Posts Tagged ‘research’

The “Deadly” Hydroxychloroquine Publishing Scandal

July 1, 2020

by Elizabeth Woodworth, OffGuardian

As the COVID – 19 pandemic continues to dominate the news and defy the efforts of researchers to understand its many mysteries, including its origins and why it affects people who contract the virus in wildly different ways, one thing we have learned for certain so far is the extent to which the Pharmaceuticals manufacturers cartel (colloquially Big Pharma,) exercise a pernicious influence over medical research and healthcare. Cast you minds back to early in the pandemic and one of the pronouncements of President Trump on the disease. The Donald recommended as a preventative daily doses of cofveve, a drug with the tongue torturing title Hydroxychloroquine and speculated that it might also provide a cure.

Mainstream media went into meltdown: how dare a politician with no qualifications offer his opinion on medical matters, use of the anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to treat Covid 19 would be totally irresponsible it had been shown to have very serious, possibly fatal side effects and there was no proof it worked to alleviate cases of COVID-19, to start prescribing it wholesale could kill more than  it cured. All of which, apart from the last bit about killing more than it cured is true … or at lest partly true.

The whole truth is that the drug, like many commonly used drugs, does have side effects that make it unsafe for some people but has also been around for a long time and those side effects and the previous or pre – existing conditions that make it unsafe for some people are well known.  Known commonly as quinine and chloroquine, it is on the WHO list of essential medicines. And yet the WHO was among those establishment organisations briefing against quinine as a treatment for COVID – 19organisations

Brought to Europe by Roman Catholic missionaries in the 17th century the drug, first known as The Jesuit’s Bark. is derived from bark of the South American quina-quina tree and has been used to treat malaria for 400 years. Quinine, a generic drug costing pennies a dose in rare cases it can cause dizziness and irregular heartbeat, but can be purchased online and therin lies the problem. However, had the medical professions which are in the pockets of Big Pharma which collectively saw the pandemic as an opportunity to redistribute wealth via the tax system from the peoples’ pockets into their own overflowing coffers, and the bulk of the media which simply saw an opportunity to attack Donald Trump.

Convenient Lies and Inconvenient Truths

The two leading medical journals in the economically developed world are UK publication The Lancet and USA’s New England Journal of Medicine

In May, 2020,  a report credited to four authors and claiming that HCQ used in hospitals to treat Covid-19 had been shown conclusively to be a high risk for patients with  for heart conditions and could easily cause  premature death. The data allegedly covered 96,000 patients in 671 hospitals on six continents.

At the height of the campaign of fear and panic about COVID – 19 the article remained in the headlines for two weeks, as scientific objections, contradictory evidence and accusations of bad practice emerged, then on June 5 three of the authors retracted it.

While the controversy raged, covered with the usual pro = establishment bias by the media, a clandestine meeting involving senior staff from The Lancet and NEJM held sometime in May was leaked to journalists in France. The Lancet and NEJM editors also discussed how financially powerful pharmaceutical players were “criminally” corrupting medical science to advance their interests.

At that meeting the gathered experts discussed the pandemic and the their suspicions about the reliability of the damning report on HCQ. Comments regarding the Lancet article were leaked to the French press by a well-known health figure, Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy, who felt compelled to blow the whistle.

The Fear And Panic Effect

On May 22, 2020, the Lancet had published the stunning claim that 671 hospitals on six continents were reporting life-threatening heart rhythms in patients taking hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for Covid-19.   Although increased use of the drug as a treatment for the Wuhan Coronavirus had been requested in a petition signed by nearly 500,000 French doctors and citizens, the WHO and other health agencies responded to the article by immediately suspending the clinical trials that may have cleared it for use on Wuhan Coronavirus patients.

