Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery

COVID-19 pandemic: A golden opportunity for quackery

COVID-19 is upon us. Unfortunately, quacks view the coronavirus pandemic not as a threat, but as an opportunity.

This week, the COVID-19 pandemic started to shift into high gear in the US. The stock market tanked worse than any time since the crash of 1987, so much so that, given its losses over the last several days, it’s now firmly in bear market territory. My two favorite meeting, which have the bad timing/fortune to be in the spring (Society of Surgical Oncology and Society of Surgical Oncology) have been cancelled, with more likely to come, such as the American Society of Breast Surgeons meeting. Major League Baseball has delayed the start of its season; the NCAA has canceled March Madness; and the NBA has shut down its season for at least 30 days. Broadway is going dark, and numerous television shows are dispensing with their live studio audiences during taping for at least a few weeks. These are interesting times we live in. Meanwhile, under the “leadership” of an arrogant incompetent orange ignoramus with a massive ego that requires constant sycophancy and stroking, who spouts misinformation on an hourly basis and will never, ever try to relieve his black hole density ignorance with actual information that experts have been desperately trying to dangle in front of him to get his interest by coupling it with “Dear Leader”-style overblown praise of his awesomeness, the COVID-19 pandemic appears, by every measure, ready to explode out of control. (I can hear you all thinking, “Tell us what you really think about Donald Trump, Orac.” I can also sense you thinking, “That’s a hell of a long sentence!” It’s not a run-on sentence, though, even though it feels like one. That’s just me. If it bugs you, you don’t have to read this blog.)

Even under the stewardship of a competent President and administration, whenever there’s a pandemic, there is woo. During the SARS pandemic in 2002-2003, I hadn’t yet started blogging and wasn’t paying close attention to such things. I did, however, see the woo in spades during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009-2010. This time around, it’s so much worse. Or, at least, it seems worse. Maybe it’s the way that social media weaponizes bullshit. Certainly, having a bona fide conspiracy theorist as President doesn’t produce an environment conducive to rational thought. Unsurprisingly, conspiracy theories are flowing freely about COVID-19 coronavirus, including the bogus claim that the flu vaccine makes people more susceptible to COVID-19 and, that perennial favorite during every outbreak of a new disease, the conspiracy theory that the new pathogenic organism was the result of a bioweapon or failed vaccine.

So it’s not a surprise that there are a lot of quacks and scammers trying to convince people that there are “natural cures” for or “natural” ways of preventing COVID-19 illness. For instance, the antivaccine quack website Modern Alternative Mama, Kate Tietje has offered its Natural Remedies for Coronavirus. Unsurprisingly, these quackery-loving mommas frame the issue as “taking care of their families”:

Everyone has a different theory on what is happening. Some think it’s just an overblown panic to get negative attention in an election year. Others think it’s much worse than they’re telling us and many will die. Most are somewhere in the middle on that.

Right now (Mar. 12), there are about 1300 cases in the US, and have been around 40 deaths. A government doctor has come out and said that he expects there to be 70 – 150 million cases in the US before it’s over. (In comparison, China, a country with 3x the population we have, had about 100,000 cases.) (source)

We’re also in a tough financial situation, as a country, because of this. Some businesses are shutting down. The NBA ended their season early. The stock market has plunged 20% and a recession could be looming. (source)

Basically, it’s led to a lot of panic.

We can’t control what the bigger picture looks like right now. But we can do our best to take care of our own families. That’s why I dove into the research surrounding the use of herbs and other natural remedies for coronavirus.

I love the first paragraph. It’s the very definition of the fallacy of the golden mean. Take two extreme positions, and, obviously, the “true” position must be between them. No, COVID-19 is most definitely not an “overblown panic to get negative attention during an election year.” It’s all but certain that many will die. We just don’t know how many. The number will depend upon the interventions our government and every other government implement. In the case of our government, I have close to zero confidence.

Of course, our “mommas” are unhappy:

First I have to say, I’m frustrated with the lack of research done into botanicals and various bacteria/viruses. In China, they’ve studied key herbs and formulas and how they impact other strains of coronavirus for at least 20 years. They know that botanicals are important when people are resistant to antibiotics and Western medicine doesn’t have very good antivirals. But no, the US “doesn’t believe in” herbs, so they’re not researching them.

This is, of course, utter nonsense. Many pharmaceuticals are derived from natural products; i.e., “botanicals.” They’re either natural products isolated from “botanicals” and then synthesized in the lab, or they are natural products chemically modified to add desirable properties to them, such as better absorption by the GI tract or better binding to the target protein. In any event, our “mama” thinks that the following “show promise”:

  • Echinacea
  • Elderberry
  • Garlic
  • Peppermint
  • Astragalus root

The elaboration:

In one study (source), all of these were shown to have anti-viral activity before a person was infected. That is, they help to inhibit viral replication.

I’m amused. The source cited above was an in vitro study in cell culture. Not only that, but it wasn’t even a virus that infects humans; rather the virus infects birds. It’s the avian infectious bronchitis virus. Let’s just put it this way: Activity in cell culture is no guarantee of actual antiviral activity in human beings, doubly so if the cell culture study is for a virus that infects chickens.

Next up, elderberry. I can’t help but be reminded of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and, “Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberry!” Of course, elderberry is not perfect against COVID-19, but:

Many have heard that elderberry isn’t the right remedy for CoVid-19. I would agree it’s probably not the best thing to use if you get sick — there are better options (keep reading to see them). Although for the majority, it is perfectly fine to use.

A lot of people are point to this study, which says that elderberry can boost cytokine production in healthy people. They are extrapolating that out to mean that elderberry shouldn’t be used daily and/or can cause a cytokine storm. The study does not say either one of these things. It concludes that stimulating the immune system may actually be beneficial for health. It also does not address the issue of “cytokine storms” at all, and the study population was an entire 12 people. (This study and this study have much more in-depth, balanced looks at elderberry’s effects on the body.)

Elderberry is best used for daily support or at the very onset of symptoms. If things are getting worse, then stop elderberry and try some of the suggestions below. But don’t be afraid of elderberry.

The first study is 19 years old and purports to show that the black elderberry extract (Sambucol) increases inflammatory cytokines in cases of influenza. Of course, even if true (and this study is old and not replicated as far as I can tell) this might be disastrous in COVID-19 infection, which causes an interstitial pneumonia that might well be due to an excessive immune response. (We don’t know yet.) In any event, a systematic review from ten years ago characterized elderberry extract as promising but unproven. The literature really is pretty thin on this.

The second study was nothing more than a study of chemical encapsulation methods, in which liposomes containing elderberry components were tested in cell culture. This hardly validates the claim that elderberry will prevent coronavirus infection. The last study wasn’t just an in vitro cell culture study, but it’s an in vitro cell culture study looking at mouse macrophages and dendritic cells. Again, these are studies of concentrated extracts and/or purified compounds from elderberry, not eating elderberries, and, except for the first one, involve no human studies.

If claiming that elderberries will protect you from coronavirus is irresponsible, then the claim that “natural” remedies will treat coronavirus infection is even worse:

What if you get coronavirus? First, don’t panic. For many people, it will be like a bad cold. If you are young and healthy, you are not at high risk. If you are over 50, have underlying conditions, have chronic lung issues, or an otherwise compromised immune system, you are at greater risk. Wash hands more often, consider staying home if you can. When it comes to natural remedies, they will be most effective at symptom onset. Don’t wait until you are really not feeling well before you start trying some. As soon as you feel a slight headache, or scratchy throat, or congestion — start using remedies. (This is pretty universal, btw, not just for CoVid-19. Remedies get your body ready to fight effectively, but if it’s already overwhelmed, that’s a lot harder. The #1 mistake people make with natural remedies is waiting too long to use them. #2 is not using them aggressively enough when they don’t feel well. #3 is choosing the wrong remedies. These three things are almost always the reasons why people say natural “doesn’t work.”) The top herbs to use when you’re already sick are:
  • Sage
  • Licorice root
  • Echinacea
  • Peppermint
  • Lemon balm
  • Dandelion root
  • Mullein
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
Studies have shown that these specific herbs have strong anti-viral actions, including against other strains of coronavirus. The first 5 are specific to being antiviral. Mullein has a strong affinity for lungs and can support people through all kinds of respiratory infections. Turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon are all powerful anti-inflammatories.

No, no, no, no, no. Let’s just say that none of the papers cited provide good evidence that any of the “natural remedies listed have much, if any, effect on COVID-19 or coronaviruses in general. Particularly irresponsible is this review article in an integrative medicine (i.e., quack) journal that claims that traditional Chinese medicine can be used to prevent coronavirus infection. The evidence? Vague reports of antiviral activity and crappy reports claiming that using TCM prevented SARS during the 2003 pandemic and could prevent H1N1 influenza during the 2009-2010 pandemic.

Kate Tietje isn’t alone promoting COVID-19 quackery. A website called Home Natural Cures has an article entitled Top 10 best coronavirus infection natural treatments. These “remedies” were actually a bit disappointing in that they were a mix of the sensible that, while probably not likely to impact the course of a COVID-19 infection, will at least make one feel better, at least as long as the infection isn’t one of the 15%-20% who need hospitalization or the 5% or so who wind up critically ill on a ventilater, and evidence-free. For instance, some of the recommendations include:

  • Stay home and rest
  • Clean your home
  • Steamy shower
  • Have your own towel
  • Use a tissue

Then, of course, there’s the usual list of herbal and “natural” remedies that almost certainly will do no good, although at least they’re probably harmless:

  • Echinacea
  • Cinnamon
  • Yoga
  • Mint tea
  • Gargle with warm water
  • Garlic
  • Menthol
  • Oregano oil

These are all well and good, but, contrary to the implications in the article, they will likely not have an impact on the clinical course of COVID-19 infection.

Next up, here’s an article recommending ways to “boost your immune system” to prevent coronavirus infection. Its recommendations? Vitamin C (of course!). Also it recommends elderberries (a popular choice), andrographis (a traditional herb used in Ayurvedic medicine), mushrooms, and echinacea (again). Nope, there’s no evidence that these compounds will prevent coronavirus infection, and you can’t “boost your immune system” this way.

Elsewhere, quacks are shilling for other “natural remedies.” Along with the usual suspects (elderberries, mushrooms, and the like), there’s:

Immune Support is a natural immunity booster that boosts your white blood cells against viruses, bacteria and harmful pathogens. It includes the most powerful herbs, fruit extracts and antimicrobials that are proven to keep you safe from infectious pathogens. It even has the Essiac Herbs that are highly anti-viral and protect you against cancers.

Nope. Nopity nope. A product consisting of vitamin E, green tea extract, mushroom extract, etc. will not protect you from COVID-19.

Next up:

Zeolite is a natural anti-viral, anti-cancer, radiation and heavy metal detox alkaline mineral that strips the protection off of viruses. It comes in powder (the most economical) or Liquid Zeolite With Fulvic Acid, Organic Herbs, and Immune boosting medicinal mushrooms as in the Zeotrex. If you prefer to take capsules you can use the Zeolite-AV with Humic Acid instead.

Nopity nope again. Zeolite, of course, is an all-purpose “miracle” medicine. Basically, as I discussed so long ago, it’s a compound that is derived from a volcanic mineral called clinoptilolite, and it’s sold as a powder or a milky suspension, and, as above, all sorts of claims are made for it, including claims that it “detoxifies,” can cure cancer, and is antiviral.

Then, of course:

Nano Colloidal Silver is a potent and powerful immune system simulator and protects you against other types of viral and bacterial infections as well as cancers. It is naturally anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial.

Colloidal silver is a common alternative medicine treatment for severe infection based on a germ of reality. Unfortunately, that germ of reality is, as is so often the case, inflated by magic into incredibly expansive claims that colloidal silver can treat any infection. Here’s what I mean. Silver salts are indeed used as an antibacterial compound, Also remember that various silver salts are already used to treat superficial infections. For example, silver sulfadiazine (Silvadene) is a routine treatment for burns to prevent infection. The problem is dose. Taking silver internally will never generate a high enough concentration in the blood to have antibacterial effects, much less antiviral effects, but over a prolonged period of time it can turn you into a Smurf.


Parasite Zapper is a small devices use a simple 9 volt battery and zap pathogens with an electromagnetic frequency that disrupts their breeding and weakens their skin so they literally explode. Your white blood cells (macrophages) then clean them up. That’s why it’s important to drink plenty of alkaline water to keep them moving our of your system afterwards.

Holy cancer quack Hulda Clark, the subject of one of my first ever posts for this blog!

Quacks always see outbreaks and pandemics as an opportunity. Certainly they did in 2009 with H1N1 influenza and in 2014 for the Ebola outbreaks in Africa. None of this is surprising. It does, however, “feel” worse, likely because of ubiquitousness of social media, which, even in 2009, was nowhere near as all-encompassing as it is now.

Moreover, there are conspiracy theories. Unsurprisingly, antivaxxers think it’s all about them:

Because of course it is.

Given that the pandemic is likely to last months, we can only expect more quackery, as believers in quackery seek to promote their ineffective treatments and quacks seek to profit.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

308 replies on “COVID-19 pandemic: A golden opportunity for quackery”

Well garlic could be a good bet. A lot of (real) sources of information here in Canada are recommending maintaining increased social distance.

Enough garlic applied internally and externally may well help to do this. If I up my intake of colloidal silver as well, a bearded blue man reeking of garlic should get a lot of space.

Maybe it’s the way that social media weaponizes bullshit

Best wishes to everyone in this pandemic.

I read somewhere–BBC? that a woman was admitted to hospital with a horribly inflamed throat from ingesting some massive amount of garlic.

Had she used proven Allicin she wouldn’t have the issue of any burns.

Opps….my bad…. I let you have one most powerful and proven herbal antivirals.

Deer Chris: all claims made without evidence can be safely dismissed without evidence.

My ENT friend had a fatal case. A guy had ear pain, inserted a garlic clove in the ear canal and got a massive inflammation that reached the brain… and there you go.

What stands out to me is how she says a study that shows elderberry might actually be harmful is too non specific to be taken seriously then extrapolates from equally inapplicable lab studies to recommend a whole forest of plants.

I have a friend who’s been feeding her kid (and herself) elderberry syrup to prevents colds (her other kid has had some surgeries), and now I can’t decide if the cytokine thing is worth warning her about or not. Given that they’re only eating about a teaspoon of syrup, rather than a concentrated supplement I think I’ll let it go.

Oddly, the situation makes me better understand why people would purposely expose their kids to diseases before we had vaccines. When you’re being told you’ll almost certainly get it eventually, you kinda want to get it, sit through your quarantine, and then be able to go about your life, secure in the knowledge that you are neither at risk nor risking other people. There’s a point where the waiting and uncertainty seem as bad as the possible disease — and certainly the stress probably isn’t good for your overall health.

Disclaimer: I do not endorse trying to get the disease to “get it over with.” I just understand the impulse a lot more now.

Again…….. Big Pharma paid shill ORAC/Gorski is incorrect.

Olive Leaf Extract, Oregano Oil, Allicin and Elderberry are superb antivirals.

Orac/Gorski, since you are too chicken(gee..they have asked you and Offict a few times now) to debate Del Bigtree and his experts then why not have a go at Robert Scott Bell and his experts on herbal antivirals and even vaccines? Mr Bell and his experts would still tear you a new one……..but he would be more gentle on you than Del I would imagine.

BTW——I would personally pay for your flight and hotel room!

I’m not flying anywhere that isn’t absolutely necessary during a pandemic, and I don’t debate clever cranks like Del Bigtree or Robert Scott Bell.?

Didn’t know about Robert Scott Bell. Seems he’s bullish on kratom…

@ Orac

Maybe you do not want to debate these cranks, but some people should step up and learn to do just that. Are there any “professional” crank-debaters out there solo climbing this North Face of denialism and bullshitry?

Debating cranks is, in my experience, almost always a total waste of time. Either the crank Gish gallops away, the stunned scientist unable to respond effectively, and declares victory, or fails but has his status elevated by appearing side by side with a real expert. It’s only on very rare occasions that I think it’s done any good; Steve Novella versus Julian Whitaker at FreedomFest eight years ago, for example, and, even though Steve is a very good debater, that was more because Dr. Whitaker was so terrible than anything else.

@ Orac

Had a look at that article you wrote.

Sadly, I couldn’t find any video of this event on the net. I’d really love to check how these debates go down.

Novella is indeed solid not only on debunking talking points, but also has a very keen understanding on the scientific mindset and how it can go wrong. Perhaps a bit more than you, from what I’ve read over time (which is not to criticize you but rather praise him).

Debating cranks requires more than science. It requires mastery of rhetorics more than on par with them in order to close down right onto the point across the fog of fallacies. In the world of debates between atheists and fundies, it seems that some people do manage to master that art of mingling rhetorics, rationality and second-guessing their opponents on the nature of their fallacies. It seems to me that this is much more complicated in the medical arena for quite a number of reasons. But is it impossible? Not 100% sure that it is impossible.

To get back to the Novella/Whitaker debate (which I’d love to dissect), it’s not the ideal format to debate cranks. The moderator is already on one side of the fence, it gives rise to on-the-spot fallacies when wielding data or graphs, and well, it’s usually hopeless.

Nevertheless, I do not think it is entirely impossible for moderators to learn how to manage such a debate, and when it comes to materials and graphs or studies, it should be possible to set up rules to level the playing field. Here’s an example rule: if you intend to use a document, a graph or any source in the debate, you should notify your opponent in advance so that he can prepare himself with other material himself. It’s time consuming, clearly, but without these kind of rules, Gish gallops are hard to break down. But these are fair rules nonetheless, so it’s not a valid excuse for the crank to avoid a debate.

Of course, the real world isn’t like that… but still, given some preconditions, it should be feasible to debate cranks. Sam Harris handling Gish gallops is always a good laugh. Wonder when that kind of performance will be transposable to the medical arena: being both science-savvy and a performance artist is not given to just anyone…

But in the end, it seems that the above doesn’t address your concern about lending cranks credibility, which is a whole other topic than merely the art of debating them.

Sorry for the (too) long reply.

@ Chris

Thanks a lot. Either it seems I have a “plugin” issue, or the debate is not online anymore.

These debates should be seriously archived. We’re missing opportunities to learn about cranks when they bitrot.

I assume the latter, apparently technology moves on and older media gets put into a dustbin if it is not updated. I have files from old graphics programs that were not updated when a company bought the software, and changes it. One example is Generic CADD, an early personal computer Computer Aided Design program that then came in the form of six inch floppy disks, that was bought by AutoDesk and destroyed. I tried the replacement (AutoDesk Ligtht?) and it was horrendous.

