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Antiviral Drug Remdesivir Proves Ineffective In Treating COVID19 – WHO
A recap leading up to the WHO’s results regarding remdesivir’s ineffectiveness (based on reporting from FiercePharma.com)…
An earlier US government-led study found faster recovery times but there wasn’t a statistically significant death-risk reduction in the overall study group. Could the high cost of this treatment be justified? “Gilead has been collecting revenue on remdesivir since July at the wholesale acquisition cost of $3,120 for a typical five-day treatment course.”
The data from the study was re-analyzed and voila, they found some subset (minority) of the patients in the study who had less deaths with remdesivir than a placebo.
From an article dated 9 October, prior to the WHO’s results:
But while remdesivir is “indeed helpful in shortening the duration of disease, reducing the progression to more complicated disease, and probably (but not definitively), saving lives,” the “fine print … is perhaps less encouraging than the top line,” SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges wrote in a note to clients.
The drug didn’t conclusively improve survival at Day 29, “which is the endpoint of most importance in the end,” he noted.
Plus, benefits from the treatment were “almost entirely in one group of patients,” Porges wrote. For those who were hospitalized and requiring oxygen—but not ventilation or high-flow oxygen—there were “significant” benefits. But for the sickest patients, “remdesivir produced no benefit,” Porges wrote.
Exorcism of the Demons at Arezzo c.1297-1299
The dark demon, at the lower left, resembles a certain US president.
Dr. D: “Anyone know what that car is? Looks easy to fix. Rear vents make it like a VW.”
Looks like a Hanomag 2/10 PS “Kommissbrot”.
Body style coupe, roadster
Layout RMR layout
Engine 503 cc OHV single-cylinder engine, water-cooled.
Transmission Manual, 3-speed
Wheelbase 1920 mm
Length 2780 mm
Width 1180 mm
Height 1600 mm
Kerb weight 370 kg (816 lb)
The Hanomag 2/10 PS was an economy car manufactured by Hanomag from 1924 to 1928. It was one of the first cars with envelope styling. It was affectionately referred to as the “Kommissbrot” or “Army Bread” due to its identical shape with the usual used loaf of bread at the German army in this time.
The 2/10 PS (two taxable / ten brake horsepower) had a single-cylinder half litre engine behind the passengers. The rear axle was chain-driven, with no differential. With a fuel consumption of 4.0 litres per 100 kilometres (71 mpg‑imp; 59 mpg‑US) it was the world’s most fuel efficient mass-production car between the two World Wars due to the low-friction one-cylinder engine and its very light weight.
the link to the STAT article:
From a Newsweek headline today:
People Want to Know Why Trump Took Zinc, Vitamin D, Famotidine, After COVID Diagnosis
Trump’s early treatment with Vitamin D, zinc, etc., was discussed in this article, below, from STAT. He was also given two unauthorized “monoclonal antibodies” from Rengeneron which only last week presented data about these drugs at a press conference.
The physicians all said that the treatment plan for the president was basically sound, although many had questions about the drug regimens he is receiving. Bhadelia noted that most of the treatments Trump is getting are not recommended by Covid-19 guidelines released by the National Institutes of Health.
Treatment guidelines say not to give zinc, which Trump is receiving. He is also receiving vitamin D, the ulcer drug famotidine, melatonin, and a daily aspirin….
The president is receiving a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies from Regeneron, which is not authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, and remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences, which has been granted an emergency authorization for use in hospitalized Covid-19 patients. Bhadelia said obtaining access to unapproved drugs is not unusual with some emerging infectious diseases, and that using the antibodies made sense because, under the limited data released, this was the right time to give it, to keep the illness from getting worse. Adding remdesivir is logical because the two drugs might be synergistic, though that is unproven.
But both Jha and Narasimhan said they would not have reached for the Regeneron antibody. Data for it was presented at a company press conference only on Tuesday.
