Barking up the wrong tree (Vaccines vs Treatments)

                 

Have we been “barking up the wrong tree” for the last 18 months?

 

I would say without a doubt that we have.

Let’s start with a quick “Imagination Exercise”, in two parts.

i) Imagine you have a medication in your bathroom cabinet which you take at the first sign of Covid-19.

Could be a pill, could be a spray, but it’s cheap, and has been used for other purposes in the past, so is known to be well tolerated/not have any serious side effects.

Taking this medication, in the vast majority of cases, prevents Covid-19 progressing into a serious illness.

You might well also use this a prophylactic, take it as a precaution, prior to attending an event where there is a high likelihood of coming into contact with someone who has the virus.

An indoor pop concert perhaps.

ii) Now imagine what this would mean.

It would mean the end of the pandemic, and our lives being able to return to exactly as they were before it all started.

There would be no need for annual, even biannual vaccinations, no need for international travel bans, or even travel restrictions, no need for expensive quarantining in hotels, PCR or lateral flow testing, no more local or national lockdowns.

 

Ever more clearly, “VACCINES ARE NOT OUR WAY OUT”.

Just take a look at Israel, the most vaccinated country in the world, yet currently experiencing the highest number of new cases per capita, of any country in the world:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/latest-on-coronavirus-outbreak/israel-leads-world-in-average-of-new-daily-covid-cases-per-capita-study/2352018

 

I am not “anti-vaxx”.

In the absence of a drug treatment such as the one “imagined” above, vaccines have allowed us a time-limited return to something like normal life in England, over the Summer of 2021.

Very time-limited. 

I have no doubt that this “brief respite” will soon end. 

Summer is not out, yet there is already talk of reintroducing lockdowns, mask mandates, of vaccinating 12 year olds, and of a third jab inside a year for the over 50s.

Nightclubs and sports venues may well soon be compelled to demand to see your Health ID papers (aka “Vaccine Passport”),

– prior to allowing you to enter. 

If you want to travel abroad, it will continue to cost you a fortune in PCR tests, and you will most likely spend your holiday watching the News,

– not knowing for sure what conditions you will face in order to be allowed to return to your home.

Even if you can afford to go abroad, chances are you will decide it’s really not worth the tension and stress involved.

I used the phrase “something like normal life” above. 

At the time of writing (early Sept 2021)

 – 70% of people are still wearing masks in my local supermarket, and international travel is running at around 25% of 2019 levels.

GPs across the UK are still refusing to see patients “face to face”, and there are often delays of several weeks in getting even a telephone consultation.

I would suggest that life for UK residents is a long way from “normal” currently, and is likely to move considerably further away from normal over the coming Autumn / Winter.

 

Despite continual and continuing assurances from our political classes, it’s obvious “VACCINES ARE NOT OUR WAY OUT”,

 …but…

“A CHEAP, HIGHLY EFFECTIVE, EARLY STAGE DRUG TREATMENT, WOULD RETURN OUR LIVES TO NORMAL”

Can anyone really dispute this?  I would suggest not.

 

Yet whenever a drug (or drugs) which might potentially fit the exact profile of the one I describe above, perform extremely well in a trial,

– rather than be excited, optimistic, across the world,

– government ministers and their largely complicit mass media, either show zero interest, or quickly unite to do their very best to “rubbish” the drug(s) in question.

Why?

 

There are two main groups of drugs which can potentially be really useful in the early stages of infection with Covid-19, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory, typically “corticosteroids”.

In very simplified terms, antiviral drugs attack the virus itself, whilst anti-inflammatory ones prevent the virus from causing excessive inflammation, providing additional time for the body’s own immune system to successfully deal with the virus.  

 

New varieties of drugs to treat “late stage” issues are appearing, there is interest in these, and some of them are very promising.

However whilst they represent a major advance in our knowledge, these will never end the pandemic. 

For this to happen, we need to prevent people from becoming so ill they need to be hospitalised, not just reduce the time they spend in hospital.