Headlines in the American media decided not to mention that HCQ was none other than quinine, the time honoured treatment for malaria which is not simply cleaded from general use under medical supervision but has been on the WHO list of essential drugs since that list was launched in 1977. Nor did they mention that the bad press hydroxychloroquine had been getting prior to May 22 was influenced by organisations which had financial interests in persuading governments and health agencies to favour the new, more expensive drug, Remdesivir.  as an investigative report published on May 21st revealed

More COVID Statistics And Lies

As someone who has a qualification in statistics, not a degree but earned long before degree level qualifications were about as commonplace as confetti at a wedding, I have long understood that far from being a science, the study of statistics is more akin to a branch of the dark arts, I am well placed to see how statistics are being presented in ways intended to convey a false impression of what data really means. As the saying goes, I can make statistics tell me anything except the truth.

Health statistics are no exception. Developed to serve different purposes in different contexts, causing them to exist in isolated data bubbles, for example in a previous article I described how the UK’s method for recording death statistics had been deliberately manipulated to ensure each from coronavirus, with coronavirus or simply coronavirus >realted, had been counted several times. Prior to the pandemic any death, whether it occurred in hospital, at home or in a public place or place of work had to first be certified by a doctor and then notified, along with personal details of the deceased to the nearest Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths office. Once the details had been verified they were forwarded to the National Statistics Office to ensure each death was only counted once.

Ostensibly to make life easier in the pandemic, certification by a medical professional was no longer required, death statistics were to be collaged by hospitals, medical practices and funeral directors as well as the National Statistics Office and numbers of reported from causes related to the pandemic were based on the numbers ‘reported’ on any given day by all sources. It has been confirmed that similar practices were in operation in Italy, resulting in inflated figures, while Germany, where the medical professions refused to deviate from their reliable and safe method to anything like the chaotic data gathering procedures used in UK, has throughout the pandemic reported much lower kill rates for the virus.

Another thing that jumped out at me as I read of the fraudulent attempt to discredit the efficacy of quinine in this crisis was how could 671 hospitals worldwide, including some of the most backward nations of Asia and Africa, report comparable treatment outcomes for 96,000 COVID patients so quickly? These things usually take years to organise

The Lancet is a leading authority on public health policy and must surely suspected have found the alacrity with which this major study was completed somewhat suspect. Its editor-in-chief, Dr. Richard Horton, has been in his job since 1995 so cannot be accused of lacking experience in the ways Big Pharma have manipulated information in trials and studies..

There were huge question marks over the ease with which claims from various sources casting doubt on the usefulness of HCQ in treating COVID – 19 were so readily accepted? There were, but they were not being asked by politicians who are tasked with defending our interests, academics whose job description includes scrutinizing new work and questioning its authors on any apparent weakness or errors.

Throughout the pandemic, since the virus reached the USA and Europe the only serious questioning of ‘the science’ has occurred in alternative media, for example in this article.

The Empirical Evidence Strikes Back

The benchmark for verification of scientific research has always been the ‘peer review’ process and though this is largely dicredited after it wass revealed that the pcrocess had been preverted by corporate money since the days colleagues in the same field operated a kind of honour system and could be relied on to provide an honest and impartial review of research projects presented to them. Now peer review is pal review in which a sympathetic colleague wil provide a favourable review in return for ‘hospitality’, the guarantee of career enhancing opportunities or a direct cash bung.

In the case of the unfavourable HCQ study an open letter from 200 scientists to the authors and The Lancet asked for the study’s data to be made available for independent audit. The letter was signed by clinicians, medical researchers, statisticians, and ethicists, (full text here.)

In a move reminiscent of Mike (Hockey Stick) Mann, the now discredited climatologist whose ‘hockey Stick Graph kicked off the climate change scare, the HCQ report authors refused to reveal their data, or even the names of hospitals they claimed had taken part in their study. Meanwhile, investigative analysis was showing the statistics to be deeply flawed.

If this were not enough, the lead author was found to be in a conflict of interest because of links to HCQ’s rival drug, Remdesivir:

Dr. Mandeep Mehra, the lead co-author is a director at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, co funder of the study according to its own press department.

Dr. Mehra and The Lancet failed to disclose that Brigham Hospital has a partnership with drug manufacturer Gilead and is currently conducting two trials on Remdesivir, the prime competitor of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19, the focus of the study.”

