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Pharma’s Culture War:
Are Simple, Cheap & Effective Options Being Downplayed?
Our long journey to eradicate the coronavirus has in part become a culture war that has pitted well-meaning groups against each other, especially around the topic of vaccines vs. therapeutic treatments for COVID. There is a growing and disturbing trend toward authoritarian censorship of well-respected and science-driven medical doctors who are sharing information about COVID-19 therapeutic approaches that go beyond vaccines. Many countries in the Global South are using early treatment protocols with outstanding success, resulting in very low rates of cases and deaths. The FDA’s and CDC’s lack of early treatment policies is not only harming Americans' health and causing needless deaths but also hitting taxpayers, given inflation and the rising cost of hospitalization.
It’s understandable that vaccines have taken center stage. Vaccination against diseases such as smallpox, polio, and other pandemic-level viruses throughout history has reduced or eliminated their devastating consequences and helped the world recover from their impacts. While COVID-19 vaccinations are helping to reduce hospital cases, they may not be lowering transmission rates—as seen in Israel and the USA but not widely reported in the American media.
As reported in Nature, COVID vaccine immunity is waning. Politico reported that the Israeli government briefed the Biden administration in mid-September 2021 that the double-vaxxed country has confirmed that vaccines are now wearing off. As of August 15, of the 514 Israelis hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19, 59% were fully vaccinated.
“There are so many breakthrough infections, and most of the hospitalized patients are actually vaccinated,” says Uri Shalit, a bioinformatician at the Israel Institute of Technology, adding, “One of the big stories from Israel: ‘Vaccines work, but not well enough.’” Thus, therapeutic treatments and drugs that have already saved countless lives are especially vital against new variants that may further evade vaccine protection.
During this COVID-19 crisis, many have begun to question the organizations meant to inform and regulate health policies. Why is this lack of trust happening? Why does Big Pharma appear to be following a similar playbook to Exxon or Monsanto, dangerously clouding the issues of the pandemic and corrupting the science? The fact that daughters of COVID-19 patients are suing hospitals that are taking away proven, safe, and effective medicines from their dying mothers is quite concerning. The fundamental principles of medicine and the Hippocratic oath “to treat the ill to the best of one's ability” are under siege. A consistent message from many doctors is the utter lack of transparency at the FDA, CDC, and WHO.
What is a safe and ethical path forward for public health policy and the vanquishing of COVID-19? Can people let go of the intense hatred and judgment of “the other side”? And can we chart a middle way, free of the tired right vs. left dogma? How we will answer these questions is of vital importance.
There is a growing interest in wellness solutions and therapeutic drugs that go beyond a vaccine, face mask, and distancing approach. Yet many liberals appear to have entered a strange twilight zone or have been blue-pilled in “Big Pharma’s Matrix,” often repeating Pharma’s talking points with little knowledge of the subject.
It’s truly a polarizing issue. Wall Street, the FDA, Big Tech, China, Russia, the corporate media, and the Democratic political establishment of the USA have seemed to line up with Big Pharma against the Hippocratic Oath, a growing mountain of scientific evidence, a robust and diverse mix of thousands of clinical doctors in 79 countries, and health-oriented and right-leaning people in the developed world, alongside much of the Global South.
It’s Time for Therapeutics
As the need for therapeutic treatments for COVID-19 is becoming more and more clear, a growing number of people (vaxxed and unvaxxed) are beginning to take vitamin D, zinc, quercetin, melatonin, and the amino acid derivative NAC, as well as the medication !vermect!n, which is as safe as aspirin and costs the WHO a few cents a pill.
