Interesting Items 09/07

Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information.  Enjoy –

In this issue:

1.  Hydroxy
2.  Testing
3.  CRT
4.  Blowout
5.  LA Church
6.  Biden

1.  Hydroxy.  American Thinker ran three eye opening pieces late last week on negative aspects of the ongoing war against the hydroxychloroquine – azithromycin – zinc (HCQ) cocktail by the FDA and CDC.  If the picture they paint is accurate, Dr Fauci may go down in history as one of the most murderous public servants since Idi Amin or Saddam Hussein.  The first piece asks why the FDA would ban a drug that safely saves the lives of patients?  The article starts with a discussion by Dr Harvey Risch who cites strong evidence including massive international studies that support the use of HCQ on an outpatient basis, with earlier use being much more effective than later use.  With all this positive history, the FDA for some reason concluded that HCQ is unlikely to be effective when treating the Wuhan Flu.  The FDA pulled its Emergency Use Authorization for HCQ in mid-June yet has given that authorization for the use of Remdesivir.  Worse, Big Tech (Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter) are actively censoring and suppressing all positive information on the use of HCQ.  The main difference between HCQ and Remdesivir is in cost.  A successful round of treatment for HCQ is in the neighborhood of $20 – 30 while Remdesivir is over $3,000.  FDA and political opposition to the use of the drug (Trump suggested that it might be helpful and claimed to be taking it in June) led to multiple governors restricting prescribing a medication that has been safely used for 65 years.  These governors (NV, MI) and their various health boards (TX) have forced pharmacies to override doctors prescribing the drug cocktail and refuse to dispense it under threat of losing their license.  The second article asks the question if the FDA revocation of the emergency use authorization for HCQ on June 15 caused the increase in cases that swept the country this summer.  The writer notes that as of August, the US had over 175,000 deaths due to the Wuhan Flu while India had 62,550 deaths in a population over four times larger.  Nigeria, which also has widespread use of HCQ was even better than India.  Deaths per million due to the Wuhan Flu for the three nations are 528 in the US, 46 in India and 5 in Nigeria.  While there are differences in the population breakdown of all three nations (US generally has an older population), it should be embarrassing when the nation with the very best health care apparatus has the very worst death rate in this pandemic.  Fauci’s claimed opposition to the use of HCQ is based on the lack of a double-blind study to support the off-label use of the drug.  According to Fauci, the drug must not be used until that study is complete.  This is not the first time that Fauci has done this, as he also opposed off-label use of Bactrim that seemed to help treat AIDS in 1987.  17,000 died before the study he demanded was complete two years later.  Add that death toll to the 170,000+ dead from Wuhan and Fauci starts wandering dangerously close to being responsible for death tolls racked up by recent brutal dictators, which is a great illustration of the Banality of Evil and how fundamentally dangerous public health bureaucracy can end up being; yet another example of the Road to a Very Hot Place being paved with good intentions.  With this in mind, several questions need to be asked at the state level, and we need to get a real answer to every question from every state.  I would suspect that any attempt to provide anything other than a straight answer is an attempt to weasel around a negative response.  Questions for Alaska follow:

  1. What is the overall availability of hydroxychloroquine in Alaska?
  2. Is there any state or federal restriction / prohibition against its use and dispensing outside a hospital setting (outpatient or prophylactic use)?
  3. If so, what is the source of those restrictions / prohibitions?
  4. Would the State of Alaska consider deregulating hydroxy and making it available over the counter like it is in other nations (India, for example)?

I asked these questions to the State of Alaska’s COVID Response Team and am awaiting a response.  We will see what they have to say.  Early information on successful use of HCQ had it usually clearing the infestation out of the body in 4-5 days.  If that is true, coupling early use of HCQ with any positive test result would get people out of quarantine in a third of the 14-day quarantine we are all demanded to accept these days.  A possible solution would be to simply make the drug available to everyone on an over the counter basis and recommend its prophylactic use.  Couple this with cheap testing and it won’t matter if the vaccines don’t show up for years as we will have stopped the disease in its tracks.  The most damning thing about this entire affair has been the active bureaucratic opposition to off-label use of this drug.  Worse, Big Tech has set itself up as an absolute censor of positive information about its use since at least the last week in July.  This all needs to stop because Americans are dying needlessly.

2.  Testing.  The second piece of this is testing sensitivity.  A fairly extensive article in the NYT last week makes the case that current testing is overly sensitive and not only picks up actual virus samples, but also protein chunks that may or may not have come from the virus.  An overly sensitive test will diagnose huge numbers of people who are carrying insignificant quantities of the virus.  Solution would be to roll out less sensitive tests.  Scott Adams has been on this for a couple weeks, blasting away at the FDA for its failure to approve a cheap, less sensitive testing with near immediate results (0+15 or less).  The reason this works is because a significantly cheaper test ($5 vs $250/test) will be much more widely used than the current tests.  As of last week, it appears the FDA approved the quick testing and is in the process of rolling it out.  The new test is around 97 – 98% accurate and uses a card.  The overly sensitive testing (swab in the sinuses) does not determine viral load, the amount of virus in the body for a positive test.  Rather it is a simple thumbs up or down – virus present or not.  And it is the amount of virus that makes all the difference.  Data analysis from testing in MA, NY and NV found up to 90% of those testing positive did not carry sufficient virus to be a problem.  Normal testing would require the amount of viral genetic material to be 100 – 1,000 times that which is today being used to define a positive test.  An overly sensitive test is the functional equivalent of a home motion detector or burglar alarm that fires off when a bird lands on your back deck.  Setting a lower value for a positive test would necessitate at least two tests 8 – 24 hours apart.  If the numbers increase, you have an active infection.  If they don’t you don’t. 