How did this fraud get accepted for publication by The Lancet? you might well ask.

The answer emerges from a French television interview, although it has been quoted in the alternative media.

On May 24, a closed-door Chatham House expert meeting (sic) about Covid included the editors-in-chief of The Lancet and the NEJM. Comments regarding the article were leaked to the French press by a well-known doctore and medical pundit, Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy,[xvii] who felt compelled to blow the whistle.

His resulting BFM TV television appearance was posted to YouTube with English subtitles on May 31, but the potentially sensational story was not picked up by the mainstream media in the anglosphere.

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Lancet editor Dr. Richard Horton, quoted by Dr. Douste-Blazy said:
If this continues, we are not going to be able to publish any more clinical research data because pharmaceutical companies are so financially powerful today, and are able to use such methodologies as to have us accept papers which are apparently methodologically perfect, but which, in reality, manage to conclude what they want to conclude.”

Doust-Blazy made his own comments on Horton’s words and the editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine agreed. He even said it was ‘criminal’. The final words in Doust-Blazy’s interview were:
When there is an outbreak like Covid, in reality, there are people like us – doctors – who see mortality and suffering. And there are people who see dollars. That’s it.”

The scientific process of building a trustworthy knowledge base is one of the foundations of our civilization. Violating this process in pursuit of profit or power is a crime against both truth and humanity.

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Evidently the North American media does not consider this extraordinary crime to be worth reporting.

Originally published at Global Research. An interesting side note, before this fake study was published, Dr Wolfgang Wodarg theorised that use of HCQ may explain the higher death rate in patients of African ancestry – ed.

MORE on the pandemic

[Daily Stirrer] … [Boggart Aboad] … [ Greenteeth Home ] … [ Medium.com ] … [ Original Boggart Blog ]

Landmark climate change report leaked online

December 14, 2012

Landmark climate change report leaked online

Draft of IPCC’s fifth assessment, due to be published in September 2013, leaked online by climate sceptic Alex Rawls. It’s a safe bet that the content differs widely from what will eventually be published by mainstream media.

Thhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/14/ipcc-climate-change-report-leaked-onlinee draft of a major global warming report by the UN’s climate science panel has been leaked online.

The fifth assessment report (AR5) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is not due to be published in full until September 2013, was uploaded onto a website called Stop Green Suicide on Thursday and has since been mirrored elsewhere on the internet.

The IPCC, which confirmed the draft is genuine, said in a statement: “The IPCC regrets this unauthorized posting which interferes with the process of assessment and review. We will continue not to comment on the contents of draft reports, as they are works in progress.”

A little-known US-based climate sceptic called Alex Rawls, who had been accepted by the IPCC to be one of the report’s 800 expert reviewers, admitted to leaking the document. In a statement posted online, he sought to justify the leak: “The addition of one single sentence [discussing the influence of cosmic rays on the earth’s climate] demands the release of the whole. That sentence is an astounding bit of honesty, a killing admission that completely undercuts the main premise and the main conclusion of the full report, revealing the fundamental dishonesty of the whole.”

Climate sceptics have heralded the sentence – which they interpret as meaning that cosmic rays could have a greater warming influence on the planet than mankind’s emissions – as “game-changing”.

The isolation by climate sceptics of one sentence in the 14-chapter draft report was described as “completely ridiculous” by one of the report’s lead authors. Prof Steve Sherwood, a director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, told ABC Radio in Australia: “You could go and read those paragraphs yourself and the summary of it and see that we conclude exactly the opposite, that this cosmic ray effect that the paragraph is discussing appears to be negligible … It’s a pretty severe case of [cherry-picking], because even the sentence doesn’t say what [climate sceptics] say and certainly if you look at the context, we’re really saying the opposite.”

The leaked draft “summary for policymakers” contains a statement that appears to contradict the climate sceptics’ interpretation.

It says: “There is consistent evidence from observations of a net energy uptake of the earth system due to an imbalance in the energy budget. It is virtually certain that this is caused by human activities, primarily by the increase in CO2 concentrations. There is very high confidence that natural forcing contributes only a small fraction to this imbalance.”