There is a need to pause here, because the anti-science propaganda and attacks on !vermect!n have been so vicious that even talking about it within the context of peer-reviewed data and hard science can lead to censorship and deplatforming (hence the alternate spelling, here, of !vermect!n). The coordinated propaganda campaign against !vermect!n has led many to accept the idea that it is simply a horse dewormer, an unproven treatment, and a laughable folk remedy that only anti-science Fox news viewers are using. That is all despite the fact that !vermect!n has a total of 64 studies, 45 peer-reviewed with 32 randomized control trials showing improvement of 63%+ in early treatment and 84%+ in prophylaxis (Source: https://ivmmeta.com) and is regularly used in therapeutic treatments in 79 countries around the world. Here are six compelling !vermect!n studies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Whereas countries in the Global South provide COVID home kits of Vitamin D, zinc, and !vermect!n, the USA tells its citizens, in effect, that they are on their own with no treatment protocol until they get so sick they have to go to the hospital, at which point the damage is often done. Despite the mounting evidence on the importance of vitamin D and zinc, our governments and public health agencies are MIA during a pandemic. A multifaceted early treatment interferes with viral replication, assisting in recovery and immune defense and reducing the number of COVID-19 long-haulers.
Many physicians are prescribing weekly prophylactic doses of !vermect!n. Upon early detection of COVID-19, patients take it daily (along with supplements) for 5-10 days. The FLCCC protocol also now includes gargling with mouthwash several times daily to reduce viral loads.
COVID-19 therapeutic supplements including vitamins C and D, zinc, melatonin, quercetin, and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) have been shown to assist the body in reducing viral loads and provide an additional choice of self-care, based on sound best practices. China has augmented therapy with traditional Chinese medicine. Top researchers at the University of California have launched a groundbreaking FDA-approved clinical trial to study the use of mushrooms and Chinese herbs for COVID-19. Traditional botanicals such as Nigella Sativa (black cumin seeds) are being tested for their potential in COVID-19 therapeutic treatment. A new Israeli therapeutic drug called Opaganib is in phase II/III, has been approved in Mexico, the UK, and Russia, and could reach the USA market in 2022. COVID-19 therapeutics also include drugs that Merck and Pfizer are rushing to market, Molnupiravir and PF-07321332, Remdesivir, off-patent drug !vermect!n, antibiotics, and IV ozone therapy. The overwhelming evidence of the efficacy of COVID-19 therapeutic treatments begs the question of why there is so much energy to block access to them.
Weaving Race, Profit, and Health Care
We can partly trace today’s medical-system avoidance of cheap-and-effective treatments and prophylactics to oil industrialist John D. Rockefeller’s efforts to vilify apothecary and natural remedies in the early 20th century, and to replace them with patented, high-priced pharmaceuticals. Non-Western countries are not immune to this unethical influence.
For five thousand years, Ayurveda was India’s central healing art, with its yoga and herbal applications practiced by millions. Sadly, British and American Pharma doctrine has virtually erased this time-honored practice from schoolbooks, depriving Indians of knowledge of their own culture. Is profit dictating health protocols and preventing MDs from helping patients?
Let’s explore how many countries are improving COVID-19 outcomes with consistent early treatment, and learn from real clinical doctors, not just officials or “Hollywood doctors” who never see patients.
The Case for !vermect!n Around the World
In comparing countries such as the USA, the UK, France, Israel, and others taking a “vaccine-only” approach without early treatment to countries in the Global South using early treatment strategies via Covid kits and with lower vaccine rates, the latter have lower rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths compared to the former. !vermect!n’s potential has been known since early in the pandemic. In August 2020, the Australian professor and respected physician Dr. Thomas Borody released a COVID-19 treatment protocol that includes !vermect!n.
“We have a therapy that can fight COVID-19,” said Borody. “The medications have been around for 50 years. They are cheap and FDA-approved, with an outstanding safety profile. Why are we just waiting around for a vaccine? To save lives we should be using whatever is safe and available right now. In fact, international data reports a symptom improvement within four to six days.”
