Were Lives Lost Because Of Politics And Greed?

I think it’s time to ask if the political games the media played during the Trump administration and the conflict of interest in some members of the National Institute of Health resulted in the deaths of Americans. Hot Air posted an article today about s recent study on the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to treat Covid patients.

The article reports:

For most of us, the whole controversy over the use of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19 patients seemed mostly political in nature and less so about the drug’s effectiveness. Once Donald Trump came out in support of it, the gloves came off. At least half of the country decided that HCQ was not a scientific treatment for the coronavirus because the bad Orange Man was an anti-science president. Never mind that it was Trump who expedited the vaccine process to historic speed with Operation Warp Speed. He put together a White House coronavirus task force before many people (especially on the left) were willing to acknowledge the pandemic that originated in China. When Trump announced that he was taking HCQ himself, he was roundly mocked. Nevertheless, others in the medical community studied the use of the drug during the pandemic and found some positive results.

The article notes that hydroxychloroquine costs under $10 for the course of a COVID-19 treatment and the drug being promoted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) during the Trump administration, remdesivir, costs about $3,500 per treatment. Hydroxychloroquine has been used for years with known side effects. The side effects of remdesivir are unknown.

The article suggests we follow the money and continues with the following excerpt from The Washington Times:

Although, many doctors around the world were finding success with HCQ, in February 2020 NIH started enrolling patients for a remdesivir COVID-19 trial, with Dr. Fauci overseeing its progress. He had the final say on all the press releases, and presumably was working closely with Gilead. On April 16 something funny happened with the trial — the endpoints of it were quietly changed and updated on the clinicaltrials.gov website. Instead of evaluating remdesivir’s ability to prevent death from COVID-19, the study was redesigned to evaluate how fast a patient recovered from remdesivir.

…On May 1, the NIH’s COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines panel members granted emergency use of remdesivir and stated HCQ could only be used in hospitals or in studies. Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson found 11 members of that panel had financial ties to Gilead. Two were on Gilead’s advisory board, others were paid consultants or received research support and honoraria. None of the members, however, had ties to HCQ, which is made by numerous generic manufacturers, and “is so cheap, analysts say even a spike in sales would not be a financial driver for the companies,” Ms. Attkisson reported.

Ms. Attkisson also found one of the authors of a small Veterans Administration trial that claimed HCQ caused increased deaths received a $247,000 grant from Gilead in 2018.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

You may remember that when Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19, he was treated with remdesivir and did, indeed, experience a speedy recovery. By the way, Gilead spent $2.45 million in the first quarter of 2020 lobbying the federal government.

The results of the latest study showing success with HCQ in patient recovery time for those on a ventilator is very encouraging. Perhaps the Follow the Science people should practice what they preach. How many lives were lost because of tunnel vision?

This is disgusting. All of the members of the NIH who had ties to Gilead should be fired. Lives were lost because they were greedy.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

On Thursday, Just The News posted an article about some of the things the National Institute of Health (NIH) is spending your tax money on.

The article reports:

On a steamy summer day inside the lecture auditorium of the storied National Institutes of Health headquarters, Dr. Michael Bracken delivered a stark message to an audience that dedicated its life, and owed its living, to medical research.

As much as 87.5% of biomedical research is wasted or inefficient, the respected Yale University epidemiologist declared in a sobering assessment for a federal research agency that spends about $40 billion a year on medical studies.

He backed his staggering statistic with these additional stats: 50 out of every 100 medical studies fail to produce published findings, and half of those that do publish have serious design flaws. And those that aren’t flawed and manage to publish are often needlessly redundant.

The article notes where the NIH has spent money instead of researching cures for a coronavirus pandemic:

As you weigh that question, consider this: In the 15 years since evidence first emerged that drugs like chloroquine might help in a coronavirus pandemic, NIH spent:

Just two days ago, in the midst of surging coronavirus deaths in America, NIH released a joint study by its National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Aging that came to a heady conclusion: If you walk more, you are likely to live longer.

If the NIH had investigated chloroquine fifteen years ago, we might not have governors forbidding doctors to use it to treat coronavirus. It really is time to go through the federal budget line by line and get rid of stupid research projects and useless programs. We could probably pay for the stimulus package with what we cut and have money left over.


The American Family

Some thoughts from a blog called The Conservative Millennial:

In the book, Home Economics: The Consequences of Changing Family Structure, Nick Schulz presents data that shows the deconstruction of the nuclear family since 1960. Not only are people getting married later and less than they used to, in 2009, 41% of all births were to unmarried mothers.

This is significant, because, as explained in a study by Jane Anderson published by the National Institutes of Health, children and society are generally happier, healthier, and more successful when the nuclear family is intact. She points out that as societal norms and perceptions of marriage have changed – from something that’s healthy and beneficial to something that’s constricting and even harmful. Therefore, our culture has evolved to glorifying singleness — and even single parenthood — rather than embracing the nuclear family.

This has led to a higher risk of emotional distress, of psychological immaturity and social and financial immobility for many children who were raised in single-parent homes, which in turn negatively affects societies economically and socially.

This is not to say that this is the sole cause for young people committing acts of violence.  This is to argue that the deterioration of the family has hurt society as a whole, and children, specifically.

…Furthermore, a study by the Social Science Department at UCLA cites a clear link between loneliness and isolation and delinquent behavior. Sociologist Adam Lankford actually argues that lonely, troubled childhoods are a direct cause of more mass shootings.

Fatherlessness, in particular, seems to play a key role in violence among young men. In fact, the majority of school shooters come from fatherless homes. Research by W. Bradford Wilcox suggests that boys who grow up in single-mother homes are twice as likely to commit crimes than those who grow up with a present father. Both sons and daughters are more likely to be depressed without a strong relationship with a father. Broken families, in general, create not only a higher threat of delinquency for children, but also an increased risk of poverty and social immobility. The breakdown of the American family hurts our adolescent who often grow to be hurt adults, which consequently leads to a cycle of pain and violence.

All of this said, correlation does not necessarily equal causation. It is difficult to say, empirically, that the breakdown of family and community causes these horrible acts of violence, but it sure hasn’t helped.

So, if we want to get real about talking about solutions to violence and crime in America, we need to talk about the truth behind these crimes and criminals. The glorification of individualism, of singleness, and of isolation has coincided with our culture’s embrace of moral relativism and rejection of absolute truth is doing more to damage our country and promote discontentment which can lead to violence than it is helping.

Why not start there?