Bret and Heather and Ivermectin. Oh my.
IDSG returns from it’s 17 year absence with a banger of an episode in which Daniel dishes out THE FUCKING TEA on Bret Weinstein & Heather Heying (again) and their irresponsible spreading (in hushed, reasonable voices) of potentially lethal conspiracy theories and bad science re Covid, Wuhan, vaccines, and Ivermectin.
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Bret Weinstein Odysee
Bret interviews Yuri Deigin.
Indeed, virologists, including the leader of coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Shi Zhengli, have done many similar things in the past — both replacing the RBM in one type of virus by an RBM from another, or adding a new furin site that can provide a species-specific coronavirus with an ability to start using the same receptor (e.g. ACE2) in other species. In fact, Shi Zhengli’s group was creating chimeric constructs as far back as 2007 and as recently as 2017, when they created a whole of 8 new chimeric coronaviruses with various RBMs. In 2019 such work was in full swing, as WIV was part of a $3.7 million NIH grant titled Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence. Under its auspices, Shi Zhengli co-authored a 2019 paper that called for continued research into synthetic viruses and testing them in vitro and in vivo:
CLIP (Bret and Heather on BIll Maher Lab Leak) – starts at beginning of clip.
Andersen, et al. The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2
SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans; SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 can cause severe disease, whereas HKU1, NL63, OC43 and 229E are associated with mild symptoms6. Here we review what can be deduced about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 from comparative analysis of genomic data. We offer a perspective on the notable features of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and discuss scenarios by which they could have arisen. Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.
Garry, Robert. [Early appearance of two distinct genomic lineages of SARS-CoV-2 in different Wuhan wildlife markets suggests SARS-CoV-2 has a natural origin](https://virological.org/t/early-appearance-of-two-distinct-genomic-lineages-of-sars-cov-2-in-different-wuhan-wildlife-markets-suggests-sars-cov-2-has-a-natural-origin/691
CLIP (Two Covid Lineages in Wuhan Market) – Starts about 39:00 in TWIV762
potholer54, Did SARS-Cov-2 start in a Chinese Lab?
potholer54, More “man-made” SARS-CoV-2 lab-leak malarky
Scott Gavura, Science Based Medicine, “Ivermectin is the New Hydroxychloroquine”
There has been interest in ivermectin since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, because it was observed that at high concentrations it had antiviral properties against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
However, there was an important red flag in that finding. A few weeks after the initial finding was published, a short paper appeared in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology that described the considerations for using ivermectin as an antiviral. While it acknowledged the antiviral properties of high concentrations of the drug in laboratory (in vitro) experiments, it noted that it would likely not be possible to achieve the same concentrations of the drug in the plasma of the blood, because the drug itself is tightly bound to blood proteins. Even giving 8.5 x the FDA-approved dose (1700mcg/kg) resulted in blood concentrations far below the dose identified that offered antiviral effects:
CORONA project 18:58, 46:32
Clip “Ivermectin End the Pandemic” – starts around 3:30
With Dr. Robert Malone (invented mRNA vaccine technology) and Mr. Steve Kirsch.
Clip “Bret Doctors as Scientists from CotC” – Starts around 19:00
With Pierre Kory
Science Based Medicine, Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 2
Last week, über-quack Joe Mercola published an article entitled “COVID, Ivermectin and the Crime of the Century“, naming it after an episode of Bret Weinstein’s podcast. It features an interview with Dr. Pierre Kory, one of the most prominent proponents of ivermectin for COVID-19 by evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein, who has become prominent as a COVID-19 contrarian and spreader of disinformation, particularly about the “lab leak theory” of SARS-CoV-2 origins and now likes to Tweet about “persecution” by Twitter:
It also turns out that Dr. Pierre Kory is president of the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) and has testified before Congress. During that testimony, Dr. Kory claimed that ivermectin, used with other medicines such as vitamin C, zinc and melatonin, could “save hundreds of thousands of people,” and cited more than 20 studies.
The narrative of Mercola’s article is eerily similar to the narratives we heard about hydroxychloroquine a year ago, namely that ivermectin is a cheap, safe, and effective drug that “they” don’t want you to know about that could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives if not for doctors’ fetish for randomized clinical trials.