The Delta variant emerged in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state with a population of 240 million. If a country Uttar Pradesh, would rank as the 6th largest in the world. When Uttar Pradesh and Delhi distributed home kits including !vermect!n, antibiotics, Vitamin C and D, COVID-19 rates dropped quickly, as explained by the UK’s Dr. John Campbell and Dr. Lenny Da Costa’s short video. In May 2021 the WHO reported on the success of the Uttar Pradesh home kits, yet did NOT include the contents. On 9-14-2021 The Hindustan Times reported: The key parts of the Uttar Pradesh government's plan to tackle Covid-19 included contact tracing, early detection, isolation, and free provision of medicine kits and treatment to the rural populace. Compare Uttar Pradesh’s 27-daily-cases vs. the USA’s 132,000 as of 9-6-2021. Why is this not news? Does the west look down upon BIPOC nations, or is the US very insular , is profit a driving force or could it be a combination of all three ? Also, “A 73 percent reduction of COVID-19 infection among healthcare workers for the following month after receiving a two-dose !vermect!n prophylaxis” was reported at AIIMS in Bhubaneswar, India.
Pressure from the WHO threatened the use of !vermect!n in Indian home treatment kits in May of 2021. Ms. Dipali Ojha, a lawyer for the Indian Bar Association, filed a legal case against the WHO in May 2021 stating that they sought to address the “medical tyranny that we all face” and to learn more about what is behind WHO’s anti-!vermect!n stance.
A Japanese physician, Dr. Kazuhiro Nagao, was interviewed about his successful use of !vermect!n with 500 of his COVID-19 patients. Dr. Haruo Ozaki, chair of the Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Association, declared on August 13, 2021, “!vermect!n has demonstrated significant benefits in reducing infections and deaths . . . and while clinical trials are important, it’s time to greenlight doctors to prescribe !vermect!n.” In another sign of censorship, YouTube removed Dr. Ozaki’s video discussing medical science, and Twitter removed this graphic below.
In its success with !vermect!n, Japan and India are far from alone. Many doctors from Latin America to Asia have implemented community health programs to conduct trials of !vermect!n’s efficacy in prevention and treatment through regional usage. The New York Times article “Covid Ravaged South America. Then Came a Sharp Drop in Infections” explains that the sudden drop in cases can’t be understood, yet makes no mention of the fact that Latin American doctors regularly prescribe !vermect!n for their COVID-19 patients. Nor did the Times mention that the Guatemalan and Bolivian governments’ version of “ICU in a box” included supplements and !vermect!n, or that El Salvador gives free medication to anyone who gets COVID. In December 2020, the Mexico City government provided 83,000 COVID kits with !vermect!n (a very low dosage of 12mg for 2 days) to COVID-positive patients and thereby reduced hospitalization rates by 50-70%. A recent study out of Peru demonstrated a 14-fold reduction in nationwide excessive deaths. Furthermore, 31 African countries that were already using !vermect!n as an antiparasitic have reported much lower rates of COVID-19 compared to 22 countries that were not.
I recently interviewed a West Coast MD who prescribed !vermect!n prophylactically (along with vitamin D, zinc, quercetin, and melatonin) to over 500 patients 1-2X a week for the past year with no breakthrough cases.
In the United States, Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) is a group of expert clinicians continually updating COVID protocols for early home-based prevention and treatment, based on clinical observations as well as the scientific literature.
FLCCC’s president, Dr. Pierre Kory, was invited twice to testify in front of the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs—in May 2020 to recommend steroids for hospitalized patients (which later became part of standard care), and in December 2020 to recommend !vermect!n (which was not adopted in standard care). Dr. Kory’s US Senate testimony was removed from YouTube.
The FLCCC provides numerous prophylaxis studies on the efficacy of !vermect!n. Excellent !vermect!n resources include this video and !vermect!n for COVID-19: a real-time meta-analysis of 63 studies as well as these studies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Millions abroad have received !vermect!n for COVID-19 (often in home health kits), hundreds of clinical doctors prescribe it, and very few doctors have ever stopped prescribing it. Studies confirm that it is most effective when taken early following an infection, along with supplements. Instead of the !vermect!n vs. vaccine debate, it’s really another medicine in the tool kit for MDs. (It’s not, on its own, a silver bullet. Please note that no information in this article is meant to be taken as medical advice, for which you should consult your doctor.)