“It hasn’t gone through FDA approval, and it hasn’t gone through any vetting yet,” said Narasimhan. “So we don’t know when to give it or who should get it or what the harm is from it. Now, no one really knows the answer to that.”
I’ve been keeping up with Craig Murray’s daily accounts of what he is witnessing at the Assange trial. A fascinating and horrific look at the “Justice” System.
The defence has strong expert witnesses who are standing up well to cross-examinations. The prosecution lawyers seem to be trying every dirty trick in the book, to little effect, but the judge will interpret things however she wants to.
Murray’s account of Day 14 was the first time he was critical of the defence legal team.
“The willingness of Judge Baraitser to accept American red lines on what witnesses can and cannot say has combined with a joint and openly stated desire by both judge and prosecution to close this case down quickly by limiting the number of witnesses, the length of their evidence, and the time allowed for closing arguments. For the first time, I am openly critical of the defence legal team who seem to be missing the moment to stop being railroaded and say no, this is wrong, forcing Baraitser to make rulings against them [which could help with an appeal]. Instead most of the day was lost to negotiations between prosecution and defence as to what defence evidence could be edited out or omitted.”
Capucine and Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther (1963)
@ John Day
Lady Finger Banana plants can currently be obtained at Willis Orchard, and probably from some other sellers.
John Day: “What are the implications of almost 10% of a sample of college students in Austin Texas having the novel coronavirus on one particular day, when they didn’t really feel sick?”
A positive rapid (antigen) test means that there is an active infection. (“Positive results are usually highly accurate” for the antigen tests, says the FDA.
The implications depend on just how long an active infection lasts (even when asymptomatic).
The CDC is now saying (FWIW) that if someone is “retested within 3 months of initial infection, they may continue to have a positive test result, even though they are not spreading COVID-19.” So there can presumably be a three-month period where someone tests positive for an active infection, even if asymptomatic or recovered.
The implications are significant, but not as bad as if an active infection would test positive for only 6 weeks or so. Too bad the students who were tested didn’t also get the antibody test, to show how many had been infected more than 3 months ago.
US Floats Idea Of Early Approval For Eventual COVID19 Vaccine (ST)
The article which Sumac Carol recommended yesterday, by Stephen Harrod Buhner, provides a good overview of the COVID-19 situation, including vaccines:
Understandably, there is tremendous political and social pressure to create a vaccine quickly. Many vaccine experts are worried that this will create “a rush to market” that will fail to identify or even recognize the range and extent of the vaccine’s side effects – and there are always side effects. Nor is there any way to know how effective it will be or how long it will last. (As an example, in any given year the flu vaccine’s effectiveness runs from around 9 percent to less than 70 percent, depending on the age of the person getting it and how well the vaccine matches the current influenza virus.) This is why vaccine trials normally last years, not the months that are being demanded for this viral pathogen. (The HPV vaccine took fifteen years to develop; the one for chickenpox twenty-eight.)
Eventually, a potential vaccine will have to be tested on people. That means subjecting healthy people to injections of new vaccines which may have a range of side effects, including death. Then, sooner or later, people will have to be exposed to the potentially deadly coronavirus to see how effective the vaccine is (if it is a challenge trial). There are a number of ethical concerns about this. And normally, since trials occur in three stages, that is, Phases I, II, and III it, again, usually takes, and should for safety’s sake take, years to go through them all – the record so far is four years for the mumps vaccine.
“It would really help to know what this [Germany] mask mandate entails. Does it include people outside? In their own homes? These are important details.”
From a Berlin source:
You are required to shield your mouth and nose with a cloth covering (scarves are acceptable) while using Berlin public transportation, and while in grocery stores and other shops. Failure to do so can result in fines starting at 50 euros in nearly all of Germany’s 16 states (Saxony-Anhalt is the exception). The BVG, Berlin’s transit authority, imposes fines starting at 50 euros for people who fail to cover their noses and mouths on subways, buses and trams. Masks are also required at airports and train stations.
