Volume 76, no. 10 October 2020
The worldwide depression and chaos from the response to COVID-19 might be just a dress rehearsal for the global totalitarian technocracy so long envisioned. The “climate crisis” wasn’t generating enough fear to motivate people to change their behavior drastically. It is also easier to persuade people that they could transmit a deadly disease than that they could change the climate.
It is also a dress rehearsal for a government takeover of medicine. State and local governments are denying access to medical services, restricting prescriptions for long-established drugs, forcing medical practices and small businesses into bankruptcy, censoring communication in collusion with government-protected “private” monopolies, constricting movement, and insulating facilities from outside view and criticism.
Under the World Health Organization (WHO) definition, “health” encompasses virtually everything.
The British single payer National Health Service (NHS) is showing how health authorities can be involved in enforcement. As reported by the Daily Mail on Sep 28 (tinyurl.com/yyyfw3kx), NHS Test and Trace service will let people know when they and members of their household must self quarantine for 10–14 days. Police can then spot check or investigate claims by third parties to find rule flouters, who could be fined up to £10,000.
People are supposed to download the NHS cell phone app and have been denied a meal for not having it. All businesses may be required to deny admittance to persons who do not scan their QR code and prove they are uninfected. The app relies on Bluetooth to determine if someone has been within two meters of an infectious person for 15 minutes, but other Bluetooth devices can interfere with the signal, generating a false positive. A code is needed to register a completed test, but it is only given if the test returns as positive. Among other fiascos, the app doesn’t work on older smartphones. The rules come as 5,693 people tested positive for coronavirus in the entire UK in one day, with 17 deaths (ibid.)
Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said it is “fantastic” that 10 million compliant people downloaded the app in just three days—but some pushback is beginning (ibid.)
The British armed forces will roll out vaccines, and a COVID vaccination certificate will be required for travel, according to a speech by MP Tobias Ellwood (tinyurl.com/yxwaspho). These measures are being planned even though since March only 1 in 1,600 Brits has died from or with COVID-19; the “second wave” is barely a ripple; and 1,600 Brits die of “normal” things every single day (https://tinyurl.com/y46pvvat).
Draconian restrictions are proliferating internationally. Who is in charge? Is a WHO declaration of a “pandemic”—any widely spreading disease—a sufficient trigger?
Some say that if there is a full second lockdown in Britain, “all hell will break loose.” But Canadian broadcaster Ezra Levant, founder of Rebel News, writes: “I doubt it. It will be ‘save the NHS,’ bang your pots and pans for front line workers, and stiff upper lip. Britain is obedient now; the citizens have been conditioned. And the police will be brutal.” And in the U.S.?
According to a Washington Post survey, 70–80% of respondents support most government policies, including mask requirements and shutting down businesses. About 40% support using cell-phone tracking data (https://tinyurl.com/y55gloan).
There was some social-media uproar, but no nationwide street protests when a mother was tased, handcuffed, and arrested for refusing to wear a mask in the mostly deserted stands while watching her son’s football game. Nearly 30 residents stood outside the police department holding signs with phrases such as “you’re the best cop, Smitty” (https://tinyurl.com/y6an4yhb).
Mitigation Measures or Submission Rituals?
In the new ideology of “lockdownism,” human beings are regarded as “sacks of deadly pathogens.” Anyone can be a superspreader—recognizable by noncompliance. This year has seen the “most intrusive, comprehensive, and near-global controls of human beings and their movements in recorded history.” Yet, writes Jeffrey Tucker, “what remains missing is the empirical evidence, from anywhere in the world, that this shocking…regime had any effect on controlling much less stopping the virus.”
Anthony Fauci, in a “lockdown manifesto,” seems to call for an indefinite continuation of a “one-dimensional world” focused solely on disease avoidance. This is “looking less like a gigantic error and more like the unfolding of a fanatical political ideology and policy experiment that attacks core postulates of civilization” (https://tinyurl.com/yyem2r5y).
