☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Monday, September 6, 2021 ☙ Two Fighters 🦠
Today’s roundup includes: Polk County, Florida created a national media firestorm over medical freedom. We compare two UFC fighters and their Covid experiences...
Happy Labor Day, C&Cers. Today’s roundup includes: Polk County, Florida created a national media firestorm over medical freedom. We compare two UFC fighters and their Covid experiences. A widely reported and alarming Rolling Stone article about ivermectin turns out to be totally fake. The AP has to retract an ivermectin hit-piece after inflating its statistics by about 7,000%. Pfizer announces its new pill for Covid is in late stage trials. Some top sports figures get fired for non-vaxx. The NEJM reports good news about monoclonal treatments, and a new study reports more good news about pediatric hospitalizations. An update from Israel; I bet you can’t guess what most patients’ vaccination status is. The federal agencies take a surprising new position with regard to boosters.
🗞 *THE C&C ARMY POST* 🗞
☎️ Calling Army: We have a special script and a focused issue to call about today. You’re going to love it! Watch for your orders on text.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY*
🔥 Polk County, Florida made the national news this weekend after its county commission discussed sending a letter to Governor DeSantis. They want to ask him to ensure that Floridians have access to safe and effective Covid-19 treatment alternatives. The variety of media headlines mostly implied that the county just wants to trick people into overdosing on a horse dewormer or something. So, you know me, I called down there and got ahold of Polk County Commissioner Neil Combee, who drafted the letter.
“It’s about people’s right to try,” Combee told me. “Look, even people who’ve already been vaccinated are getting sent to the hospital now. If they’re looking at going on a vent, they should have the right to try ivermectin or hydroxycholoroquine or anything else that’s already FDA approved, even if not for Covid.”
I asked him if he was surprised by all the media attention. He laughed and said, “well, yes, to be honest. I had no idea that just writing a letter to the governor was so controversial. [Agriculture Comissioner] Nikki Fried, who couldn’t tell a bull from a cow if you gave her a magnifying glass, called us reckless or something. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about. By this point, a lot of people have tried these drugs and most of them say it helped.”
Then I asked him why he was so motivated to get into the crosshairs on this issue. Combee said, “look, it’s about right and wrong. It’s wrong not to give people their right to try anything that could save them from a serious case of a life-threatening disease. We’ve already tried taking people’s rights away and it ain’t working. Let’s try giving rights to the people instead of taking them away. Empower citizens to get involved in helping solve the pandemic. Because, frankly, the government hasn’t accomplished much.”
By Jove, I think he’s onto something. To encourage commissioner Combee, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
💉 Fully-vaccinated UFC fighter Oscar De La Hoya is in the hospital being treated for a serious case of Covid-19. He’s getting the best treatment available. From a hospital. Over the weekend, the prize-winning fighter tweeted, “Wanted you to hear directly from me that despite being fully vaccinated, I have contracted Covid and am not going to be able to fight next weekend. Preparing for this comeback has been everything to me over the last months, & I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support.”
Unfortunately, La Hoya’s comeback dreams have been dashed. He was forced to cancel the fight due to his post-vaccine illness.
La Hoya’s experience comes one week after UFC commentator and celebrity podcaster Joe Rogan recovered from symptomatic Covid — without hospitalization. Rogan, about the same age and similar physical condition as La Hoya, was not vaccinated, was treated at home with ivermectin and vitamins, and tested negative in four days. He said he feels “great.” So.
💊 Online pundits have been having a field day debunking an alarming new Rolling Stone article headlined, “*Gunshot victims left waiting as horse dewormer overdoses overwhelm Oklahoma hospitals, doctor says.*” The article’s photo is of a bunch of masked people waiting impatiently in a line outside a hospital. For gunshots victims, they look pretty spry. To me at least. The article was picked up by national news, featured on MSNBC, and generated a tweetstorm among the twitterati.