John Day, I think that complacency can be an outgrowth of compartmentalizing (which is consciously embraced by some as a means of managing one’s life). It seems that compartmentalizing can sometimes lead to less caring (about others) to make it work as a strategy (or coping mechanism), which can lead to complacency.
I am similarly frustrated by such complacency, and it’s still possible to have some empathy for that pulmonologist.
John Day, I appreciate your words of wisdom:
US elites are trying to herd people into blue-camp and red-camp, with different sets of lies and misconceptions, but antagonistic to each other. Each sees some of the lies that the other believes, but not the lies they believe themselves.
Be sane. Don’t follow an ideology. This is chaotic. This is people going insane and acting out a recurring pattern of history where a lot of people die, including elites. Don’t take a side. Don’t accept a partisan narrative.
Both sides are being played.
Here’s a graph which surprised me, after all the media stories about overwhelmed hospitals. Out of all the Emergency Department visits at US hospitals during the pandemic, the percentage of visits due to “COVID-19-Like Illness” was just 7 percent at the peak. Digging deeper into the data, the only region which got into the double digits was Region 2 (NY, NJ, and PR), which was above 10% during a four-week period, peaking at 16%.
When it comes to reading between the lines and thinking for yourself, these recent articles from Ted Rall are food for thought:
There Isn’t That Much Difference between Democrats and Republicans
August 17, 2020
Trump Tries to End the Afghanistan War, Democrats Want to Keep Killing
July 22, 2020
10 Reasons I Won’t Vote for Biden
July 12, 2020
Like Trump, Biden Would Be a Right-Wing President
July 10, 2020
On Foreign Policy, Joe Biden is Worse Than Trump
July 6, 2020
The Data Is Clear: Progressives Should Boycott Biden
July 1, 2020
“I have no idea what on the frontpage could be seen as sexual content.”
Maybe it’s the beginning of the Social Experiment posting which mentions ladies of the evening micturating on the bunk?
“… looks like a chart written by Red State.”
An online search for the image shows that it was tweeted by the Trump War Room, “a Twitter account managed by the president’s campaign” according to The Hill.
“I think we’e down to diluting the definition of the term “vaccine”. Any substance that deserves the term would appear to have to provide immunity to a disease, not the ‘maybe’ 50 or 60% Fauci is talking about.”
The flu vaccine has been around a long time, and yet the CDC admits that it’s only 40-60% effective, and that’s during a good year!
How effective is the flu vaccine?
CDC conducts studies each year to determine how well the influenza (flu) vaccine protects against flu illness. While vaccine effectiveness (VE) can vary, recent studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine.
The flu vaccine was less than 30% effective during four of the past 15 flu seasons.
For some years, the 95% Confidence Interval for this data ranges down into negative numbers for the effectiveness, which seems to suggest that the vaccine could have caused more cases of the flu than it prevented that season.
The Library of Congress says that Annette del Sur was “an office employee at Douglas Aircraft.”
Minimizing Economic Costs For COVID19 (NECSI)
The assumptions related to the costs of the “elimination strategy” could be overly optimistic.
Containing importations. Included in the cost A is the possibility that an imported case will lead to another uncontained outbreak that may require a local lockdown in a small part of the country. These infrequent local lockdowns, if enacted shortly after an outbreak becomes uncontained, will be short in duration such that at any one time all or almost all of the country is opened up. Thus, even with these potential local lockdowns, the cost A is far less than the cost c1(0) of maintaining R = 1 throughout the entire nation.
Further reducing costs with green zones. In this analysis, the elimination strategy assumes that R < 1 must be maintained until there is no community transmission anywhere in the country. But with internal travel restrictions, a “green zone” approach can be used in which regions within the country can open up one by one as community transmission is eliminated within each region, with travel allowed between two regions once both regions have eliminated community transmission.
3/4 of Recovered Coronavirus Patients Have Heart Damage Months Later (People)
That’s a rather generalizing headline from People magazine (which is usually focused on celebrity news), but this is not a method for obtaining conclusive results:
“The researchers examined cardiac MRIs from 100 recovered COVID-19 patients between the ages of 45 to 53, and compared them to MRIs of similar people who did not contract the virus.”