In an extensively referenced open letter to Belgian health authorities, physicians write that “there is no medical justification for any emergency policy anymore…. We call for an end to all measures and ask for an immediate restoration of…all our civil liberties.” Also, “we deplore the role of the WHO…, which has called for the infodemic (i.e. all divergent opinions…) to be silenced” (https://tinyurl.com/y279f9yt).
A report by Dr. Mike Yeadon, former chief science officer for Pfizer, who said “the pandemic is over” (tinyurl.com/yywrotsr) was removed from YouTube, as was Dr. Ron Paul’s program that referenced it. The explanation: “YouTube does not allow content that explicitly disputes the efficacy of the World Health Organization” (https://tinyurl.com/y3rlyo4o).
Who are our rulers?
From the Archives
“The atypical pneumonia which has come to be designated virus pneumonia seems to be refractory to medical treatment,” writes Albert Oppenheimer (“Roentgen Treatment of ‘Virus’ Pneumonia,” Am J Roentgenol Radium Ther 1948;49:635-638).
He found that “Roentgen therapy with small doses of between 35 and 90r resulted in clinical cure within a few days in 45 out of 56 cases of virus pneumonia.”
COVID Experimental Therapy
Thousands of researchers worldwide are investigating existing drugs as potential therapies for COVID-19. UCSF molecular biologist Nevan Krogan notes: “The virus can’t live by itself, right? It needs our genes and proteins in order to live and to replicate.” Drugs that block those interactions “don’t target the virus, but us, the host” (Science 4/2/20, tinyurl.com/vlwcry2).
Blocking viral entry in nasal mucosa: A group headed by Florida cardiologist Eric Harrison, who was interviewed by @drbeen_medical (tinyurl.com/yxqynyxl), is using cocktails of over-the-counter remedies, some of which inhibit proteases used to process the coronavirus spike protein: curcumin, ursolic acid, luteolin, famotidine, and bromhexine. The last (tinyurl.com/y4eaefon), an expectorant widely available OTC except in English-speaking countries, can be purchased for personal use by Americans with a prescription, according to a pharmacist at 123apotek.no, who says bromhexine is extensively used in Norway. [COVID deaths per million are 51 in Norway vs. 647 in the U.S.] A proposed large-scale trial has been blocked for months by bureaucratic red tape; harrisoncovid19researchgroup.com is seeking participants in a registry of patients using their protocol.
Chlorine dioxide: In water purification trials, ClO2 was unexpectedly found to be possibly effective in treating malaria. It might also help restore the sensitivity of the malaria parasite to quinolines such as CQ (tinyurl.com/5vtbpqv). In vitro it blocks attachment and replication of a virus closely related to SARS (https://tinyurl.com/yxqn9yhs). A clinical trial is underway (https://tinyurl.com/yaobxx79).
Ivermectin: One reason African cases of COVID-19 are below projections may the widespread use of ivermectin against parasitic diseases. Its inventors received the Nobel Prize in 2015, and like HCQ it is on WHO’s List of Essential Medicines. Of 54 trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 listed on clinicaltrials.gov, only three are in the U.S. (https://tinyurl.com/y3nrv8tf)—perhaps because a course of treatment costs only $10–$20.
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ): The number of trials summarized on c19study.com has reached 126. The median effectiveness of early treatment is 64%, and late treatment 26%.
“The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others.”
ACTION OF THE MONTH
To help us plan our 2021 meeting, share your thoughts on “What do you know now that you would like to tell your medical student self?” anonymously at bit.ly/tellyourmedstudentself.
AAPS 2020 Annual Meeting
Held by Zoom because San Antonio government prohibited gatherings of more than 10 persons, the general assembly unanimously passed Resolution 01-2020: Limits and Constraints on Emergency Powers (https://tinyurl.com/yxbhntz6).
Officers and directors elected for 2020/2021 are:
President-elect: Jenny Powell, M.D., Osage Beach, MO
Secretary: Lawrence Huntoon, M.D., Ph.D., Lake View, NY
Treasurer: Tamzin Rosenwasser, M.D., Venice, FL
Directors: Jane L. Hughes, M.D., San Antonio, TX; Sheila D. Page, D.O., Aledo, TX; Tracy Ragland, M.D., Crestwood, KY; and Craig Wax, D.O., Mullica Hill, NJ.