I still have a couple of Windows 7 laptops that do not talk to the internet so I can use WinDVD 5 to watch DVDs at a faster speed. Some movies deserve to be watched quicker, like this weird one that had beautiful cinematography and the subject was lobotomies, but the pace was the same as butter drenched escargot*. So I watched it at double time:

yes, much slower than a live snail

There is supposed to be an “*”, or asterisk in front of the second paragraph. I know I typed it, but it disappeared. Anyway… that movie was both slower than molasses and a snail… it was quite a dead pace.

Sorry about using “six inch”, I just did not know what the metric was for those large floppy disks were. It would be about 15 cm.

I only feel bad because I spent a third of my youth before college living in countries that used the more sensible system, so I am comfortable with them. It is just I never heard of those disks being referred to in metric. Sorry.

Thanks a lot. Either it seems I have a “plugin” issue, or the debate is not online anymore.

I’m too tired to actually diagnose what the issue is, but working links can be extracted from the page source by poking it with a stick: This works for me.

I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s the majuscule ‘M’ in “mediasite41” that is the culprit, but this is left as an exercise for the reader.

Good night.

@ Narad

Thank you! It works. I’ll have a look asap.

Would be nice to notify Novella about this one.

F68.10 writes,

Novella is indeed solid not only on debunking talking points, but also has a very keen understanding on the scientific mindset and how it can go wrong. Perhaps a bit more than you, from what I’ve read over time (which is not to criticize you but rather praise him).

MJD says,

I respectfully disagree, there’s an entertainment factor that must be considered. Orac has shown that Respectful Insolence is a most powerful and entertaining creation. When Orac speaks to a live audience, though, his puppy-love personality can not be edited out of the video.


“I respectfully disagree, there’s an entertainment factor that must be considered.”

I was not taking that aspect under consideration when I made my statement.

Thank you! It works. I’ll have a look asap.

I realized this morning that that’s not the desired 2007 debate, and after a few more tries, no joy. I’ve dropped a note to the UConn GME folks (as if they don’t have better things to worry about), but in the meantime, there was an abridged transcript published, and somebody has dropped the original Liebert item at RG.

There is never a need for a live debate ( unless you are a histrionic crank** attempting to capitalise on audience approval):
— both sides can submit their arguments in writing on the internet including references to studies.
— they can exchange questions to each other this way as well
— finally, there is no need for applause or catcalling by audience members to decide who is best informed.***

Research scientists “argue” like this in periodicals: Legend has it that two cognitive psychologists carried on in this manner for years despite both being employed by the same university.

** one of the most famous claims never to have lost a debate with medical experts despite his impoverished education language skills, poo and mercenary business practices
*** readers themselves may judge .

I was going to comment that the Stephan familly has inexplicably failed so far to jump into this fray by touting that great anti-viral Olive Leaf Extract they used to cure (/s) little Ezekiel, but heck here’s a quackery shill popping off that as a first recommendation. Zat you, David? Keeping those sales up enough to cover the legal bills? I bet you’re washing your hands though, as that’s how you roll in everything else.

Fearlessly, I looked at one of the mutual funds…
down from 54 to 40.

I just had a look at the Royce Funds, which treated me very well after 9/11. Predictably, Special Equity has had the lowest YTD loss, while the volatile Opportunity fund has had the greatest. These two play well together as long as they’re kept appropriately balanced. I don’t think I’ve ever done bonds, aside from a Treasury note that I received as a child but didn’t redeem until long past maturity.

Oh, deer Chris, instead of begging for a “debate” where one side gets to lie freely, perhaps you can do something new and interesting: provide the PubMed indexed studies from reputable qualified researchers that any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the disease. And that it would be cheaper to actually let kids get pertussis, tetanus, measles, chicken pox, Hib, etc.

Now failure to show equivalent harm from the vaccines versus the actual diseases will prove that you are a sadistic child hater who loves to see kids get sick with high fevers, seizures, pneumonia, etc. Now get those studies!

@ Chris:

Out of curiosity, how are things in your neck of the ( non) woods? We read about how the virus has progressed.
Hope that you and your family are alright.
I am also avoiding looking at prices of funds.

I am also avoiding looking at prices of funds.

Heh. I was on the El last night, and there was a group of four 20-somethings spouting the usual nonsense, but one genius declared that he was going to buy airline stocks, which, y’know, generally have had negative five-year returns.

@ Narad:

Fearlessly, I looked at one of the mutual funds…
down from 54 to 40.

We are retired, so do not have to go anywhere, and we bought one package of toilet paper from Costco just before the panic kicked in. Since exercising classes have been canceled it just time for long walks. But horror! All the libraries are now closed.

One thing we are doing is ordering take out from our favorite restaurants.

“Olive Leaf Extract, Oregano Oil, Allicin and Elderberry”

Make an extra batch. Your relatives will have a nice salad dressing for your “welcome back from the ICU” dinner.

That’s nice.

I will make an extra batch and maybe even drop some off for you when you are incapacitated and in a rehab nursing facility from the Covid-19 toxic jab.

Ooohhh. Is that how you catch covid 19? Bloody hell, there’s me keeping an eye out for coughs and sneezes and all I have to worry about is a guy chasing me with a syringe.

Idiot Chris (not RI stalwart Chris),

I’ll take a jab over getting put on a ventilator. Especially if the guy coming at me with the syringe is cute. Moot point, though, since we won’t have a vaccine for another year at the earliest.

But thanks for the offer! I’m always interested in trying new salad dressings and marinades.

@Chris the promoter of infectious diseases:
Maybe you’d like to hear from an actual autistic man directly, one who had measles, rubella, chicken pox, mumps, and poliomyelitis while a child; no need to guess, that would be me.
All the vaccines you disease lovers hate came along sometime after I had those diseases. And yet I turned out to be autistic anyway. Alright, I had the Salk vaccine after the horse got out, when I was 2-3 years old, but showed typical signs of my color on the autism spectrum before that – family recollections are clear on that. Oh, and I did get vaccinated against tetanus, one vaccine preventable disease that I did not have, and I was fortunate to avoid diphtheria and pertussis as well. If you weren’t such a disease lover, I wouldn’t have to explain to you what kind of hell those diseases put me through. Fortunately, unlike too many who had these diseases, I didn’t die, wasn’t left paralyzed, am not sterile, didn’t have my brain dissolved by my immune system, have relatively normal eyesight, etc. I do have some permanent deficits due to polio, and have been advised that so many years later I still might develop post-polio syndrome. Given the proverbial magic wand or time machine, I would opt for all the vaccines even if it meant that I turned out autistic in the way I am.
My advice to you is simple. When a vaccine effective against COVID-19 comes out and you haven’t had the disease in the interim, don’t take the vaccine. Mark Twain said, “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” If you get the infection after refusing vaccination, you will learn something about vaccines that you have been unable to learn in any other way.

I guess it must be a compliment when they hijacked my name. Sock puppets are so repetitive.

Fucklesworth tried that routine at AoA with my ‘nym, but I think only the dimmest bulbs didn’t figure it out immediately. They let through a post from me, “Narad from RI,” pointing out what was going on.

As I said, sock puppets are repetitive.

And very very boring. They keep bringing up the same old arguments, but never something new and novels like actual factual scientific citations from real researchers.

I can hear you all thinking, “Tell us what you really think about Donald Trump, Orac.”

It says lots that Orac allowed some of its opinions about the leadership skills of the current occupant of the White House to slightly show up.
As a benevolent box of blinking lights, it usually does plenty of efforts to keep its posts apolitical. During the last three years, Trump and his pals were very rarely the topic of conversation here (that’s not an issue – plenty of other places on the ‘net for that).

(Well, of course, there are some people of the opinion that using facts and science to support your arguments is being political. They can go play Conga at the bottom of the Tonga Trench)

Re: the cornucopia of magic cures for Corona. Plenty of old friends showing up.

Well, it’s not as if I haven’t written several posts about Donald Trump’s antivaccine statements dating back to 2007, as well as his having met with Andrew Wakefield and other antivaxxers during the 2016 campaign. Use the search box and you’ll see.

(off topic, but I saw your tweet about checking your retirement account: dear hubby retired last year and the 401k (plus pension buyout) was transferred into an IRA account that we are currently using for income — so, yeah, I am holding off checking its balance, though we have been assured by our financial managers that they created a diversified portfolio and try not to panic)

Oh, I remember a few of those, and I was not complaining.
I guess I was trying to express my approbation at seeing ‘orange’, ‘incompetent’ and ‘president’ in the same sentence.
And I was pointing out that this not a rhetoric which you use everyday like some political pundit, but a level of non-respectful insolence that you reserve for epic level of cases of manhandling of science.

Eh, facts are facts. Does stating with an awful leader is orange-tainted or incompetent really insolent?

In the same vein, I just found and quickly read the Science editorial from H. Holden Thorp. It’s called “Do us a favor” and it’s also a scientist using ‘orange’, ‘incompetent’ and ‘president’ in the same sentence.
Well, the linked text doesn’t exactly has these words, but the spirit is palpably here.
The French journal Le Monde linked to this text, with the journalist titling it “Trump se prend une fessée de Science” (“Trump got a spanking from Science”).

Orac is correct to speak up because part of the problem is directly related to the Orange ( non) Orangutan’s ( non) leadership style and ( non) appointment of important governmental positions. We could all learn from Orac’s example by critiquing these ( non) actions as well as creating exceedingly long informative sentences. ( I have a history of essay length sentences myself but I usually hold back unless I predict that dire consequences would result from my reticence which HAS actually happened in the past and I OBVIOUSLY wouldn’t want that to occur again )

In other news…
since I live in a relatively affluent county near a large international financial hub, [redacted]…. everything is shutting down: schools, entertainment, sports BUT the Stock Market continues
( Newsweek) South Korea reports more “recoveries” than “new cases” of COVID-19. Let’s hope it lasts
AoA features Dr Moskowitz’s recommendations which include high dose vitamin C and homeopathic remedies.

Null continues telling people how to live and selling his COVID-19 seminar.

Adams predicts a high death toll.

Del Bigtree ( shall we call him Sequoia?) lumbers on ..

Gentle request.
Let’s stop comparing a certain person to endangered primates. Said primates are having an extremely bad time of it and need public awareness to shame people who are slaughtering them.

Notice I called him a ( non) Orangutan. Maybe he’s a Furry, not a real animal

Merely an attempt to make readers laugh during a stressful time by recalling DT’s legal suit against Maher.

In related news, New York Attorney General Letitia James has issued a cease and desist order to none other than Alex Jones, who has been hawking products he alleges (without basis) will prevent or cure coronavirus.

This is serious business, and anybody who thinks otherwise at this point is engaging in wishful thinking. College basketball and professional sports are multimillion-dollar businesses. March Madness, etc., would not be cancelled if this were not a serious thing. It’s OK to tell people not to panic–that rarely helps–but given the lack of testing in the US, I would assume that things are worse than the official statistics to date indicate. You can’t diagnose a coronavirus case in somebody who doesn’t get tested. The question is whether we manage to flatten the curve enough to get a South Korea-like outcome, or whether things escalate to the point of ICU triage, as is now happening in Italy. Business as usual gets us to where Italy is now in about two weeks. It’s encouraging that we are taking some steps, like cancelling sporting events and moving university instruction online (my own employer has joined that club, with all instruction going online for at least two weeks following next week’s Spring Break). But more action is needed, and much of that has to come from President Scheisskopf[1] himself.

[1]This is my own nickname for the current Oval Office occupant. The name is derived from the character in Catch-22 with whom he shares a fetish for military parades.

We’re in the middle of outbreak here in Poland. So far only about 70 people tested positive and 1 died but we are expecting at least a 1000 soon. And the measures are getting harsher and harsher every day. At first, only public gatherings of over 1000 people were forbidden (which means many concerts, trade fairs, marathons etc. were cancelled or postponed). Yesterday all schools, pre-schools and universities, public and private, as well as cinemas, museums, theatres, and libraries were closed for 14 days. Tonight the borders will be closed for all foreigners and all Polish citizens will be sent to mandatory 14-day quarantine. All clubs, pubs, restaurants and malls will be closed for 10 days and all social, political or religious gatherings of over 50 people are forbidden. Companies are encouraged to introduce home offices whenever possible and everyone is kindly asked to stay at home, please. And I do hope people will take this seriously as this is our only chance to slow this down so that people wouldn’t die because hospitals were overcrowded.
It’s going to be a big hit for all businesses (well, perhaps outside grocery stores and pharmacies, which are working overtime) and the consequences will probably last very long, but first we have to survive it.

Long live long sentences–I love them! A well-crafted long sentence, such as yours, Orac, are a delight to read and savor.

Is the “See spot. Spot is a dog. See spot run. See Spot jump.” as hugely preferable to “See the dog Spot run and jump.” school of thought(?) on writing still in vogue? I knew someone who vowed the one thing she was going to “fix” during the time she worked as some sort of assistant in an academic department was getting people to use the former style over the latter. I’ve always believed that by the time you get a faculty position at a university you can probably manage a sentence with more than 4 or 5 words.

Old academic joke: The last extant copy of a book by a German scientist was found but no one could understand it because it had been published as two volumes, only the first of which was found, and all the verbs were in the second volume.

An anti-vaxxers who shows up regularly in CBC website article comments claimed that vitamin C was being used against COVID-19 in China with spectacular results. Of course she quoted something attributed to a doctor but couldn’t provide any reference to the original source. She also claimed that a paper had reported that vitamin C resulted in a 97% reduction in the time in intensive care for viral infections. As is customary for such types, she either got it wrong or deliberately lied. What the paper, a meta-analysis, actually reported was that moderate vitamin C supplementation resulted in a small reduction of about 8% in time spent in the ICU, and that was mostly in patients there for other than infectious disease. 8% is still worthwhile if it only requires a few cents worth of oral vitamin C each day, but it is a long long way from what she claimed.
Another, not known to be an anti-vaxxer, was warning against using alcohol-based hand sanitizer because it would cause antibiotic resistance in bacteria. She refused to try to cite a source, instructed use of Goggle and got huffy when called out for giving advice that was false, irresponsible and dangerous.

On the topic of antibiotic resistance, I noted above
“They know that botanicals are important when people are resistant to antibiotics …” [emphasis mine]
Not too clear on the concept, is she?


Clean your home

NO! Please be aware that the virus is on your shoes! Many elderly people are already neurotic about cleaning the house; especially if they are expecting visitors.

Not many non-ethnic ‘Mericans take their shoes off at the door.

If one uses a vacuum cleaner, it will only pick the stuff up off the floor and throw it into the air for everyone to breath. This is, perhaps, not an ideal situation — the same as one should not use a vacuum cleaner on a mercury spill (even a broken thermometer ‘cleaned’ in this way can prove deadly).

Just wash yo hands.

Maybe do bleach doorknobs and fridge/microwave handles from time to time because people forget — I had to clean those things after realizing that I had put my hands in my pockets where the newly purchased and unwashed snuff cans resided.

If you have access to a QUARTZ-enveloped UVc light to disinfect things like remotes, wallets, eyeware, cans of puppy-dick veinna sausages, then good for you. If you are like most of us plebs that can only get hold of tanning bed bulbs, be advised that these can be effective but, unlike UVc which does not travel that far through the air or penetrate much more than the dead layers of skin, those lights can cause eye damage or sunburn if you remain in direct exposure.

Good luck all.

Ps. Trump claims he did not know Bolsonaro when asked about his and his aid’s case of corvid. The mayor of Miami which was at that same dinner party is positive. Could it be that trump is not worried because he is sitting on liters of t-cells harvested from survivors???

“Not many non-ethnic ‘Mericans take their shoes off at the door.”

Wait, seriously? Were y’all raised in a barn or something? Am I ethnic? Well, I guess I’m ethnic, multiply so. Really though, I mean, unless you live in some perfectly clipped and clean suburbia I find it hard to imagine not taking your shoes off before you go inside, at least most of the time, you’re going to track all kinds of mud and dirt and stuff in, it’s not good for you, doncha know. Weirdos.

You might want to consider the reason people have doormats. Hell, where I’m staying now, I wouldn’t go without shoes — the kitchen is greasy, and the bathroom is bizarrely sticky within a couple of days of my cleaning it.

Narad, that is why many people put on indoor slippers after removing their outdoor shoes.

I have dogs. Given what they bring in on their feet (And sometimes in their mouth), I just assume my floors are disgusting.

“In China, they’ve studied key herbs and formulas and how they impact other strains of coronavirus for at least 20 years.”

In China, they’re putting the hurry-up on trials of Actemra to treat COVID-19 infection.

That racist ‘Eastern medicine’ trope annoys me to no end. There’s medicine and science, and people from southeast Asian countries are just as good at it as Western Europeans.


Actually, Terrie, I’m considering recommending that my elderly parents start licking doorknobs at Cracker Barrel restaurants dotted along the interstate to ensure that they get hot early while hospital beds are still available.

No quack products being huckstered here. Just some light woo. Or should I say “Light” woo. Yes, it’s Marianne Williamson’s coronavirus meditiation video! The link is to a short synopsis with the actual video embeded. It’s 14 minutes, so you may or may not choose to watch the whole thing. It can actually be read as a long shaggy dog story with a self-deprecating punch-line at the end, but it’s probably just Marianne-as-usual being on both sides of the science.magic thing at the same time.

Parasite Zapper is a small devices use a simple 9 volt battery and zap pathogens with an electromagnetic frequency that disrupts their breeding and weakens their skin so they literally explode. . . .

Such a genius they be. Viruses (viri) have skins? Who knew?
Why do I have the very unethical desire to have all these promoters of crap attempt their treatments on themselves and then be the unprotected caretakers of diagnosed COVID-19 cases (with actual SBM backup)?

I’m curious how it’s supposed to “zap” the viral envelope/capsid while leaving the cell and nuclear membranes alone.

Hi sadmar. That is just the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. I’m not really here.

But, if I were here, I’d like to say that you really, really, really helped me in 2014 when last we faced such a crisis. Stubblebaum. Yea, I did finally watch Men Who Stare at Goats and quit (mostly) snorting colloidal silver.

I never actually used the kratom (my loss, I assume) and I am still pissed that even after having a ‘doctor’ for a while that I still can’t have access to hydroxyzine or even mertazapine (because I took it at 1/4 his prescribed rate so that was ‘abuse’ because that would be ‘to sedating’. Bruh!?, have you ever known me to come in here sedated?). So now I got no doctor again.

Hope all is well with you, we’re gonna have tornados tonight (not really).

It’s just a blip in the general frustration that is these recommendations, but “ when people are resistant to antibiotics” always makes me twitch. THAT IS NOT HOW ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE WORKS.

@ Sue Deauxnim

OT – (repeating that handle a few times in my head)

Oh. Well played, well played.

People are resistant to antibiotics only so far as they resist doctor’s prescriptions of them, because they’re either not ‘natural ,’ Big Pharma, or they kill the good bacteria, too, and they don’t want to destroy their gut microbiome. Or all of the above.