 

A cheap, effective, well tolerated early stage treatment…. an antiviral drug, or anti-inflammatory/corticosteroid, or both,

– which prevents the virus from spreading throughout the body,

–  or even getting a foothold in the first place,

 – has to be hugely advantageous to vaccinating entire populations, multiple times a year, and/or late stage treatments for hospitalised patients

 

Yet, it appears at least, developing/testing one (or more) of these, has received almost no finance over the last year and a half. 

Worse still, those trials of drugs which are already in use for other illnesses…. and which have been evaluated against Covid-19,

 – are either wilfully ignored, or deliberately sabotaged.

Sabotage is a strong word, but I will go on to explain why I believe it is entirely justified in this instance, a little later in this article.

 

“Vaccines v Early Stage Drug Treatments”

Vaccines

In order to try to avoid health services around the globe being overwhelmed, huge pharmaceutical companies have been developing a host of vaccines, backed by governments and other financial investors.  At enormous cost.

Great.

However,

  – there are already signs that they do not protect anything like so well against Covid-19 as it (inevitably) mutates into new strains, notably the so-called Delta variant, as first appeared in India.

And it now looks as though any immunity created via vaccination, wanes considerably after six months.

https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n2113

 

Using the UK as an example, vaccinating all adults twice a year means around 100 million medications will be required annually

– whereas if there was an effective early stage treatment available, and you only medicate those who actually contract the virus and get ill,

– you would probably be looking at less than a million medications needed each year.

 

“Pursuing the vaccination route”, means having to perform constant research, in countries all over the world, to attempt to keep track on new, mutated variants which could appear in any country, at any time, and which could turn out to be “current vaccine resistant”.

Almost certainly it will continue to involve having to keep rapidly closing off all travel to/from certain countries, and also instantly, and very strictly, “locking down” / mass testing people in large areas of the UK.

Early stage drug treatments will likely be much more generic, ie not need to be constantly “tweaked” as the mRNA vaccines will continue to…

 

Operating the way that we are currently, as a nation, is surely not a sustainable way to continue for any significant period of time.

Focussing entirely on vaccination, mass testing, and “keeping further lockdowns in reserve”.

No country can seriously contemplate this as “a way forward” for years, decades to come.

It’s the ultimate in “tail chasing”.  A never ending game of “catch up”.  

It’s a race you can never win, the best you can ever hope for…

– “not being too far behind”.

 

Unless we abandon international travel near enough completely,

– we can never hope to detect new mutant strains (which may potentially appear anywhere around the world), determine if existing vaccines will protect against them, and if not, close our borders….

 – in time to keep them out of the UK population.

 

If we only have vaccines “in our armoury”, no effective early stage drug treatments,

– travelling abroad will almost certainly in future only be an option for diplomats, and the extremely wealthy.

(“Great Reset”, by accident or design ?)

 

Cheap, highly effective, early stage drug treatments  

Cheap, highly effective, generic, well tolerated, early stage drugs, able to halt Covid-19 in its tracks for most people,

 – are just “a pipe dream”, right?

 

Maybe, maybe not. 

 

In November 2020, the Nuffield Department of Primary Health Care Service, Medical Sciences Division ran this headline:

“Inhaled corticosteroids to be investigated as a possible treatment for Covid-19 in national PRINCIPLE Trial” 

 

Then on the 8th of February 2021, another announcement was, very quietly made:

(although briefly, blink and you would have missed it…)

“Common asthma treatment (budesonide) reduces need for hospitalisation in Covid-19 patients, study suggests” 

https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2021-02-09-common-asthma-treatment-reduces-need-hospitalisation-covid-19-patients-study

 

And not by a small amount…

“Inhaled budesonide reduced the relative risk of requiring urgent care or hospitalisation by 90% in the 28-day study period.”

“Participants allocated the budesonide inhaler also had a quicker resolution of fever, symptoms and fewer persistent symptoms after 28 days”.

 

A 90% reduction in risk of needing urgent care/hospitalisation (!)

