranting that is so circular it makes no sense, just amazed me that it was so blatant.

e.g. Right at the start of the 'interview' if you can call it that, doubtful since the interviewer is unable to provide any direction at all - anyway at the start when asked how she got into virus research etc, she says "My stepdad died of cancer and I wanted to do something about it, talks about the time magazine interferon cover back in 1980 blah, blah. Then about twenty minutes later talking about how she got fired from UpJohn after working on HIV & retro viruses she says, "I told em I didn't care I had to go back home and see my sick stepdad who had prostrate cancer" ??? Cannot keep her story straight - just typical self obsessed smack raving.
I can't take a blood test off youtube so cannot be 100% certain but that youtube performance has all the hallmarks of a major opioid stone.

Not that it matters, cos there are so many untested remedies being posted here, frequently with fallacious 'evidence' like a plant that was alleged to be common in one part of the world actually comes from somewhere different and the name given is really a genus name not the name of a specific plant so WTF knows what a credulous type who read thatwould end up ingesting?
I do know this type of unresearched garbage will do nobody any good and could do many people a great deal of harm.
As I have said all along, none of us know who the trustworthy experts are, so it is damn idiocy to repeat some suggested cure purely on the basis of 'seems credible'.
Not that any of you will notice - too busy playing "who is the biggest expert in the thread" that is easy - no one, none of us. Go find something constructive to do before you kill someone, eh.

Posted by: A User | May 3 2020 3:30 utc | 66

"I do know this type of unresearched garbage will do nobody any good and could do many people a great deal of harm.
As I have said all along, none of us know who the trustworthy experts are, so it is damn idiocy to repeat some suggested cure purely on the basis of 'seems credible."

I agree completely. One thin that work against Corona is distancing, remember that if you get corona and survive chances are that you have irrevocable damage to lungs, kidneys, liver ect. Some doctors opinioned that there was a good risk, that you might die within 5 years anyway...

Posted by: Den lille abe | May 3 2020 4:25 utc | 67

The argument that SARS-COV-2 is "just another coronavirus" is as wrong as the argument that's "just the flu".

A tiger is just a cat? A hurricane is just a storm?

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 3 2020 4:36 utc | 68

"It is likely that the immunity will stay even longer than a year because the novel Coronavirus is so far less prone to mutate than the typical influenza viruses:..."

NYT is not a reliable source except for literature reviews and US government propaganda, imo -- aka in this case the "China did it" meme. The virus mutates rapidly (I read 7 times in 24 months rate compared to 1 in 18-24 months for influenza) and why there are a number of variants circulating -- and why any vaccine will unlikely be effective for very long even if they can catch up to the leading edge mutated variants in time.

I'll take the experts like US John Ioannidis and UK Cambridge researcher Peter Forster over NYT any day. As Peter Forster points out -- Cnina (Wuhan) had a 'B' stage mutation outbreak and a few isolated original A' cases. And what shipped out to Europe was largely the next "C" stage from Singapore. It will take time for science to work back to 'patient zero' but reading between the lines most fingers are pointing at the USA as source (as has been the case in many previous cases).

There is little to add in the etiology of C-19 until science makes verifiable progress -- I suggest leaving the topic to the increasingly toxic US-orientated (anti-China) ZH speculations.

Posted by: imo | May 3 2020 5:04 utc | 69

Re: Wuhan Lab - NIH relation

US paid millions of dollars to Wuhan Lab. Probably a contract exists to specify SOW, interim deliverables, final delivery.

If so, NIH should have a paper trails with dates, claimed progress, findings, etc.

Why doesn't USG release what it has to support its case against China?

Posted by: JustWandering | May 3 2020 5:21 utc | 70

Whatever metaphor you choose, the first step is to free your own mind. Once you do, you may realize that the entire global coronavirus fiasco of 2020 may not have been without some benefits. For example, numerous people around the world, coming out of the coronavirus lock-down, are now surely having some of these realizations:

• The internet is no replacement for actual face-to-face contact.

• A city easily becomes a prison and the countryside is a better choice for people who want to remain free.

• The economy doesn’t matter as much as being among people who are willing to help each other.

Humanity's only chance to have any future at all is that a critical mass break free of the Corona mass insanity and the infinite anti-human mutual repulsion this evil cult is systematically trying to instill.