Maybe it was a sort of Freudian slip? Antivax, anti-antibiotic…

PS I love the nym. I wouldn’t have got it had Athaic not noticed. I love it, very clever!

I saw a movie a few years ago, Contagion, which (ironically enough) starred none other than Gwyneth Paltrow as the pandemic’s first casualty. Despite that, it actually gave a more positive and nuanced account of science and scientists than one might expect possible for Hollywood, and was actually highly critical of alt-med grifters like those Orac has shown in this article. The character of Alan Krumwiede (portrayed by Jude Law) seems like a pastiche of Mike Adams, Alex Jones, and many a conspiracy-mongering alt-med grifter featured by Orac, sowing distrust in science to sell his nostrums. It feels a lot like we’re living in that movie today…

I distinctly recall a scene wherein the top of GP’s head was removed in order for researchers to discover what was inside. Cinematic art might inspire reality however since we already know that it is filled with nonsense and business plans, we don’t need to investigate further.
I wonder which grifter Jude Law studied in order to create that character: because he spouts his drivel into a radio microphone I imagine that limits our list of suspects ( he -btw- is currently portraying a sexy pope in two Italian television series: The Young Pope and The New Pope ) He does well playing fanatics..

An older film, Outbreak, was more a conventional quasi- action film but fortunately filmed in the idyllic Victorian town of Ferndale, CA.

A very good movie indeed.

The cliché sentence spouted by Krumwiede, government and Big Pharma working “hand in glove”, may be a clue.

I also vividly remember the scene where a general asked “did somebody weaponize the virus?”, with the answer by the CDC scientists, roughly, “The birds did weaponize it all by themselves”.
Trust Mother Nature. If she decides to get rid of you, she won’t need anyone’s help.

The character of Alan Krumwiede (portrayed by Jude Law) seems like a pastiche of Mike Adams, Alex Jones, and many a conspiracy-mongering alt-med grifter featured by Orac, sowing distrust in science to sell his nostrums.

I do believe that Jude Law did indeed study Mercola, Mikey Adams and Jones for the part. I’m day 4 into a likely covid-19 infection and trying to get tested. Not fun and I have no underlying conditions.

Best wished for a quick recovery.

I am avoiding anyone under the age of sixty. One Thursday I walked to the library, only to realize too late that the private school was letting out students (public schools had only been closed that day). I kept crossing the street to avoid kids and their parents. 😉

The next day they closed all of the libraries, and a day later all of the community centers and pools.

Good grief, I hope you’ll be okay. I just got back from a trip to Tokyo and am 12 days into a 14-day self-quarantine. No suspicious symptoms so far. I’m more afraid of the hysterical reactions of the people around me, even though I am hypertensive
and have a general tendency to be prone to respiratory disease. Fortunately my employer has permitted me to work from home, and I should probably ask them to extend that dispensation a bit longer. The city where I live has gone into quarantine.

Would it help that most of the cases in Japan were on a cruise ship sitting in the harbor being essentially a giant petri dish? Though you might as well be cautious because it is thought that Japan is under reporting due to their upcoming hosting of the Olympics.

Stay well!

@ Science Mom:

I hope you’re doing well.

In other news…

A nearby town’s mayor has asked residents to self-quarantine because it has had several cases of the virus.
It’s an interesting place which is multi-cultural, affluent and perhaps an enclave of the bohemian bourgeoisie . Many people commute to the city and the main street is lined with hipster, kosher or “asian” eateries and moderate priced boutiques. Some of the towns around here are high density population and shopping is a common recreational activity. Dining out is similarly nearly a sporting event.

I counsel a few people which I can do by phone; my SO’s school, where he works part time, will be closed for at least 2 weeks. I spent yesterday upstate at a park and later, a restaurant.
It seemed like shopping places ( a huge outlet mall which attracts international visitors) and restaurants were open.

Sceptics can monitor how woo-meisters/ anti-vaxxers are responding to the crisis:
opportunistically hawking BS protective products, elaborating conspiracies or scary stories or pooh poohing the work of public health officials/ medical experts.

Thanks and doing better but it does take the wind out of your sails. I can only hope it doesn’t rip through the house and the children are out of school.

ALERT: the current coronavirus can be successfully treated by something called qingfei paidu decoction (QPD). It contains:

Ephedrae Herba, Glycyrrhizae Radix et Rhizoma Praeprata cum Melle, Armeniacae Semen Amarum, Gypsum Fibrosum, Cinnamomi Ramulus, Alismatis Rhizoma, Polyporus, Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma, Poria, Bupleuri Radix, Scutellariae Radix, Pinelliae Rhizoma Praepratum cum Zingibere et Alumine, Zingiberis Rhizoma Recens, Asteris Radix et Rhizoma, Farfarae Flos, Belamcandae Rhizoma, Asari Radix et Rhizoma, Dioscoreae Rhizoma, Aurantii Fructus Immaturus, Citri Reticulatae Pericarpium, and Pogostemonis Herba.

Just run down to your local TCM store and stock up.

Or if you’re one of those nasty Skeptics, read Elisabeth Bik’s article on this wondrous cure.

The paper dismantled by Dr Bik is not the only example. The big academic publishers are waiving the usual subscription charges on COVID-related papers while fast-tracking (i.e. bypassing) the peer-review process, and of course a horde of TCM scammers have weaponised this well-meaning policy and are seizing the opportunity to stove-pipe advertisements for their garbage into academic journals.

Not to mention the high-level scammers at Yiling Pharmaceuticals sending TCM products to Italy.


I think you’ve accidentally copied a list of all the new creatures from the latest update to Pokemon Go into your post… 😉

How does an anti-vaxxer respond to the COVID-19 crisis;
Katie Wright on twitter: @ KatieWr31413491
doesn’t think much of the CDC, NIH and Dr Fauci
How would she know what is appropriate? Are her qualifications the same that allow her to speculate about mechanisms contributing to autism?
Arrogance, ignorance and entitlement personified

Dr. Oz gets his MDR of airtime jumping aboard the coronavirus train:
Ozzie (AKA – Mehmet Mercola) recommends Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, Elderberry just like the rest of the quacks.
He also recommended fruits and vegetables, of course:
“Fruits and vegetables make a huge difference, they enhance your immune response,” he noted.
He’s back on his magic healing concoctions kick:
“His “green energy machine” smoothie includes spinach, matcha powder and almond milk, while his “ginger hydrator” drink features oranges, bananas and pineapple.

“The nice thing about this baby is that it’s got all the antioxidants you’d ever want to have, and I think you’ll like the taste,” he said about the ginger hydrator.”
Once a crackpot, always a crackpot.

Oh dear, I am making steamed buns with red bean paste for breakfast. Am I doomed?

@ Kaiser Permanente of Washington State is running tests on a new mRNA corona virus vaccine. They clearly explain in their recruiting brochure that it has not been tested on animals first as vaccines usually are, informing volunteers completely. Age of Autism, rabid against mandatory vaccines, playing up that people should have a choice, is now condemning this vaccine test. And James Lyons-Weiler claims that his data suggest that vaccination could enhance liver damage following infection. Of course, one can easily dismiss his so-called labs, etc. So, hypocrisy rears its ugly head, Age of Autism calling for informed voluntary vaccines; but when volunteers are informed, well . . . So, antivaccinationists push quack prevention and treatment remedies; but find every excuse to condemn vaccines. Oh well. Welcome to lala land of paranoid delusions.

Oh, and if the mRNA vaccine trial was available in my hometown and my age was included, knowing what I do about mRNA vaccines, I would be first in line to volunteer.

I particularly love how the anti-vaccine death cultists are condemning all the proposed new Covid-19 vaccines when none actually exist.
How’s that for an open mind?
The damn vaccine doesn’t even exist and they are already agin’ it!
Tell me once more how you lunatics aren’t just the fanatical anti-vaccine kooks you are labeled.
The gullible news media reporters should consider this point the next time they decide to take up a sympathetic view of what they portray as “vaccine skeptics”. Their actions clearly show they are “vaccine haters” for whom no vaccine is ever good enough… even vaccines not yet invented.

@ Reality

Antivaxxers do several things: discount/minimize the risk from wild-type microbes, minimize the protection provided by vaccines, and grossly exaggerate the risks of serious adverse events from vaccines, including risks that numerous studies conducted around the world have rejected.

John Stone, UK Editor of Age of Autism, writes numerous comments on BMJ’s blog, Rapid Responses. Regarding the COV19 he wrote that most Chinese smoke. Yep, smoking increases risk from respiratory diseases. So, first, does Stone believe that we shouldn’t concern ourselves with the COV19, that smokers deserve premature deaths? Stone also ignores that, though smokers more at risk, healthy individuals are still at risk. Viruses can be unpredictable how they affect individuals. And Stone ignores the risk to those with asthma, autoimmune diseases, etc. Then Stone, in a later Rapid Response wrote that the average age for males in Italy is 81 which is current average age of death from COV19 in Italy. Stone, who has admitted on numerous comments on various blogs that he hasn’t ever bothered to learn even the basics of immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, the history and current status of infectious diseases, etc. just needs his personal experience and a careful reading. Well, he doesn’t even know the basics of life-expectancy tables. Average life-expectancy from birth includes deaths from accidents, car, industrial, work, violence, and various diseases, which includes early deaths in childhood. However, actuarial tables show that someone who lives until, say 81, has an average life-expectancy of 7 more years. So, if someone dies from COV19, Stone ignores out of intentional ignorance that they could have lived much longer. So, the above is just one example of how stupid and CALLOUS antivaxxers actually are.

Regarding the COV19 he wrote that most Chinese smoke.

Leave it to Stone to not even do a back-of-the-envelope calculation.

The antivaccine response is way WORSE than you think.

And yes; it is I & I have not been hacked or socked. You only chipped off the tip of the iceberg. I am not kidding. It is so bad & what you need to know is that the high-profile antivax (like Del) are TRYING to reel them in but it’s not working.

Seriously you WANT them arguing about ‘quackery’ right now. You WANT them to maintain an interest in COVID as legit, please don’t stifle this.

Some of this is YOUR faults for perpetuating the provax agenda. I tried to tell you guys that most antivax are parents of vaccine-injured children. When you created an issue where only those that SAW vaccine injury happen would BELIEVE that it could; you created a population of people that would come to think that only what THEY have seen is true. They will likely never believer a word mainstream medicine has to say again. Including now, when it counts.

In other words, you alienated the masses. The antivaccine are not seeing anybody in their circle infected so they think it is a hoax.

Q-anon. Whatever in the f*** that is; is their fearless leader now.

Be HAPPY you have AV arguing about vitamin C. They at least care enough to self-quarantine! Ironically … your “Q-AVs” WON’T see it until last because I do believe that DOD study regarding 2017-2018 coronavirus, MAY apply to COVID-19. The flu vaccine MAY prime a body for risk from COVID.

China & Italy had mandatory Immunization policy. Over the last week the top 15 countries (except for Iran. I truly do not know about Iran) have all become those with a national seasonal flu vaccine policy. So, Antivaxers MAY not see COVID in their families until last but in the meantime, they won’t be following safety precautions because they think this is fake.

As a “Not a Q-Antivaxxer”; I haven’t even discussed Elderberry or Vitamin C since January. I have just been trying to tell them that COVID is real but nobody is listening to me & I am actually pretty pissed. How am I supposed to tell these people that just because you said “it wasn’t the vaccine.” when we KNOW it was the vaccine … doesn’t mean that when you say to quarantine … that means to quarantine? That when you say COVID is a threat; that YES IT IS a threat?

I would be happy right now to hear antivaxers talk about trying to stay healthy, even if it is alternative. At least they would be acknowledging that there is a THREAT to their health that isn’t actually a vaccine. Yet. Poor Denmark.

You just KNOW that it is vaccines. It always is, it is not. It was, actually, Wuhan fish market, were live live exotic animals were sold. You obviously get lots of infections that way.

the high-profile antivax (like Del) are TRYING to reel them in

Sure they are.
Like they are going to alienate their source of cash.

your “Q-AVs” WON’T see it until last

Q followers believe in the existence of a child trafficking ring in the basement of a pizza restaurant.
A non-existing basement. One of these wacko went to check, AR-15 in hand, Chuck-Norris-vigilante style, and found nothing. Fortunately, he did not shoot anyone.
(so kudos for some trigger temper – also, an honest, if gullible guy: when told children are getting harmed, he goes on to act).

Q followers are so far down the rabbit hole, they won’t believe you if you told them the sky is blue.

And no, Q followers are not this way because of us pro-vax. They did this all by themselves. Vaccines are just a side issue for them. It’s crank magnetism at its finest, an amalgamation of everything conspiratorial.
So don’t try to put this at our feet.

Actually, if anything, anyone repeating and spreading lies is much more responsible for people digging themselves in such an alternate universe.
Yes, I’m looking at you.

@ Athaic,

"Like they are going to alienate their source of cash"

If you mean that antivaxxers are their source of cash, I see what you are getting at because The Highwire is donation funded. However, this IS what is happening.

"And no, Q followers are not this way because of us pro-vax."

Yes, they partially are. All that crying wolf about Measles. That’s what they think authorities are doing now when they advise regarding COVID. They are literally laughing about it: “Hey, how come nobody is worried about the Measles anymore”. Who in the f ever was. Really. Were you REALLY?

I’m stopping short of calling Q controlled opposition. In which case; that would obviously be the fault of the provax agenda.

I was literally accused of being pro-vax this morning because I was trying to correct people who were saying that COVID was just a cold virus. I mean; coronavirus IS ‘just a cold virus’ but today’s COVID is not last year’s sniffles. I was told I must agree with forced vaccinations because I believe COVID is dangerous. I believe we are following Italy’s trajectory & there they are, all quoting China’s cooked book numbers.

The last thing I told them before I left the thread is that after losing one child to a vaccine; that if forced vaccinations were to take place, a death may occur but it sure as hell won’t be my kid. I’m nexting that one. Paid my dues. I also told them this cannot be the focus right now. Keep your kids home. Help the elderly stay home. This is not fake & it isn’t the rapture, omg.

I’m stopping short of calling Q controlled opposition.

That’s nice. Have a cookie.

All that crying wolf about Measles.

Back two decades or so ago, when health scientists and physicians started “crying wolf” about a decline in vaccination, in my corner of Europe, we had zero death and close to zero cases of measles per year.
Now, we have had in the order of 10,000 cases and 1 to 3 death per thousand cases. Like, every year for the past decade, starting soon after the outbreak at the Disney park in California.
As advertised by health scientists and physicians

Also, should we talk about Samoa again?

The wolf is here. As we were told it would be.

As the Navajos say, Coyote is outside, and Coyote is always hungry.

“Hey, how come nobody is worried about the Measles anymore”.

Stupid as heck. Do these people ever manage to walk and chew gun at the same time? Do you?

There are rattlesnakes, bears of various shapes, wolves, and various other dangerous critters in Americans’ neck of the wood.

Newflash day 1: this year, plenty of snakes around. Beware where you put your feet.

Newflash day 2: be careful, coyotes have been sighted in the city. They may be rabid. They are certainly not afraid of being near humans.

“Hey, how comes nobody is worried about snakes anymore? Guess I can go traipse barefoot around my backyard, kicking over rocks and stomping bushes”

that if forced vaccinations were to take place, a death may occur but it sure as hell won’t be my kid. I’m nexting that one. Paid my dues.

(takes a deep breath)

So you go around social media, spreading the news that forced vaccinations are going to happen, and that deaths are going to happen. Yeah, sure, it’s serious enough to warrant vaccination, but your only concern is to ditch the vaccine.
Your sole concern is that a vaccine may happen to you.

There is no vaccine for Covid19 now, and it is highly unlikely there will be one before two years.
There may never be a vaccine.

You may as well cry about the risk of getting gored by a unicorn. You are crying wolf. You are fearmongering.

In other parts of the world, in older times, you would be spreading rumors about the nice family next door, with the foreign-sounding name, and how you are SURE they are NOT using the blood of children in unholy rituals, like other foreign people do.
In other parts of the world, or in older times, you would be spreading rumors about the too-pretty girl of your neighbors next door, and then reject all blame when they honor-murder her.

You are evil as evil go.

Go back to your antivax pals and keep mauling one another, like rabid dogs. Your deserve one anothers.

I was literally accused of being pro-vax this morning because I was trying to correct people who were saying that COVID was just a cold virus.

And where did this occur?

This is the world you wanted. Where people could have the option to just risk the disease and passing it along to others. You said a major outbreak of something like measles wasn’t something you’re worried about, because you’d just stay home and self-quarantine. Why aren’t you happy?

For years, anti-vaxxers have heaped scorn upon SBM, public health, the CDC etc as though these professionals were Mafiosi or a criminal cartel. They “kill” children and “destroy” their brains with vaccines. I regularly read these screeds by anti-vax leaders and warrior mothers and sometimes quote them.

Perhaps about 20% of people – if we can believe recent surveys- are suspicious of vaccines and maybe, much of SBM. I wonder if the current crisis will change that. Experts in South Korea are working to effectively control spread of the virus- these aren’t FaceBook groups or natural health entrepreneurs selling their products**: the are doctors, researchers and epidemiologists.

Perhaps the general population ( including those who worry about vaccines but aren’t totally enraptured) will learn to see experts like Drs Fauci and Hotez*** as heroes rather than the monsters that anti-vax proselytisers portray them as.

** Gary Null ( Gary’s Vitamin Closet) is selling Love Your Immune System for only 249 USD ( a discount!) which includes vitamin C, garlic, powdered cruciferous vegetables, powdered red berries, aloe vera and an instructional DVD.
*** and Orac and Co at SBM

Mike Adams ( Natural News) is selling “military grade” face masks with “facial shields”. He says that most people were wrong to disparage preppers.

@ Terrie,

wtf are you even talking about. Not only am I fine with & have been ready for self quarantine for a month; I am trying to tell these idiots that they need to as well.c

@christine, According to you, people should have the option to risk getting a disease instead of a vaccine. When warned that they could pass the disease to vulnerable people, you stated you didn’t care about any vulnerable population but autistic people, that your family had paid enough to protect other people, and that people should just self-quarantine if they didn’t want to get it. Well, congrats, your dream world is here. Why do you care if other people have decided they won’t take steps to avoid the disease? That’s what you wanted. You wanted people to make the best choice of themselves, without worrying about the impact on other people. You must be so proud.

I mean, do you not get that this is what your world without vaccines will look like? I’ve already heard a couple older people compare this to the polio outbreaks of their childhoods.

@ Christine Kincaid

Ah, moron number two chimes in.

You write: “I tried to tell you guys that most antivax are parents of vaccine-injured children. When you created an issue where only those that SAW vaccine injury happen would BELIEVE that it could; you created a population of people that would come to think that only what THEY have seen is true.”