Before I move on to more of the ivermectin conspiracy theorists and potential reasons for them, I can’t help but repeat what I’ve been saying all along about ivermectin. Combining preclinical studies that show antiviral activity against SARS-C0V-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in vitro (cell culture) but only at much higher concentrations of ivermectin than can be achieved with safe doses in the bloodstream with the equivocal clinical trial results lead to a conclusion that this drug almost certainly does not work to treat COVID-19. This is particularly likely given that the highest quality existing randomized controlled clinical trials of ivermectin are all basically negative. I note that when I discussed how poor the evidence for hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 was, I routinely received criticism that I “wanted patients to die” and was “hoping” that the drug didn’t work. I’m getting some of the same nonsense now that I’ve finally been prodded to write about ivermectin. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even though, now that there are safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the need for a cheap and effective drug that can treat COVID-19 is not as desperate as it was a year ago, it is still acute given how large swaths of the globe still do not have access to the vaccines. Moreover, now that Oxford University has added ivermectin to the protocol of its massive PRINCIPLE Trial of treatments for COVID-19, it is possible that there might turn out to be a benefit due to ivermectin in treating COVID-19, clearly just not as massive as claimed by advocates and conspiracy theorists. I’d be just fine with that, as I would have been overjoyed if hydroxychloroquine had been shown to be as effective as its advocates had claimed it was. It’s just that, right now, the evidence is trending strongly in favor of the conclusion that ivermectin, like hydroxychloroquine before it, doesn’t work against COVID-19 in humans.
What this means is that, if you exclude some of the low-quality research on ivermectin, the paper goes from showing a massive benefit to no benefit at all. On top of this, there’s an interesting point — even if you don’t agree with these assessments, taking the only three studies that the authors of the meta-analysis considered to be at a “low risk of bias” (i.e. high-quality), you find that these high-quality studies have failed to find any benefit for ivermectin. In other words, while the conclusions the authors came to are very positive, the results section of the paper seems to show that the evidence for ivermectin might not be strong after all. The devil really is in the details with research like this.
Jack Lawrence aka TimPoolClips Why Was a Major Study on Ivermectin for COVID-19 Just Retracted?
Even if the paper’s authors end up providing an innocent explanation for all this it would be puzzling why it took them so long to notice their error. Whether the final story is one of purposeful fabrication or a series of escalating mistakes involving training or test datasets, this research group has still screwed up in a big way.
Although science trends towards self-correction, something is clearly broken in a system that can allow a study as full of problems as the Elgazzar paper to run unchallenged for seven months. Thousands of highly educated scientists, doctors, pharmacists, and at least four major medicines regulators missed a fraud so apparent that it might as well have come with a flashing neon sign. That this all happened amid an ongoing global health crisis of epic proportions is all the more terrifying. For those reading this article, its findings may serve as a wake-up call. For those who died after taking a medication now shown to be even more lacking in positive evidence, it’s too late. Science has corrected, but at what cost?
Of course, as Meyerowitz-Katz observed, just the results of the study raised a lot of red flags. Elgazzar 2020, if you take the authors at their word, enrolled over 400 people with COVID-19 and 200 close personal contacts and allocated them either to ivermectin or placebo groups, reporting that ivermectin treatment decreased mortality from COVID-19 by a whopping 90%. As Meyerowitz-Katz observed, if this were true, that would make ivermectin the “most incredibly effective treatment ever to be discovered in modern medicine.” While as a physician I might quibble about that a bit (we do have treatments that are greater than 90% effective at eliminating the diseases or conditions that they treat, especially a number of vaccines), he is correct if you restricted this to antiviral drugs. If this study’s results were accurate and generalizable, ivermectin would be the most most incredibly effective antiviral treatment ever to be discovered. That result alone should have raised a number of red flags, and it did among authors doing meta-analyses who were not ivermectin advocates from the BIRD Group or the FLCCC, which is why they excluded it from their analyses.
Meilssa Davey at The Guardian Huge sttudy supporting ivermectin as Covid treatment withdrawn over ethical concerns
A medical student in London, Jack Lawrence, was among the first to identify serious concerns about the paper, leading to the retraction. He first became aware of the Elgazzar preprint when it was assigned to him by one of his lecturers for an assignment that formed part of his master’s degree. He found the introduction section of the paper appeared to have been almost entirely plagiarised.