The publisher JAMA Cardiology, admits that “There are important residual questions about potential selection bias and generalizability…”
We wish not to generate additional anxiety but rather to incite other investigators to carefully examine existing and prospectively collect new data in other populations to confirm or refute these findings.
That being said, the CDC data shows that April excess deaths from circulatory diseases were much higher than the excess deaths due to respiratory diseases:
For now, foreclosures remain rare. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Security Act requires mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs to let borrowers miss up to a year of payments without penalty. Those mortgage relief initiatives are mandated by federal law, but lenders also have voluntarily extended forbearance to more than a million borrowers with jumbo loans and other types of mortgages not backed by the federal government.
Temporary Mortgage Relief Due to Coronavirus Pandemic
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, under the CARES Act, the owners of single-family homes with federally-backed mortgages can get two types of financial help.
Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium
An eviction and foreclosure moratorium that went into effect on March 18, 2020, has been extended again. It now continues until August 31, 2020. During that time, homeowners:
Will not be charged late fees
Will not be evicted from their homes
Will not initiate foreclosure proceedings
Will suspend foreclosure proceedings already in process
Federally-backed home loans can get six months of mortgage help. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reverse mortgages are eligible too.
If you’re having trouble making payments because of the coronavirus pandemic, your loan servicer must:
Defer or reduce your payments for six months if you contact your loan servicer to make arrangements
Give you another six months of mortgage relief at your request
Offer options for how you can make up the deferred or reduced payments. They will discuss these options with you at the end of your forbearance period.
Make sure you know your rights before you contact your loan servicer. Read this consumer relief guide to mortgage payment forbearance and foreclosure protection under the Federal CARES Act…
Worldometer data from today shows that of all the active COVID-19 cases in the world, 99% of them are in mild condition. The data for the US is similar, with only 1% of the active cases being considered serious or critical.
Which helps to put this headline into perspective:
“Over 40% Of US Adults Are Susceptible To Severe COVID-19”
Return to the gold standard?
Wikipedia data indicates that the total amount of gold that’s been mined in human history amounts to almost 1 ounce of gold per person in the world today.
The US gold reserves of 8134 tonnes is equivalent to almost 1 ounce of gold per person in the US today.
If the current US money supply, currently $18 trillion (?), is to be totally backed by the US gold reserves, this implies a gold value of around $70,000 per ounce (or more).
The current price of gold jumped up to around $1,920 this past week.
“An estimated total of 174,100 tonnes of gold have been mined in human history, according to GFMS as of 2012. This is roughly equivalent to 5.6 billion troy ounces… Since the 1950s, annual gold output growth has approximately kept pace with world population growth (i.e. a doubling in this period)although it has lagged behind world economic growth (approximately 8-fold increase since the 1950s…)”
China’s Three Gorges Dam At The Brink (AC)
“..the flood has already raised the water dammed behind the Three Gorges to 50 — fifty — feet higher than the maximum flood level.”
I call B.S.
That story is based on a claim that the dam was built to hold 145 meters of water, but the dam was actually built to hold up to 175 meters of water. Many online sources, dating back 10 years or more, will verify the 175 meter design level. Wikipedia says that the 145 meter level is where the water is lowered to, in preparation for the rainy season.
I wonder if the recent stories are a form of China-bashing by the WSJ and the American Conservative, with implied criticism of China’s ability to properly design a dam?
More Than Half Of All COVID19 Patients Found To Have Damaged Hearts
A scary article, but it’s misleading. It’s not “more than half of all COVID19 patients”, it’s actually more than half (55%) of the subset of hospitalized COVID19 patients who had suspected heart complications that justified a heart scan. 55% of these heart scans showed abnormalities in heart function, but only a portion of the hospitalized COVID19 patients got a heart scan.