Why were the results of this trial not splashed across the front page of every newspaper ?

Why not indeed….

 

The idea of budesonide being a potential highly effective treatment for Covid-19 must be fairly recent? 

No.

Back in July last year (2020), the Lancet was already suggesting corticosteroids could be a useful treatment for Covid-19.

 

So why have incredibly promising, cheap, early stage treatments for Covid-19 been largely ignored, or worse, deliberately “played down”, “rubbished” even?

Q: Why did it take seven months to get to the point where a trial of budesonide was carried out, with spectacularly good results?

A: Because there was, and continues to be, little or no interest in treatments,

– government interest remains solely focussed on vaccines and mass testing.

 

In the same time that it has taken to develop a vaccine “from scratch”, test it, trial it, get it approved by medical regulators, manufactured, distributed, and administered to millions of people, around nine months,

 – drug companies managed to…. arrange a small trial for the pre-existing drug budesonide.

Turned out to be incredibly successful trial, however ANOTHER SEVEN MONTHS LATER,

 – nothing further appears to be happening.  

Has it just been dropped?   Looks like it.

 

But it’s not just budesonide which has shown great promise, there is another drug, Ivermectin.

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210830-us-judge-orders-hospital-to-treat-covid-patient-with-ivermectin

 

Authorities’ response to any drug which shows promise in treating the early stages of Covid-19 infection, preventing it from leading to serious illness, is always the same,

 i) Try to stop the public from acquiring it,

 ii) Repeatedly state that results from trials are not yet available / it’s therefore unsafe

  (despite it having been used without any real issues for many years, for other purposes)

 iii) Attempt to drag any trials out indefinitely, or blatantly “sabotage them”…

  – by only giving the drug(s) in question to people who are already hospitalised / severely ill, and at a point where realistically nothing will ever be able to save them.

 

So there is already quite a long history of “lack of interest” by politicians and media… in cheap, effective, early stage Covid-19 drug treatments.

 

Perhaps the most famous early example was hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin and zinc.

This immunosuppressive and anti-parasitic drug, has been used to treat malaria, lupus and arthritis for a long time. 

As a result we already know for certain that it is extremely safe / well tolerated, when administered to people in low doses.

 

Very successful small scale trials were performed, and appeared to demonstrate that, in conjunction with azithromycin and zinc,

– hydroxychloroquine was extremely effective in preventing Covid-19 progressing and causing serious illness, as long as it was taken in the early stages of infection.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924857920304258

 

None of its proponents have ever really claimed that it is particularly effective in treating “late stage”, seriously ill, hospitalised patients.

Yet the only large scale trials which were set up,

– used hydroxychloroquine on severely ill patients, already in hospital, and involved submitting them to huge doses.

The people in charge of running these trials, once completed, immediately declared the drugs to be either useless, or worse still, “dangerous”.

Try “Googling” them.  You will get results which say things like:

“The antibiotic azithromycin was considered as a potential treatment for COVID-19, but has been found to have no meaningful clinical benefit for patients hospitalised with severe forms of the disease”

 

Why did they only use hydroxychlorquine and azithromycin on late stage, severely ill, hospitalised patients in the large scale trial? 

The smaller trials which found these drugs to be extremely effective in preventing progression on to serious illness, employed only low doses, and exclusively administered them to patients in the early stages of infection.

So why would you set up a much larger trial, giving only very large doses, to already extremely ill people, in very late stages of infection,

(people who were already so ill that they had needed to be hospitalised)

– and then claim that they are “useless/dangerous” when used in these circumstances ?

 

I can only think of one reason. 

Those organising/running them, badly wanted the drugs to be declared “useless”, and rapidly discarded,  

 – and simply hoped that “no one who mattered”, would notice that they had deliberately trialled against “completely the wrong type of patients”

 (“late stage”, not “early stage”… where/when they had been shown to be extremely effective in smaller trials).

 

I would call this “deliberate sabotage”.  I think the term is fair.

 

This is what the FDA in the US said after these, it would appear “very deliberately set up to fail trials” …had duly failed:

“The FDA cautions against the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19”.