I and others have refuted this numerous times. That a parent believes because post hoc ergo prompter hoc, after a vaccine thus because of a vaccine, doesn’t make it so. People have selective attention, selective memories, and base their interpretations on often unconscious beliefs and, perhaps, what they read on some blog. There is, for instance, overwhelming evidence that 10 – 15% of ASD cases can be linked causally to a clear chromosomal mutation and research continues. And, there are parents who believe ASD caused by possession or even alien abduction.

You write: “The flu vaccine MAY prime a body for risk from COVID.” “MAY”, based on what, one study?

Recently, I’ve been studying the 1918-19 flu pandemic, read over 50 articles and several books. I won’t go into the details; but vaccines weren’t the cause or contributor. Microbes do evolve, do mutate. As I wrote in a previous comment, there are two blog sites where they correlated increase in cell phones with increase in ASD and increase in eating of organic foods and ASD. Correlation isn’t causation and what parents think caused their child’s problems has little to no validity. Yep, research does find rare serious adverse events from vaccines; but compared with the risks from the wild-type microbes, the odds are exponential in favor of getting vaccinated. And there is a difference between listening to parents and accepting their explanations. Of course any good doctor should take the time to listen. Even if they are wrong about their interpretation, could be some worthwhile information and it shows respect/consideration. But if a parent believes caused by mercury and wants chelation, insane. First, chelation doesn’t cross blood-brain barrier and Second, despite what some parents have claimed, would be impossible to observe immediate changes in child, brain cells already damaged don’t regenerate and it takes time for potential new neural connections; but parent claim they saw marked improvements. In addition, chelation is a risky procedure as it removes from blood needed metals as well.

And you write: “How am I supposed to tell these people that just because you said “it wasn’t the vaccine.” when we KNOW it was the vaccine.”

“we KNOW.” Are you speaking for who? Others with little to no understanding of the sciences underlying vaccines? Others who subscribe to paranoid delusions of vast conspiracies. Your own delusions of grandeur, speaking for others. SICK SICK SICK

Though a waste of time, I repeat what I’ve written numerous times. Scientists and public health workers around the world, from many different nations with different histories, different cultures, different political systems, different economic systems, different health care systems, different religions, different educational systems support vaccines. Do you really believe that so diverse a group of people knowingly, based on science, would harm the children of their respective nations, even vaccinating their own children? Yep, you must. Must be nice to delude yourself into believing that you know the truth.

If tomorrow overwhelming research finds the genetic combinations for 30% of ASD, won’t phase you as you will still believe the rest 70%. If they clearly irrefutably find causes for 60%, genetics and some chemicals in environment, you will still believe 40% caused by vaccines. In fact, no matter how overwhelming the research is, you probably will just claim it fraudulent. Only research that confirms your moronic unscientific belief will you consider legitimate, regardless of how poorly done.

Why don’t you just crawl back under your rock.

@ Joel,

Okay so now you are more of an expert on antivaxers than an antivaxer?

Orac’s post isn’t about Autism. I am not talking about Autism. This is about COVID.

Orac’s post isn’t about Autism.


I am not talking about Autism.

Ahem. Quoting your comment above:

I tried to tell you guys that most antivax are parents of vaccine-injured children.

I’m daring to tell us that, for you, the concept of “vaccine-injured children” doesn’t include autism cases. Like, a lot.
Go ahead, contradict yourself.

What did you think was going to happen, Christine?

You and your anti-vax ilk have been attacking the credibility of the medical establishment for years now. Of course your fellow travelers don’t believe that COVID is dangerous – and its going to kill a number of them because of your actions and words.

Welcome to consequences.

@ Lawrence

Of course your fellow travelers don’t believe that COVID is dangerous

Christine acts like there is something new among antivaxers, but no, it’s business as usual.

[insert name of disease here] is no big deal and is only dangerous for brown dirty people and fast-food eaters
The CDC, FDA and Big Pharma are lying to you
Vaccines are inefficient at protection and cause plenty of harm
The government is about to implement forced vaccinations
Boost your immune system by taking megadoses of [insert long list of supplements] I’m conveniently selling here (marked up 300%), and all will be well

Did I forget anything?

Nope, not at all. In fact, anti-vaxers tend to be proud of the fact that they’d love to “spread disease” so people can get it naturally.

Guess what, Christine – the chickens have come home to roost….and you’re definitely part of the problem.

A fair proportion of the AV brigade won’t be worried anyway. The ones that firmly believe that healthy living and vitamin supplements will cure all ills. No doubt they’ll be blind to any collateral damage too.

@ Dorit,

Like what?

At least he isn’t tweeting that “staying hydrated & taking vitamin C won’t help” like that twatwaffle doctor was.

At least he isn’t plugging the COVID-Priming flu shot.

In two days, we’ve gone from “The flu vaccine MAY prime a body for risk from COVID” to “the COVID-Priming flu shot”?

@ Christine Kincaid

You write: “At least he isn’t plugging the COVID-Priming flu shot.”

If you are talking about the Kaiser Washington State mRNA vaccine trials, I would love to be one of the volunteers. As opposed to you, I actually understand how vaccines work, including mRNA vaccines and the risk is minuscule and the possibility it will confer protection is good. Unfortunately, I don’t live even close to Seattle and am over the age limit. If Phase 1 works and Kaiser goes on to Phase 2 they will need a larger group of volunteers, hopefully being a Kaiser member, perhaps, I’ll get a chance.

So, continue with your moronic attacks on vaccines.

As for staying hydrated and vitamin C; yep, staying hydrated always good advice. As for vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, mega-doses only enrich ones urine; but I do take vitamin C regularly, though being a vegan eating lots of fruit and veggies, don’t need it. So, why do I take it? As a blood donor, I take modest iron supplements and iron is best absorbed with vitamin C.

Next time I can donate is this coming Sunday. I can choose between whole blood, platelets, and plasma. Will probably opt for platelets as plasma removes immune cells, though usually only takes 24 hours to build up again. Will err on side of caution. Platelets take around three days to build up again. Because of COVID 19 blood center facing shortage, so I’ll risk it. Not all that worried about getting COVID 19; but if I get it and, though in great health for being in mid-70s, I’ll go out doing what I believe in, that is, being part of a community.

A. You can see what he’s selling on his Facebook page.

B. There’s no basis for saying high dose vitamin C will help.

C. Your last point seems to be “because I and my antivaccine friends decided, without basis (as Orac analyzed in a previous post) that flu vaccine increases the risk of this disease, public health experts and scientists who understand the real risks of flu should not recommend people protect themselves from flu. Our imaginary risk is more important than the real risks.”

That’s not a good argument.

I also note that you seem to feel a need to defend an antivaccine activist capitalizing on the pandemic by selling false cures. Why? (My other comment is in moderation because I made a typo in my name, and will show soon, I hope).

I saw that!
Similarly, Mike Adams suggests that artemesia/ artemesinin may work against the virus ( because it may be anti-malarial and an anti-malarial drug was being tested? or something?)
Null continues to give misinformation mixed with SBM usually distorting the latter: if the CDC says keep a distance of 6′, he says 20′; if it’s supposed that virus may remain on surfaces for a few hours, he insists a few days. He gives cleaning tips. Melatonin and vitamin C work. Wash ALL of your money and keep it separate from your “dirty” money** He has a health retreat/ research project coming up this weekend so he claims that his estate will be the “safest place” in the US .. or was it the world.
Today’s show was rife with pseudoscience His “research scholar” Gale contributes.
Many of the anti-vaxxers I survey have suggestions as well. Mostly bad ones.

** How could he tell which is which- all of his is not gainfully earned?

“or something?”

Because artemesia has 5 syllables. For some maladies 4 or 6 syllable products may work better.

“Melatonin and vitamin C work.”

Well, these each have 4 syllables. We need a RCT to determine how many syllables works best for this virus.

WTF is melatonin supposed to do, other than what it’s marketed for? (It doesn’t work too well for that, either.)

@ rs:

You may be on to something.

It seems that the chief woo-meister at PRN cosplays an “intellectual” most days which includes tossing in multi-syllabic words, medical terminology, arcane art/ historical references and quotes from philosophers HOWEVER he mangles pronunciation, usage and relevance. I can provide many sad examples: the great Italian artist, TITAN, and murdering the pronunciation of AMYGDALA, MICROBIOLOGY or METHANE** ( or AUKLAND or LEICESTER or OCCAM) or throwing in BODY POLITIC whenever he means politics or using VITALISM to stand for most anything he likes.. Which tells me he never really studied any of this formally: anyone can pick up a book and vamp as if one knows something. ( We also see that here at RI) If you can’t pronounce names of people from Spain, France, Germany or Russia, it tells me you never studied languages. Shouldn’t someone with a PhD have to have had at least one European language? Somewhere?

It is solely to impress the marks. Who may even know less ( if that is possible)

@ Narad:

I think it’s supposed to help you sleep ( probably doesn’t work) Maybe if you sleep more, you’ll stay home and avoid the virus? Who knows how woo-meisters’ minds work.

** not ME/thane or MEE/thane but M’THANE Go figure.

Denice Walter, I know one is not supposed to mock other people’s pronunciation of words (since that means that person has only ever read them but not heard them in speech), but I’ll make an exception for anyone who is trying to convey a message in a video or audio medium. If you’re not 100% sure how something is pronounced, you go look it up before you record! Otherwise it’s just arrogance.

(I had a French Canadian, but not Quebiquiose, coworker who had the strangest way of saying the word “metabolism”, which wouldn’t have bothered anyone except that he was studying cell metabolism and refused to even acknowledge that he might be saying it differently than all his coworkers. He was a very arrogant guy.)

@ JustaTech

Whilst I would never mock most people’s mispronunciations, this is an extremely special case:
— he has rather inadequate/ bogus degrees and presents himself as an expert in science, medicine, psychology, history, arts who is EDUCATING his audience with his erudite musings
— he is not an EFL/ ESL speaker ( I work with these so I can tell)
— his aim is to convince listeners to disregard expert opinion/ university study and take his own instead so he can sell them products and inflate his ego
— he is not bright or efficient enough to look up pronunciation
— someone with a doctorate shouldn’t botch all foreign language names ( I doubt he studied any)

If someone is trying to convince you they are expert in health and can’t pronounce “biochemistry” or “methane”, you should look elsewhere. I had life science profs amd fellow/ sister students from China, Russia, Israel and India who pronounced everything well.

I should have said * microBEOLOGY* and m’THANE
Oxxam’s razor many more

@Denice Walter, at the risk of sounding pedantic, English, despite it’s prevalence in large parts of the world, and the massive exercise in self-harm that is Brexit, remains a European language. I agree with what you’re saying, but not having studied another language is about as relevant to science as not having studied a non-European system of music. Not being able to follow the standard pronounciation of technical terms and historical figures does of course indicate that they have not followed a standard education, and strongly implies that there may be ‘gaps’ in their knowledge. You risk coming across as elitist or snobbish is all I want to say really.

@ Carl:

I don’t think it snobbish or elitist to call a poseur a poseur.

Maybe I should not have said “a European language” but that is most relevant to him: he claims a doctorate- most people with that degree, even in science, in his age group would indeed have had to taken foreign languages, mostly European ones, at some point.

I’m merely trying to illustrate how sceptics can spot a con artist: they may not know that life science details are wrong but general facts and word pronunciation and usage can be a clue as well. Most people with advanced degrees have a general background in other subjects or at the very least the ability to LOOK THINGS UP.

not having studied another language is about as relevant to science as not having studied a non-European system of music

I certainly remember back when an undergraduate physics (at least) degree required reading competence in a foreign language, most often Gernan. I think Russian was the second, but I can’t remember the third — probably French, given that Poincaré and (sometimes) Lorentz used it. Comptes Rendus published through 1996. I’m not sure how much of the Chinese work in the physical sciences appears in translation these days.

And on the political quackery and Looney Tunes front –
I wonder how deep a hole SoDak rep Lee Qualm (R) is hiding in with the deadly coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe and the vast majority of the world’s population breathlessly awaiting a vaccine.
You remember ol’ Lee, doncha’?
He’s the moron who, on Feb 5, 2020 introduced South Dakota HB1235 which bars schools from requiring any vaccinations whatsoever.
No doubt about it… this guy is made from pure genius and a hero to the anti-vaccine death cult.
We are seeing what his legislation has in store for SoDak children by watching the COVID-19 do its stuff on a totally unvaccinated population… just what Mr. Qualm is offering the kids of S. Dakota.
Haven’t heard much from him on the vaccine front since early February.
Maybe the media should look this egghead up and get his views on COVID-19 and the furious effort to create a vaccine…
I’m sure the reporter could sell it and get a byline in the NYT.

On Feb 25 Lee “Let’s Have A Samoa Moment” Qualm’s anti-vaccine bill #1235 was deferred to the 41st legislative day (whenever that is, March ??) by the SoDak HHS committee after a quick vote failed 2Y-10N: (PDF)
Note those who appeared to testify to the committee in support of this dangerous anti-science, anti-vaccine bill.
Some familiar carpet bagger names in the anti-vax grifter’s traveling sideshow:
James Neufuschwauder MD, Michigan
Lawrence B Palevsky MD, self, New York
Neil Rohe MD, self, Sioux Falls
Kevin Barry, self, New York
Toni Krehel, self, Florida
Stacia Buchholtz, self, Elk Point
Catie Clobes, self, Minnesota
Mya Olson, self, Bradley SD (Handout(s) 1)”
As with other states hearings, the anti-vaxxers had to import 5 of their 8 ‘experts’ from the paid out of state anti-vaccine grifting industry.
There’s James Neufuschwauder and Larry “Brooklyn Measles Is The Best Measles” Palevsky and Kevin “I’m An Anti-vax Lawyer, Captain! Not A Doctor!” Barry.
Oh-ho! Who have we here?
Catie Clobes!
Still in mourning, I see…
Catie seems to have entered the carpet bagging anti-vax grift industry… What a surprise!

Instead of pushing for a coronavirus vaccine, we should be pressing the publisher of Sayer Ji’s new book “Regenerate: Unlocking Your Body’s Radical Resilience through the New Biology” to move up the publication date (it’s due out March 31st).

Mr. Ji says “I’m writing this book in the hopes that I can help others who are experiencing persistent symptoms or sickness to pause and consider that their bodies are sending a message that something they are consuming, breathing, or thinking is toxic or biologically incompatible with wellness.”

Should have lots of tips useful for staving off/curing COVID-19 infections, along with lots of other bad stuff.

*”New Biology” has gotten to be a popular buzzword among sCAMologists. “Cancer and the New Biology of Water” is the title of the latest paradigm-shifting book by physician and antivaxer Thomas Cowan**.
**pay no attention to his having been disciplined by the California medical board and prohibited from treating cancer patients. It’s part of the devious medico-pharma-governmental conspiracy to prop up the Cancer Establishment.

You don’t get it, do you Christine?
Firstly, the reason deaths from measles and all the other diseases are so low is because we vaccinate against them! Antivaxxers like you see our world with almost no deaths or sequelae from these illnesses and ask why we are still vaccinating. The answer is because if we don’t, they will come roaring back and the deaths and injuries will start again. It happened when the USSR disintegrated. A diphtheria breakout occurred and thousands died. In Syria, vaccination stopped because of the civil war and now polio is returning.
History is replete with examples like this. Problem arises; solution is implemented; problem disappears; solution withdrawn; problem recurs.
Secondly, the supposed harms you claim vaccinations cause are greatly exaggerated. Time and again, accusations are made against vaccines, investigated, and found to be much ado about nothing. SIDS, autism, Alzheimer’s, allergies. All properly researched and no link found.
Finally, the damage these diseases can cause is far worse than you seem to believe. My mother was born in 1949. One of her classmates had a hand crippled by polio, and a teacher of hers was a hunchback, also from polio. In 1962 Olivia Dahl, daughter of author Roald Dahl, was killed by measles encephalitis. That measles outbreak in Samoa infected over 5000 people and caused 83 deaths. There is a reason parents literally lined up around the block to get their children vaccinated against polio.
Vaccination helped take us from a world where one in five children died before their first birthday to one where dying before you turn 18 is rare enough to be considered a tragedy.
Those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

@ Julian,

No, you guys don’t get it.

Orac’s post is about ‘quacks’ capitalizing on COVID. I am trying to point out how much the provax agenda is to blame for that.

You guys put the cart before the horse almost every time when you try to decode antivaxers. Like saying: “Antivaxers tend to believe in more conspiracy stories”.

While that may be true; your deduction arose from the bottom, up. One of the only known common denominators for conspiracy theorists is marginalization & antivaxers were not marginalized until after the death or disability of their child. They were … you, before that happened. They were provax.
After dealing with the cognitive dissonance that results from realizing that you were wrong, that they were wrong & that something is wrong with vaccines & it is basically YOUR OWN FAULT that your child is dead or disabled; you start to wonder what else you were wrong about.

What else were you hoodwinked about? If something as tragic as a child’s death or disability was due to your trust in ‘authorities’; what else could happen?

Vaccines marginalized them & that is when they are vulnerable to conspiracy theories. Just like parents of children with terminal cancer are vulnerable to quacks when they are desperate for help; an antivaxer is desperate to not be fatally fooled again out of fear for another fatal lie.

People feel desperate due to covid & they are eager to be thrown a life preserver. The antivax, already marginalized, are primed to fuel that fire & it is happening on a much grander scale than any here have conceived of.

Get it? Probably not.

Nope. You child died because you cut oxygen supply, but you claim that vaccines caused it. Wht explanation is more obvious ?

Orac’s post is about ‘quacks’ capitalizing on COVID. I am trying to point out how much the provax agenda is to blame for that.

And how, precisely, is the “provax agenda” to blame?
By pointing out that vaccines can’t possibly cause the harms antivaxxers claim they do?
By showing that these diseases were and are far more harmful than any vaccine?

You guys put the cart before the horse almost every time when you try to decode antivaxers. Like saying: “Antivaxers tend to believe in more conspiracy stories”.

Except this is true and we can prove it is.
You really don’t get it, do you? These claims of vaccine harms have been thoroughly investigated multiple times. Researchers in different countries looking at independent datasets have all come to the same conclusion about vaccines causing autism, SIDS, and any one of a dozen claims. Vaccines don’t cause these things.

Christine comes here from a Munchausen’s milieu of borderline-personality-disordered fuckwits and tries to blame rational people for them being gobshites. No, Christine, they chose to be like that.

More like “after deciding evidence doesn’t matter, only how you personally feel about something.” That also helps explain why you keep refusing to address the fact that this is what your world without vaccines will look like. This is what you poo-pooed when it happened in places like Samoa with measles. You should be bragging about how antivaxxers are in the perfect position to handle this, since this is what you’ve always wanted. Instead, you’re blaming us. Because that’s what it’s always been about. You blaming other people.

