Why Don’t Alternative COVID Therapies Get More Trials in America?

In case anyone still thinks so, the COVID-19 pandemic is not a hoax. How and why it originated may never be known for certain. How societies ought to respond to it, and who are most vulnerable to the disease, are both topics of intense debate. But deaths in America from all causes are up year-to-date by over 200,000 compared to recent years, and while we may hope the worst is behind us, this is not over.

The single most authoritative source for statistics on deaths in the U.S. is the CDC website, and a way to eliminate any doubt about cause of death is to simply bypass the categories and look at deaths from all causes. If that number is only marginally up this year, then you can argue that COVID-19 is overhyped. If that number is up significantly, then something terrible is going on, and COVID-19 probably accounts for most of that. As it is, for 2020 through the end of June, deaths from all causes are up by 15 percent over the average for the past six years, even adjusting for population growth.

The following chart shows deaths from all causes by week, starting when flu season starts in October, with data displayed through September for the six most recent previous years, and through August 26 for the 2019-20 flu season. The pattern of deaths from all causes tracks pretty evenly across the years, roughly 50,000 people per week die in America, except during flu season, when […] Read More

Why Are Potentially Viable COVID-19 Treatments Being Suppressed?

The only thing we know for certain about COVID-19 is that more people are dying this year than in previous years. A lot more. CDC data on deaths from all causes show an increase through May 20 of 11 percent above the average through that same date for the previous six years. That’s over 127,000 Americans, dead before their time. Because of the CDC’s eight week lag in compiling complete data, this is the most reliable comparison possible so far. The number undoubtedly will increase significantly.

You can’t fake death. You can decide which “co-morbidity” to list as the primary cause of death, but “alive” vs. “dead” is a binary choice. So something horrible is happening in America this year. This disease, whether it was engineered or not, overblown or not, handled properly or not, is nonetheless a mass killer.

What is inexcusable is the ongoing and blatant suppression of valid debate over how to treat COVID-19. We’re not talking here about an irresponsible meme that recommends somebody drink bleach. We’re talking about distinguished, credentialed doctors and scientists, with decades of front line experience in virology, infectious diseases, pandemics, microbiology, pharmacology, emergency medicine, and a host of related fields, whose opinions are being banned.

When it comes to treating COVID-19, not only are dissident opinions by medical experts either ignored by the media or only featured in the context of being “debunked,” but their postings on YouTube and Facebook are routinely taken down. Alternative websites that attract far less […] Read More

L.A. Teachers Union: Give us $250 Million, Or Keep Schools Closed

The second largest public school district in the United States is in turmoil. Los Angeles Unified School District, with over 600,000 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade at over 1,000 schools, may not be open for the business of teaching on August 18. How to handle the COVID-19 pandemic is the issue, and there is nowhere near a consensus on how to handle it.

The union representing LAUSD teachers is the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA), which has recently put out a lengthy document outlining what they believe are “Safe and Equitable Conditions for Starting LAUSD in 2020-21.” It’s a doozy.

Laced throughout the document are references to the disproportionate effect COVID-19 has on “people of color.” The document leads off with a section entitled “The Same Storm, But Different Boats,” making the case that LAUSD’s student population is disadvantaged compared to the general population. They are more likely to live in higher density housing, more likely to live in multi-generational households, more likely to live further away from medical care, more likely to use mass transit, etc., etc. Their point: All of this “structural racism” means that compared to other school districts in California, more will have to be done before LAUSD can open.

The problem with this litany is it predates COVID-19 and ignores a crucial question: Are disadvantaged communities going to be better off or worse off if schools don’t reopen? If it is impossible to meet all of the conditions that might be […] Read More

COVID-19 Did NOT “Cure Pneumonia”

When it comes to memes, “COVID-19 Cured Pneumonia” is a good one. Its obvious implausibility immediately directs the reader to consider the underlying allegation, which is that pneumonia deaths are being deliberately understated in order for the CDC to reclassify them as COVD-19 deaths, thus fanning public panic.

When there’s a meme, there’s an image, and to support the phrase “COVID-19 Cured Pneumonia,” there is a graphic representation of CDC data that appears to show a precipitous drop in pneumonia cases at precisely the time when COVID-19 cases were precipitously rising.

Depicted below is the graph behind the assertion that “COVID-19 Cured Pneumonia.” On the surface, it’s awfully convincing. It references an official government source – https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2019-2020/data/NCHSData12.csv – and the data on the downloadable Excel spreadsheet is faithfully rendered in the graph. And wow, compared to the previous six years, this year far fewer people are dying from pneumonia.

The problem with this graph, and the accompanying meme, is that, as the CDC discloses on their Daily Updates of Totals by Week and State, “it can take several weeks for death records to be submitted to National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), processed, coded, and tabulated.” The first chart used data as reported to the CDC through March 25. The next chart, below, uses data gathered for an additional three months, through June 24. The differences are striking.

As can be seen, what appears to have happened around week 10 of 2020, in mid-March, […] Read More