Thursday, June 04, 2020

Hydroxychloroquine -does- work on the Wuhan Flu.

Well, lookee here:

A mysterious company's coronavirus papers in top medical journals may be unraveling

Seen first at Small Dead Animals, there is a growing shitstorm in the medical journals over Hydroxychloroquine.

On its face, it was a major finding: Antimalarial drugs touted by the White House as possible COVID-19 treatments looked to be not just ineffective, but downright deadly. A study published on 22 May in The Lancet used hospital records procured by a little-known data analytics company called Surgisphere to conclude that coronavirus patients taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine were more likely to show an irregular heart rhythm—a known side effect thought to be rare—and were more likely to die in the hospital.

This type of thing is what I like to call Propaganda Overreach. They want to demonize something, so they fling together a study that makes it look like the drug is actively killing people. The problem here is that Hydroxychloroquine is a very old and very safe drug that's been on the market forever. Every doctor and pharmacist knows what the side effects are, and who to avoid giving it to. You don't give it to people in certain types of cardiac distress, because irregular heartbeat is a known issue.

If you look at the study sample, what was done here is they gave it to people in acute COVID-19 respiratory distress who were already in hospital and already in ICU on oxygen. That's not how it works. You give it to people when they start showing symptoms, and they get better immediately. And by immediately I mean 2 to 5 hours for normal breathing to resume. Waiting until they're on life support is not the accepted COVID-19 protocol. Giving it to known heart patients is not the protocol either.

So the study is bullshit already, twice over, but was reported as if it was gospel. We are getting used to this in the media, #OrangManBad is their only remaining moral value.

It gets better:

But just as quickly, the Lancet results have begun to unravel—and Surgisphere, which provided patient data for two other high-profile COVID-19 papers, has come under withering online scrutiny from researchers and amateur sleuths. They have pointed out many red flags in the Lancet paper, including the astonishing number of patients involved and details about their demographics and prescribed dosing that seem implausible. "It began to stretch and stretch and stretch credulity," says Nicholas White, a malaria researcher at Mahidol University in Bangkok.
Today, The Lancet issued an Expression of Concern (EOC) saying "important scientific questions have been raised about data" in the paper and noting that "an independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere and is ongoing, with results expected very shortly."
Hours earlier, The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) issued its own EOC about a second study using Surgisphere data, published on 1 May. The paper reported that taking certain blood pressure drugs including angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors didn't appear to increase the risk of death among COVID-19 patients, as some researchers had suggested. (Several studies analyzing other groups of COVID-19 patients support the NEJM results.) "Recently, substantive concerns have been raised about the quality of the information in that database," an NEJM statement noted. "We have asked the authors to provide evidence that the data are reliable."

Fabricated, in other words. So, bullshit study design using bullshit data. Reported as gospel because #OrangeManBad.

I'm not going to speculate on the ulterior motives of various companies and Medical associations around this, because the appearance of impropriety speaks for itself. The Lancet and the mass media are complicit in spreading a deliberate lie about a safe and life saving medicine, during a pandemic, indirectly causing the deaths of unknown (but large) numbers of people. All because Donald Trump dared speak of it with approval.

Update: The Lancet study has been retracted.

The Lancet on Thursday issued a statement about the decision, noting that the retraction wasn’t unanimous:
Today, three of the authors of the paper, “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis”, have retracted their study. They were unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis. As a result, they have concluded that they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.” The Lancet takes issues of scientific integrity extremely seriously, and there are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study. Following guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), institutional reviews of Surgisphere’s research collaborations are urgently needed.

 Here's a list of 15 COVID-19 studies that were likewise retracted.
 This is a very serious thing, my friends. Medicine co-opted to shill for politics? With people dying? Unacceptable.

Upperdate: I have to hand it to The Guardian, they did work that no one else would on this scandal. They googled the Surgisphere company.

Two of the world’s leading medical journals – the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine – published studies based on Surgisphere data. The studies were co-authored by the firm’s chief executive, Sapan Desai.
Late on Tuesday, after being approached by the Guardian, the Lancet released an “expression of concern” about its published study. The New England Journal of Medicine has also issued a similar notice.
An independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has now been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere because of “concerns that have been raised about the reliability of the database”.
The Guardian’s investigation has found:
  • A search of publicly available material suggests several of Surgisphere’s employees have little or no data or scientific background. An employee listed as a science editor appears to be a science fiction author and fantasy artist whose professional profile suggests writing is her fulltime job. Another employee listed as a marketing executive is an adult model and events hostess, who also acts in videos for organisations.
  • The company’s LinkedIn page has fewer than 100 followers and last week listed just six employees. This was changed to three employees as of Wednesday.
  • While Surgisphere claims to run one of the largest and fastest hospital databases in the world, it has almost no online presence. Its Twitter handle has fewer than 170 followers, with no posts between October 2017 and March 2020.
  • Until Monday, the get in touch” link on Surgisphere’s homepage redirected to a WordPress template for a cryptocurrency website, raising questions about how hospitals could easily contact the company to join its database.
  • Desai has been named in three medical malpractice suits, unrelated to the Surgisphere database. In an interview with the Scientist, Desai previously described the allegations as “unfounded”.
  • In 2008, Desai launched a crowdfunding campaign on the website Indiegogo promoting a wearable “next generation human augmentation device that can help you achieve what you never thought was possible”. The device never came to fruition.
  • Desai’s Wikipedia page has been deleted following questions about Surgisphere and his history, first raised in 2010.
Two of three employees are a science fiction writer and a porn actress. Still published in The Lancet! Man, you can't make this stuff up!

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