By “virtually certain”, the scientists say they mean they are now 99% sure that man’s emissions are responsible. By comparison, in the IPCC’s last report, published in 2007, the scientists said they had a “very high confidence” – 90% sure – humans were principally responsible for causing the planet to warm.

Richard Betts, a climate scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre and an AR5 lead author, tweeted that the report is still a draft and could well change: “Worth pointing out that the wording in the leaked IPCC WG1 [working group 1, which examines the “physical science basis” of climate change] draft chapters may still change in the final versions, following review comments.”

Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science, said that Rawls appeared to have broken the confidentiality agreement signed by reviewers: “As a registered reviewer of the IPCC report, I condemn the decision by a climate change sceptic to violate the confidentiality of the review process. The review of the IPCC report is being carried out in line with the principles of peer review which operate throughout academic science, including an expectation of high standards of ethical behaviour by reviewers. It is disappointing, if not surprising, that climate change sceptics have been unable to meet these high standards of ethical behaviour.”

The IPCC, which publishes a detailed synthesis of the latest climate science every seven years to help guide policy makers, has experienced leaks before. In 2000, the third assessment report was leaked to the New York Times, while the fourth assessment report was published in 2006 by the US government a year ahead of its official publication.

Prof Bill McGuire, Professor of Geophysical & Climate Hazards at University College London and contributing author on the recent IPCC report on climate change and extreme events, said that sceptics’ reading of the draft was incorrect: “Alex Rawls’ interpretation of what IPCC5 says is quite simply wrong. In fact, while temperatures have been ramping up in recent decades, solar activity has been pretty subdued, so any interaction with cosmic rays is clearly having minimal – if any – effects. IPCC AR5 reiterates what we can be absolutely certain of: that contemporary climate change is not a natural process, but the consequence of human activities.”

Prof Piers Forster, Professor of Climate Change at the University of Leeds, said: “Although this may seem like a ‘leak’, the draft IPCC reports are not kept secret and the review process is open. The rationale in not disseminating the findings until the final version is complete, is to try and iron out all the errors and inconsistencies which might be inadvertently included. Personally, I would be happy if the whole IPCC process were even more open and public, and I think we as scientists need to explore how we can best match the development of measured critical arguments with those of the Twitter generation.”

What we may note from the above is how dishonest those who ride the climate change gravy train are prepared to be in defence of the fake science that gives them luxurious lifestyles. Firstly the accusation that Rawls has misinterpreted the report. This really is just the old argument from authority trick, saying in effect, “He’s not a scientists so he cant understand the science. Really however the language is fairly straightforward, it says what it says and there is only so much room for interpretation.

Then there is the claim that ‘temperatures have been ramping up l.ately’. This is a blatant lie, while the ‘adjusted data’ shows eash succeeding year is the ‘hottest on record’ (although even that depends on whose records you look at) raw data shows 1998 was the hottest in the modern era and surface temperatures have not warmed significantly since.

It is possible to go on and on providing hundreds of items of evidence that show climate change (which is a constant and natural process) is not being caused by human activity, but there’s no point. The believers will go on praying to their science God for some Sodom and Gomorrah style even to punish the faithless, the sane will go on living their lives safe in the knowledge that no global catastrophes are imminent and the ruling elites will go on exploiting scaremongering propaganada to justify punitive taxes on energy and other essentials.

 

You Don’t Say!

January 25, 2010

Yet another science related story from your intrepid Boggartblog reporters.
It may seem we are concentrating on science at the moment, but quite honestly there isn’t much else to have a laugh about and once every Labour MP has let slip that the election is going to be in early May and Gordon has finally announced this on March 28th well we will be up and running politics, politics and bollocks.

So scientists at the university of Illinois in Chicago have discovered that the ability to listen to and recall convesations diminishes whilst driving.

You don’t say!

Researchers at Boggartblog have long held that the ability to drive diminishes whilst listening to and participating in conversation.

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