But online pundits gleefully noted that the hospital named in the article had promptly issued a statement that the doctor quoted by Rolling Stone hadn’t worked there in months. The statement from the hospital also says, “NHS Sequoia has not treated ANY patients due to complications related to taking ivermectin. This includes not treating any patients for ivermectin overdose.”
Then the pundits looked closer at the photo and discovered it had already been used in news stories a few months before, but in the context of lines outside hospitals waiting for vaccinations. So, not gunshot victims. Not so much. Nothing to do with ivermectin, after all.
Of course, now that the truth has it sneakers on, Rolling Stone’s lie is halfway around the world, to paraphrase Mark Twain.
💊 The AP had to issue a quiet retraction this weekend over an article it published a few weeks ago about people taking livestock medicine to try to treat coronavirus. According to the statement, the Associated Press erroneously reported based that seventy percent (70%) of recent calls to the Mississippi Poison Control Center were from people who had ingested ivermectin trying to treat Covid-19. But state epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said last week that the number of calls to poison control about ivermectin was actually only about two percent (2%.) Not 70%.
Byers said that of the 2% of calls that were about ivermectin, 70% of those calls — or 1.4% of the total calls — were by people who had ingested the veterinary version of the medicine.
Now, I’m just spitballing here, but maybe if people could get the human form of ivermectin they wouldn’t be trying to take the veterinary version. In other words, even the tiny 1.4% of calls to poison control might have been completely avoidable if the news agencies weren’t reporting rubbish about the otherwise safe and effective drug.
🧩 Speaking of “safe and effective” drugs, is it just me, or is “safe and effective” no longer the mandatory prefix for reporting about the Covid vaccines? Just asking — don’t cancel me.
💊 Reuters reported last week that Pfizer has announced that it is entering “mid-to-late-stage trials” for an oral treatment for Covid-19. Patients in the trial will be given Pfizer’s new pill, plus a low dose of ritonavir, an older veterinary medicine widely used to treat barnyard animals and reptiles. Haha! Just kidding. Ritonavir is not FDA approved for Covid treatment, but has been widely used for HIV treatment in humans. People, please. Don’t start comparing it to ivermectin and asking why a repurposed drug is okay for Pfizer but not okay for everybody else.
Pfizer said in July that if the trials were successful, it would file for a potential emergency use authorization in the fourth quarter. The drug would be available under the trade name, “Pfizermectin.” Or something.
💉 CNN fired its veteran sports producer Beth Faber late last week. Here’s how she was introduced in a 2019 interview:
Faber has been with ESPN Radio as a producer since its beginning in 1992. She is also is the only person in the industry that has been the lead radio producer for every BCS National Championship and CFB Playoff Championship game. She also has been part of ESPN Radio’s NBA productions every year since the network acquired the rights, and is also involved with MLB and NFL broadcasts.
Buh-bye, Beth. Why’d they fire her? Faber asserted a religious exemption to vaccination based on her Christian faith, which has been mentioned in her twitter bio since she first setup her account. CNN denied the exemption and fired her instead. Nothing lasts forever, or something.
💉 Last week, Washington Nationals Vice President Bob Boone announced he would resign over the team’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate. Boone, who was a star catcher for decades before becoming a manager and executive, served with the Nationals since 2005, and is currently vice president and senior adviser to the team’s general manager Mike Rizzo.
According to the Washington Post, which first reported Boone’s resignation, team employees who would not comply are currently on unpaid leave. They have until September 15th to take the drugs or be terminated. The Post also reported that the Nationals told eight scouts that their contracts will not be renewed next season. At least two of the scouts were axed because of their unwillingness to take the drugs.
💊 In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July by thirty-three researchers, they concluded that “Whereas vaccine-derived immunity develops over time, neutralizing monoclonal-antibody treatment provides immediate, passive immunity and may limit disease progression and complications.” Well, alrighty then.
The study was what they call the “gold standard,” a double-blinded, randomized controlled trial, and it found that the monoclonals produced a stunning seventy percent (70%) reduction in Covid-19 hospitalization and death over the placebo.