Posted by: Russ | May 3 2020 5:42 utc | 71

Posted by: albagen | May 2 2020 21:20 utc | 29

It probably depends on the number of passengers and the airflow systems, and the duration of the flight. Central air in cruise ships, offices, shoping malls, and restaurants can help maintain the viruses in cool dry temperatures and and spread them around through the air vents, at least if there are enough people. That may have been one of the problems with cruise ship infections.

Airplane systems use outside air at 50-50 mix and should filter out many viruses, but that may still be a concern when there are a lot of passengers on a long flight, and with this virus the incubation and infectious period without symptoms makes it more difficult.

All the same a simple cough could infect quite a lot of people, according to this video:
https://news.yahoo.com/visualization-shows-droplets-single-cough-135500151.html

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | May 3 2020 5:59 utc | 72

Posted by: Russ | May 3 2020 5:42 utc | 72

Humanity's only chance to have any future at all is that a critical mass break free of the Corona mass insanity and the infinite anti-human mutual repulsion this evil cult is systematically trying to instill.

What are you advocating? Can you spell it out in concrete terms?
Do you want physical distancing measures to stop? Mass gatherings to resume tomorrow? Food courts, movie theaters and disco clubs to reopen, what?

Posted by: hopehely | May 3 2020 6:52 utc | 73

Posted by: hopehely | May 3 2020 6:52 utc | 75

What are you advocating? Can you spell it out in concrete terms?
Do you want physical distancing measures to stop? Mass gatherings to resume tomorrow? Food courts, movie theaters and disco clubs to reopen, what?

Yes. All of the above. Plus real protection of the vulnerable, though of course the lockdown system has been a total and complete failure at that.

Fact is, the virus already was irretrievably at large long before any of these fake measures were undertaken in the West. I still recall, though it's largely been scrubbed from the discussion, when it was standard opinion here that it may have first arisen in Maryland last summer, and at any rate likely has been cycling in the US since last autumn.

Therefore any debate over what in theory would be the best response if the bug was coming but not yet here was always moot. The only rational response always was for society to exert itself to protect institutions where the most vulnerable are congregated while letting nature take its course through the general population, just like any other flu.

Instead governments did the radical opposite of this, imposing general lockdowns while doing nothing real, only sham, to protect nursing homes and hospitals. As a result those are slaughterhouses. Meanwhile the pointless lockdowns are causing tremendous ancillary health harms and very likely will kill more than the bug itself.

Abolishing cancer screenings, regular appointments and check-ups, terrorizing people suffering heart trouble and stroke symptoms into not seeking medical care...these "measures" have done nothing to protect the vulnerable, but they certainly will kill (I'd say murder) vast numbers.

BTW physical spacing (I'll stick with the English language and eschew any of the Orwellian jargon suddenly universal among the death cultists), especially outdoors, has zero scientific basis. It's something they made up out of thin air. That's why the officially recommended or mandated "spacing" varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Same with the daily changing Party Line on masks. These kinds of constantly changing requirements are standard in cults and totalitarian systems.

Posted by: Russ | May 3 2020 7:16 utc | 74

@76 -- "... when it was standard opinion here that it may have first arisen in Maryland last summer, and at any rate likely has been cycling in the US since last autumn."

Agreed, ... and with most of your sentiment.

What seems to be the general science is that, in the main, it largely came through China -- not from China. And strangely, along with various pig and fowl virus outbreaks, at just the right time to hitchhike a national mass wave of human commuters undertaking Chinese New Year celebrations. Statistical probabilities of that are ...? Chinese reaction (China and Taiwan) averted a major crisis in that region. The rest is just geopolitics and global economic death rattle (which was on the QE-forever horizon in any case).

Posted by: imo | May 3 2020 8:24 utc | 75

Russ | May 3 2020 7:16 utc | 76

BTW physical spacing (I'll stick with the English language and eschew any of the Orwellian jargon suddenly universal among the death cultists), especially outdoors, has zero scientific basis. It's something they made up out of thin air. That's why the officially recommended or mandated "spacing" varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Same with the daily changing Party Line on masks. These kinds of constantly changing requirements are standard in cults and totalitarian systems.

Thank you for your posts, I agree with the above and more. What you describe fits with Langmuir's Characteristic Symptoms of Pathological Science.

