By Dr Harvey Risch
As of Wednesday, some 165,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19. I have made the case in the American Journal of Epidemiology and in Newsweek that people who have a medical need to be treated can be treated early and successfully with hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and antibiotics such as azithromycin or doxycycline. I have also argued that these drugs are safe and have made that case privately to the Food and Drug Administration.
The pushback has been furious. Dr. Anthony Fauci has implied that I am incompetent, notwithstanding my hundreds of highly regarded, methodologically relevant publications in peer-reviewed scientific literature. A group of my Yale colleagues has publicly intimated that I am a zealot who is perpetrating a dangerous hoax and conspiracy theory. I have been attacked in news articles by journalists who, ignorant of the full picture, have spun hit pieces from cherry-picked sources.
These personal attacks are a dangerous distraction from the real issue of hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness, which is solidly grounded in both substantial evidence and appropriate medical decision-making logic. Much of the evidence is presented in my articles.
To date, there are no studies whatsoever, published or in pre-print, that provide scientific evidence against the treatment approach for high-risk outpatients that I have described. None. Assertions to the contrary, whether by Fauci, the FDA, or anyone else, are without foundation. They constitute misleading and toxic disinformation.
What do you need to know to evaluate these smears against hydroxychloroquine? The first thing to understand is that COVID-19 has two main stages. At the first stage, it is a flu-like illness. That illness will not kill you. If you are a high-risk patient and begin treatment immediately, you will almost certainly be done with it in a few days. When not treated, high-risk patients may progress. The virus then causes severe pneumonia and attacks many organs, including the heart. In this second stage, hydroxychloroquine is not effective.
So, if you are told that hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work, ask this question: In which patients? Does it not work in those who have just started to have symptoms, or those sick enough to require hospitalization?
The second thing to know is that most low-risk patients survive without treatment. Low risk means you are under age 60 and have no chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, have no past treatment for cancer, are not immunocompromised, etc. High risk means you are over 60 or you have one or more of those chronic conditions. High-risk patients need immediate treatment when they first show symptoms. One should not wait for the COVID-19 test result, which can take days and can be wrong. Again, when Fauci and others say that randomized controlled trials show no benefit for hydroxychloroquine, you must ask: In which group of patients?
Every randomized controlled trial to date that has looked at early outpatient treatment has involved low-risk patients, patients who are not generally treated. In these studies, so few untreated control patients have required hospitalization that significant differences were not found. There has been only one exception: In a study done in Spain with low-risk patients, a small number of high-risk nursing home patients were included. For those patients, the medications cut the risk of a bad outcome in half.
I reiterate: If doctors, including any of my Yale colleagues, tell you that scientific data show that hydroxychloroquine does not work in outpatients, they are revealing that they can’t tell the difference between low-risk patients who are not generally treated and high-risk patients who need to be treated as quickly as possible. Doctors who do not understand this difference should not be treating COVID-19 patients.
What about medication safety? On July 1, the FDA posted a “black-letter warning” cautioning against using hydroxychloroquine “outside of the hospital setting,” meaning in outpatients. But on its website just below this warning, the FDA stated that the warning was based on data from hospitalized patients. To generalize and compare severely ill patients with COVID-induced pneumonia and possibly heart problems to outpatients is entirely improper.
In fact, the FDA has no information about adverse events in early outpatient use of hydroxychloroquine. The only available systematic information about adverse events among outpatients is discussed in my article in the American Journal of Epidemiology, where I show that hydroxychloroquine has been extremely safe in more than a million users.
It is a serious and unconscionable mistake that the FDA has used inpatient data to block emergency use petitions for outpatient use. Further, already back in March, the FDA approved the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine for hospitalized patients, for whom it is demonstrably less effective than for outpatients. If hydroxychloroquine satisfied the FDA criteria for emergency inpatient use in March, it should more than satisfy those criteria now for outpatient use, where the evidence is much stronger.
I can only speculate about the cause of the FDA’s recalcitrance. Hydroxychloroquine is an inexpensive, generic medication. Unlike certain profit-generating, patented medications, which have been promiscuously touted on the slimmest of evidence, hydroxychloroquine has no natural financial constituency. No one will get rich from it.
