Chloroquine, Covid 19, Fact Checkers, Pharmaceutical Companies, Vaccines and Lives Lost - Part 1
Chloroquine, in it's various phosphate, sulfate and hydroxychloroquine forms, has emerged as potentially the best molecule for the possible preventative treatment of COVID 19 syndrome. With reasons for further research emerging as early as February 4th, it took the World Health Organisation (WHO) seven weeks to announce global SOLIDARITY trials. The WHO said trials won't be double blind studies because of the need to balance scientific rigour against speed. This is supposedly a global emergency after all.
Odd then that claims of a lack of scientific double blind legitimacy has been the stick some have used to beat scientists, around the world, who have recognised the need for some urgency with chloroquine research. Releasing evidence more or less as soon as it was verified, their data on the possible efficacy of chloroquine has been gathering dust for nearly two months.
Following Donald Trump's advocacy of hydroxychloroquine, many were quick to claim the research underpinning his claim was virtually meaningless. On the March 21st the BBC reported the opinion of their health correspondent James Gallagher who said:
_"Chloroquine seems to block the coronavirus in lab studies. There's some anecdotal evidence from doctors saying it has appeared to help." _
This was fake news disinformation from the BBC. While chloroquine does block coronavirus in laboratory studies, completed clinical trials, published scientific results, clinical records of successful treatment and the opinions of some of the world's leading scientists are not anecdotes.
However the BBC were far from alone in deceiving the public about the scientific and clinical evidence. Speaking on March 20th Dr. Anthony Fauci, from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and a board member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Leadership Council, also told his nation the chloroquine evidence was 'anecdotal.' Why were these so called experts so out of touch?
SARS-CoV-2 (SC2), and the resultant syndrome COVID-19, has supposedly forced governments across the world to "lock down" their economies and societies. However, the battle over chloroquine, specifically hydroxychloroquine, raises the extremely distasteful possibility the response has not been universally focused upon reducing mortality.
On March 25th the UK government finally announced they would conduct hydroxychloroquine clinical trials, many weeks after initial reason to do so were published. Over this article and the next, we are going to look at the bizarre reluctance to act on the available scientific evidence. Why have some sections of the establishment been opposed to trialling a possible inexpensive, commonly available treatment to COVID 19?
Chloroquine Reasons For Hope
Chloroquine has been noted for its potentials to treat coronavirus and the more dangerous SARS and MERS strains for many years. In 2006, medical journals like the Lancet were already speaking of this possibility. A number of studies had established its effect on SARS-CoV cells in the laboratory. As this pandemic emerged, it was a logical candidate for trials based upon the existing scientific evidence. To automatically assume that SARS-CoV-2 (SC2) would respond differently from previous strains doesn't appear to make a lot of sense. As the Lancet noted in 2006:
"Our hypothesis that chloroquine might inhibit replication of the SARS coronavirus has been confirmed in two independent in-vitro studies....experiments indicated that chloroquine affected an early stage of SARS coronavirus replication.....Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported potent anti-SARS coronavirus effects of chloroquine in vitro.....chloroquine might represent a valuable therapeutic option if SARS re-emerges."
With regard to SC2, there has long been sufficient scientific evidence to warrant widespread clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine, probably in combination with azithromycin. These could have been repurposing or “repositioning” trials to more thoroughly examine treatment efficacy and dosage guidelines. Perhaps chloroquine is not suitable for the treatment of COVID 19? Other small studies suggests little effect. Finding out is precisely the reason for more extensive trials.
To date, trials have been relatively small scale and the need to expand them has been a pressing issue for nearly two months. Rapid trials, based upon preliminary findings, and the urgent use of a medication that could have saved lives, was possible. Sadly, that opportunity is now lost. Apparent resistance to trials, in the face of mounting fatalities, made neither medical nor moral sense.
Given the widely reported loss of life, the global panic, social devastation, medical martial law and incalculable economic pain and job losses, caused by government responses to COVID 19, it is staggering that initial successful trials were virtually ignored. Some of those who claimed they were fighting the "war" on COVID 19, most notably in the West, were incredibly slow to react. Even strongly opposed in some cases.
Worse still, some influential bodies have not only rejected trialling chloroquine they have actively sought to undermine legitimate scientific and medical research. So called fact checkers were apparently tasked with rubbishing renowned global experts and seemed to mislead the public about research results. Leading officials peddled disinformation about the prevailing scientific evidence, and powerful research facilities have focused solely on producing a future vaccine rather than examine the potential for an effective preventative treatment which may have saved lives and reduced the spread of the SC2 virus.
Reasons to Trial Chloroquine (Hydroxychloroquine)
As early as 4th February Chinese researchers were reporting promising findings on the potential of two drugs for the prevention and treatment of COVID 19. Remdesivir and chlororquine showed encouraging results in laboratory tests. Urging global clinical trials, researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology stated:
"Our findings reveal that remdesivir and chloroquine are highly effective in the control of 2019-nCoV infection in vitro. Since these compounds have been used in human patients with a safety track record and shown to be effective against various ailments, we suggest that they should be assessed in human patients suffering from the novel coronavirus disease."
You would imagine this would have spurred the global scientific and medical community to start trials immediately, but it didn't. By February 19th only Chinese researchers from Qingdao University had published any clinical trial results. They provided the references to the controlled clinical trial data sets, making them available to the global scientific community. Singling out chloroquine, they reported:
_"Results from more than 100 patients have demonstrated that chloroquine phosphate is superior to the control treatment in inhibiting the exacerbation of pneumonia, improving lung imaging findings, promoting a virus negative conversion, and shortening the disease course." _
Noting the Chinese results, world renowned physician and microbiologist Professor Dider Raoult M.D, Ph.D stated his confidence in the Chinese clinical trials in an article published on 24th February 2020. Prof. Raoult is not easily dismissed. He is one of the world's most authoritative microbiologists, a prolific researcher and peer reviewed publisher. Having been an influential voice in academic journals for more than 20 years, he is one of the world's most cited scientists.