Also, I can attest to what you say about abolished cancer screening. Unfortunately, a family member was recently diagnosed with cancer, but the local health clinic was closed to everyone but the "covid-19". This adds to an already difficult situation.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 3 2020 8:28 utc | 76

Russ @ 72

Humanity's only chance to have any future at all is that a critical mass break free of the Corona mass insanity and the infinite anti-human mutual repulsion this evil cult is systematically trying to instill.

If I may: Humanity's only chance to have any future at all is to be the social animal it is and accept in full awareness all the consequences of that, or risk ceasing to be human.

Posted by: pogohere | May 3 2020 8:40 utc | 77

Passer by | May 3 2020 2:20 utc | 61

Thank. The Diamond Princess study also estimated

China IFR: 0.5%

Posted by: fairleft | May 3 2020 9:28 utc | 78

Posted by: vk | May 2 2020 19:44 utc | 2


I think this remdesivir [.....] as it is probable the drug must not have any grave collateral effects on the patients (as is the case with hydroxycloroquine).

Nonsense. HCQ is a relatively safe drug.
Safety profile of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin
In cases involving very sick patients and very high dosage, side effects can be expected, but most trials did not exceed recommended dosage for lupus.

Posted by: Joost | May 3 2020 10:12 utc | 79

Maybe that now that people have got use at low-consuming, it would be time to organize the coming "consuming strikes" ? Most ppl usually think it is impossible but I suspect it could be very effective.

Posted by: Mina | May 3 2020 10:33 utc | 80

Joost | May 3 2020 10:12 utc | 84 (danger)

Many people take dangerous drugs every day. Cocaine, amphetamine, heroin, alcohol...and do so with little or no noticeable deleterious effect.

It's trivial to use an approved drug within sensible dosages.

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 10:42 utc | 81

Just my personal opinion of course, but something feels off with B's reporting on this issue. Still appreciate your reporting on geopolitics (yours is the best blog on the net next to William F Engdhal's) but I will take a pass on the narrative that you are pushing here.

Shame.

Stay safe.

Posted by: Skeletor | May 3 2020 10:54 utc | 82

JasonT | May 2 2020 22:28 utc | 37 Nobody can say what's next, but everybody can say the obvious truth that there are plenty more biowar germs on the shelves, including smallpox...

And everybody knows how jolly the old one-two double-tap attack makes the attacking thug...

Accidental, coincidental, deliberate - whatever, those good men down at the germ-factories have lots of choices...

And every one of those germs provides a distraction as well as an excuse to fabricate consent for war as well as consent to be ruled.

"They would never attack their own people!"

Wanna bet? They have never before scrupled to do it...

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 11:27 utc | 83

Dear b, please don't repeat the false claim by Team Drosten from Germany that infected children's viral load was as high as that of infected adults. When you read the paper you refer to carefully, and have some basic knowledge in inferential statistics and testing theory, you'll immediately recognise the astonishingly amateurish appication of inferential statistics.

The true result of this study, after my critical reassessment, is: 1. children and youth (folks <20) have a seriously lower probability of being infected than adults (folks >20); 2. folks <20 that are infected have a viral load that on average amounts to ~91% of that of infected adults. This is a statistically relevant small effect (Cohen's d ~ 0.245) which would have been significant under appropriate application of significance testing. Anybody with a basic knowledge in inferential statistics will be able to confirm this. If you don't trust me, ask the statistics guru of your choice.

Both of these *real* findings amount to the result that kids and youth *as a group* must have a lower amount of infectiosity than adults *as a group* - exactly contrary to what is claimed in the paper. They are so biased that they don't even understand their own data. But this just confirms a huge amount of evidence having been gathered in a rich diversity of societies which all point in the same direction that the young ones luckily play a minor role in this pandemics.

Therefore, there is no reason to expect high risks (but, of course, lower ones) from opening kindergardens and especially primary schools - contrary to the suggestion in Drosten's Trump-style tweet (posting half-baked results of an inappropriate analysis only because it fits his political agenda, including a sleepy majority of applauding followers, with only a minority of statistically enlightened commentators calling for caution without being heard).

The truth lies somewhere in the middle. The main question is: how does the amount of viral load relate to the amount of infectiosity? In particular, how much of an infected person's infectiosity is reduced as compared to the average infectiosity of an infected adult, when her viral load is about 9% lower? We, as non-specialists, don't know anyway, but the experts don't know either. That's what becomes particularly obvious from reading the paper. They have no clue, no theory, no model. That's the main reason why they overlooked the effect present in the data.

