Looking for COVID-19 ‘Miracle Drugs’? We Already Have Them. They’re Called Vaccines

Originally published at: Looking for COVID-19 ‘Miracle Drugs’? We Already Have Them. They’re Called Vaccines – Quillette

Bret Weinstein, a former professor of biology at Evergreen State College, is best known for being hounded off his own campus in 2017 by a horde of social-justice zombies who themselves seemed to resemble nothing so much as a lab accident gone wrong. Having become a martyr of hyper-progressive ideological mania, Weinstein resigned, sued, won,…

4 Likes

thanks for confronting this head on. Cynicism is likely generated by a failure to respond to weinstein et al. + they will surely discuss this on their podcast which makes for fun viewing (he will take issue with eg “weinstein and other vaccine sceptics”). I find odysee an interesting and relevant development and wish the article touched on it

edit: regarding blood clots and adverse events: i think more could have been said. stats become merely supportive, worrying is when you have a plausible mechanism of action, we must be a little bayesian about it. Speigelhalter made a gaff in the guardian when reiterating the trope: people dont understsnd risk. in fact the danish regulators were adhering to their processes and the uk was slow in comparison (a difficult type l v type II error problem). also, there is a danish prof who was censored on linkedin for writing about adverse events in children, christine stabell benn, that is not good, she is extremely well informed. thus some more attention needs to be given to the weinstein’s broad concerns

8 Likes

A number of doctors actively engaged in treating Covid19, in the US, India, Argentina, the UK, and elsewhere, have said that Ivermectin is a very successful treatment option. This anti-parasitic drug had already (over the past 10 or 15 years) been found to have ant-viral and anti-inflammatory effects. This is discussed at some length in a recent article :
https://journals.lww.com/americantherapeutics/Fulltext/2021/06000/Review_of_the_Emerging_Evidence_Demonstrating_the.4.aspx

in what seems to be a respected medical journal.

I think Mr. Weinstein has made some extreme claims about Ivermectin—but his claim that it can be an effective treatment at very low cost and might well save thousands of lives seems to me to be very reasonable and worthy of further investigation.

The reaction of many “experts” in the medical-industrial complex to doctors actively treating Covid19 patients who strongly recommend Ivermectin reminds some people, including me, of the reaction of many “expert” doctors in 1847, who ridiculed Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis for suggesting that doctors should wash their hands thoroughly before delivering babies.

20 Likes

aside: is it sexism thst heather heying is not mentioned once in the article. it is all heaped on weinstein

some of what weinstein says (maybe too precisely) is not unreasonable even tho it may sound conspiratorial. Eg novo nordisk stopped manufacturing human insulin around 2007 and moved patients onto their modern insulins that were under patent, human insulin was a cheap and apparently effective alternstive for many pts. it’s ‘good’ business

7 Likes

Countering hyperbole with hyperbole doesn’t win the day either.

Possibly more lethal? Welcome to viral evolution 101. Yes, more contagious but seriously, where are you where people are afraid and hiding? In Florida life is back to normal. I walk through amusement parks with no distancing, no masks, and everyone is having a grand ol’ time. I think the curtain was pulled back and we realized it was mostly smoke and mirrors.

The data keeps coming out and the over estimates keep being challenged. I’m not inclined to go line by line through the rest of the article but enough is enough. I’m not getting the vaccine because I don’t need the vaccine. I got COVID. I didn’t have symptoms. I got over it. Why would I need a vaccine?

15 Likes

Florida covid deaths > 38 000
long covid = ?

3 Likes

They’ll also claim that vaccines make you miscarry (nope), or harm your fertility (no), and curdle your breast milk (sorry).

The first two links are the same, which I think is unintentional (the study does not discuss fertility in the narrower sense of the word).