The monoclonal treatment in the study is the same one that Governor DeSantis has now deployed around Florida in state-run centers. The treatment is offered in a quick outpatient setting as either an infusion or in four quick subcutaneous injections. Subcutaneous injections are given just under the skin and are the easy ones. By contrast, the vaccines are given in an intramuscular form, which are the ouchy ones. So.
We’ve been advising frantic folks whose relatives are in the hospital with Covid-19 and can’t get ivermectin to ask for the monoclonal treatment, which the hospital must provide. But only upon request, apparently, in many places. For some reason.
More good news: people with post-vaxx Covid infections are also reportedly helped by the monoclonal treatment.
🦘 Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse in Australia, things have gotten worse. Despite being locked-down and vaxxed-up, cases are skyrocketing there. And get this: Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria — one of the Australian states — announced over the weekend that unvaccinated people will soon be denied ANY access to hospitals, for ANY reason:
“From a situation where, to protect the hospital, we’ve got everybody locked down, we’re going to move to a situation where to protect the health system we’re going to LOCK OUT people who are not vaccinated and can be. If you’re making the choice not to get vaccinated, then you’re making the wrong choice. You’re making the wrong choice. … It’s not going to safe for people who are not vaccinated to be roaming around the place spreading the virus. That’s what they’ll be doing. So, there’s every reason to get vaccinated. … Yes, there’s going to be a vaccinated economy. And you get to participate in that if you’ve been vaccinated. … We’re not going to have a situation, at least not in Victoria, where we lock the whole place down to protect people who won’t protect themselves.”
Brilliant! To protect the health system, they’re going to LOCK OUT a bunch of people from hospitals. I guess that’s one way to do it. But you’re going to need a lot more body bags.
And, Daniel, can you really call it a “choice” when you say you’re going to order hospitals not to provide any healthcare to people if they don’t do what you want? Just asking.
As I’ve been saying, we might need an alternative healthcare system. Stat.
💉 Israel update. According to the latest released government figures, between 77% and 88% of patients in Israeli hospitals with serious cases of Covid-19 are fully vaccinated (depending on age). In other words, ALMOST ALL OF THEM. An even more sinister statistic is that, while an average of 86% of patients hospitalized for Covid-19 there are fully vaccinated, only 84% of the ENTIRE POPULATION is fully vaccinated. In other words, vaxx patients with serious Covid are now exceeding the general population levels of vaccination. So, that can’t be good for business.
Fortunately the government of Israel has come up with an innovative new strategy to control the exploding pandemic of the vaccinated. MORE vaccinations! Do it more, and this time — THIS TIME — it will work. They promise.
💉 On Friday, the New York Times ran an article headlined, “*Health Officials Advise White House to Scale Back Booster Plan for Now*.” It says that federal regulators warned the White House on Thursday that they may not have enough data to recommend boosters for anyone except certain recipients of the Pfizer vaccine by late September. According to the Times, in a meeting with White House pandemic coordinator Jeffrey Zients, CDC director Rochelle Walensky and acting FDA chief Janet Woodcock suggested that the administration scale back its booster campaign. For now.
Woodcock is the acting director of the FDA since the prior director and vice-director both abruptly resigned last week.
Pfizer’s booster shot is set for an FDA advisory committee meeting on September 17, while Moderna only recently submitted its booster application, and Johnson & Johnson hasn’t even submitted an application yet. The officials reportedly told Zients that it isn’t completely clear yet who will be appropriate for booster doses right away.
A White House spokesman told the Times that the administration “always said we would follow the science, and this is all part of a process that is now underway.”
🧒 A new study reported in MedicalExpress Friday found that reports of more children being hospitalized for the Delta variant have been, well, exaggerated. Or something.
In an article headlined, “*Study suggests Delta does not cause more severe childhood COVID*,” the medical news agency reported that “After examining 3,116 hospital records from the period before Delta, and comparing them to 164 records during the Delta period, the percentage of children with severe indicators was found to not differ greatly.”
So, that’s great news, kids!
Have a wonderful Labor Day, enjoy the slightly cooler weather, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for your caffeine injections appointment.
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