Further observation: why don't they separate their groups by sex, in addition to age? Would be reasonable, given the higher proportion of males among the severely sickened and dead.

Posted by: Ralf | May 3 2020 11:38 utc | 84

Apparently the poor are 50 % more likely to die of this virus than rich people ! (BBC radio news)

This virus is infectious, avoid being contaminated!!
Just as you would avoid aids or radio-activity.
Or as you would avoid a forest fire !
It’s not rocket science,
To quote Russ
Let nature take its course! No thanks mate you first !
You use the term death cult toward people pro lockdown !
You’v got some really f-up agenda going on here. You want people to go out, get infected and maybe die !
I get it, while you and your white supremacy mates survive? Same old same old.

Posted by: Mark2 | May 3 2020 12:22 utc | 85

"Each month, a lineage of coronaviruses might acquire only two single-letter mutations."

Really? But:

"...2019-nCoV is 96% identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus..." --Nature paper used as proof that the virus is not man made.

Let's see... 30,000 letters times a difference of 4% gives us 1200, and at two changes per month that gives us... 600 months? Only fifty years of natural evolution to go from bat virus to human virus!

You know I am not the only one to notice this crap. Real scientists see it as well but realize drawing attention to the logical conclusions from the problems with this virus are political in nature and outside their pay grade, training, and interests.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 3 2020 12:28 utc | 86

presstv (Iran) has of course a certain point of view...and this fragment is an oped by a Yank...

"interpretation is this is a US bio-warfare attack on China and Iran. It either got out of control in a blowback situation but more likely I think that the people behind this actually intended everything that we're seeing right now, those people want to wreck the entire world economy to take down China."

see> "US wrecking the entire world economy to take down China"

"... these people are now trying to blame this COVID-19 crisis on China, and they're going to use this to try to grab trillions of dollars in reparations from China. They're going to try to steal China's US treasuries. And this could lead to an all-out economic and possibly military war between ..."

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 12:42 utc | 87

"...Covid was never based on science- it is strictly a political agenda....How about a report on the fake science of the tests themselves. The PCR tests are inaccurate and not to be used as a diagnostic tool. ..." Allen@92

Underneath all the statistical quibbling, the pseudo epidemiological pontification and the childish claims that everything has been planned and co-ordinated by unidentified all powerful forces above us, what this really amounts to is the childlike howling of privileged denizens of the imperial metropolis who see all that they have taken for granted-the proles going off to work every day, the rents being collected monthly, the coupons clipped every quarter and the masses abroad being suppressed instantly whenever they show signs of discontent- suddenly ended.
They cannot bring themselves to accept the most minimal changes, let alone real challenges to a world in which the faux conflicts of 'tweedle blair' with 'tweedle trump' and 'tweedle biden' with 'tweedle johnson' supplied them with all the political spectacle that they required.
And so, like kids who've misplaced their rattles they howl and scream that normalcy must be restored and the old kabuki games staged again.
A crisis in which capitalism is failing everywhere has induced the reaction-generally from those who have long pretended to disapprove of the system which made them so comfortable and highly privileged- that it is all unreal, that the old must be preserved, work recommenced, international trade reinstituted, rents paid, dividends collected, oil prices salvaged.
In the grand scheme of things it is one of history's great jokes.

Posted by: bevin | May 3 2020 13:27 utc | 88

bevin | May 3 2020 0:30 utc | 49

"It amazes me that there is any support for allowing this drug, or any other of any importance, to be used to make investors rich. If the drug works it should be produced at cost and distributed to all who need it-wherever they might be"

For profit healthcare is the world we live in, isn't it, and it amazes you? Sometimes, when I'm off in some pleasant revery and I forget where I am, I suddenly snap back to reality when I see a headline about "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli, or some other outrageous behavior, like mass school shootings, or the clearing of the rain forests, etc. I am amazed, too, at the psychopathic character of this world we call home. Shkreli was not put in prison because he raised the price of a drug, Daraprim, 5000%, but because he defrauded other people like himself of $10 million in his hedge fund scams. He was a dog eating other dogs in a dog eat dog world. It is legal to charge what the market will bear for a drug or for anything else, for that matter, but you better play fair with other sonsabitches like yourself! This is called the profit motive. None dare call it psychopathy.