The History of !vermect!n
!vermect!n originated from a single soil sample in Japan in the late 1970s. In 2015, the Nobel Committee for Medicine, in its only award for treatments of infectious diseases in more than six decades, honored !vermect!n.
!vermect!n is on the WHO “List of Essential Medicines,” and it has an exceptionally good safety record, considered as safe as aspirin. It’s being used safely and effectively in 79 countries across the world to treat COVID-19. Since the 1980s,this low-cost, off-patent medicine has been used by humans (including small children) 3.7 billion times, for a variety of tropical diseases such as river blindness. It has one of the highest safety ratings of any drug.
What does off-patent mean? When a pioneer drug is approved, it gets a patent of 20 years. After the patent runs out, anyone can make that drug if they prove bioequivalence. Thus, there is no financial incentive for the drug company (Merck, in the case of !vermect!n) to carry out costly double-blind studies. Investment in new drugs is far more lucrative.
The Media War on !vermect!n
Big Pharma has been attacking !vermect!n with a well-timed media blitz.
In August 2021, as news spread of the effectiveness of !vermect!n as a lifesaving medicine, Pharma’s misinformation campaign managed to sway many people and pressured doctors and pharmacies against it, despite the readily available facts and data about !vermect!n efficacy. The media played along, with !vermect!n falsely called a “horse de-wormer” in both serious news stories and comedy routines, and by FDA Twitter. A news story of an Oklahoma hospital reported to be overflowing with sick patients overdosing on !vermect!n, shared by the likes of The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow,turned out to be a complete fabrication. Such stories are weaponizing !vermect!n to further polarize this cultural war. (See Matt Taibbi’s piece: Can a Drug Be "Right-Wing?)
Also, mischaracterizing !vermect!n as a drug only for animals when it is used so widely by humans in the Global South is insulting at best. Such a colonialist undertone is not a good look for privileged Western nations who have received the majority of available vaccines. Is it any wonder that some BIPOC individuals believe they live in an unjust, racist system? Those of privilege might ponder issues a bit more, rather than repeating slogans like rabid sports fans.
Blocking Access to Life-Saving, Affordable Medicine
“How many people need to die, how many people need to get unnecessarily sicker, before Congress is prepared to take on the greed of the prescription drug industry?”
—Bernie Sanders 9/12/2021
Bernie Sanders was speaking more generally about Big Pharma’s greed during a rally at the HQ of one of America’s top lobbying firms. Americans are now awakening to the fact that Big Pharma and captured agencies like the FDA and WHO are blocking worldwide access to lifesaving medicines. People are dying needlessly.
In the United States, the FDA and CDC are issuing edicts to MDs and hospitals to not use off-patent drugs or supplements. Many pharmacies are refusing to fill such prescriptions, though CVS in Washington, DC (whose customers may well be high-ranking military and Congressional leaders) is filling them. There is no shortage of !vermect!n; many pharmacies may be lying to the public based on Big Pharma pressures. The drug is completely legal for use in COVID-19, and the FDA has no regulatory authority to prevent MDs from prescribing it for patients, yet many doctors refuse to even write prescriptions. Media articles fail to mention that the National Institute of Health recommends the management of any disease, treatment decisions ultimately reside with the patient and their health care provider and is neither for nor against !vermet!n. One New York woman sued a hospital after !vermect!n was withdrawn from her COVID-19-afflicted husband, and won the case.