This, by the way, is the study that seems to have caused the miscarriage scare in the first place. I still think it’s a bad idea to quote it without context (see, e.g., this for a conspiracist PoV, and this for someone who seems to be just as confused as I am). The aggregate numbers (115 lost pregnancies among 827) look perfectly harmless, but ominously, 700 of the 712 successful (live) births have occurred among women who received their 1st dose in their 3rd trimester, which appears to suggest that when given prior to the 3rd trimester, the BioNTech vaccine is an almost surefire abortifacient (only 12 successful pregnancies)!

I’m pretty sure this anomaly is due to the study’s design: Most pregnancies that were in their first two trimesters at the time of vaccination (which started December 14, 2020) were still in progress by the end of the data gathering phase (apparently March 30, 2021), and ended up not counted among the successful pregnancies; early miscarriages, meanwhile, did get recorded and counted. This is one of the cases where no news is good news…

3 Likes

A friend asked me to add a comment here on this topic:

  • That children can die from COVID-19 is a point worth stressing, given the emphasis that Weinstein and other vaccine skeptics have placed on the vaccines’ risks to children. The impression listeners might get from Weinstein’s podcast is that children are at no risk from this disease. This is false. A retrospective cohort study published recently in Nature found that among 12,306 lab-confirmed pediatric COVID-19 patients in the United States, almost 18 percent needed critical-care services, and 4.1 percent required mechanical ventilation.

These numbers seemed outlandish, and they are. The authors misread the Nature study they cited, which states:

  • In the overall cohort, the frequency of hospitalization was 5.5%. Among those who were hospitalized (N = 672), 17.6% required critical care services (N = 118), and 4.1% required mechanical ventilation (N = 38). (emphasis is added)

This means that although it is true that children are at some risk, it was fewer than 1% of the Covid-positive kids requiring critical care services (not “almost 18 percent” as claimed), and 0.2% of the Covid-positive kids needing ventilation, not 4.1 percent. Inflating these risks by a factor of almost 20 isn’t helpful to the discussion.

(Below is more of an aside)

In addition, the statement that “But clearly, COVID-19 is a killer: Last year, it made the top-10 list of causes of pediatric death in the United States” is also not helpful to a scientific discussion, although it might help as an appeal to emotion.

That comment was sourced from one Alabama television station, quoting a doctor who is “with Children’s of Alabama”. I could not verify it - could the authors?

But even if arguendo Covid-19 did crack the top 10, that means some 3 children per million. Compared to 70 or 80 children per million (depending on age group) dying from the top 3 causes. Should Covid-19 being number 10 on such a list even warrant mention (other than as an appeal to emotion)?

19 Likes

What a rant! Such a long article and so time-consuming to write a considered rebuttal. Time I do not have at the moment unfortunately. As someone who can actually understand the science and who has followed the developments closely since the beginning of the pandemic (both out of scientific curiosity and concerns about self-preservation), I find the attacks on the efficacy of Ivermectin very disappointing but totally in line with the history of reporting on the efficacy of any off-patent, repurposed drug against COVID-19. Totally in line too with the “Trusted News Initiative” that has resulted in the suppression of news regarding any topic that competes with rollout of vaccines:

If Quillette is not part of that news/(scientific research results) suppression campaign (and that now seems to be a valid question), then it should allow someone to publish an opposing view.

One important fact that the article does not mention is that, if an effective prophylactic/early treatment for COVID-19 did exist, then this would nullify the Emergency Use Authorisations of the vaccines. This, and the almost incomprehensible levels of indemnified profit being made by Pfizer and the other pharmaceutical companies producing the vaccines, gives them (and the governments that have put all their eggs into the vaccine basket) a huge motivation to suppress discussion of viable alternatives. There is also the matter that, if effective therapeutics do exist but their use has been suppressed, then this has cost hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths. In the face of that, who could admit that they had acted wrongly?! But every day that this suppression campaign continues cost thousands more deaths.