3.  CRT.  Sadly, CRT doesn’t mean cathode ray tube anymore.  Rather, it refers to Critical Race Theory.  Apparently, President Trump was notified of the ongoing disaster of critical race theory training at Sandia and other federal agencies and took near immediate action.  OMB Director Russell Vought issued a memo ordering an immediate shutdown of this sort of training government wide.  The memo called the training “… divisive, anti-American propaganda.”  This sort of training was brought into the government and corporate world starting with the latter stages of the Bush 43 administration and really slammed into place during the O’Bama – Biden administration.  It is also showing up in the public schools as the 1619 Project.  It looks like the Trump administration is going to start going after the public schools who are known to be using this sort of propaganda in the classrooms.  Cali and NY are expected to be first up to bat.  It will be a while before it is eradicated from state and local governments and the corporate world, but this is a great step in the right direction.

4.  Blowout.  It was the haircut heard around the world, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ended up getting the most famous hairdo and blowout this year.  Pelosi was in SF and called a closed beauty salon to schedule a hairdo.  This particular salon has its stylists rent chairs in the establishment.  Problem is that state and local governments have ordered these salons closed, financially crushing them as the days and weeks click by.  But the most powerful woman in the US wanted a hairdo and she got it.  An infuriated shop owner somehow made the security video of Pelosi’s visit available to Fox News which ran with the story.  She had no mask on during the visit, after spending most of the last 5 months bashing Trump and Republicans for their opposition to masking.  It was a real Marie Antionette “let them eat cake” moment.  Knowing she was in deep political trouble; she held a press availability the following day claiming she had been set up by the shop owner.  For her part, the shop owner is under assault, receiving no small number of hate calls, death threats, and outrage from local democrats, none of whom are familiar with the notion of everyone playing by the same rules.  Protesters gathered in front of Pelosi’s home in SF and hung hair dryers and other hair care tools in a tree outside her residence.  Like the House Bank scandal of 1993 – 1994 where democrat members were kiting checks, this one is real easy to figure out.  It is yet another example of democrats following the same rules they demand the rest of us follow.  Will this be enough to flip the House?  Unknown.  But it won’t hurt.

5.  LA Church.  The war between LA and the Grace Community Church continued last week when LA County summarily evicted the church from a parcel of land they had been renting for a parking lot since 1975.  The eviction was in retaliation for the city and county of LA losing multiple court cases with the church over its refusal to cancel in-person church services.  The most recent loss was Aug 25, when a judge refused a county request for a temporary restraining order on its continued church services.  The church leased large portions of its parking lot from the county.  The county’s public works department for unspecified reasons gave the church until Oct 1 to vacate the parking lot.  Anything left will be seized at county property.  The Wuhan Flu rules and restrictions are not about anything other than compliance and obeisance.  And it is the churches, hairdressers and gym owners leading the way defending their freedom from the onslaught.

6.  Biden.  As we are into the last two months of the presidential campaign, a couple things caught my eye.  One is that polling mostly stopped following the end of the Republican Convention a week ago.  The only reason polling stops is if the democrats are getting their backsides handed to them.  Coincidentally, Biden started coming out of his basement, making two public appearances in as many days.  They weren’t the best performances, but he did see the light of day.  He even went to Kenosha WI the day after Trump visited, spending time with the family of Jacob Blake.  Scott Adams is doing an experiment to tweak the censors at Twitter.  He is now referring to the riots as the Biden Riots to see if he can make the term go viral.  Given his followers and the popularity of the phrase, he is demonstrating that someone (or a lot of someones) at Twitter is spending a lot of time suppressing the phrase, ensuring it does not go viral.  Think of it as an experiment and a demonstration.

More later –

– AG

One thought on “Interesting Items 09/07”

  1. A quibble. A reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction test does not pick up proteins. It picks up short strands of RNA that are close enough to the primer for it to start making DNA out of it. Then they cycle an annealing, separating, polymer synthesis, fluorescent tagging process. It isn’t designed to detect viruses, only the nucleic acid pieces; and can not distinguish between intact and infectious virions, intact but not infectious virions and pieces of RNA left after destruction of either infectious or not infectious virions. So yes, they are *too* sensitive and must be confirmed by a specific test. Both are subject to the fact that the true prevalence varies over time and that both sensitivity and specificity are important.

    About other kinds of tests, there are antibody tests; and these are generally IgG tests. These will not find IgA and for a true first infection, IgM; which is the first antibody type that gets made. IgA gets made and secreted at the mucosa level, think lining of the eyes, nose, throat, airways, gastro-intestinal tract, genital tract and urinary tract. IgG circulates in blood and lymphatic fluid. IgE, the other type, is found in tissues and associated with allergic reactions and/or hypersensitivity reactions.

    Lastly, there are antigen tests. These may be proteins or fragments of proteins, mostly; but now-a-days include nucleic acids or fragments of nucleic acids.

    A definitive method remains isolation/purification and culture. These are not that expensive for fungi or bacteria; but are time consuming. They have the great property of giving you an idea of whether an exposure inoculum exceeded the effective minimum infectious dose. Those smaller doses take longer time to show; so a short time to culture positive indicates a greater probability that this is a true case. For viruses, you will need some kind of filtering and/or ultracentrifugation then using a cell culture. Contamination of the cell culture with other viruses and/or bacteria or fungi ruin the culture; so they are time consuming and labor intensive.

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