Both China and South Korea immediately incorporated chloroquine into their COVID 19 treatment protocols. China, with a population of approximately 1.4 billion, has suffered just over 3,300 deaths and new native infections have all but stopped, with the small number of recent cases reportedly imported from overseas. Among nations with relatively high numbers of cases, South Korea has one of the lowest case fatality rates (CFR) and also appears to be reducing infection rates successfully.
When the lab results were first published in China, highlighting the urgent need for extensive trials, the global death toll stood at 492. At the time of writing, eight weeks later, a further 38,548 have reportedly died "with" COVID 19.
It is by no means certain how many of these people died "from" COVID 19, nor is there any evidence these deaths exceed quite normal excess winter mortality. Nonetheless, that is a large number of lives lost while an effective treatment was possibly available, remaining largely untested.
In the interim, it seems only the most independent of researchers have been willing to commit to further clinical trials of chloroquine. Following up on the Chinese trials, Prof. Raoult's team at the Mediterranean Infection Institute (IHU) published results of a small trial on the 13th March. They treated patients diagnosed with COVID 19 with a control group of 16. They reported a 100% successful treatment rate among the 20 treated, finding hyroxychloroquine in combination with the azithromycin most effective. At the same time the team were treating a larger group of patients, without a control group, in the University Hospital. Publishing their results on 24th March they reported the outcome:
_"In 80 in-patients receiving a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin we noted a clinical improvement in all but one 86 year-old patient who died, and one 74 year old patient still in intensive care unit.......Virus cultures from patient respiratory samples were negative in 97.5% patients at Day5. This allowed patients to rapidly be discharged from highly contagious wards with a mean length of stay of five days. We believe other teams should urgently evaluate this cost-effective therapeutic strategy, to both avoid the spread of the disease and treat patients as soon as possible." _
While some scientists and researchers have been shouting about the potential of chloroquine, others have seemingly gone out of their way, not only to ignore the mounting evidence, but to attack anyone advocating further trials. The question is who, among those who claim their only concern is saving lives, have been resistant to trialling chloroquine? How have they fought against the blatantly obvious and why?
COVID 19, Vaccines And Chloroquine
Chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine are generic medications. They are "off patent" meaning anyone can manufacture them. As there is no patent, the large pharmaceutical corporation cannot make significant profits with it. Consequently it is cheap, easy to produce and already widely available. Sanofi have recently offered to provide their labelled version to the French government, though as yet the price isn't clear.
Free market forces are less evident when it comes to the global distribution of vaccines. Over 85% of sales are dominated by four corporate giants. UK based GlaxoSmithKline, the French company Sanofi (and it's U.S. arm Sanofi Pasteur) and, in the U.S, the Merck and Pfizer corporations. Sanofi Pasteur were recently announced as partners of the U.S. government in the search for a coronavirus vaccine.
With annual revenues estimated at $35 billion, and with a six fold market increase over the past two decades, it is no wonder investors are reportedly flocking to the vaccine producers during the global economic shut down. In the wake of a declared global pandemic, the promise of a coronavirus vaccine is an extremely lucrative prospect.
The UK government are among many around the world keen to stress their response has been 'led by the science.' Having banned the parallel export of chloroquine phosphate only 6 days after the Chinese first published clinical trial results, it seems the UK government have known about the potential treatment for some time. Although it took them until the 14th March to ban the export of hydroxychloroquine.
State responses appear to be selectively led by some science while the wrong science is seemingly irrelevant. A recent study in France found, among the four coronaviruses currently circulating the globe, no notable difference in incidence and mortality rates for the SARS-COV-2 (SC2) strain when compared to the other three. This is not the science leading western government's policies.
The reactive measures have been strongly focused upon developing a vaccine to keep us safe at some point in the future. It seems keeping us safe with an expensive future patent vaccine is a science led response, but acting on available science in the meantime, to hopefully stop people dying, by trialling an inexpensive, widely available, off patent drug is not science led.
We might also have some caution about automatically assuming an SC2 vaccine is the answer. In a study conducted by the U.S. Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch they found repeated flu vaccinations gave the vaccinated a 36% elevated risk of contracting coronavirus. Studies show, while vaccines can improve immunity against the target virus, they may also reduce temporary nonspecific immunity to others. Potential vaccine enhancement, which suggests vaccines can increase susceptibility to viral infection, is another reason for caution.
Given that SC2 disproportionately effects older people, the most flu vaccinated group in society, could vaccine interference have left them more vulnerable to SC2 and other viral strains? Who knows? There don't appear to be many studies investigating that possibility.
like the claims made about a potential vaccine, it appears chloroquine could also inhibit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The mechanism would be different, rather than artificially induce herd immunity a successful preventative treatment could reduce the viral load and duration of COVID 19 illness, limiting infectious periods and protecting the most vulnerable.
This could allow the vast majority of the population, for whom COVID 19 is little more than bad cold, to build natural herd immunity. This would negate the pressing need for a vaccine and protect the most vulnerable for decades to come. It also opens up the possibility that quarantine measures need only apply to the most vulnerable, leaving the rest of the productive economy free to get back to work as quickly as possible, hopefully limiting what will otherwise be certain economic devastation.
Yet it seems governments have largely been disinterested in this possibility. They have been so slow to trial chloroquine we might wonder if some would prefer societal "lock down", economic oblivion for the masses and the suggested rising death toll? It does appear to fit a number of well known globalist agendas. This may sound preposterous to some, but in Part 2 we'll look at further evidence prompting unthinkable questions.
Take it easy you hoopy froods.