What I find saddest in all of this is what the suppression of information/balanced discussion on the efficacy of repurposed, off-patent drugs has done to science itself. We saw the totally fraudulent Mehra et al paper (with invented data) published in the leading journal, The Lancet, claiming that hydroxychloroquine was ineffective and caused harm, and that led the WHO to change its recommendation on this drug. Then we saw what this Quillette article described as “A high-quality study published in JAMA” showing that Ivermectin is ineffective (in contrast to about 60 other studies showing positive results). But the study, Lopez-Medina et al. is actually surprisingly poorly performed (and so “surprising” that it published in what is meant to be a leading medical journal) and there has been very widespread criticism of it (even in the face of the general news suppression going on). For example this:

But that paper now serves the purpose for which it was intended which is to provide some form of support for the anti-Ivermectin (I would say “anti-science”) interests who need to suppress public interest in this drug. The nearest you can come to the truth on this drug is the excellent meta-analysis published by Bryant et al.

which finds very good evidence for the efficacy of this drug. (Don’t be confused by the statement of the evidence being “moderate certainty” in the paper – this is a description in line with the GRADE system referring to the certainty regarding the extent of the efficacy, not the efficacy itself.) This paper has been through peer-review twice but publication was blocked by the first journal (The Lancet Respiratory Medicine) after acceptance by the reviewers and only the American Journal of Therapeutics has had the courage to publish it (and another earlier meta-analysis) in the face of what must be enormous pressure. In fact, if the publication rate of positive papers on Ivermectin seems to have slowed recently, this is due to the difficulty that the authors of these papers have in finding any journal willing to accept them despite the valid quality of the science. So the Trusted News Initiative and associated interests have now distorted the process of scientific reporting to the ultimate detriment of science (and human lives). It is all very depressing. (And I did not link above to the actual Bryant et al. meta-analysis at Am J Therapeutics because I could no longer find it there!! I hope this is only because it is being transferred from “Published before print” status to published in an edition of the journal. If not, then we have just witnessed this excellent analysis by leading researchers being disappeared. (Another paper “down the memory hole” Quillette?)

The political nature of scientific publication regarding off-patent, repurposed therapeutics is well illustrated by the publication of the disgraceful Roman et al. “meta-analysis” in the last few days, the political purpose of which is to attempt to negate the credibility that is lent to Ivermectin by the Bryant et al. meta-analysis:

This “meta-analysis” has already been severely criticised and the group behind the Bryant et al. meta-analysis has called for its retraction:

In case this sounds to the scientifically naïve as if there is open scientific debate, I can assure you that there is not. Science cannot continue when there is high-level political pressure to see only one outcome.

I will let someone else describe the real evidence on vaccine side-effects. It is addressed to a limited extent in this video by Chris Martenson:

“Informed Consent: The Vaccine Data You Need”

28 Likes

Not the first time I’m hearing this, but is this actually true? The FDA’s No Alternative rule isn’t very clear-cut here, but I’m far from convinced that a prophylactic that has to be taken every day or so can count as an alternative to a vaccine that (probably) needs just 2 doses for several years. (This is not to say I’m anywhere near convinced of ivermectin working as a prophylactic; the studies you cite seem to be regarding it as a potential cure, which is even less in conflict with the vaccines’ EUA.)

Making a profit proves corruption now does it?
Who needs post modernism & cancel culture to destroy faith in the constitution of knowledge when conspiratorial thinking does it so much more efficiently?

3 Likes

I have posted a correction note to the article. Thank you to readers for spotting the error:

An earlier version of this article also stated that among children from a retrospective cohort study “almost 18 percent needed critical-care services, and 4.1 percent required mechanical ventilation.” The article has been amended to reflect that in the study cohort, the hospitalisation frequency was 5.3 percent, with 17.6 percent needing critical care services and 4.1 percent requiring mechanical ventilation. Quillette apologises for the error.