The researchers point out several limitations to their study given its observational design. During the pandemic the number of scans being carried out would have been carefully balanced with the risk of exposing staff, patients and equipment to the virus. Patients who received the scans were in hospital and had suspected heart complications, usually because they had abnormal blood markers reflecting heart damage. This study does not tell us how common heart changes are in people who did not receive a scan.
COVID19 Vaccines With ‘Minor Side Effects’ Could Still Be Pretty Bad (Wired)
Three months ago, the Debt Rattle for April 23 had Worldometer data showing that 3% of active cases were serious or critical, and 97% of active cases were mild.
Today, only 1% of active cases are serious or critical and 99% of active cases are mild.
If and when a vaccine becomes available, the chances of getting serious side effects from the vaccine will be need to be much lower than the chances of getting a serious case of COVID-19 without the vaccine, before I would even consider using that vaccine.
Meanwhile, for the past two months, Europe’s weekly excess mortality numbers have been down around the baseline, even for the 65+ category. Even the UK and Sweden are now being shown as having “no excess” (on the map).
[click on Weekly instead of Cumulated]
Speaking of the draft, I missed this news from 4 months ago: A congressionally mandated commission concluded that “a qualified and capable force means we must extend the registration requirement to all Americans, men and women.“ This would effectively double the pool of draftees. Might come in handy during a civil war? Or for conscripting troops (National Guard) to keep the peace during uprisings?
The recommendation that women register for possible obligatory military service comes five years after then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter opened all positions in the armed forces to women, including combat duty…
Beyond advocating for equal treatment of women and men in the draft sign-up, the commission points out that U.S. population growth rate is at its lowest point in more than 80 years and that seven out of ten Americans of draft age, both male and female, are unfit for military service.
“Hydroxychloroquine’s main function within this treatment approach is to allow zinc to enter the cell. Zinc is the virus killer..”
Previous studies on HCQ seem to ignore the importance of zinc, and the doses of HCQ are rather elevated, compared to what Zelenko uses to get good results.
From the Zelenko study: “…a prescription for the following triple therapy for 5 consecutive days in addition to standard supportive care: zinc sulfate (220 mg capsule once daily, containing 50 mg elemental zinc), HCQ (200 mg twice daily), and azithromycin (500 mg once daily). No loading dose was used… Patients were not treated with HCQ if they had known contraindications, including QT prolongation, retinopathy, or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.”
The Zelenko protocol includes only 2000 mg of HCQ spread out over 5 days.
In contrast, the study published two days ago used almost double this amount (3800 mg).
“Hydroxychloroquine was prescribed at 800 mg (4 tablets) once, then 600 mg (3 tablets) 6 to 8 hours later, then 600 mg (3 tablets) once daily for 4 more days (5 days in total).”
Some headlines from today:
Hydroxychloroquine Still Doesn’t Do Anything, New Data Shows
Hydroxychloroquine studies show drug is not effective for early treatment of mild covid-19
Hydroxychloroquine also doesn’t help Covid-19 patients who aren’t hospitalized, new study finds
Hydroxychloroquine ineffective against mild COVID-19, U.S. study shows
Those headlines could be misleading, considering that
“The study was of such low quality that it was fundamentally uninterpretable,” said Steven Nissen, a veteran clinical trialist at the Cleveland Clinic…The main problem, Nissen said, is that the evidence on hydroxychloroquine should be coming from large, well-funded studies that were big enough to give clear answers. “Instead of focusing on one or two large, well-powered, well-run rigorous trials, we’ve got a bunch of observational studies, low quality randomized controlled trials, and no answers.”
Some actual details of the study:
“At 14 days, 24% (49 of 201) of participants receiving hydroxychloroquine had ongoing symptoms compared with 30% (59 of 194) receiving placebo (P = 0.21).”
“With hydroxychloroquine, 4 hospitalizations and 1 nonhospitalized death occurred (n = 5 events). With placebo, 10 hospitalizations and 1 hospitalized death occurred (n = 10 events); of these hospitalizations, 2 were not COVID-19–related (nonstudy medicine overdose and syncope). The incidence of hospitalization or death did not differ between groups (P = 0.29).”