I don't want to sound patronizing, but the culture we live in is pathological. Is it just a coincidence we are in the midst of a pandemic? It's kind of poetical that the amorality of the capitalism we officially endorse should suddenly erupt in disease. I'm not talking adolescent disillusionment, like "Virginia, shut up, there is no fucking Santa Claus!", I'm talking the collapse of a toxic, unsustainable way of life, Our Way Of Life. And all this chatter here about science and the minutiae of microbiology is such a blather fest by people trying to sound as expert as they can and in control of the facts. Humbug! Bullshit!

Here's the facts! It's time to change Our Way Of Life at a deep structural level, or we're going back to the stone age! It's bad, it's all bad, there's very little that's good about it. Our money is debt and we, the great mass of Americans, are debt slaves. The tide has gone out and, as our great Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, might say, we have been caught swimming naked. And what's our solution: we bail out the usurers! What's a usurer, you ask? Why Virginia, it's just a vicious psychopathic loan shark! It may call itself "Blackrock" or some other ominous name, but it will bite off your little titties for a snack.

So here's a plan of action, b. Change the economic structure at the most fundamental level so that our money is no longer debt and we do not have to look up and see a monstrous 22 trillion plus debt overhang about to come crashing down upon us and our future as a species. Get the guillotine out of storage and take off the heads of the most prominent oligarchs and vulture capitalists.

The war against the pandemic is lost though we may win a battle. Let's not continue to look at this pandemic through a keyhole. It is a symptom.

Posted by: jadan | May 3 2020 13:44 utc | 89

Please investigate the link with the BCG public vaccination campaign. It seems that all countries where such a campaign was deployed are somewhat much less affected by the virus.

Also, in regards to the studies showing recovery and no infection, something is off. I personally know one case, my cousin who is a doctor, that got the the virus 8 weeks ago, transmitted it to her husband and children, went through quarantine, them got tested negative weekly during three weeks, then got it again. She's presently much more sick than when.dhr first got it.

Could it be that the virus is now in the endothelium and that her tests were performed using nasal swabs? So the virus was gone from her throat and lungs but was replicating in the blood vessels? I have yet to find out the nature of the tests that were performed.

Posted by: Melkiades | May 3 2020 14:25 utc | 90

"...childish claims that everything has been planned and co-ordinated by unidentified all powerful forces above us..." --bevin @88

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men. In the case of this pandemic I think we are dealing with rodent plans, though perhaps ones somewhat larger than mice. Rats, for instance.

"... but more likely I think that the people behind this actually intended everything that we're seeing right now, those people want to wreck the entire world economy to take down China." --quoted by Walter @87 from PressTV

I agree that this current crisis was the result of plans by some stupid and delusional rats who consider themselves exceptional and smarter then everyone else (they're Harvard alum, after all! Modern day aristocrats!), but this is absolutely not how they imagined their plans would unroll.

First and foremost, China reacting to their biological weapon attack like it was, well, a biological weapon attack was completely unexpected by the rats of northern Virginia. Even more unexpected by those stupid and egotistical rats was that China's response to their biological weapon attack would succeed in minimizing the economic damage to China. That China would emerge from the pandemic in an even stronger position in the global economy was completely beyond their ability to imagine. I mean, when you start your economic modelling with an axiom that planned economies are inherently brittle and incapable of responding to unexpected crises, and that market economies are inherently nimble and capable of quickly adjusting to new conditions, then the very notion that China could better weather the pandemic than could the empire is simply preposterous and not worthy of consideration.

The rats of the Potomac are so wedded to their flawed economic paradigms that even the overwhelming empirical evidence of China defeating their biological weapon attack while the empire is crippled by the collateral damage will not lead them to correcting their bogus understanding of economics. So instead they resort to assuming that the Chinese somehow spoiled their genius plans with unfair and inscrutable subterfuge. They howl in dismay and hysterical rage, amplified through their "Operation Mockingbird" mass media, as the imperial economy goes up in flames while China goes back to work building a better future. Their manic need to drive the empire's serfs back to their death factories is just part of their effort to salvage the plans for world domination that their pathetic rat-like minds concocted. It will fail because, as you know, their best laid plans....

What worries me more, though, is what other contingencies their twisted and evil little ratty minds are coming up with to advance their sick fantasies of world domination. Will they up the ante with an even deadlier biological weapon next?