Dr. Paul Marik, Board-Certified in Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Neurocritical Care and Nutrition Science, the author of over 450 peer-reviewed journal articles receiving over 25,000 citations, the author of four critical care books, and a professor at East Virginia Medical School, believes that public health entities are steering people away from the “off-patent” drug, regardless of favorable evidence, because “Nobody is making money from it.” In the interview below, Dr. Marik states that, with hundreds of doctors and researchers obtaining beneficial results using !vermect!n, there “must be a great conspiracy” to fake results from dozens of countries, all from a product that costs pennies.
]In the spring of 2020, cardiologist Dr. Bruce Boros, who operates three clinics in the Florida Keys, was among the first Florida physicians to surface as a prescriber of !vermect!n to his COVID-19 patients. Soon after, the five-hospital Broward Health System approved the drug for use, one of the first and few hospital groups in Florida to do so. The FDA then pushed back and directed doctors and hospitals to not use !vermect!n. Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and the EU did the same. Even so, in August 2021 more than 88,000 US prescriptions were written for !vermect!n in one week alone.
How Ivermectin Saved Actor Louis Gossett Jr. from Dying of COVID-19
When Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. walked out of an Atlanta hospital sick with COVID, he reached out to Florida Keys Dr. Bruce Boros, who would save his life.
Critics who say that !vermect!n’s effectiveness is not proven are mostly officials or “Hollywood doctors,” not clinical doctors. Skeptics cite a lack of controlled trials, yet 64 studies in over a dozen countries show its efficacy against COVID-19, with results ranging from a 50 percent to 80 percent reduction in deaths and hospitalizations. Several gold-standard meta-analyses have been conducted. Officials claim that only large, double-blind, randomized controlled trials would provide adequate evidence. This is nearly impossible to achieve without the resources of the pharmaceutical industry. Giving a placebo for a life-threatening disease would not only be immoral but a violation of the Geneva Convention. In the scientific community, meta-analyses are considered the highest level of evidence. The costly drug Remdesivir was approved by the FDA with only one efficacy study, a fraction of that of !vermect!n. The WHO approved !vermect!n for the treatment of scabies based on only 10 randomized trials. It made some sense that COVID-19 vaccines were rolled out quickly in the rush to fight the pandemic, but by early 2021 there was good research on !vermect!n for COVID vs. the new vaccines. And, speaking of vaccines, vaccine-hesitant people are considering the old school forthcoming Novavax mRNA-free vaccine.
Left out of this whole conversation is the fact that Merck is rushing to market its own oral therapeutic drug. It is reported that Merck can only receive the $1.2B government payment for its oral drug if there is no existing drug on the market. Could this perhaps be a reason for the intense anti-!vermect!n campaign?
The Pharma Medical Complex, i.e., “Big Pharma,” believes that doctors who treat their COVID-19 patients with off-patent medicines or supplements should lose their medical licenses. And recently the FDA pressured Amazon to stop selling the completely safe and effective supplement NAC, which helps boost the immune system and is used to treat patients recovering from COVID-19.
In the May 2021 article The Drug that Cracked Covid, well-known Philadelphia Inquirer journalist Michael Capuzzo shared both a personal and a global story:
“The absence of treatments for COVID-19 is a global crisis,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said recently on 60 Minutes, for vaccines “are not enough.”
Fortunately, I knew of an early treatment for my daughter Grace. It’s a cheap generic drug, safer than Tylenol, FDA-approved to treat scabies and lice, with many other uses that make !vermect!n a “wonder drug.”
Doctors have repeatedly told Michael Capuzzo that the pressure from the medical establishment and government agencies against !vermect!n’s use is unprecedented.
The COVID “Black-and-White” (CBW) Fallacy Emerges
In 2021, Democrats have positioned themselves as the party of science, as contrasted with the climate-denying, science-ignoring, and QAnon-conspiracy-theorizing wing of the Republican party. In fact, my article of 9-2-2020 shared my concerns about QAnon and the far right. Some Democrats view realities in the black-and-white terms of Biden vs. Trump, or proven science vs. hoaxes. The COVID “Black-and-White” (CBW) types claim to believe in science and data. Perhaps they’re thinking, If only everyone would get a vaccine, COVID-19 would magically disappear so we could all go back to our normal lives!