Some simple math to obtain the hospitalization and death rates for HCQ vs Placebo (which I didn’t see mentioned in the study):
HCQ: hospitalizations 4/201 = 2.0%; deaths 1/201 = 0.5%
Placebo: hospitalizations (covid related) 8/194 = 4.1%; deaths 1/194 = 0.5%
Patients getting HCQ had half the hospitalization rate of those receiving placebo.
“Public statements by intelligence officials are believed only by fools, but that unfortunately includes most of the public anywhere…”
Were The Skripals Secretly Executed By Britain’s Government?
Sunday, 12 July 2020
Opinion: Eric Zuesse
“About 40 hospitals across Florida have no ICU beds available, according to state data.”
Without more information, I don’t know how bad this is. If Florida has only 40 hospitals, then it would be catastrophic.
Hospital ICU Beds Census and Staffed Availability as Reported in ESS
Updated: 7/13/2020 10:02:10 AM
Grand Total [all counties in Florida]
Total Adult ICU capacity — 6,139
Adult ICU census — 4,963
Available Adult ICU — 1,176
Available Adult ICU % — 19%
I’m not a medical doctor, but my layman’s interpretation of that article is that it looks at potential “positive and negative effects of using ICS [inhaled corticosteroids] in relation to COVID-19”, with results of various studies that seem to give mixed results. That quoted result — “One UK database study among 817,973 people with asthma observed a nonsignificant 10% increase in COVID related mortality associated with use low or medium dose ICS and a significant 52% increase with high dose ICS”– sounds bad, but it could be explained by “confounding due to disease severity” meaning those who were using high doses of ICS had the worst cases of asthma, making them more susceptible because of the severe asthma (not because of the ICS).
Regarding budesonide vs. ciclesonide etc, some preliminary data is mentioned which suggests that ciclesonide could be more effective. Randomized controlled trials are suggested.
“Meanwhile, for patients with asthma, the current guidance is to continue taking their ICS” because there MAY be benefits against COVID-19, in addition to the benefits the patients receive from the ICS for their asthma.
For people with G6PD, there is evidently a related problem with Chloroquine (CQ), but not with Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). From that recent COVID-19 study showing good results with HCQ in Detroit hospitals:
Of 2,541 patients, with a median total hospitalization time of 6 days (IQR: 4-10 days), median age was 64 years (IQR:53-76 years), 51% male, 56% African American…
From an earlier comment I posted:
“One drug commonly associated with hemolytic anemia in G6PD deficiency is … chloroquine.
Should this be a concern in the present debate over treating COVID-19 patients? In my opinion, yes. G6PD deficiency is rather common; in fact, it is the second most common human enzyme defect, affecting some 400 million people worldwide. It affects 1 in 10 African-American males in the U.S…
Given the challenges of knowing who may or may not have G6PD deficiency, it would seem prudent not to use chloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients who may be at risk for this genetic condition. The last thing they need is to have a serious respiratory disease compounded by hemolytic anemia, resulting in further loss of oxygenation.
Hydroxychloroquine, on the other hand, does not induce hemolytic anemia in people with G6PD deficiency despite the molecular similarity to chloroquine. It has shown effectiveness in inhibiting the pandemic coronavirus during in vitro testing.”
Chloroquine Is Not a Harmless Panacea for COVID-19
— There’s a real safety concern with malaria drug
by Dan J. Vick MD, DHA, MBA, CPE March 23, 2020
Is Hydroxychloroquine Safe for Patients with G6PD Deficiency?
There is no data to support the withholding of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) therapy among African American patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), according to the results of a recent review… “This is the largest study to date evaluating G6PD deficiency with concurrent use of HCQ,” the researchers concluded. “These data do not support routine G6PD level measurement or withholding HCQ therapy among African American patients with G6PD deficiency.”