It appeared that the authors had run entire paragraphs from press releases and websites about ivermectin and Covid-19 through a thesaurus to change key words. “Humorously, this led to them changing ‘severe acute respiratory syndrome’ to ‘extreme intense respiratory syndrome’ on one occasion,” Lawrence said.
The data also looked suspicious to Lawrence, with the raw data apparently contradicting the study protocol on several occasions.
“The authors claimed to have done the study only on 18-80 year olds, but at least three patients in the dataset were under 18,” Lawrence said.
CLIP “DH85 Save Three Kill Two” – Starts Around 50:00
Dark Horse 86: They’ve Got That Covered
CLIP “DH86 Retraction” – Starts around 19:00
Several reputed virologists and vaccinologists have resigned as editors of the journal Vaccines to protest its 24 June publication of a peer-reviewed article that misuses data to conclude that “for three deaths prevented by [COVID-19] vaccination, we have to accept two inflicted by vaccination.”
Since Friday, at least six scientists have resigned positions as associate or section editors with Vaccines, including Florian Krammer, a virologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Katie Ewer, an immunologist at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford who was on the team that developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Their resignations were first reported by Retraction Watch.
“The data has been misused because it makes the (incorrect) assumption that all deaths occurring post vaccination are caused by vaccination,” Ewer wrote in an email. “[And] it is now being used by anti-vaxxers and COVID-19-deniers as evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are not safe. [This] is grossly irresponsible, particularly for a journal specialising in vaccines.”
The paper is a case of “garbage in, garbage out,” says Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccinologist who directs the Vaccine Datalink and Research Group at the University of Auckland and who also resigned as a Vaccines editor after reading the paper. Diane Harper, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who was founding editor-in-chief of Vaccines, also resigned, as did Paul Licciardi, an immunologist at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Parkville, Australia, and Andrew Pekosz, a respiratory virologist at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Anna Merlan at Vic; two excellent summaries:
1. ‘Why Is the Intellectual Dark Web Suddenly Hyping an Unproven COVID Treatment?’ https://www.vice.com/en/article/wx5z5y/why-is-the-intellectual-dark-web-suddenly-hyping-an-unproven-covid-treatment
2. ‘The Ivermectin Advocates’ War Has Just Begun’ https://www.vice.com/en/article/y3d5gv/ivermectin-covid-treatment-advocates-rogan-weinstein-hecker
Jef Rouner at Houston Press on Bret https://www.houstonpress.com/news/a-possible-new-anti-vaccine-scam-is-on-the-rise-11591162
Decoding the Gurus on Bret & Heather and Ivermectin https://decoding-the-gurus.captivate.fm/episode/brett-heather-weinstein-why-are-they-suppressing-ivermectin-the-miracle-cure
Bret platforms Geert Vanden Bossche https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNyAovuUxro&t=6s
Vaxopedia on Geert Vanden Bossche https://vaxopedia.org/2021/03/14/who-is-geert-vanden-bossche/?fbclid=IwAR3u1myW15pERVxvcopv5NlWBr12QakfzVMHsoHHopLuJWKSUGfockqYhBo
ZDoggMD on Geert Vanden Bossche https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEyQi__zTuo
Potholer54 on Covid and vaccines etc https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL82yk73N8eoWneZjR0wiidhGkAMOeIYAS
QAnon Anonymous feat. scientist on ‘Lab Leak’ theory https://soundcloud.com/qanonanonymous/unlocked-premium-episode-129-lab-leak-hypothesis-feat-dr-alex-greninger
Citations Needed Pod vaccine inequality https://citationsneeded.libsyn.com/size/5/?search=vaccine
Clip from start; Charlie Kirk cites Bret to Tucker Carlson https://twitter.com/uberfeminist/status/1418033997398020102
Eiynah’s panel on ‘Mergegate’ (feat. D. Harper) Part 1 https://soundcloud.com/politeconversations/panel-24-defending-new-atheism-maybe-just-dont-pt-1
Daniel’s guest appearance on Decoding the Gurus https://decoding-the-gurus.captivate.fm/episode/special-episode-interview-with-daniel-harper-on-the-far-right-idw-criticism