@ Christine Kincaid

You write: “After dealing with the cognitive dissonance that results from realizing that you were wrong, that they were wrong & that something is wrong with vaccines & it is basically YOUR OWN FAULT that your child is dead or disabled; you start to wonder what else you were wrong about.”

You just continue with your antiscience bullshit. The only reason the parents feel they are to blame is idiots like you have told them it was the vaccines and being gullible, not understanding science and not doing valid homework, e.g., checking out CDC website and searching PubMed, theY fall for it. It is YOU who are responsible for adding another blow to parents already dealing with a dead or disabled child.

And thanks to you, when a vaccine is available for COVID 19, people who listen to you and other vicious morons won’t get vaccinated.


After dealing with the cognitive dissonance that results from realizing that you were wrong

Did Christine ever apologise for lying about the dates of the vaccination program in Samoa, back when she was blaming the program for causing the measles outbreak there?

@Clyde, Of course she hasn’t. Her standard operating method is the moment she’s pushed into a corner with proof that she’s wrong, she drops out of the conversation, only to pop up again at a later date somewhere else like it never happened. Because she doesn’t care about reality, only justifying her anger.

@ Christine Kincaid

As usual, you really don’t understand things. Yep, some antivaxxers were marginalized from the gitgo; but others weren’t. Being a “common denominator” is NOT what is claimed; a subgroup of antivaxxers,what percentage I don’t know. And, yep, some became marginalized after their child developed some problem. However, the marginalization could have occurred because other parents didn’t want their kids playing with or because they didn’t fit in school, etc. Having a special needs child creates a wealth of problems which can lead to marginalization. In any case, people who don’t understand or don’t want to understand science, people who want simple black and white answers, can become antivaxxers. What they choose to believe doesn’t make it true. As I’ve written before, there exist parents who believe their ASD child was possessed and have tried exorcisms. So. . .

@ Julian, Terrie, Clyde, Joel:

Hornsey et al ( discussed in Headline Health 2/2/18)
5000 Ss in 24 countries. They found that those who held anti-vax beliefs were:
— more likely to believe in other conspiracy theories
— more disgust about blood and needles
— more reactance: i.e. less tolerance for impingements on their freedoms
— more individualistic beliefs / dismissal of hierarchies: i.e. how much control society should have over them
Educational level and socioeconomic factors had little effect.

Thus. it isn’t a deficit of information BUT a rejection of information and experts.

Other studies show a preference for nature and purity and a tendency for Dunning-Kruger.
If you think that you know more than people who spent their lives studying particular issues, it says a great deal about your capacity for self-evaluation and self-education.

Lots of related studies about their psychological characteristics..

After the crisis is over the time will be right for the following public service announcement. It is 20 seconds long:

start with silence as scenes of empty malls, streets, transportation hubs, schools, etc. fade in and out of focus
after a few seconds began a low volume sound track of emergency room chatter of a massive crisis in progress
freeze on the last scene as the sound track volume begins a fade to silence
over the last scene display the following text snapshots one after the other
1: “This is a world without vaccines”
2: “Get vaccinated…Now”
fade to black

Here’s a link to a summary of the Hornsey study showing that antivaxers are likely to believe in other conspiracy theories:

There’s been a large-scale survey across two dozen countries which shows that people identifying as ”populists” are considerably more likely to believe in a variety of conspiracy theories, including ones related to vaccines:

The Guardian article links antivax conspiracy beliefs to right-wing populists i.e. Trump supporters. I wonder to what extent such views extend to followers of Bernie Sanders, who tend to blame ”the elites” for most or all of their problems. To his credit, Sanders himself has expressed pro-immunization views, including a recent promise to give everyone free coronavirus vaccine once he’s elected (an increasingly unlikely prospect, also assuming there would be a vaccine by then)).

I haven’t seen a survey on this yet, but it would be interesting to know if Samoan parents think a conspiracy of antivax dumbbells was responsible for so many of their unprotected children being sickened and killed in the recent measles outbreak there.

@ DB,

“I haven’t seen a survey on this yet, but it would be interesting to know if Samoan parents think a conspiracy of antivax dumbbells was responsible for so many of their unprotected children being sickened and killed in the recent measles outbreak there.”

No, they blame the vaccines that were shipped to their country the month before the outbreak started, they blame the hospitals that were using the vaccines on already sick children once the outbreak started & they blame their government for blocking access to the Vitamin C & arresting Mr. Tamasese who’s protocol saved every child it was used on.

Lol, “blame antivaxers”. They are antivaxers; they had already experienced vaccine injury & death & didn’t want their children vaccinated.They call it the “man-made measles”.

That’s not what I’m hearing from Samoans on twitter. Now, I realize that they may not be more representative than the antivaccine activists and sellers of fake cures that you get your information from, but they are local people who worked through the outbreak, can’t be assume to be less representative, and they don’t subscribe to false claim like the claim blaming the vaccines (see:

That is why DB was asking for a survey, not your impression.

they blame the vaccines that were shipped to their country the month before the outbreak started

The moron is doubling down on this lie again, because of course she is.

There’s more than one type of populism and more than one type or “elite”; when leftists talk about the “elites,” they’re talking about the people with all the hugely concentrated money and power and influence who ought rightly to be cut down, like the Donald himself, not people with education and so on. Although “experts” can get a little carried away with themselves, too. (Narcissism is a hell of a drug.)

As for conspiracy theory beliefs being triggered by instances of vaccine-related complications, it’s evident that paranoia and a serious deficiency in critical thinking skills existed in many if not most antivaxers, well before they heard of or experienced such incidents.*

Take Christine, who assured us awhile back that her mom was among a crowd of medical students supposedly warned by a professor never to mention any vaccine-related side effects they might encounter in their training (a patently ludicrous scenario).

*despite claims by antivaccine advocates that ”there are no antivaxers, only ex-vaxers” it’s also obvious from their communications (i.e. online comments) that a high percentage of them have zero personal experience with any vaccine harms – but instead are motivated by a variety of factors including suspicion/hatred of government/authority/physicians, needle phobias and the aforementioned deficiency in critical thinking skills which leads them to jump on board with a host of goofy conspiracy theories.

Oh I know.
A recent study showed that people who got their news from social media were more likely to be anti-vax than those who got their information from more standard sources like television or news outlets.

This might, I venture, reflect the solipsism/ individualism shown by them
as they say frequently.
” Do your own research” ” Think for yourself”, “dON’T bE A sHEEPLE!!!”

Take Christine, who assured us awhile back that her mom was among a crowd of medical students supposedly warned by a professor never to mention any vaccine-related side effects they might encounter in their training (a patently ludicrous scenario).

I’m still waiting for the details of her adventure in pedagogy.

“I was literally accused of being pro-vax this morning because I was trying to correct people who were saying that COVID was just a cold virus. I mean; coronavirus IS ‘just a cold virus’ but today’s COVID is not last year’s sniffles.”

That’s awful. It must be terrible to face a baseless accusation just for providing factual information.

I hope you stay safe. I’ve heard reports that some of the antivax crowd are fantasizing about shooting pro-vaxxers, and some of them have guns and a tendency to mix fantasy with reality.

@ Andrew,

Fantasizing about shooting provaxers? That hasn’t even happened in Pakistan. In Pakistan they just shot the vaccinators that put their kids in the hospital.

This is the US. We have freedoms here & nobody is force vaccinating our kids, so I can’t see how this would happen.

In Pakistan they shot people who came to offer a polio vaccine in a land where children were still paralyzed or killed by polio.

But your comment makes it clear that you think shooting people engaged in saving lives is justified.

That’s instructive.

“In Pakistan they just shot the vaccinators that put their kids in the hospital.”

OK, Christine, Mission Accomplished — everyone thinks you’re a loathsome piece of garbage — you can fuck off now.

@ christine kincaid

So, “In Pakistan they just shot the vaccinators that put their kids in the hospital.” You live in a world of fantasy. How do you explain that Pakistan is one of the few places in the world with outbreaks of polio? And it was religious fanatics who killed the vaccinators. Perhaps, also some people who heard rumor that vaccine was designed to sterilize Moslems. The same type of fanatics who shot the teenage Mahala in Afghanistan for daring to want to get an education. So glad you side with them. You are truly despicable.

Again, explain why Pakistan still has kids getting paralyzed from polio, if not because one of the few places in world where population not vaccinated?

OK, Christine, Mission Accomplished — everyone thinks you’re a loathsome piece of garbage

Oh, Christine already expressed that point of view once. She had a post where she was telling her admiration at how Pakistani were “very actively” taking matters in their own hands and wishing for her fellow USians to follow suit.
I called her on her fantasies of pro-vax people like us being murdered. She denied it, but then couldn’t tell me what was the type of “active” antivax activism some Pakistani were engaged on, which she found so praiseworthy.

This time, I noticed, she doesn’t even bother to deny it.

I’m sure she is thinking herself very smart and sly. People with a criminal mind often do so. They end up in jail regardless.

@ Joel
I suppose the answer will be that Pakistan has poverty and bad sanitary conditions and things like that.

on ‘METHANE’ and ‘MELATONIN’. Perhaps that should be read as “L-theonine and melatonine”? because that is actually a pretty good combination for falling asleep… Not staying asleep.

One of the most valuable perks in the game/simulation, Plague Inc., is ‘insomnia’.

It is noteworthy that hydroxyzine is a perfectly cromnulent non-narcotic sleep aid and anoxiolytic. It is available over the counter in most countries across the globe, including Iran. But, not so in USA. We. Are. Fucked.

Never mind even having a doctor — you gotta have a doctor that knows it is not a scary $12 a month poisony poison that big pharma reps are not pushing to get a script for that. Good luck ‘Mericuns. We are fucked.

It is noteworthy that hydroxyzine is a perfectly cromnulent non-narcotic sleep aid and anoxiolytic.

Heh. I was on Atarax syrup for a good deal of my childhood for various verbal tics.


hydroxyzine metabolite is the prescription cetirizine, sold under the brand name Zyrtec/ Zantac. Could be useful for not inciting panic in the beer store because someone sneezed because it is the pollening here in the southeast.

Futhermore, it may also be greatly effective at preventing such sneezes because it seems to be the case that most infections are asymptomatic but can spread. For quite some time. this occulted/occluded/stealth infectivore knowledge has been out there for a couple months but, as it came from the chiners, was discounted (in any other setting, not unjustified). Until last week.

two years ago, this was predicted because of this ‘presnedent’s’ (how is babby formed?) attributes:

When you combine social distancing with distancing from reality, you get antivaxers. From Texas Monthly, a description of how antivaxers are panicking on Facebook about a vaccine that does not yet exist:

““If they fast-track some vaccine for coronavirus, how are all of us going to defend ourselves?” she asked. “I’ll let them vaccinate my daughter over my dead body.”

Other members of the group, Tarrant County Crunchy Mamas, chimed in.

“Hide in the floors like they hid the Jews from the Nazis,” one suggested. “Hide them in our gun safe (yes, it’s a big safe and yes, we love our guns),” said another.”

I haven’t seen any gun safes with sufficient ventilation to stash children, but I suppose the kiddies are better off suffocated than vaccinated.

Well, I am truly wishing I wasn’t right about this one. Seriously, whoever told you guys to get your flu shots, if they did so after that DOD study was published in January, should be held accountable for anything that happens to you.

“Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, told BBC Breakfast this morning: “I don’t want to go into enormous detail into every single risk group but we are saying it is the people who are offered flu vaccines, other than children, who fit into that risk category, people for whom the advice is very strong about social distancing.”

I guess if you have had it in the last 3 months you could be at risk though. 12 weeks, right? Didn’t China have that mass immunization campaign in December? ugh.

As your own article explains, he’s saying that the same people who are recommended the flu shot in the U.K., where only high-risk groups are recommended the flu shot, are also at high risk from COVID-19. He’s not endorsing your group’s error. The article says above: “Britons who get the annual winter flu jab fall into the government’s “high risk” category and should self-isolate, a top medic warns.”

People at high risk from flu include the elderly and people with respiratory conditions – those at risk from COVID-19.

To reiterate: those of your leaders who told you this article embraces your misreading of a study and your baseless conclusion that flu vaccine increases COVID-19 risks misread the article.

Britons who get the annual winter flu jab fall into the government’s “high risk” category

That’s it? This whole idea of the flu vaccine ‘priming’ for Covid19 is just the antivaxers unable to grasp that people highly vulnerable to respiratory diseases are going to be highly vulnerable to both the flu viruses and SARS viruses?

I should not be surprised, but…
What do you call it, when you realize you are mostly incompetent at you job and generally not very bright, and yet the rest of the world is full of drooling morons far below you in IQ?

This morning, I am really thinking of getting off this world. I’m not fit and other people are worse.
Knife or acetaminophen OD. I don’t know yet.
The only thing stopping me is my cat. I’m responsible for his well-being and I cannot turn my back on that.


What do you call it, when you realize you are mostly incompetent at you job and generally not very bright, and yet the rest of the world is full of drooling morons far below you in IQ?

I believe the paraphrase is “one-eyed King in the land of the blind.”

I think the real term is Dunning Kruger; the other one is true enough as it goes and kind of reminds me of Odin (who got rather to big for his britches if you ask me. As if everybody but him is blind.)

Tylenol (brand name, brain still doesn’t want to language well) is a horribly unpleasant way to go, I looked into it thoroughly one summer and almost went so far as buying a massive amount.

Knives are much more painful than you would think; even razor blades. Been there, done that.

I believe there’s a Dorothy Parker poem to this effect.

@ Athaic:

…Please, please stick around: both cats and sceptics need you. And get angry if that helps rid dispell depression. I felt terrible losing my incredible cat but found that a few semi-ferals just next door are looking for friends and food….

Because I survey sites who push pseudoscience, I am often aghast at how uninformed/ mindless/ gullible people are: some of these charlatans have a million followers. People spend hard earned money for BS and waste their times reading exposes and tutorials by idiots who couldn’t create a coherent essay if their lives depended upon it
I try to present occasionally ludicrous examples of their work in order to make sceptics laugh although it is no laughing matter, It is tragic that in a world with high technology and reasonably decent education widespread in most areas that adults could buy into brain dead woo and anti-vax fantasies.

Some of the people we quote have university degrees. Some have children in their care and careers that affect others’ lives. They VOTE! It is downright frightening.

@ JP, Denice

Thanks. Your answers mean a lot to me.

Ah. The Norse gods are an interesting bunch, alright.
IIRC, Odin lost one eye by looking down the well of knowledge. The truth has literally blinded him. It’s heavy symbolism, if it is any.

Things can definitely get dark up north, both literally and figuratively, as I know well. Of course circumstances vary, but it seems to be a pretty common experience…

@ Athiac
I can relate to that. At this moment when I’m in my bed, I often think about ending my life, but I can’t. I’ve had it before, but then I had cats. My last cat died one and a half year ago. At this moment my dad needs me. We are very close to eachother and live in the same apartmentbuilding. We do a lot together. We eat together and have spend vacations together. At the end of january my dad suffered a brain-infarct, which left him incapable to speak coherently for 4 days. He has spend a week in hospital and 5 weeks in a rehabilitation-clinic. He has had a good recovery and is able to talk again and have a conversation. Now he is at home, walking outside with his walker with wheels a lot and now there is the whole COVID 19 going on. I have to take care of my dad, watch his medicines, preparing diner and do a lot of other things. At the same time one reads people shouldn’t visit elderly people at this moment, because they are vunerable. It makes me feel depressed and I don’t know how long this whole situation will last. My dad is 91 and he is the only one I have.
Though I think a lot about ending my life, something I’ve thought about for a long time, there are still things that keep me from doing it. There is my dad, there might be a cat in the future and there is my music. I still like to write music.

Cats have kept me going for a very long time. Unfortunately, I can’t have one here, but I recently got a 12-day live-in gig (I may have mentioned this before), and it was the best near-fortnight I’ve had in nearly a year. Unfortunately, I can’t have one here, and the nearby company that specializes in this is pretty much shut down until early to mid summer.

Christine…..what can I say. You are blind. Totally blind. You don’t even realise that your brain is like a record. Preworn grooves impossible to get out if without a bump from the outside.

You won’t understand but I’ll try anyway. In the UK, people who are vulnerable are recommended the flu jab. This means old people and people at greater risk from the flu than average. Strangely enough (sarcasm) this same group of people are at greater risk from Covid as well, because, you know, vulnerable.

At this point, I’m waiting for her to blame climate change on vaccines. And, as usual, she pretends that anything she doesn’t have a reply to don’t exist. Just start a new comment thread of more hysteria that shows she has no clue what she’s talking about.

Perhaps one can blame climate change on vaccines. Because of vaccinations, more children survive and people get older, making the population larger, raising our prosperity, which can result in more pollution,

It’ll be interesting to see if there are any changes in the antivaxosphere due to this coronavirus. Due to the conspiracy laden mindset, you’d wonder how they square the cost of all those supposed bribes and threats against the massive economical damage caused by quarantine-like measures and the actual infection.

I mean, do they really think that the financial scales balance?

What am I saying. Of course they won’t change their minds. The shit pool will just get deeper.

The shit pool will just get deeper.

We can almost see it live, following the various rumors and panic surging and ebbing on social media.
I was searching a website about the French story below and found instead the AFP site dedicated to busting myths about the COVID-19. 146 myths collected at this point.

Oh, right, the story I wanted tho share. (in French, sorry)
In France, a gilet jaune who would have delighted Dunning and Kruger started around Tuesday a viral video where he was misreading a patent on the genetic sequence of the SARS coronovirus and concluding that it proved that the patent holder, the Institut Pasteur, created the COVID-19 virus.

My lab happens to be involved in a project in partnership with the Institut Pasteur (COI disclaimer: a projet fully unrelated to vaccines or viruses), and our colleague over there felt the need to send us a personal e-mail to assure us that no, they didn’t do that.
Reading between the lines, my colleague sounded both betrayed and devastated. A life working on finding cures for human diseases, and this is how the average Jean Dupond see them.
The Institut Pasteur has filed a complaint.

Sidenote. I should get angry more often. Does wonders to evacuate depression.

Well, I am truly wishing I wasn’t right about this one.

Relax; your losing streak remains unbroken.

@ Christine Kincaid

As doritmi made clear, you are the epitome of ignorant, delusional, antivaxxer. The article you referred to states:

“Britons who get the annual winter flu jab fall into the government’s “high risk” category and should self-isolate, a top medic warns.”

I realize that you want to believe that the flu vaccine somehow weakens people’s immune system, thus making them more vulnerable to COVID-19, so, despite what the article clearly states, you see what your world of fantasy chooses to see. Calling you are moron is actually giving you the benefit of the doubt. Even morons read what is on a page, not ignoring it, and choosing a world of delusion.

In the UK, the people who are most encouraged to get the flu vaccine are those most vulnerable to respiratory infections, so, quite simply, they are being asked to self-isolate. Is this just too impossible for you to understand?