It seems that anyone who questions Pharma’s profit motive or vaccine effectiveness, or who emphasizes off-patent medicines, is considered a danger and must be shunned or deplatformed. CBW folks don’t see that the FDA and WHO policies negatively impact the Global South and other Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) by making it harder to obtain traditional therapeutics. For example, low-cost and effective treatments were restricted in the Philippines and other countries after FDA pronouncements in August 2021. Despite this, the Philippine government in early September approved a study on !vermect!n. Put simply, the COVID black-and-white polarization is a danger to our society. Advocates of the mainstream narrative are not only possibly harming themselves and their loved ones, but they are also blocking public access to safe and effective medicines.
Beyond Black-and-White . . . the Middle Way
middle way: a course of action, mode of conduct, or policy for action between two extremes
Most people simply want to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19. Those who choose the middle way see value in mainstream medicine and the benefits of vaccines. They reject both mandatory vaccines and wild conspiracies of QAnon to pursue a way of wellness and health. The middle way seeks to restore balance, linking soil health to gut health and nutrient-dense foods to the body’s immune system. The middle way seeks to regenerate our farmland, our forests, and our personal health and sees all this as being interconnected. The middle way looks beyond media propaganda and rejects the extremes of both sides.
The Pharma Medical Complex—A Page Out of Industry’s Playbook
Ever wonder how much Monsanto or Bayer spends on ghostwriting fake research submitted to the FDA or demonizing solutions such as regenerative agriculture? It’s estimated to be perhaps $100 million a year. How much do you think Big Pharma spends, considering that their profits are vastly greater? Their playbook says to create doubt about anything that threatens their vaccine monopoly (at least until the advent of a new, on-patent therapeutic drug such as Molnupiravir, which Merck is rushing to market).
Anyone outside of Big Pharma thinking is subject to being painted as a kook. Listening to Big Pharma, CNN, or Americans’ social media comments, one could conclude that they are all singing from the same hymnal. If you increasingly feel lost in a dystopia, as if George Orwell’s 1984 quote has jumped from its pages into reality in 2021, you are not alone. “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
This is hardly the first instance of damage by profit-oriented policies. Climate science has been denied, keeping oil sales high. Glyphosate was deemed safe but then shown to cause cancer. Ritalin has been promoted for children as young as two. Statin drugs have been the go-to cure for heart disease, while even healthy fats were blamed for the disease. The difference in today’s predicament is that every human on the planet is directly affected. Which of these most leads to increased risk of COVID-19 death?—obesity, stress or anxiety, being sedentary, or being unvaxxed? All four are risk factors, but the first three lead to inflammation, a known factor in poor COVID-19 outcomes that is rarely mentioned.
What Will Our Future Hold?
Will captured agencies continue to keep silent about even the most simple and accessible protective health tips such as exercising or boosting levels of vitamin D? Will citizens feel required to receive frequent boosters that may no longer be effective (as variants outsmart the tech), just to keep their vaccine passports current? Will failure result in losing a job or access to travel, music events, restaurants, and other public spaces?
Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb has said, "We're transitioning from a pandemic to more of an endemic virus . . . An endemic is an outbreak in particular regions that's always present . . . like the common cold.”
Let us bring forth a world where we rely on our best scientists and our best clinical doctors, providing the best therapeutics, to end this 18-month-long nightmare of fear. We must honestly confront today’s shackles to awaken to a better tomorrow.
Whether or not this coronavirus becomes endemic, it would be wise to have your own COVID-19 home kit, to follow a wellness regime including vitamin D and zinc, and to request Congressional pandemic hearings. Let us not forget the ancient oath of Hippocrates “to treat the ill to the best of one's ability.” It’s time for common sense to prevail, for families and friends to heal and communities to thrive and regenerate once again.
P.S. Here is a link to the charts and graphics.