Paul Martin Kempen, M.D., Ph.D., of Weirton, WV, assumed the office of president.
Videos of presentations are available at tinyurl.com/y68cao39.
Webinars with CME credits, many with speakers invited to the planned San Antonio meeting, are held about twice monthly at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday evenings. See “Upcoming Events” in right sidebar of aapsonline.org. Small group discussions occur on alternate Thursdays. If interested in participating, please submit the form at https://aaps.wufoo.com/forms/qzfxirn1n0x3qr/.
What Is a “Case”?
At our meeting and in her president’s page in the fall issue of our journal, Dr. Kris Held explains how COVID-19 numbers have been greatly inflated by defining “case” to mean a positive PCR test or possibly just contact with a test-positive person (jpands.org/vol25no3/held.pdf). Additionally, Dr. Mike Yeadon (see p 1) states that “half or even ‘almost all’ of tests for COVID are false positives.” These “inherently unreliable COVID tests are being used to manufacture a ‘second wave.’”
The Swedish government discovered 3,700 false COVID positives from test kits made by China’s BGI Genomics and approved in March by the FDA for use in the U.S.
The UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) reveals that an additional 75,000 people could die from non-COVID causes as a result of increased lockdown orders (https://tinyurl.com/y29brnxw).
The UN estimates that 130 million more people will starve because of economic shutdowns (tinyurl.com/yylonc4j).
The lockdowns caused a bigger loss of U.S. GDP (31% at an annual rate) in Q2 than during the very worst quarter of the Great Depression in 1931-1932 (https://tinyurl.com/y4gds68t).
Nov 7, 2020 11am to 3pm Eastern. Board of Directors meeting – email [email protected] for details.
Sep 29-Oct 2, 2021. 78th Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA
Courts Deny Relief in HCQ Cases
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected an emergency motion in our lawsuit that seeks to force the FDA to release the strategic stockpile of HCQ. The Court held that AAPS and Plaintiff physician John Doe lacked standing to sue. Also, it writes that Defendants “cannot be held responsible for the allegedly threatening regulatory environment surrounding [HCQ] use.”
A Kansas court denied a motion for a Temporary Restraining Order in a case brought by pro-se plaintiff Peter Mario Goico, who alleged that FDA was effectively holding him and his elderly father hostage by not authorizing prophylactic use of HCQ, thereby depriving them of their First Amendment rights to attend religious services and a political protest (tinyurl.com/y8yfl9f3).
Crimes against Humanity?
To investigate the global response to COVID-19, more than 500 German physicians and scientists have formed an organization called the “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee,” or Außerparlamentarischer Corona Untersuchungsausschuss (ACU2020.org). ACU has concluded that the freedom-limiting measures imposed globally are wildly excessive when compared with the infection rate of the pandemic. (https://tinyurl.com/yxpxogx7). There was no open discussion, and no consideration of the consequences (https://tinyurl.com/y6pgpn9w).
Attorney Reiner Füllmich (tinyurl.com/yy3p83ez) calls the “corona crisis” the “corona scandal,” “the biggest tort case ever,” and a “crime against humanity.” He poses three questions:
(1) Is there a corona pandemic—or is there only a PCR test pandemic? Does the test mean an infection is present—or possibly nothing at all?
(2) Do the so-called anti-corona measures protect people, or simply cause panic that will enable the pharmaceutical and tech industries to generate huge profits from testing, vaccines, and harvesting our genetic fingerprints?
(3) Was the German government massively lobbied by the alleged chief protagonists—virologist Christian Drosten, Lothar Wieler of the German equivalent of the CDC, and Tedros of WHO—to make Germany the role model for compliance?
Füllmich states that the cost of the panic includes children traumatized en masse, more than half a million German businesses bankrupted, tax revenues flattened, social welfare budgets depleted, and the possible replacement of constitutional government with totalitarian fascism. He states that a huge class action suit will be filed to claim compensatory damages. But who will pay them?