And I’ve asked you umpteen times what you base your claim that the CDC has been instructed to only find approximately one serious adverse reaction per million vaccines. Why don’t you respond?

Between you and Natalie White, difficult to tell which is stupider???

@ Christine Kincaid

As doritmi made clear, you are the epitome of ignorant, delusional, antivaxxer. The article you referred to states:

“Britons who get the annual winter flu jab fall into the government’s “high risk” category and should self-isolate, a top medic warns.”

I realize that you want to believe that the flu vaccine somehow weakens people’s immune system, thus making them more vulnerable to COVID-19, so, despite what the article clearly states, you see what your world of fantasy chooses to see. Calling you are moron is actually giving you the benefit of the doubt. Even morons read what is on a page, not ignoring it, and choosing a world of delusion.

In the UK, the people who are most encouraged to get the flu vaccine are those most vulnerable to respiratory infections, so, quite simply, they are being asked to self-isolate. Is this just too impossible for you to understand?

And I’ve asked you umpteen times what you base your claim that the CDC has been instructed to only find approximately one serious adverse reaction per million vaccines. Why don’t you respond?


Christine wrote: “Seriously, whoever told you guys to get your flu shots, if they did so after that DOD study was published in January, should be held accountable for anything that happens to you.”

The conclusion of the study states: “The overall results of the study showed little to no evidence
supporting the association of virus interference and influenza vaccination. . . those receiving the influenza vaccine were more likely to have no pathogen detected and reduced risk of influenza when compared to unvaccinated individuals.” Greg G Wolff (2020 Jan). Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017–2018 influenza season. Vaccine; 38: 350-354.

Even the ABSTRACT stated: “Receipt of influenza vaccination was not associated with virus interference among our population.” While the ABSTRACT said it found some association with coronavirus, the text discusses how this was a limited sample size and the effects were minimal. ABSTRACTS can be misleading as they have to be short. When I read an ABSTRACT, if says something on topic I’m interested in, I then read carefully the text. But, of course, you jump on anything that fits your warped ideological black and white view of the world.

So, what the hell are you talking about. The study, which discusses previous studies as well, found “little to NO evidence supporting the association of virus interference and influenza vaccination.” And I have a half dozen previous studies that say the say thing.

So, can’t you understand English?

Personally I wish I could get in to see a neurologist faster than the clinic/Medicaid process allows for, plus being in a rural area (not a bad place to be in the physical sense), I think I could really use some stuff beyond the couple of things I’m on which happen to also be used for epilepsy (but are pretty mild and maintenance level.)

I suppose I still have a little gabapentin left, and there’s always alcohol in moderation. Lots of fun trying not to have tons of seizures all the time (mainly absence seizures while awake, the other ones seem to happen while half-awake, have to be careful not to aspirate, and who knows what goes on while I’m asleep.)

In my country, the health agencies just ruled that you can present yourself at a pharmacy with an old prescription to get your drugs renewed, without having to go through the physician first.
Mostly in order to free up physicians’ time. That’s not a situation without risk of abuse.

Still, I hope something similar will be implemented in the US and other affected countries.

This is off-topic; but Age of Autism posted an article “Whatever happened to Paul Offit’s 10,000 vaccines?”
In it they write: “These are Paul Offit’s comments posted on his Facebook page earlier this week: an acknowledgment that vaccines are dangerous.”

They then give what he wrote on Facebook. I am NOT on Facebook, Twitter, etc., don’t trust them. In any case, I’ve read several times what they posted and can’t find where Offit acknowledged that vaccines are dangerous. In fact, he explains how smallpox and polio vaccines eliminated two horrible diseases from U.S. and smallpox from world.

Can someone please read the Age of Autism article and let me know if I missed something. If I didn’t, then it is almost hilarious that the comments all agree with the claim. A gaggle of morons on an echo chamber.

Find the article at:

By the way, I wrote an article tearing apart antivaxxers claim that Offit was calling for 10,000 vaccines.
First, currently we give kids 17. Altogether about 200 in world and working on another 100 or so. Many not given in U.S. because disease not here, e.g., cholera, typhoid/paratyphoid. Second, even if combined five in one shot, since Offit said “at once” how would one give an infant 2,000 injections at once or in short time span? Third, Offit said “theoretically 10,000 vaccines” after a lengthy discussion of how our immune systems work, e.g., over 100 million different B-cells (antibodies come from). Each B-cell is like a different key which can fit a different section of an invading microbe. B-cells go around lymph nodes about every two hours, so Offit was simply explaining that if we have 100 million different keys, then one or more will fit different aspects of any invading microbe, so 10,000 a drop in the bucket. I’ve written an article and also posted comments on various blogs; but antivaxxers just keep repeating it. What does that say about them?

If interested, you can find my article Ignoring Context and a Lack of Common Sense: Antivaccinationists Absurdly Misusing Dr. Paul Offit’s “each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10,000 vaccines at any one time” at:

And please someone check out Age of Autism’s claim that Offit admitted vaccines are dangerous.

@ Joel:

I read it over several times and all I could ferret out is that ( last lines) he writes that we shouldn’t cause harm to prevent harm (paraphrase) which I imagine they translated to “vaccines cause harm” but that’s about it.
Perhaps anything anyone writes is like a Rorschach test to anti-vaxxers: they’ll see vaccines in it.

( Researcher::” What is this?”
University student: ” Two bears fighting?”
Anti-vaxxer: ” A doctor vaccinating a baby with deadly toxins a day before it dies!”)

Perhaps this will merit a blog post here after the grant application is completed, since a certain friend of the blog shared this link on Dr Offit’s post.

Dr Offit makes the good point that the absolute risk of Covid-19 is small compared to influenza which we suffer through every year. But I think he underestimates the potential risk of a novel coronvirus that we don’t have a vaccine for.

China got this under control by shutting down the city of Wuhan which is about 1/3 larger than the entire Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area and its surrounding province Hubei which has almost as many people as California and Texas combined for about 2 months. The U.S. has the virus popping up in all 50 states with a much more mobile population to spread it.

Korea got its outbreak under control with an aggressive test and treat program. But the U.S. has been slow to get testing kits available for large scale testing so we still don’t know the extent of the current outbreak.

New York performed 10,000 tests overnight and now has 7845 confirmed cases out of 32,427 tested. with 1200 people hospitalized.

He also doesn’t discuss the hospital load problem, which near-quarantine measures like Dallas, New York and California are implementing can help mitigate. Italy is already having to implement real “death panels” with battlefield-type triage to decide which cases to treat, Spain is on the verge of doing that and France and Germany are trying to increase capacity and avoid.

And the comparison to the H1N1 epidemic overlooks a couple of factors. Elderly people had a surprisingly lower vulnerability to that virus which was speculated to be due to a similar strain circulating during the 40’s. And we could roll out a specific vaccine for it in about 6 months. We are 12-18 months away from a vaccine for Covid-19, assuming that we don’t run into a problem like we did with the 2003 SARS vaccine.

New York performed 10,000 tests overnight and now has 7845 confirmed cases out of 32,427 tested

I imagine the population who got tested was selected with some criteria (symptoms, exposition, return from travel).

Even so, having your suspicions confirmed that these people may be infected in one case out of 4 or 5 is not good news. That’s a lot of positive results.


It’s probably a mixture. New York also set up drive by testing factilities in New Rochelle, Staten Island and one other (I think). So some of the negatives were probably people who used one of those.

I’ll quote Dr Offit’s Facebook post here for convenience.

Which will do more harm, the virus or the fear of the virus?

Why are we so scared of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19? People are usually scared of viruses for three reasons:

One: the virus causes gruesome, disfiguring, permanent symptoms. Smallpox, for example, not only caused life-long facial scarring, it also was a frequent cause of blindness in those who survived.

Two: the virus has a predilection for children. Polio paralyzed tens of thousands of young children every year until a vaccine finally eliminated the disease from the United States.

Three: the virus is likely to kill you. Rabies kills virtually 100 percent of people who develop symptoms after a bite from a rabid animal.

The novel coronavirus currently circulating in the United States—the one that has caused us to shut down schools, restaurants, sporting events, and virtually every aspect of our culture—falls into none of these categories. Nonetheless, people are scared. Really scared. The reason is they think that if they catch COVID-19, they have a high likelihood of dying from the disease. Most public health officials have done little to lessen this fear, arguing that people are ten times more likely to die from this novel coronavirus than from influenza. Unfortunately, these officials haven’t made clear the difference between relative risk and absolute risk. Although people are more likely to die from COVID-19 than from influenza, they are far more likely to catch influenza. Therefore, they are far more likely to die from influenza.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of March 7, 2020, 36 million to 51 million people have suffered from influenza, 370,000 to 670,000 have been hospitalized, and 22,000 to 55,000 have died from the disease. To put these numbers in perspective, let’s look at countries that have dealt with COVID-19.
China, where COVID-19 originated, has reported roughly 3,000 deaths. The population of China is about 1.4 billion, three times greater than ours. If we suffer an equivalent proportion of deaths, then 1,000 Americans will die from COVID-19, one-twentieth to one-fiftieth of the number who have died from influenza.
Italy has reported roughly 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 and, as a result, has shut down the country; only grocery stores and pharmacies remain open. Italy has a population of 60 million, about one-fifth of the U.S. population. If we suffer an equivalent proportion of deaths, then 10,000 Americans will die of COVID-19, about one-half to one-fifth of the number of deaths from influenza.

Not everyone, however, is at equal risk of dying. The virus primarily kills the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases, which explains the situation in Italy, where 25 percent of its population is more than 65 years of age; in the U.S. it’s 16 percent. Wouldn’t it make more sense, then, to ask people who are elderly and infirm to stay away from crowds, thus lessening their chances of contracting the disease. Also, to ask people who are sick with respiratory symptoms to stay home. Focus on common sense things like washing hands several times a day and standing clear of people who are coughing or sneezing. The federal government can also help by making it easier for businesses to allow people who are ill to stay home.

In 2009-2010, the world suffered an influenza pandemic caused by swine flu; about 203,000 people were killed by the virus; 12,000 in the United States. The novel coronavirus has killed about 6,000 people to date; 62 in the United States. It doesn’t make sense to shut down our entire way of life to try and stop a virus that is unlikely to harm healthy people and will be far less devastating than the influenza epidemics that we experience every winter and the influenza pandemic we experienced ten years ago. Let’s take common sense measures to stop the spread. The precautionary principle dictates caution to prevent harm. But the precautionary principle also dictates that you don’t cause harm in the name of preventing harm. It will take years to recover from the draconian measures that we are currently instituting.

@ Denice

Yep; but before he writes: “It doesn’t make sense to shut down our entire way of life to try and stop a virus that is unlikely to harm healthy people and will be far less devastating than the influenza epidemics that we experience every winter and the influenza pandemic we experienced ten years ago. Let’s take common sense measures to stop the spread.”

So, to anyone except antivaxxers Offit is addressing the measures be currently taken for the COVID-19, NOT VACCINES. It is typical how antivaccinationists take one sentence out-of-context, including the “theoretical 10,000 vaccines.” And Offit is also pushing the flu vaccine.

However, I disagree with Offit on this one. First, we don’t know how dangerous COVID-19 is, the data is not clear, e.g., how many asymptomatic. Second, latest is that over 60 at higher risk, over 70 even higher, etc. Also those with immune disorders, e.g. diabetics, asthmatics, and latest is children under 2. With flu majority of population has some cross immunity, having either gotten flu, gotten shots, or had asymptomatic. We have NO immunity to COVID-19. If one adds up the above, probably at least 20 – 30% of population at risk. Yep, could turn out to be not so bad; but if turns out even worse, by not taking measures, we could risk many people’s lives. So, do we wait and see? Then what? When death toll starts climbing, some estimates, 100,000 or more, then take measures. Close the barn door after the animals are out. Yep, will cost economy; but if we didn’t waste so much money killing, maiming, crippling, and impoverishing people in developing countries, not for national security, though that’s what we are told; but for corporative profit, either access to oil, minerals, etc. or sales of weapons, we would have plenty of money to rebuild our own infrastructure, and deal with such situations and give real aid to developing nations, instead, we created ISIS, etc.

@ Renate MARCH 21, 2020 AT 6:21 AM

You write:

“@ Joel
I suppose the answer will be that Pakistan has poverty and bad sanitary conditions and things like that.”

Many nations have poverty and bad sanitary conditions; yet, one can trace the disappearance of polio as vaccinations went from country to country. And, from the 1990s, the WHO required lab confirmation of polio.
Some antivaxxers play up statistics on paralysis in kids today; but ignore that even at height of polio epidemics, lab tests found a percentage not caused by polio virus, so, though number of kids with paralysis in some countries far fewer after polio vaccine, some cases of paralysis caused by other microbes still exist.

Of course, I know, but it will be the line of thinking anti-vaxers use, because they alway use those arguments. People who get vaccine preventable diseases, deserve it, because they are poor, underdevelloped, or not eating the right things for their health. It’s never vaccines that save us in their eyes. But vaccines are to blame for everything bad that happens, even an illness, for which there is no vaccine.

Of course, I know, but it will be the line of thinking anti-vaxers use, because they alway use those arguments.

AoA has already horked up an example. Referring to Edward Jenner, one finds this:

“And by the way, I’d suggest that we credit Thomas Crapper, whose patents helped create modern indoor plumbing, with saving far more lives than any scientist.”

In fact, it made polio worse. Kids were often exposed to polio when they were very young, but with sanitation that waited until later. Apparently noticeable with it hitting more wealthy neighborhoods than the tenements.

Book: Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky

Thanks for that info.
I’ve read Philip Roth – Nemesis, which is about polio and I know of poliocases in some Christian villages in the Netherlands, where they considered vaccination as not trusting the will of god.

I believe that Hans Rosling mentioned it in his book Factfulness, though he did have a vivid description of waste at his grandmother’s house in pre-WW II Sweden.

Ah, yes, that community in Netherlands. That is where Michael Mina studies the immunity erasure due to measles. He talks about it here:

There is a paper about elimination of measles in Finland
Heikki Peltola, Olli P. Heinonen, Martti Valle, Mikko Paunio, Martti Virtanen, Viena Karanko, and Kari Cantell
The Elimination of Indigenous Measles, Mumps, and Rubella from Finland by a 12-Year, Two-Dose Vaccination Program
November 24, 1994
N Engl J Med 1994; 331:1397-1402
DOI: 10.1056/NEJM199411243312101
Notice that program started in 1970s. I can tell you that hygiene in Finland was then quite good. Same thing applies, of course, all measles eradication programs in developed countries.

@ Christine Kincaid

You write: “No, they blame the vaccines that were shipped to their country the month before the outbreak started, they blame the hospitals that were using the vaccines on already sick children once the outbreak started & they blame their government for blocking access to the Vitamin C & arresting Mr. Tamasese who’s protocol saved every child it was used on.”

First, it wasn’t the vaccine, it was two nurses who didn’t prepare the vaccine properly: On 4 June 2019, both nurses pleaded guilty to negligence causing manslaughter. On 2 August, both nurses were sentenced to five years in prison. During the sentencing hearing, it was confirmed that one of the nurses mixed the MMR vaccine powder with expired muscle relaxant anaesthetic instead of water for injection supplied in a vial with the vaccine.”

I realize that you will NEVER accept this; but almost anything can be contaminated if not careful, e.g., kept at proper temperature, left exposed, etc., and/or mixed with the wrong substance. People have died and/or been harmed by medicines and by foods. E-coli 0157 H7 has caused serious illness and deaths in hamburger, cookie dough, spinach, etc. So, we tightened regulations and inspection of these foods. Salmonella is rampant in chicken and in some eggs. I love crunchy almond butter on celery. For about six months it was unavailable when the main supplier’s stock was found contaminated with salmonella. Well, the vast majority of people didn’t blame the food once they understood. And rice from Texas has arsenic because a century ago it was used in the region as a pesticide. I still buy rice; just not from Texas, it’s in the soil. Because of the nurses’ stupidity/negligence two children tragically died, the governor of Samoa stopped vaccinations and then the epidemic broke out.

Antivaxxers played up the deaths in Samoa and “the measles vaccination rate in Samoa fell from 74% in 2017 to 34% in 2018. Prior to the outbreak, vaccination rates had dropped to 31% in Samoa, compared to 99% in nearby Nauru, Niue, Cook Islands, and American Samoa.” Then it was brought in, probably by someone from New Zealand and the epidemic began. “After the outbreak started, anti-vaxxers credited the deaths to poverty and poor nutrition or even to the vaccine itself, but this has been discounted by the international emergency medical support that arrived in November and December.” There has been no evidence of acute malnutrition, clinical vitamin A deficiency or immune deficiency as claimed by various anti-vaxxers.“ Before seeking proper medical treatment, some parents first took their children to ‘traditional healers’ who used machines purchased from Australia that are claimed to produce immune-protective water.”

As for Mr. Tamasee: “the government arrested a Samoan anti-vaccination activist, Edwin Tamasese, who has promoted supposed alternatives to vaccines like vitamins A and C.” As mentioned above, Samoans didn’t suffer from vitamin A deficiency. In fact, vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and can be potentially toxic if taken in high doses. As for vitamin C, it is a water-soluble vitamin, what the body doesn’t immediately use just ends up as vitamin C enriched urine. I realize that you are too stupid to understand this; but only in vitamin deficient cases is vitamin supplements a valid treatment. Mega-doses of vitamins do NOT cure dangerous diseases, e.g., viral or secondary bacterial pneumonias as complication of measles. The delays in seeking proper medical care was the major cause of deaths in Samoa. Bacterial pneumonias are treatable with antibiotics and while antibiotics working can be given oxygen, etc.

So, though you will NEVER admit it, you are WRONG about the 2019 measles outbreak in Samoa. It was antivaxxers who caused drop in vaccinations and, thus, responsible for the outbreak.

You were wrong about the reasons for the UK advising seniors and those with underlying health conditions to stay at home during COV-19 outbreak. Yep, from same list encouraged to get flu shots. So, not the flu shot making them more vulnerable.

And you were wrong about the Department of Defense study. You only read the ABSTRACT. The actual paper found that those who got the flu shot had basically fewer cases of overall respiratory infections.

I realize that nothing I nor others say, regardless of how well backed up with science, will change your mind. After all, you know you are right. Delusions of grandeur. I really find it hard to believe you have a degree in nursing; but so did the two nurses in Samoa.

For more on 2019 Samoa measles outbreak, see Isabella Kwai (2019 Dec 19). ‘Why My Baby?’: How Measles Robbed Samoa of Its Young. New York Times. Available at:

I actually have over dozen articles on Samoa outbreak. And I won’t bother to give references on false claims of mega-doses of vitamin C. Wouldn’t change your mind anyway.

Christine seems to have that thing where people just lump all brown people or non-white countries into one big blob; if a person knows anything about the world at all, they would know that Samoans are not exactly famous for being malnourished. (I do not say this in a disparaging way.)