Some information about the use of inhaled corticosteroids for treating COVID-19 (which is advocated by Dr. Richard Bartlett):
Use of inhaled corticosteroids in asthma and coronavirus disease 2019
ICU bed shortage in Florida hospitals? A local news station there did some digging.
Some of Central Florida’s largest hospitals are out of adult intensive care unit beds and running low on regular hospital beds, according to the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration hospital bed dashboard. However, local hospitals say they can increase their capacity to meet coronavirus demand should the need arise..
In Orange County, Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando Health-Health Central and Orlando Health Dr. Phillips Hospital are showing zero adult ICU beds available.
News 6 reached out to AdventHealth and Orlando Health, the regions largest healthcare providers, to verify if the state-run dashboard is an accurate reflection of local hospital capacity. According to the AHCA, the dashboard was updated as of Tuesday afternoon.
Orlando Health Director of Public Affairs Kena Lewis said the AHCA dashboard is up to date with information provided by the hospitals but the numbers don’t reflect the overall bed capacity because, if needed, they can scale up to meet increased demand.
“In mid-March, as patient volumes declined and fewer beds were needed, Orlando Health began consolidating units to reduce the number of beds – including ICU beds – that were staffed and in operation. The current operational bed count is what we report to AHCA and what appears on their website. That number is not Orlando Health’s total bed capacity. Across all of our operations, we have nearly 3,300 beds. Nearly 200 of those are ICU beds and we have the capacity to surge up to 500 ICU beds if it becomes necessary,” Lewis said in an email. “We are carefully monitoring the increases in patient volumes. If the need for additional beds grows, Orlando Health will re-open units and make other necessary adjustments in order to meet the needs of the community.
In response to inquiries, AdventHealth issued this statement:
“AdventHealth’s facilities across Central Florida have sufficient capacity to care for patients, including those with COVID-19. Our hospitals are designed in such a way that spaces are flexible and expandable. We have sufficient supplies of ventilators, monitors and other specialized equipment in order to quickly convert spaces in the hospital to both standard and ICU level rooms. We did a significant amount of planning in March and April to identify areas that could be converted if needed.
If you click on the flood photo, you can see the article What Will Sea Level Rise Look Like in Real Life?
An old article in the The Baltimore Sun describes a number of biosafety problems, and potential problems, at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Trouble in the air at Fort Detrick
by Kenneth King
February 28, 2011
Even without deliberately floating its germs in the air, USAMRIID [Fort Detrick’s U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases] has had trouble keeping track of them. In 2009, it discovered 9,200-plus vials (one-eighth of its stock) weren’t logged into inventory. In 2003, while cleaning up a leaking Detrick chemical dump, employees found 100-plus vials of buried live bacteria. “The documentation for where this came from doesn’t exist,” Detrick’s safety director at the time, Lt. Col. Donald Archibald, stammered.
There have been multiple instances since 2001 of Detrick anthrax ending up at places it wasn’t supposed to be — inside the facility and (according to the FBI) outside as well, in the U.S. Postal Service.
In 2009, after safety lapses exposed a USAMRIID researcher to tularemia, two weeks passed before anyone suspected her illness was tularemia, the focus of her research. At Boston University in 2004, and at Texas A&M in 2006, months elapsed before infected researchers were correctly diagnosed. Sick biodefense researchers seem rarely to suspect the diseases they’re researching.
Lab-acquired infections are a particular concern now that researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of Wisconsin and elsewhere have brought the 1918 flu back to life, and developed deadly bird flus that transmit easily between humans.
Such recklessness makes laughable USAMRIID Commander John Skvorak’s declaration that USAMRIID is “tightly regulated” by the Army and CDC. The Government Accountability Office’s chief technologist testified in 2007 that the country’s now 1,300-plus “high-containment” germ labs were essentially regulating themselves. Little has changed since then.