Further, it seems quite possible that the FDA, a third of whose funding comes from drug companies, is under intense pressure from those companies to be extremely conservative in its handling of hydroxychloroquine. If hydroxychloroquine is used widely and comes to be recognized as highly effective, the markets for expensive and patented COVID-19 medications, including intravenous drugs that can only be used in the hospital, will shrink substantially.
Whatever the reason for the FDA’s stonewalling on hydroxychloroquine, this much is certain: Americans are dying unnecessarily, the economy is in disarray, and the threads that bind our society together have frayed. I am speaking out, but where is everyone else? Where are our elected officials, including those who are themselves physicians? Some, including Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, have been discussing evidence of the drug’s effectiveness, but where are the rest?
This issue should not be a partisan one. If our elected officials are not willing to pry open the FDA, we must elect new officials. Why are we silent? The time to speak is now.
Harvey Risch, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health.
Cognitive dissonance dividing public
by Alex Bruce
On May 12th, Anthony Fauci testified before the Senate that reopening the economy too quickly could lead to “suffering and death that could be avoided [that] could even set you back on the road to…economic recovery.”
On May 23rd, Anthony Fauci appeared to reverse course when he told CNBC that the stay-at-home orders could end up causing “irreparable damage” and “I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go.”
This about-face triggered tweets of exasperation. Then I saw Amazing Polly’s tweet that what Fauci did was an example of the “Alice in Wonderland Technique”.
I’ve heard of Alice in Wonderland – but a technique by that name? This sent me down a rabbit hole for which I’m grateful, because for the past three years, I’ve been talking about the “psychological civil war” being waged against us, not knowing that the orchestrated gaslighting we’ve been subjected to is a scaled-up version of what was originally developed as an interrogation technique.
In other words, what we’ve been being put through is literally torture and the technique described in “Alice in Wonderland: The Power of Applied Confusion”, a chapter starting on page 129 of a manual entitled, ‘EDUCING INFORMATION – Interrogation: Science and Art’, published by the National Defense Intelligence College in 2006, citing a 1963 torture manual entitled, “KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation Manual, Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual,” based on CIA research, much of it conducted through the MK ULTRA program but some of it going all the way back to the 1350s, to the work of Nicholas Eymerich, Inquisitor General of Aragon, Spain.
In this video, Richard Grannon does a good job explaining the details of this torture technique that I feel could help us to cope with the madness of COVID-19. When we know that it’s called Alice in Wonderland and that it incorporates Gregory Bateson’s double-bind theory of Schizophrenia, scaled-up to the level of a global psyop, it can help us release ourselves from its thrall.
“You bring the person to be interrogated into the room, and you have the three interrogators immediately to start to badger them…with nonsensical questions. The pitch and the tone and the pacing of their questions will not match the subjects which they’re covering. Often times, the subjects that they’re asking the person being interrogated about are nonsensical. They go nowhere, they mean nothing.
“The purpose stated in the interrogation technique is not just to obliterate the normal. The purpose is also to replace that which is normal, with the mindbogglingly bizarre. So the person goes into a state of deep trauma that is so awful, they would rather give up their secrets and return to a reality that makes sense, than have to continue with more days [of this]. It takes days for them to crack, usually.”
To me, this describes the antics seen in the unrelenting #FakeNews, the Mueller Investigation and the fake impeachment, concomitant with things like #MeToo and the transgender putsch that have become the themes of this era.
Christine Blasey Ford, Jussie Smollett and the media crucifixion of Nick Sandmann were illogical orchestrated psyops designed to badger everyone into agreement, in order to just make it stop.We’ve known that this was unconventional warfare but knowing that it’s called the Alice in Wonderland technique empowers you to identify it when it’s happening, to help you distance yourself from the fragmentation that it is attempting to induce.
Grannon likens the psyop currently being unleashed upon the global populace (he recorded this last October) to 9/11, which he believes would be much harder to pull off today, with so many people carrying smartphones at all times.
He says, “If you’re going to do something naughty, I don’t think you can get away with it in the same way anymore. So what do you do? You level up. You go meta-, instead of trying to deceive people and work behind their backs, as to what it is you’re really doing, it’s way more efficient to just confuse them about what’s right and what’s wrong. Cognitive dissonance, nobody knows right from wrong. The really clever thing that they’ve done, the evil thing that they’ve done is the slow encroachment of the boundaries.”
Hopefully, these thoughts will help you assert your cognitive boundaries and will help you to insulate yourself to a some degree during the storm.