“Age of Autism’s claim that Offit admitted vaccines are dangerous”

But we know Paul Offit can’t be trusted about anything, so why would they take that alleged statement at face value?

@ Dangerous Bacon

I suggest you read my comment above:

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH MARCH 20, 2020 AT 1:24 PM

Offit was NOT referring to vaccines; but to the current steps being taken to flatten the curve, i.e., lower the spread of COVID-19. The antivaxxer simply either misread what Offit wrote or more likely, just plain lied.

@ Renate

And those from the Netherlands visited brethren in Canada who in turn visited brethren in U.S., that is, the Amish, and we had the last outbreak of polio in U.S. late 1980s. However, the Amish did allow at that time polio vaccination. And it is interesting why. Though they believed in G-d; they did not want to put their non-Amish neighbors at risk. I thought this was fascinating as I’ve seen interviews with antivaxxers who, when explained to them that their children not only at risk but could put at risk other children, e.g., with autoimmune disorders, the interviewed antivaxxers said they could only worry about their children.

In addition, the founder of Age of Autism, Dan Olmsted, wrote a series where he claimed that the Amish didn’t vaccinate and had no cases of Autism. Actually, they did and do vaccinate, just lower levels that U.S. overall, low 80% and Olmsted visited one new clinic which had no cases of Autism; but director of old established clinic for Amish contacted Olmsted several times offering to be interviewed, Olmsted didn’t take him up on it. That clinic had cases of Autism. And the series was the foundation for advent of blog, Age of Autism. What does that tell you???

How come chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine the anti-malarials of the day haven’t been mentioned here? They show particular promise in severe cases where the immune system turns on itself. The great orange one may not know much science, but he has an instinct for opportunity and likes to hit for the fences. A home-run with drugs he has been laughed at for mentioning and we can start worrying about 2024. And the woo faction may have cinchona bark in the arsenal – and it might be effective if its synthetic derivatives prove to be.

How come chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine the anti-malarials of the day haven’t been mentioned here?

Beats me. Oh, wait.

Fauci doesn’t want his name ruined by being associated with a Trump mistake. That does not mean Trump is wrong about those drugs. Quinine is one of the miracle drugs, and absolutely NOT woo. The possibility of another miracle in that bag is certainly not out of the question. Trump is a first mover when everyone else is chicken, and he is often wrong, but sometimes spectacularly right. Here’s hoping he is right this time.

Quinine has been used for literally centuries. If it had antiviral properties (malaria is a parasite) we would know about it. It is possible Trump is right, but it is also possible a meteor strike will wipe out Earth in the next decade.
Fauci is a physician. Trump has shown a disdain for expertise. On this matter, I will trust Fauci LONG before I will trust Trump.

@ Julian Frost

Careful, it seems that some weird antiviral activity has been observed with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (and a dozen other drugs – we are at the stade of throwing anything at the wall and see what’s sticking).
Although mostly in vitro. And weak.
But that’s not necessarily an unlikely finding.
I feel like I have been posting this link to Derek Lowe take on these dugs all the week-end.

But however much I would like to believe it, I have a bad feel about my compatriot’s scientific method. I don’t follow him when he defended his work by saying (paraphrasing) that a small sample size often gives clearer results than an appropriate large-scale study.
Worse, patients in the treatment arm of his small-scale trial dropped off during it. In three cases, to go to intensive care. Or in one case, because of death. No-one dropped from the control arm. That doesn’t seem to blunt his optimism about his findings. But it’s making alarm bells ring in my head.
So I agree that the potential of these drugs need maybe to be further ascertained with one more cycle of testing. At least.
Then it will be appropriate to start yelling about it.

I suggest that you give us a link to a relevant clinical trial. A man is not a test tube, you know.

We have a ‘trial’ by fire. And the statistics will tell if the drugs are effective or not. And likely how effective. One man is not a test tube, but a million men may well give us an answer as to effectiveness in treating people better than years of careful studies with millions of test tubes. If you had coronavirus would you want that drug? It is not likely a cure or complete preventative, but it may well be the stopgap we need.

I will want a drug that works. A clinical trial will tell that. You may notice, that during a trial people do get treatment. And if the drug is really good, the trial will be ended prematurely and the control arm will get the treatment, too. I suggest that you volunteer for clinical tial,

@ Lee

Given currently that the estimated overall death rate is 2.5% and even for those over 80, less than 10%, if you gave a drug to a million people you couldn’t actually know if it worked because 2.5% is an average and we really don’t know how many asymptomatic cases. You might actually end up with more people harmed by unanticipated side-effects. If the death rate was much much higher then, maybe, using a drug on population might be worth the risk.For instance, once rabies becomes symptomatic, 100% die. Past few years two have been saved by placing in a coma and giving vaccine and other drugs.

And they aren’t going to spend years testing with test tubes. They are infecting various lab animals that have shown same reaction to COVID-19 with COVID-19, then giving drug. Then they will probably try on volunteers in hospital who are extremely sick.

I doubt; but can’t be certain, that an antimalarial will work. Antimalarials target structures on eukaryotic protozoa; whereas SARS is a virus. However, anything is possible.

It almost sounds like no result can be good enough to tell if this works. If we start using these drugs and people stop dying in that group (or death rate falls sharply for them) then that could just be fortunate chance. Super fortuitous it seems to me. We have predictions of 10s of millions of Americans affected. If a million get really sick at the same time and need ventilators, we will be in big trouble, Italian style trouble.
There is reason, not yet proof, that this treatment may reduce and shorten the more severe illnesses brought on by over-active immune system response. And that is much to be hoped for. This is a somewhat dangerous off-label use for a very dangerous situation. Maybe this will be like SARS and fade away before we get proof that quinine derivatives work, and that would be oh so nice. Regardless it seems very much worth a try.

And if it ends up killing a bunch of people & isn’t effective at all?

What will that do to people attitude towards the healthcare system?

@ Lee

Perhaps I should spell it out. Currently, estimate is 2.5 % case fatality rate. If we give drug to one million and find 2.0% case fatality rate, does it mean drug worked? Nope, because 2.5% based on weak data. What would happen if we then found that actual case fatality rate was 1.5%. That is the drug actually increased deaths. Well, I would bet that you or many like you who called for use of non-tested drug would then want the heads of those who allowed its use. However, Orac, David Gorski just posted an article on Science-Based Medicine that validly critiques claims made for chloroquine and azithromycin. Go to

It is typical for people who don’t undestand medical science to jump on press reports or blog claims, ignoring what they are based on. Read the Gorski article.

Well of course it would be much more telling if we compare the fatality rate of people who do this treatment vs people who do not do it. Even so, suppose the fatality rate of those treated turns out to be .1%? Will you still say ‘unproved’? Scientific method is great, but with lives at stake, we should be trying many things and see which ones have the best outcomes (vs one another not vs a standard of perfection). And double blind and placebo etc seems… I don’t know, bad, when people are dying at an accelerating pace.
The same thing that makes these drugs effective against lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are a big part of why I think these will be useful. Any anti-viral activity will be bonus.

@ Lee

And you completely ignore the risks. Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis? Yikes. Autoimmune diseases, so, yep, chloroquine suppresses immune system, just what one doesn’t need when confronting an infection. While some cases might experience an overactive immune system, acute respiratory distress syndrome, then and only then, maybe suppressing the immune system might help. Did you read Gorski’s article. Do you even understand that what you are calling for could actually make people worse? It may be that the drug does help some and kills others. What then? And if it did make people worse, even kill them, who would you blame? Only a fool would call for large scale use of an untested drug. And untested refers to COVID-19,, not that it has been tested for malaria and autoimmune disorders. Desperation and fear are not good reasons.

From Wikipedia article on chloroquine:

Side effects include blurred vision, nausea, vomiting,
abdominal cramps, headache, diarrhea, swelling
legs/ankles, shortness of breath, pale lips/nails/skin,
muscle weakness, easy bruising/bleeding, hearing and
mental problems.[13][14] Other effects might include
cardiovascular (rare), and blood reactions.
Unwanted/uncontrolled movements (including
tongue and face twitching) [13]
Deafness or tinnitus.[13]
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps[14], and
Mental/mood changes (such as confusion, personality
changes, unusual thoughts/behavior, depression,
feeling being watched, hallucinating)[13][14]
Signs of serious infection (such as high fever, severe
chills, persistent sore throat)[13] [Golly gee, the side-effect resembles the disease you want to treat]
Skin itchiness, skin color changes, hair loss, and skin rashes.

I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are completely different from Covid19, so why should drugs that work for those, work for Covid 19?.
If people suffer nasty side-effects from something that might not even do much good for Covid19, I think one should be very carefull.

@ Lee

Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis have nothing to do with viruses, so how to you associate anti-viral activity with them?

Lupus and RA are in part caused by over active immune system attacking healthy tissue. Coronavirus in advanced stages fills the lungs with fluid as the immune system becomes hyperactive. These quinine derivatives seem to tamp down that overreaction. I suspect that is separate from is anti-viral action, but maybe not. Chloroquine also seems to interfer with RNA so may hinder viral replication.

In other news…

Sceptics may be aware of Tony Lyons, publisher of Skyhorse that publishes many anti-vaxxers’ tomes, such as his own,his ex-wife’s, Wakefield’s and those of various AoA celebrities , that blame vaccines for autism. He also established an imprint for Gary Null’s collection of woo-fraught pseudoscience and pseudo-psychology.
Recently, several publishers have rejected Woody Allen’s autobiography in light of #MeToo, including his son, Ronan Farrow’s.
Skyhorse stepped in to print Apropos of Nothing..It figures.

In other news in a time of choler.. I mean Covid….

Gary Null is embarking upon another health retreat/ ‘scientific study’ of de-aging the elderly today at his Mineola, Texas estate ( The Villa): he usually has 20-30 participants who are fed a scant vegan diet ( one meal a day with juicing), exercised for several hours daily and lectured nightly. This event will last 60 days. In addition, he usually has about 20 staff who cook, clean and teach exercise, meditation, art or yoga present.
So, 40 or 50 people, many of them over 70, interacting in one location for 2 months. Consider the possibilities.

@ Lee

Just how dense are you? You completely ignore the risks, as I described above. I repeat, what if we did start using chloroquine on a large scale and it actually harmed more people than it helped? Do you really lack even the basic understanding that one doesn’t act out of fear and desperation? Especially given that the risk of death is currently around 2.5%, though higher for especially those older than 80 or those with comorbidties; but these could be those who also experience the worst side-effects. You sound like a broken record, someone without basic understanding; but has fixated on something and won’t let it go. Even your ridiculous comment about years of testing in tubes. Yikes!

Note, for some reason my comment above Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH MARCH 23, 2020 AT 2:10 PM was delayed in being posted by an hour.

UTC’s been a little weird, I’ve definitely been doing my part. System good here.

I really don’t think the “advice” included drinking aquarium cleaner, regardless of its ingredients.

So you are only slightly less dumb than that couple. Even from a pharmacy the those medications can kill, especially in the doses given.

I mean, I always keep the visible clock (whichever OS) on “civil time,” which means right now it shows 3:23 PM, because looking at “UTC” all the time really messes with my circadian rhythm, having not grown up with it at all except on, like, M.A.S.H. and stuff.

Well maybe not so dense. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been used for years for malaria prophylaxis. A lot is known about safe dosage. And I did not recommend it for everyone (yet), it does have drawbacks. But for people in respiratory distress or close to it, which for this virus means pretty near death, then it looks like it might be a lifesaver and keep many of them off ventilators which are in short supply. One of men’s greatest attributes is to be able to act bravely and cleverly in the face of ‘fear and desperation’. You don’t see etched on the statues of many great men “He was a careful man”. The test tubes were brought up by another thoughtful writer, and I was responding with a different take.

You’re right, most statues are to military or political leaders. There aren’t many statues (comparatively) to scientists, doctors, agrarian innovators, or even industrialists. And most of those statues (like the statue to the trio of women who invented the whooping cough vaccine) are modern.

Since we’re all stuck inside may I suggest “A Distant Mirror” by Barbara Tuchman? It’s about the 14th century (the bits about the Plague are extra relevant) but she has a lot of really smart observations on what qualities got a person to be “in charge” in the 14th century that might explain why there are many statues to the bold and few to cautious, precise or wise.

‘A Distant Mirror’ is a great book, as are all of Tuchman’s books. Tuchman was a fabulous and un-credentialed historian. She would almost certainly have something to say about today’s fear-mongers. Dafoe’s ‘A Journal of the Plague Year’ is also a really good read about a later plague. But there is a big difference now. We know what we are fighting and science and medicine are vastly superior.

You don’t see etched on the statues of many great men “He was a careful man”.

I see your point and, being myself a coward of sort, I would agree to it, to some extend. We shouldn’t paralyze ourselves into inaction out of an excess of caution.
But I would like to point a little fact: with equestrian statues, if the horse is depicted rearing up, it traditionally means that the guy riding it died while charging into battle. It’s brave and all that, but the guy’s decisions still led to his death.
(of course, some cheat and commission a rearing horse regardless of their martial prowess)

In a medical context, I would prefer to follow people whose equine statue will have at least three feet on the ground.
(three – died of wounds sustained in battle, four feet – died of natural causes)

“Since we’re all stuck inside”

Luckily I can at least sit on the back deck. One of the few perks of being stuck in the middle of nowhere (well, probably less likely to catch a case, too.)

@ Lee

You keep changing your tune. You said if we used it on a million, now only a few. As for “keep many off ventilators”. How would you do this? When they need a ventilator, give them the drug? But the drug takes time to work, if it works at all, so either they go on a ventilator or . . . But if you give it before they need to go on a ventilator, hoping to prevent this, then, in effect, you will end up giving it to most hospitalized patients. I get the feeling you really don’t understand medicine. Not acting out of fear and desperation doesn’t mean “a careful man;” just not some nutcase that grasps at straws.

Did you even read David Gorski’s review of what is know about chloroquine?

You are tiresome. By the way, I’ve read Journal of the Plague Year, plus dozen books on history of plague and 100s of articles. Also read all or most of Barbara Tuchman.

The bottom line is that your suggestion could actually lead to more deaths, giving it to people who might eventually need a respirator could actually push them over the edge. But, you think you know more than doctors and researchers. I also found someone, a classical musician, who writes on blogs about healthcare and she recommends melatonin. Check her out. At least in modest doses no or almost no risk of side-effects. I’m sure her training in classical music gives her the same level of expertise as yours.

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

Actually I do think these or something similar will be used heavily.
You seem like a real smart guy. Why don’t you do a little spreadsheet with coronavirus incidence on one axis and malaria incidence on the other? And because you are extra smart add a regression line. Bet you find a strong negative correlation. Notice particularly how few cases India has.
And what might be the cause? Could it? Could it be? Could it be antimalarials?!! Antimalarials such as the ones we are discussing or something similar. Go ahead, keep disparaging me, oh so qualified one. The evidence is already available for those who open their eyes.

“One of men’s greatest attributes is to be able to act bravely and cleverly in the face of ‘fear and desperation’.”

Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.

Actually I do think these or something similar will be used heavily.

You want people to explain the machinations of your internal pig-iron works?

Why don’t you do a little spreadsheet with coronavirus incidence on one axis and malaria incidence on the other? And because you are extra smart add a regression line. Bet you find a strong negative correlation.

I see that someone thinks that Excel is a data analysis tool, as well.

And I did not recommend it for everyone (yet)

I’m sure that the commentariat has risen as one man, gripped with bated breath.

@Lee Malaria is a tropical disease, so comparison would be limited. And, accidentally, malaria is prevalent where malaria medication is not available to everybodyy

Lee, if that’s what you took away from A Distant Mirror then you rather missed Tuchman’s premise, which is that a society that applauds and is run by people with the very least impulse control is destined to get itself dragged into endless wars and be poorly managed.

For those who have not yet read the book (and it really is very good), one of the decisive turning points of this 100 year period was the Battle of Agincourt, where the plucky English archers slaughtered the headstrong French knights. This happened not just because the English archers were good, but because the system of society at the time demanded heedless bravery, such as charging your (very heavy) horse into a swamp (that you knew was there) because that’s what you did if you were a knight.

Basically, if all the people at the top of society got there by beating the crap out of everyone else, you’re not going to get a lot of wise and sensible managers and organizers. You’re going to get a lot of vainglorious brutes with no impulse control.

Now, I’ll admit I haven’t finished A Journal of The Plague Year (little on the nose at the moment). Honestly, I’d rather read the Decameron (even if I don’t have the best translation).

…the system of society at the time demanded heedless bravery, such as charging your (very heavy) horse into a swamp (that you knew was there) because that’s what you did if you were a knight.

I have a copy of Geoffrey Regan’s Book of Military Blunders. The Code of Chivalry did indeed call for bravery, to the degree of recklessness. So many failures mentioned were due to that very attitude, whereas keeping a cooler head and a level of caution would have resulted in victory.

Julian, thank you, Code of Chivalry was the term I was thinking of, but I couldn’t remember the name.

If we wished to expand on why “statues are a very limited way to define who was good for the world” we could discuss how the only statues of women in the West were saints or queens, and those queens (and empresses) were often only seen in effigy.

But then we would have to address the inherent sexism of “statues define who is important”.

the Battle of Agincourt, where the plucky English archers slaughtered the headstrong French knights

To add, the “plucky English archers” were the results of a three-generation breeding program. Planting the yew trees and shaping them to give you the material for making longbow, asking about everybody to bring you back even more yew wood, and having the peasantry trained in archery.
Also, not so plucky. The English bowmen developed asymmetrical arm and shoulder musculature, from all the longbow training.
A few English kings kings were strong believers on long-term planning. “If you want a bowman, gives me his grandfather”, one of them would have said.

That being said, by all accounts, “vainglorious brute” is a perfect description of the French knights.

“Honestly, I’d rather read the Decameron (even if I don’t have the best translation).”

One can only hope that some comparable classics will emerge from the current lockdown situations around the world.

Smut Clyde:
You’re in luck! There’s already a Modern Decameron in the works. It’s currently over on Patreon (but you don’t have to pay to read it) and it’s called Decamreon Project. As of today (25Mar) there are 10 stories up. And it’s very likely there are others as well.

I believe English Yew isnt particularly good for making longbows. We got a lot of the wood from overseas. I’m more of a modern recurve and compound shooter though, so I might be misremembering.

“You don’t see etched on the statues of many great men “He was a careful man”.”

That makes me think of a renowned Civil War general. The inscription on his statue at West Point reads “Killed, with his entire command, in the battle of Little Big Horn, June 25th, 1876”.