The FDA revoked the drugs’ emergency authorization in June after finding these medicines “showed no benefit for decreasing the likelihood of death or speeding recovery.”

“A review of safety issues also finds that the drugs were linked to serious heart rhythm problems, blood and lymph system disorders, kidney injuries and liver problems in hospitalised COVID-19 patients.”

There was never a valid reason to give even small doses to severely ill, “hospitalised COVID-19 patients”,

– never mind the very large ones that were administered in the clearly “deliberately set up to fail” trials. 

By the time patients have been hospitalised, it’s too late to use antiviral drugs. The virus has passed the point where they can hope to stop it progressing.

It has invariably already taken over the whole body by this time. 

The body is, by this stage, being subjected to what is known as “a cytokine storm”.

The patient’s immune system is now “going wild”, and is effectively attacking their own major organs. 

It is this “cytokine storm” which generally leads to the death of the person involved.

 

Hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and zinc had been shown to be highly effective in smaller trials, when small amounts were administered to patients in the early stages of infection.

Yet they deliberately set up the large trials, on very late stage patients, and gave them stupidly huge amounts.

Why?

 

A cynical person might suggest, “because at the time Donald Trump was promoting HCQ, AZM and zinc”, and the consequences of him being proven correct, would simply have been “too much to bear”, for most of the world’s political classes, and mass media,

 – who in the main, rightly or wrongly, largely for reasons which had nothing to with Covid-19, absolutely detested him.

 

The same cynical person might further suggest that “Big Pharma”, the global pharmaceutical companies, had already invested billions into the development of, mostly extremely expensive vaccines, by the middle of 2020, 

 – and, if HCQ, AZM and zinc had been proven to prevent serious illness in almost everyone who took the combination, as soon as they experienced symptoms (as many doctors who have been using these drugs in the United States for a long time now have been claiming),

– or even before developing any symptoms, ie, being used as a “prophylactic”,

 – these global companies would instantly be “out of pocket”, to the tune of many tens of billions.

 

Maybe even hundreds of billions.

 

A large scale trial of HCQ, AZM and zinc, using it as a prophylactic (to prevent disease, prior to symptoms developing), or as an early stage treatment, soon after they have appeared,

– was due to take place in the UK, in June 2020,

– however it then mysteriously, “had the plug pulled on it”… with no sensible reason given.

 

Now that vaccines are clearly not going to return our lives to normal, wouldn’t it be an idea to start properly investigating early stage treatment drugs, which actually might do exactly this? 

Not a chance.

 

HCQ/Azithromycin/zinc, budesonide, and ivermectin,

– three extremely promising, early stage drug treatments, all highly successful in reducing fatality rates significantly in initial trials, 

 – all apparently of zero interest to politicians and Big Pharma 

  (other than to squash/prevent/sabotage any larger trials of them)

 

Conclusion

The UK government, along with almost all others across the globe,

 – continues to “put all its eggs” in the “vaccines and mass testing basket”, and largely ignore any/all potential early stage drug treatments. 

This, despite the fact that a cheap, already-approved-for-another-use, generic, well tolerated drug, which taken in the early stages of Covid-19 infection “stops it in its tracks”,

 – would do exactly the same for the pandemic, stop it in its tracks, “end it”,

 – not just in the UK, but across the globe.

 

Why might the UK government, in fairness, similarly to almost all the others across the world, behave in this bizarre way?

 

“Theories abound” :

 . it’s “in cahoots” with enormous pharmaceutical companies, to the point where it is effectively being controlled by them

. it sees the pandemic as an opportunity to massively increase the state’s monitoring and control of its citizens, via implementation of such things as so-called “Vaccine Passport” (Health Id cards)

. ministers are simply “drunk on their new powers”, and consequently have no intention of giving them up, any time soon  

 

Perhaps there is another explanation, maybe it’s “none of the above”, or maybe it’s “all of the above”, to differing degrees.

 

I’ll leave that for you to decide….