Flashback: a False Epidemic
In 2006, an article by Gina Kolata (NY Times, 1/22/07, tinyurl.com/yyu4j75e) told of a whooping cough epidemic that ripped through Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center like wildfire. Within weeks more than 1,000 staff were furloughed and quarantined. Decisions were based on a PCR test, which found 142 positives. However, not a single case of whooping cough was confirmed with the definitive test, growing Bordetella pertussis in the laboratory. Instead, it appears that workers were probably afflicted with ordinary respiratory diseases like the common cold. The lesson was that every laboratory test has false positives.
This statement should hardly be controversial, but in the case of COVID “it has been entirely rejected by governments and the medical establishment,” writes software developer Mike Hearn (David Stockman’s Contra Corner, https://tinyurl.com/y6y9437a).
In 2006, sanity was able to reassert itself because there was a slower but reliable test, “allowing the big reveal that the error rate on the PCR was 100%.” But with COVID, “the PCR test has itself become the ground truth.” In 2006, the accurate test saved medical experts from “believing they were fighting an invisible undefeatable enemy that they saw signs of everywhere even though it wasn’t real. And the longer it went on for, and the more disruptive their actions became, the harder it’d have become to accept the truth—that they’d shut down the hospital and endangered patients for nothing.”
Hearn is not arguing that COVID-19 does not exist. There have been unusual breathing difficulties and spikes in excess mortality in many countries (interestingly, not in Germany despite 200,000 “cases”). But there is little information on false positive rates, and even at low rates, a massive scale of testing of low-prevalence populations “would cause a massive never ending pseudo-epidemic.” (See follow-up at tinyurl.com/yyodyxgh).
Hearn concludes that under current definitions, COVID-19 will never end even if the virus disappears completely. The system is locked into feedback loops. The health system is run by people who suffer no consequences from policy over-reactions, and who don’t want to be accused of helping capitalists.
Tip of the Month: According to the Medicare Advantage Payment Guide for Out of Network Payments, “Coordinated care plans, such as HMOs and PPOs, and PACE plans are generally required to reimburse non-contracting providers [who are enrolled in Medicare, i.e. not opted out] at least the original Medicare rate for Medicare covered services. PFFS [private fee for service] plans are permitted to establish their own fee-schedules and balance-billing rules, which, in some cases, differ from original Medicare payment rates and balance-billing rules. Although a non-network PFFS plan must reimburse all providers at least the original Medicare payment rate, a provider treating an enrollee of a PFFS plan will need to carefully examine the fee-schedule and balance billing rules of a PFFS plan to decide if the terms and conditions of participation warrant a decision to treat and be ‘deemed’ a contracting provider” (tinyurl.com/y6t4uk96).
It appears that UHC should be required to pay at least the Medicare amount. However, “If you treat these [MA PFFS] patients and submit bills for their services, you are considered a ‘deemed provider’ and automatically become part of the network while treating that patient. That makes you subject to all fee restrictions and appeals processes associated with this plan.” Also, “Compared to other MA plans, PFFS plans operate under a different set of rules and requirements. When an enrollee visits your clinic, it is up to your billing staff to educate themselves on the plan’s terms and conditions of payment, which in many cases may be different than those under traditional Medicare. ALL of this research and verification must be done prior to rendering treatment to the patient. REMEMBER, the terms and conditions may include different documentation requirements and/or cost sharing requirements” (https://tinyurl.com/y3dnd5gv).
Apparently, this means treat at your own risk (see p 4), unless you have opted out of Medicare and can privately contract with the patient.
Arbitrary Imprisonment. A mother in Amherst was told that her son was exposed to someone in school who tested positive for COVID-19 and that he has to quarantine for 14 days. “He can’t leave our property. He’s not supposed to leave his room…. It’s a version of prison for a 10-year-old boy” (Buffalo News 9/15/20, https://tinyurl.com/y6cqhayw). The mother was sure that her son could not have met the threshold of being within 6 ft of an infected person for more than 10 minutes. However, the Erie County Health Department told her that the children had to quarantine because they were in a classroom for more than 60 minutes, even though they were more than 6 feet apart, with masks and plastic barriers.