Give me a moment, I’ll think of his name. 🙂

From NY Gov. Cuomo speaking about chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine:

“I want to thank the [Food and Drug Administration] for moving very expeditiously to get us this supply – the president ordered the FDA to move and the FDA moved,” Cuomo said. “The president is optimistic about these drugs and we are all optimistic that it could work. I have spoken with a number of health officials and there is a good basis to believe that they could work.

“Some health officials point to Africa, which has a very low infection rate,” he added. “There is a theory that because they are taking this antimalarial drug in Africa, it may actually be one of the reasons why the infection rate is low in Africa. We don’t know, but let’s find out and let’s find out quickly.”

What a surprise! A real test, and a big one. I think he might get a statue.

@ Natalie White – thanks, I hadn’t seen that

Cytokine storm! I have been talking about this without knowing its name. Luckily chloroquine is a known effective treatment for this. A very recent study provides new confirmation:

Cuomo is no dummy, and in spite of his unusual style neither is Trump.

“There is a theory that because they are taking this antimalarial drug in Africa, it may actually be one of the reasons why the infection rate is low in Africa….”

Nothing like starting the day with a cup of blinding idiocy.

I think he might get a statue.

With the inscription “He Didn’t Know That Chloroquine Isn’t Used in Africa,” one might guess.

@ Lee

You write: “A real test, and a big one. I think he might get a statue.” Yep, maybe; but, then again, if doesn’t work, even makes things worse, what then? I hope it works; but I would prefer testing on smaller group to start with.

You write: “Bet you find a strong negative correlation. Notice particularly how few cases India has.”

I guess you don’t understand that correlation doesn’t mean causation. As for few cases in India, first, they implemented much more draconian lockdown that we have. Second, India’s program for malaria is prevention based on such things as bed nets, reducing mosquitos, etc. How many in India actually use chloroquine, haven’t found so far.

But you still ignore the elephant in the room, that is, if you are wrong and chloroquine actually, given its side-effects, increases case-fatality rate, then what? Why don’t you give your full name so if you are right we will know who you are; but, then again, if you are wrong . . .

I wonder what would happen if you recommended chloroquine to someone who managed to get hold of it and, oops, died?

And again you wrote in a comment on using it on a million. You talked about years of doing test tube research. Not what they are doing! You ignore the list of side-effects that I gave, side-effects that get worse the longer it is used. But, I guess I should defer to you, the expert??? I was on a faculty of preventive medicine and have spent my life studying disease, read literally hundreds of books and thousands of articles on various diseases, e.g., malaria, plague, smallpox, etc,

If you are really interested, a good book to start with is: Randall M. Packard (2007) “The Making of a Tropical Disease: A Short History of Malaria. Johns Hopkins University Press. Among other things he discusses India’s programs for controlling malaria.

And I asked again, did you read David Gorski’s article at Science-Based Medicine?

So, now that it is being tested on a large scale, we will see.

@ Natalie White

Thanks. Just found:

“Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) China’s National Health Commission included the use of tocilizumab in guidelines to treat coronavirus (COVID-19) patients. On 11 March 2020 Italian physician Paolo Ascierto reported that tocilizumab appeared to be effective in three severe cases of COVID-19 in Italy] On 14 March 2020 three of the six treated patients in Naples had shown signs of improvement prompting the Italian Pharmacological Agency (AIFA) to expand testing in 5 other hospitals Roche and the WHO are each launching separate trials for its use in severe COVID-19 cases.”

Note that tocilizumab is designed for immunosuppression, so cases of COVID-19 with acute respiratory distress syndrome, that is, overactive immune system appear to benefit from it. Anti-malarial drugs have only been found in some cases to have an immunosuppressant effect. In addition, the risk of side-effects from tocilizumab are lower than from chloroquine.

One thing I should make quite clear, if chloroquine proves to work, GREAT. When human life and well-being are involved, that is my primary concern. I wouldn’t mind being wrong. There is an old saying: WRONG FOR THE RIGHT REASONS VS RIGHT FOR THE WRONG REASONS. I believe my reasoning is sound; but accept that sometimes even the best of reasons can prove wrong. However, if I’m wrong and chloroquine works, which would be, again, GREAT, I fear that in the future the current reasoning, more lack of scientific reasoning, will lead to catastrophic results. And why even go with chloroquine when we have a drug specifically designed for immunosuppressan?

So, Lee may be right for the wrong reasons; but though I find him rather despicable, I hope he is right.

@ Lee

You write: Cytokine storm! I have been talking about this without knowing its name. Luckily chloroquine is a known effective treatment for this. A very recent study provides new confirmation. . . Cuomo is no dummy, and in spite of his unusual style neither is Trump.”

The study was “in vitro.” Do you even know what that means? It means basically in a test tube or petri dish. Not possible for any example of acute respiratory distress syndrome. And, having looked at such studies for 40 years, many drugs that work in vitro, don’t work in the human body or, if they do, can have toxic side-effects.

As for Trump being a dummy, given that he has absolutely NO background in infectious diseases, that he has made it clear that he doesn’t spend time reading, devotes his time to adolescent calling people names on Twitter, and actually got rid of White House Pandemic Preparedness Team, tried to cut funding to CDC, State health departments, etc. and until recently, despite experts, told us COVID-19 either wouldn’t hit U.S. and/or was a mild disease. In addition, his cabinet got rid of most, if not all, of their science advisory councils. Yep, Trump keeps telling us he is an intuitive genius. But, though I don’t claim to be even close to genius level in intelligence, I am well-educated; but if someone were to give me several plans for a bridge over a river, I couldn’t in good conscience choose one. Why? I’ve NEVER had a single course in structural engineering and all my education in social psychology, epidemiology, public health, philosophy of science, and some immunology and microbiology just wouldn’t apply. But then, I’m not an intuitive genius. I’m sure Trump wouldn’t hesitate to choose one of the plans.

In any case, now we know you are a Trump supporter. Says a lot about you.

@ Lee

Once more: Did you read David Gorki’s article at Science-Based Medicine?

Simple question. Why don’t you answer?

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

I have now read it 3 times and had already read it the first time you mentioned it. It’s a good article. Reasonable people will have misgivings with a treatment like this. However as death tolls climb steeply upward many things will be tried and many and maybe all will fail, and that doesn’t seem to me like a good reason not to try. And I liked the quinine derivatives before I heard Trump talking about them. They have anti-viral qualities, have use as febrifuges, and are active against uncontrolled immune response, and they are cheap and relatively safe. All those seem like reasons to think this might be a ‘game-changer’. If Covid-19 doesn’t mutate away there will be plenty of time for very detailed and controlled trials, and probably way better treatments and hopefully a vaccine.

@ Lee


And you ignore that, as David Gorski mentioned, at this very moment there are quite a few trials going on. Given that we have so many cases and that they either survive or die within less than two weeks, results of some of the trials should be available in the not distant future. In the meantime, you don’t seem to give a shit if quinine derivatives might actually cause more deaths.

As I wrote, I would be more than happy to be wrong. I wonder how you would feel if you proved wrong, if more deaths result???

This wouldn’t be the first time that untested treatments actually worsened conditions.

And you haven’t answered if you actually know what an in vitro study is?

My guess is, like so many others who are so sure of themselves, you have little to no understanding of medicine, immunology, virology, etc. Do you know what the Dunning-Kruger Effect is? Basically, the less people know/understand, the more certain they are they are right.

Reasons why not to try everything, one might think might be helpfull.
If there is a big chance it might do more bad than good, because of side-effects.
If it doesn’t work at all, bus still has very nasty side-effects.

In a crisis like this I prefer trusting real experts in virology, infectous diseases and statistics, over trusting some politician, who knows nothing about any of these subjects.

They have anti-viral qualities, have use as febrifuges

The only question is where this was copied and pasted from.

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

Well, A. I don’t expect it to fail, B. these drugs are in common use by perhaps millions of people, and are relatively safe, C. do nothing means accepting a pretty high death rate, D. no other treatments are proven, and almost surely have their own hazards.

So will this drug kill some people who would not have died? Maybe. Does that make me heartless? I don’t think so. I think someone afraid to treat them with one of the more promising possibilities is really heartless. If you think something else that is available is better then press for it. If it doesn’t work, I’ll feel bad, but not because I advocated something stupid, but because it didn’t work. I am quite aware that my opinion doesn’t move the dial on public policy at all. I bring a few ideas here every few years because there are sure to be some contrary and interesting viewpoints.

I know what in vitro studies are. Studies in labs with petri dishes, test tubes, cell cultures, centrifuges and way more that I have no idea about. As contrasted with studies in live people or animals. The lab studies and trials are not what lead me to think this will work.

Dunning-Kruger sounds like a recent advancement on the Peter Principle: paraphrasing “everyone rises to their level of incompetence”.

And it reminds me of a quote I like from Bertrand Russell: “One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

And in spite of Dunning-Kruger it is hard to buy that those filled with doubt and indecision are actually the smarter. I have noticed that experts at one thing tend to think they are experts at everything, so you are to be applauded for not recommending bridge designs.

@ Narad

Ok, you got a response from me.

“They have anti-viral qualities, have use as febrifuges

The only question is where this was copied and pasted from.”

The answer is you copied it from me. And I left febrifuges spelled like that in spite of the spell checker telling me it is wrong. I try to give attribution to quotes. Since nobody here agrees with me, where do you suspect I copied it from? Could be something interesting.

@ Lee

You write: “Well, A. I don’t expect it to fail, B. these drugs are in common use by perhaps millions of people, and are relatively safe, C. do nothing means accepting a pretty high death rate, D. no other treatments are proven, and almost surely have their own hazards.”

Who gives a shit what you expect. People buy lottery tickets and some actually expect to win. We aren’t doing nothing, the current death rate is 2.5%, meaning 97.5% are surviving. Giving them an untested drug could lower the latter. And, we don’t prove things in science, we confirm hypotheses. Proofs belong to logic. And I mentioned a drug has been tested, a drug especially designed to suppress the immune system, a drug with fewer side-effects. And a number of studies are being conducted on chloroquine, results will not be in distant future.

I’m sorry; but you are a moron. First, the fact it is used on millions of people for entirely different problems is why it needs to be tested. Second, people with COVID-19 will be in poor shape, so the risk from serious side-effects will be much greater.

You write: “And in spite of Dunning-Kruger it is hard to buy that those filled with doubt and indecision are actually the smarter.”

It isn’t doubt and indecision; but a life-time of learning how idiots like you rushed some treatment and killed or harmed people. And, as opposed to your ridiculous claim of spending years with test tube studies, there are studies being conducted. So, yep, rather than wait, say, one month, let’s just start using and if it kills people?

What education do you have? What is your job/profession that makes you so certain you are right and I, David Gorski, and others who have devoted lifetimes to learning in order to save lives are wrong?

Well, don’t waste your time responding as I wrote that if I’m wrong I will be overjoyed at lives being saved; but given you don’t expect it to fail, this is a waste of time.

However, give it a month or two. If it doesn’t work or actually kills more, I don’t expect you to post a comment admitting that you were wrong; but if it does work, I will admit that I was wrong for the right reasons and glad that I was wrong.

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

“So, yep, rather than wait, say, one month, let’s just start using and if it kills people?” Well then it kills some people. I am going to do a little praying tonight that it works and you should too, and that it doesn’t kill more than it saves.

Today Gov. Cuomo laid a out scenario of mega-catastrophe in TWO weeks, not a month. There is not time to burn to make people like you be more comfortable giving out powerful medications to the gravely ill. Every person extra who doesn’t need a ventilator, or gets off one early, as a result of this treatment will free up one for someone critically in need. He projected a shortage in the 10s of thousands of ventilators. That is what happened in Italy. Our people are younger on average, but he expects two or three times as many cases as in all of Italy. I really hope he is wrong about that, and I really hope his big gamble on chloroquine pays off.

I am not a doctor, but I have the highest respect for cancer surgeons like Dr. Gorski. You have launched an ad hominem attack against me because you haven’t convinced me, so your lofty education and years of work to save lives do not so much impress me.

This short post by you shows you like to shoot from the hip.

“Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis have nothing to do with viruses, so how to you associate anti-viral activity with them?”

Chloroquine is KNOWN to have anti-viral activity, long known in fact. Look it up – you’re the researcher.

@ Lee

You really are dense. I did look it up, actually currently have downloaded and read 15 papers and reviewed several of my books on malaria. At best, chloroquine has a modest anti-viral activity; but, as I wrote and you continue to ignore, it has quite a few side-effects, including quite serious ones. And, as I wrote, cases with COVID-19 will be in poor shape, the ones at most risk, older and with comorbidities, so the risk of serious adverse reactions much higher. And, as I also wrote, a drug that was intentionally designed to suppress the immune system, a drug with fewer side-effects that chloroquine has been shown to work with COVID-19, Tocilizumab, and another drugs designed to be anti-viral are being looked at,

You write: “I really hope his big gamble on chloroquine pays off.” Yep, that is exactly what it is, a big gamble.

As for your respect for Dr. Gorski, I remind you that his article on Science-Based Medicine said exactly what I’ve been saying, so I really don’t care if I impress a moron like you or not.

As I wrote and you continue to ignore, results of some studies should be available in a few weeks. By then, premature use of any intervention could actually kill more people. Basing decisions on science, experience, and understanding is NOT indecision.

So, as I wrote before, we’ll see. If wrong, I will be delighted; but I know if things get worse because of early use of drug, Trump will NEVER admit he was wrong. He NEVER does. And I’m rather confident you won’t either.

You still didn’t answer a simple question: What is your education/work that makes you think you know more than Dr. Gorski, me, Dr Antonio Fauci, etc. I know you think Fauci is just being overly cautious; but he has 50 years of knowledge and experience. But you know better. Why hide your real full name. Since you know you are right, don’t you want people to recognize your brilliance?

We will see.

Chloroquine is KNOWN to have anti-viral activity, long known in fact.

“Long known” is rather an overstatement unless you’re talking about duck, and most importantly, its value lies mainly in prophylaxis.

Look it up – you’re the researcher.

Not how it works, Peaches.

Today Gov. Cuomo laid a out scenario of mega-catastrophe in TWO weeks, not a month.

Yah, and he also falsely claimed that chloroquine is used in Africa as an antimalarial.

P. falcifarum started to develop resistance decades ago and is basically useless now, something that you have failed to acknowledge. Worse yet is that artemisinin-based therapy is also showing cracks.

And in spite of Dunning-Kruger it is hard to buy that those filled with doubt and indecision are actually the smarter.

I’m with Joel on this. I work(ed) in IT. Rushing into coding something is a good way to fail. There is a reason why I learnt that “Proper Planning, Preparation and Processes Prevent Pain.” The worst project I ever worked on was one that had been hijacked by a high level manager in a political move. Said high level manager was not trained in Project Management and had no cooking clue what she was doing. It was an utter nightmare. I was on it for three months, and by the end of the first month I dreaded going in to the site. After the entire external test team left, the decision was made to scrap eveything and start over.
“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

Quoting Joel:

First, the fact it is used on millions of people for entirely different problems is why it needs to be tested. Second, people with COVID-19 will be in poor shape, so the risk from serious side-effects will be much greater.

I’m getting tired of people clamoring how Chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine have been used for 40-70 years and are safe.
We know how to use them for malaria. And also for lupus and a few other specific indications.

But a viral infection like Covid-19 is something entirely different. Malaria doesn’t affect lungs and heart the way the virus do, for a start.
And the heart is precisely one of the organs touched by CQ/HCQ side-effects.

@ Julian Frost

Rushing into coding something is a good way to fail.

Same could definitively be said for biological studies.
Yes, talking from personal experience.

@ Lee

You wrote:

“Lee MARCH 24, 2020 AT 11:41 AM
@ Natalie White – thanks, I hadn’t seen that
Cytokine storm! I have been talking about this without knowing its name. Luckily chloroquine is a known effective treatment for this. A very recent study provides new confirmation:

Then you wrote:

“Lee MARCH 24, 2020 AT 6:50 PM

I know what in vitro studies are. . . The lab studies and trials are not what lead me to think this will work.”

So, “a very recent study provides new confirmation”. The recent study was an in vitro study. Cells in a petri dish can’t experience a cytokine storm. So, you claim you understand what an in vitro study is; but then it “provides new confirmation” that “chloroquine is a know effective treatment” for cytokine storms.


A cell culture does not have an immune system. This would explain why chloroquine works in vitro, but not in vivo. It does prevent replication of viruses, but it suppresses immune system, too. So net effect is zero.

Speaking of COVID quackery:

There’s a bit of a fooferaw in Kansas over a chiropractor claiming that chiro adjustments can thwart COVID-19 infection. Even the Kansas Chiropractic Association seems embarrassed.

“Amelia Rodrock, of Rodrock Chiropractic, has disseminated information on her business’ Facebook page telling the public to see a chiropractor to increase one’s chances of survival from coronavirus, as well as inviting people to come speak to her even if they are worried they or their family could be getting sick…
This post, shared on March 13 on the Facebook page of Rodrock Chiropractic, states that a person should see a chiropractor to increase their chances of survival from coronavirus. The Kansas Chiropractic Association, however, states that chiropractic adjustments will not prevent infection nor cure a patient with COVID-19.

And in a video posted on March 12, Rodrock cites research published by the Texas Chiropractic Association in 1978 that states that in the state of Iowa, one out of every 15 people who went to a medical doctor during the 1918 Spanish Flu died — “So that’s a pretty high number,” she says.

For people who went to chiropractors, one in 789 people died — “So that is a lot less people,” she says.

On Thursday, the Kansas Chiropractic Association said it had heard of some complaints about chiropractic advertisements, although the group did not mention Rodrock specifically.

“KCA has heard some complaints related to advertising. Chiropractic adjustments will not prevent infection nor cure a patient with COVID-19. Make sure the research you cite is quality information,” the organization put out in an email signed by the president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer and immediate past president.

Rodrock’s Facebook video is creating concern among other health professionals for reasons related to proper virus protocol. In the video, Rodrock states, “If you are concerned that you or your family could be getting sick or could get sick, definitely come have a chat with me. Come see me in my office. Let’s talk about what chiropractic care could do for you and your family to keep you healthy.”

Neuhofel said that at his practice, they are greatly trying to reduce the number of interactions with patients, and are “certainly not bringing people in for wellness visits.””

Hi everyone, I’m wondering if you have heard of David Icke’s theory that coronavirus doesn’t even exist? I’m sure he’s not the only one saying that. Someone sent his video to me today, and I don’t even know how to reply or explain it in a way that would sound clear.

My husband is doing cancer treatment, and so far three cancer patients at the hospital he is with, have died and a lot of staff have to quarantine, after testing positive for coronavirus. (My husband is not in the extreme high-risk category because he has had a few months to recover from his last stem-cell transplant, but I really feel for the patients’ families, and he still has a bit more risk than a person with a fully functioning immune system).

I was wondering how understandable the lab tests are – would it be a simple case of putting a sample under a microscope and spotting the virus straight away?

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