Warning to everyone with a scientific background: We’re going to be talking about “anecdotal” evidence here. I realize that researchers tend not to count that and instead hang their hats on large double-blind peer-reviewed studies, but considering the Wuhan coronavirus has been in the population for only a few months (that we know of), there hasn’t been time to run those studies. We’ll get there; in fact –- thanks to the anecdotal evidence –- the kind of studies they need to generate the data they want are in the works right now. Those will guide us in the future. In the meantime, though, we’ve got to look at what a growing number of cases is telling us. And the picture that’s emerging is very positive.
Another warning: You will not get this view from the anti-Trump media, who are a complete waste of airtime and not worth anyone’s attention. They have thoroughly disgraced themselves and don’t have the sense to know it. From them, you will get stories designed to make you anxious and frustrated with President Trump and to make you think he’s being deceptive. To accomplish this, they go much further than expressing skepticism and mistrust –- they flat-out falsely accuse him of repeatedly lying about everything. These “journalists” must be working overtime to slant their stories, even with the help they get from Chinese propaganda.
Meanwhile, Trump, day by day, has been “the rock” we’ve needed, absolutely tireless, refreshingly agenda-free (unlike congressional Democrats, who never let a crisis go to waste), and single-mindedly devoted to steering the country through this with as little long-term damage to our way of life as possible. I doubt that anyone has ever seen energy like that in the White House. And much of Trump’s focus has to do with looking into medical treatments that can lessen the risk of being out and about and, especially, going to work.
Sara Carter, on Monday’s HANNITY show, related that she had talked with American intelligence and other Western intelligence officials, who told her they were “scrambling as much as they can to find out what happened in China and in Wuhan,” which was shut down by the Chinese government on January 23, seven weeks after the first known human transmission. By January 23, 5 million people (!) had left Wuhan for parts unknown. Perhaps the media would be looking at this if they weren’t trying so hard to give the President a bad rap and second-guess everything he says and does. They don’t even seem that concerned about the Chinese government’s treatment of journalists who have been trying to report this story. If we ever find out what really happened, it will be no thanks to them.
On Monday, I related Scott Adams’ view that doctors are more optimistic about treatments with existing, FDA-approved drugs than they've let on, and the reasons why they might be keeping that opinion close to the vest for now. Later that day, Sean Hannity (on both radio and TV) featured the story of New York family practitioner Vladimir Zelenko, MD, who's had a success rate of 100 percent (success defined as not needing hospital admission) with an aggressive treatment consisting of 200 mg of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, twice a day for 5 days, combined with azithromycin, 500 mg once a day for 5 days, and zinc sulfate, 220 mg once a day for 5 days. One major symptom, shortness of breath, typically resolves in four to six hours, he said. “Since last Thursday,” he wrote, “my team has treated approximately 350 patients in Kiryas Joel and another 150 patients...we have had ZERO deaths, ZERO hospitalizations, and ZERO intubations.”
RELATED READING: “One of the scariest things in the world is called ‘the unknown.’”
We’ve already seen the results of the preliminary French study that showed a combination of hydroxychloroquine and zythromycin relieved symptoms and shortened the course of the virus. As for the critical supply chain, Israel has already stepped up by donating 6 million doses of hydroxychloroquine.
In Trump’s Monday press briefing, the way forward that he endorsed sounded much like Scott Adams’ “prescription” for dealing with the virus and the economic fallout from a prolonged nationwide quarantine. The President is optimistic about this drug regimen. While bigger studies are underway, doctors will be able to prescribe these medications as needed.
"Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” he said. “We’re not going to let the cure be worse than the problem.” When the 15-day “shutdown” ends next week, he’ll assess how we move forward, but he’s not looking to keep the country stuck in neutral. “America will be again and soon be open for business, very soon,” he stressed. “This is a medical problem. We are not going to let it turn into a long-lasting financial problem.” He called the emerging drug therapy “a gift from God, a real game-changer.” And he talked about gradually getting people back out and in their jobs, just as Adams described.
As long as we’re talking about anecdotal evidence, here’s a look at one pattern a reader has noticed, and my response.
An item on Fox News revealed that approximately TWO-THIRDS OF DEATHS in China due to the Wuhan virus (covid-19) WERE MALES. And three-fourths or so of the deaths in Italy were males. If true, why would this be? Is it related to something such as smoking? For instance, do male smokers in China represent two-thirds of the smokers population? Three-fourths in Italy? We know that long time smokers have damaged lungs. Is it smoking and not longevity that is the harbinger of being invaded by the China Wuhan Virus? Potential victims want to know.
From the Gov:
It’s hard to know the reliability of the numbers coming out of China regarding this virus. But nearly 30 percent of all Chinese adults smoke, including 53 percent of men. So, yes, presumably many more Chinese men than women have lung damage from smoking. But ALL Chinese people who dwell in large cities have lung damage from the severe air pollution, which is the worst in the world. Perhaps you’ve seen pictures of the soupy, mustard-colored sludge hanging over Shanghai. (Whoever thinks communists and other authoritarian regimes take care of the environment better than capitalist countries do has apparently never seen it.)
In Italy, more men than women smoke, but smoking is popular among both men and women, particularly young adults. The virus has really been killing older people. I don’t have the stats but would imagine older Italians smoke, too. Inconclusive!
To my knowledge, there are no stats about smoking and COVID-19 in America; perhaps a study will be done. But any disease that hits the respiratory system is going to be harder on lungs that are already damaged, from whatever cause. It might be smoking, air particles, or previous damage from pneumonia or another illness. I’m not a doctor, but surely “potential victims” (everybody) should be aware that taking care of your lungs will help you recover no matter what respiratory illness you get. I think you know what I’m very strongly suggesting you do.