There is such a fervor on the part of the state to lock people up in their own homes that they are simply making up new rules as they go along. Nobody, not even school officials, can know the rules ahead of time. Contact tracers can use criteria other than the state’s guidelines to determine who should be quarantined.
Lawrence R. Huntoon, M.D., Ph.D., Lake View, NY
De Facto Restrictions. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn may say that the FDA places no restrictions on the prescription of HCQ for COVID-19, but 36 states still do, and these have a chilling effect on doctors, who may face extremely expensive legal costs in defending themselves against a medical board investigation. Most of those who are prescribing HCQ off label are independent physicians who are not constrained by employment or managed-care contracts to follow approved protocols.
Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D., Tucson, AZ
Evidence-Based Medicine. While medical authorities may demand randomized controlled trials for home treatment of COVID-19, only 1 in 10 medical treatments are backed by high-quality evidence (https://tinyurl.com/y5afhf5d), according to Jeremy Howick, a member of the GRADE working group for assessing the quality of research. Using the same system, 37% had moderate, 31% had low, and 22% had very low-quality evidence.
John Dale Dunn, M.D., J.D., Brownwood, TX
Online Censors. Under communist regimes, the Security Police paid informers and snitches, who were known and despised even by their handlers. Today’s “moderators” are anonymous persons who may lurk in ghost Facebook “friends” you never accepted. Many companies hire them at $16/hr. They monitor and can remove, block, de-monetize, or shadow ban your posts.
Ileana Johnson Paugh, Ed., https://tinyurl.com/yxgua9of
“Surprise” Rates. A solo physician reported receiving a consult request for a patient with Medicare UHC. A computer eligibility check showed that the patient could be seen out of network. The patient had no copay OR share of cost—i.e. the patient is “completely protected,” and the doctor could be punished for billing the patient. The doctor is supposedly contracted with UHC for non-Medicare patients. The physician support line could not tell the doctor the reimbursement rate, or how to find it out.
“I just received an EOB for another patient last month,” the doctor told me. “It also said I was being reimbursed as a non-par provider. Every CPT code was reimbursed as $0. The explanation said the code (99205) was not eligible for reimbursement. Not Medi-Cal, not Medicare rate, but zero. I can’t wait for single payer. Then I will get an EOB from one payer saying zero and no recourse. After 3 months, I can sell my office, close my practice, maybe get hired by a giant HMO at the same pay as a newly graduated resident, and work seeing as many patients as the appointment software allows.” (See Tip of the Month.)
Marilyn Singleton, M.D., J.D., Redondo Beach, CA
Citizens Deprived of Treatment. As a 72-year-old citizen, I am concerned about my inability to receive early treatment if I get COVID-19. FDA Commissioner Hahn and CDC Director Redfield should be held personally liable for wrongful deaths and weeks of unnecessary pain and suffering owing to their failure to meet their fiduciary responsibilities. Also politicians who have refused to ask FDA and CDC to release HCQ for early treatment.
Trials have been staged to fail; official proclamations of “not recommended for use” have been cited to restrict prescribing; evidence of benefit in many studies has not been considered; faulty reasoning about “potential side effects” is posted by CDC while drugs known to be potentially fatal are approved—all for personal or political benefit, not for the good of the citizen.
Good evidence for ivermectin is also being ignored.
Our local news announces that we have reached 1 million deaths due to COVID worldwide—yet no outcry to let my doctor prescribe treatment. Are they ok with “be sick until you die”?
We may not have reached “herd immunity,” but we certainly have a herd mentality.
Gerold Martin, Lawrenceville, GA
Evidence. Should we save lives, or sacrifice them on the altar of (pseudo-)science? Require pristine studies instead of “muddling through”? Or only for inexpensive out-of-patent agents? Promoting vaccines and new antivirals by blocking old methods and vilifying their advocates reeks of corruption and abuse of power.
Kenneth Liegner, M.D., Pawling, NY