6 Likes

The US legislation looked quite black and white on this issue to me. IMO the reason why the prophylactic use of Ivermectin is not addressed by many opposing articles is because the positive evidence is so overwhelming. Also, vaccines do not act immediately, so use of Ivermectin can act as a transition protective measure while waiting for efficacy after vaccination. There is also evidence that one of Ivermectin’s actions is to bind to the spike protein of the virus that is used in the mRNA and adenovirus-vector vaccines and, since the spike protein appears to have toxicity e.g. through binding to ACE2 receptors, this may actually protect against some side effects of these vaccines.

10 Likes

Did I say “proves”? No, I did not. (This is the sort of argument tactic used by many when they lack a real basis for attack - pretending that the target has made a statement that they did not.) Profit provides motivation in the light of which actions can be understood.

12 Likes

Thanks for pointing this out. Have corrected the article and provided a correction note.

2 Likes

What is the term for the opposite of a miracle? Surely the English language has a pungent term which predates “clusterf***”. We have it now. Humanity trusts MD, immunologists, virologists and epidemiologists to understand our current ill-health problems and recommend the best steps to resolve it.

Yet the vast majority of these people are clueless about the immune system’s need for 50ng/ml circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D, when most people have half of this or less, and quite a few have a tenth.

Instead they promote so-called vaccines which are highly experimental, as if there was no other way. Please see my three comments at:

12 Likes

If people are genuinely interested in this topic (and if you are not, why not?) then one of the best places to find information from well-reputed clinicians actually treating patients and doing studies on repurposed drugs is the website of the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, FLCCC,

And for a more down-to-earth appreciation of how news on these drugs/treatment protocols has been suppressed, see this interview of a leading clinician by journalist Ivory Hecker:

7 Likes

This is the sort of veiled implication used by many when they want to smear reputations sans evidence without consequences….

2 Likes

Now I am getting seriously concerned. The Bryant et al. meta-analysis in American Journal of Threapeutics is still missing - the DOI leads nowhere. Try finding it yourself:

doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000001402

AND, while the Kory et al meta-analysis still exists at Am. J. Therapeutics, searches in Pubmed fail to find it! Try for yourself also. Here is the article below. Try searching Pubmed using author names, the title, or the DOI

https://journals.lww.com/americantherapeutics/Fulltext/2021/06000/Review_of_the_Emerging_Evidence_Demonstrating_the.4.aspx

6 Likes

In my humble opinion, this article is not up to Quillette standards - it is really poor journalism. Where to begin? How about the title itself? If we don’t need anything but “miracle-drug” vaccines to eradicate COVID-19 why is the Biden administration committing over $3 B to fund the development of new antivirals? Then there are the ad hominem attacks on extremely qualified MD’s and PhD’s like Pierre Kory of the FLCCC (a practicing intensivist who testified in the US Senate in November and who has been publishing treatment protocols using Ivermectin for months, based on actual clinical practice results) and Tess Lawrie, a well-respected practitioner of meta-analysis on RCT’s (randomized clinical trials), which is a valid method of determining the impact of treatments on measurable outcomes, in this case deaths. There is no mention of the fact that Lawrie’s meta-analysis of 15 RCT’s was quite recently published in a peer-reviewed journal (American Journal of Therapeutics) and showed an enormously positive impact of Ivermectin, reducing deaths by 62%.

Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection: A Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Trial Sequential Analysis to Inform Clinical Guidelines
From the abstract: Meta-analysis of 15 trials found that ivermectin reduced risk of death compared with no ivermectin (average risk ratio 0.38, 95% confidence interval 0.19-0.73; n = 2438; I2 = 49%; moderate-certainty evidence).
BTW risk-ratio 0.38 means that there was a 62% REDUCTION in deaths, on average in the RCT’s studied. This is conservative for sure.
The question is - do we have EXISTING drugs that are safe and effective to treat COVID-19? The answer appears to be overwhelmingly YES. Then why suppress this information? Perhaps we should follow the money?

31 Likes