Posted by: William Gruff | May 3 2020 15:02 utc | 91

bevin @95-

Textbook example of a strawman argument.

Actually several in that one rant.

First off, no one is arguing for a restoration of "kabuki games." If you find otherwise, please provide some solid quotes.

What I see is working class people who have worked hard their entire lives for the pitiful luxury of temporary residence in a bank-owned structure, commonly referred to as "owning one's own house," and a barely sufficient retirement in their few remaining years concerned that the wolves of finance and their Pinkerton goons are knocking at their doors.

People ARE naming names, organizations and interests -- and providing hard evidence that they are benefiting from this crisis. Infinite quantitative easing benefits a particular class of people -- and it aint mine!

There is no "shady conspiracy theory" of who sits on the boards and owns major shares of big pharma, the FIRE sector of the economy, big AG, the MIC, and the "Homeland Security" internal control sectors of the economy.

And there is no "shady conspiracy theory" of who -- which class of people -- benefit from extraordinarily perilous "winner takes all" geopolitical conflict with China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Bolivia, Libya, etc.

It always amazes me that those who spout the greatest amount of convoluted Marxian cant on this blog seem to have the least comprehension of class struggle.

Particularly galling is the Orwellian term "crisis of capitalism," which by any honest accounting should be termed the "Bloody Prerogatives of Capitalism."

Please read the above line several times, and let the idea sink in before continuing.

I find the term often used to provide "pseudo-Marxian" theoretical justification or covert ideological cover for the the most morally egregious transfer of assets from the working class to the investor class.

Examples like Soros and England, Singer and Argentina, Clinton and Haiti, Bush/Obama and the US, "Weapons of Mass Destruction," Gulf of Tonkin, false flag terrorism, etc.

When I lost my house in 2007 and saw the entire cool half million of my lifelong accumulated assets disappear into thin air, my Marxist friends were telling me that it was a "symptom" of the "Crisis of Capitalism." But of course, my "symptom" was someone else's "opportunity" -- and my assets did not "disappear," but were rather elegantly and unproblematically
transferred, by the flourish of some bureaucratic Eichman, to the holders of the mortgage.

In short, I think that the "Crisis of Capitalism" is overrated, and class struggle is underrated.

Now that I hobnob freely with my new compatriots in the precariot, I find few, if any, have read Marx. But they all know which side their bread is buttered.

Posted by: Lucille Crystal Ball | May 3 2020 15:10 utc | 92

Hello

Once you have written that wearing a mask is a must for containing the virus. once you have written that wearing a mask is a must for containing the virus. Switzerland has never introduced a mask-wearing obligation and people hardly wear masks, but the cases are brought down like other countries, how does that come about?It gives an explanation for that?

Thanks

Posted by: Phil | May 3 2020 15:26 utc | 93

@ 74 russ quote " when it was standard opinion here that it may have first arisen in Maryland last summer, and at any rate likely has been cycling in the US since last autumn." it's the part ''when it was standard opinion here" that irks me... i don't know about you but my impression is there is no standard opinion at moa... these generalizations seem misguided and hostile... if you want to push an agenda, resorting to this type talk doesn't work for me.. i think there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered here including the one over what happened in maryland... jumping to conclusions is another matter completely, but it is an approach that some seem really given over to...

Posted by: james | May 3 2020 15:45 utc | 94

Hi Phil, another first time ever commentator who tries to seed doubt on sane science.

Switzerland is in a quite harsh lockdown. It will gradualy lift that over the next months. No wonder then that its numbers are declining. No contacts - no masks needed.

Of people who venture outside in Geneva half seem to be carrying a mask. More will follow to do so.

Posted by: b | May 3 2020 15:45 utc | 95

lol.... there is that word again for a first time poster - authoritarian... like the 2008 bank bailout was a godsend for the banks and everyone was okay with that? are you fucking kidding me...

Posted by: james | May 3 2020 15:53 utc | 96

@ vk 60 @ Posted by: Likklemore | May 3 2020 0:51 utc | 62 > 52

This is irrelevant because Sanofi has the patent. Even if some countries break the patent (it is legal to do so for drugs in many countries), you still [.]

Your comment @ 17 now # 13 you wrote "France is home to the biggest hydroxycloroquine producer (and owner of the patent), Sanofi."