According to the Dallas Morning News, CDC inspections missed or ignored a veritable biosafety train wreck at Texas A&M until a public expose by a small nonprofit forced the CDC to suspend the university’s select agent research and investigate further. The red-faced agency ultimately issued a 21-page report on A&M’s safety lapses.
CDC administrators ignored warnings of their own engineers about the backup power configuration for the CDC’s new suite of BSL-4 labs, causing a complete power loss and loss of negative air pressure in 2007. A second power loss occurred in occupied CDC labs that same year.
The CDC didn’t even require that research developing new bird flus — probably the most dangerous germ research in the country — be conducted at the highest level of containment.
The CDC also allowed USAMRIID researcher Peter Jahrling to conduct experiments trying to infect monkeys with smallpox. Currently, smallpox does not infect animals other than humans. That’s why world health authorities were able (they thought) to eradicate the disease. Risking the establishment of an animal reservoir for smallpox makes about as much sense as resurrecting the 1918 flu.
The CDC’s reputation for “safety” rests on its secrecy, and on the fact that it hasn’t killed anyone in Atlanta since two janitors died of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in 1976.
A study in Portugal looked at whether people who had been taking Hydroxychloroquine regularly (at least 2 grams per month) for chronic autoimmune diseases (like lupus) were less likely to have a laboratory-confirmed case of Covid-19.
They looked at data covering the entire population of Portugal, and cross-linked the people regularly taking HCQ with the people having a laboratory test result for Covid-19 (either positive or negative).
The study concluded that chronic treatment with HCQ confers protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection. The odds ratio was 0.51 (after adjustment for age, sex, and chronic treatment with corticosteroids and/or immunosuppressants), meaning that the people who regularly take HCQ (for lupus, etc.) were about half as likely to have a laboratory-confirmed case of Covid-19.
@ Huskynut, some news reports are saying Maxwell stayed in the USA during this past year. To avoid being arrested at the airport?
“Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime girlfriend and alleged accomplice of accused … been “hiding out” in various locations around New England for the past year”
“Ghislaine Maxwell… holed up in New England since the disgraced financier’s arrest last July.”
“A question: any ideas on whether a rapidly mutating virus, in response to which our bodies seem to fail at producing lasting immunity, allowing this rapid mutater to git us agin an agin, will itself become more adept at defeating what antibodies our bodies produce? Darwinian adaptation making the virus stronger in relation to us.”
Since you asked for ideas (not expertise), I’ll take a shot. The mutations which are deadlier to the host may tend to die out sooner (along with the hosts). The coronaviruses which are “kinder” to humans (like those which cause the common cold) may stick around a long time, continuing to mutate.
Regarding COVID-19, “It’s important to realize that overall, the mutation rate of this virus is not particularly high (in line with other coronaviruses, actually). But they do accumulate; there’s a fearful amount of viral replication going on out there, and not all of it goes perfectly. A single patient may have several mutational strains going at the same time as the virus replicates, and there’s been a report of a person who turned out to be infected simultaneously by two strains with different geographic origins, which is bad luck.”
“…a virus spreading through a population may be going through a long series of consecutive founder events/bottlenecks, punctuated by bursts of replication once a new host is infected, each time with new possibilities for random-error mutations and selection pressure from the host’s defenses. Factor in the extreme speed with which the viruses can replicate when they get the chance, and you have a literal example of the phrase “evolution in action”, right in front of your eyes.”
Houston’s largest hospital’s ICU is 97% full as daily cases surge to record highs and expert predicts ‘herd immunity may be the only way to stop the virus’
However, herd immunity may be impossible because…
Chinese study: Antibodies in COVID-19 patients fade quickly
“A new study from China showed that antibodies faded quickly in both asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients during convalescence, raising questions about whether the illness leads to any lasting immunity to the virus afterward.”
Sweden has been trying unsuccessfully for months:
Sweden’s ‘herd immunity’ hopes are fading as only a small fraction of the population has coronavirus antibodies. Just 6.1% of the population of Sweden had developed coronavirus antibodies by late May.