I replied India is the world largest producer. Laguerre corrected you on Sanofi being owner of the patent.. Also, see Posted by: Laguerre | May 2 2020 20:55 utc | 15
No doubt what you say is true, to a degree, but hydroxycloroquine is not in patent, it's a generic drug, having been identified nearly a century ago.

Now it's irrelevant ? How so? India produces 70% of the world supply. 47% to the U.S.

Clearly, you have a misunderstanding of original drugs under Patent; the terms ex-patent, or off-patent and Generic drugs:

Patents do expire; depending on jurisdictions, usually has a life term of 17-20 years.

And It is illegal to break a patent during its life-term; practical meaning - the assigned owner will instigate Patent infringement litigation to vigorously protect patent rights before expiry date. Upon expiry, anyone is free to produce the active ingredient as a generic. Generics are usually produced at 80% active and 20% fillers.

The active ingredient Hydroxychloroquine sulphate was under the trade-mark / brand name Plaquenil, [the original brand] hydroxychloroquine Sanofi-Aventis. Sanofi-Aventis owned/assigned a Method-of-use Patent. The FDA approved the use Hydroxychloroquine 18 April 1955 Sterling Winthrop for the treatment of malaria. Sterling Winthrop was the inventor. Sanofi merged with Winthorp to become Sanofi-Winthorp. Sanofi's patent transfer application in 1992 was assigned in 1994 expired 2013.09.11. here

The Sanofi's Plaquenil was debranded in UK in 2015. The active ingredient Hydroxychloroquine is now produced and sold as a Generic in several countries by dozens of pharma-manufacturers including Sanofi-Aventis {and its merger Sanofi-Winthorp} competitors. Mylan, Apotex, Sandoz, Novartis are examples.

See this helpful history on the chemical compound circa 1638

US5314894A: (S)-(+)-hydroxychloroquine
Application Date: Sep 15, 1992
Grant Date: May 24, 1994
Current Assignee: Sanofi SA

Posted by: Likklemore | May 3 2020 16:08 utc | 97

@ Posted by: Likklemore | May 3 2020 16:08 utc | 97

Wow, ok. That changes everything. Big Pharma will not profit at all over hydroxycloroquine euphoria then, what a big disaster for Sanofi, etc. etc....

You know the concept of cartel, don't you? If everybody sells the hydroxycloroquine kool-aid to the entire world, that means we would have, overnight, a supply shortage. It is immaterial if there is one, two, three of fifty companies manufacturing the same drug - productive capacity would still be at 100%, thus enabling monopoly prices. A five-fold jack up in prices is still a very generous profit where before there was none.

It is also irrelevant if the chemical was discovered in the 17th Century - a patent is a patent. The USA allows big pharma to patent even human genes, it's not a technicality that will stop them.

Posted by: vk | May 3 2020 16:28 utc | 98

@William Gruff #86
96% equivalent to which bat coronavirus?
There are dozens. There is only 1 identified as the likely immediate progenitor of nCOV.
Secondly, there are dozens of lineages of nCOV. Go look at Nextstrain to get an idea.
Thirdly, a mutation can occur in the same spot - in fact, in reality many of the mutations occur in non-vital areas because they don't have a negative effect there.
A mutation that occurs in a vital area has to not only not break something, it has to equal or better the previous function in order to potentially reproduce - which is why it is so difficult to manually mutate genetics. Viruses have very short reproduction turnaround and single strand RNA viruses like nCOV reproduce so inaccurately that they seed enormous amounts of mutations, in astronomical numbers, just infecting a single person.
So kudos for reading thoroughly but you're drawing the wrong conclusions.

Posted by: c1ue | May 3 2020 16:51 utc | 99

Just to clarify, the normal patent life for medicines in simple terms is 20 years give or take a few depending on conditions.

In the case of hydroxycloroquine, it is clearly well out of patent so anyone can make it anywhere in whatever volumes they want. As with other generic drugs that usually means India and that is indeed the case in this situation.

Most patent holders try to extend the life of their profit streams by slightly changing the formula and re-patenting the drug. I don't know who originally patented it but Sanofi transformed it into Plaquenil, hoping to carry most of their customers with them. But it doesn't stop the production of the old drug by others. The company then moves into maximum marketing mode, rubbishing the old and puffing the new, probably boosting uptake with 'incentives' for the medical profession and sometimes politicians if the drug is profitable enough.

Posted by: JohninMK | May 3 2020 16:52 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.