#COVID-19 Link Dump: Dr Bhattacharya Overview of U.S. Pandemic Response, Political Influence Over CDC and FDA, the New “Ministry of Truth”

artist rendition of coronavirus
Are you tired of this pic yet?

Nick Gillespie interview of Dr Jay Bhattacharya in April. 2022 regarding the U.S. response to CO VID-19:

Watch this before it’s deleted by Biden’s Ministry of Truth.

Who’s Bhattaharya? A Stanford professor of medicine (so an M.D.) who also has a PhD in economics. Notes I took during the video:

  • Lockdowns increased worldwide poverty, leading to deaths and other adverse effects that were not accounted for prior to lockdown implementation. (I’m on record as being against lockdowns and school-closings as of April 2, 2020.)
  • there will be no more lockdowns (excluding Shanghai, apparently)
  • interruption of schooling for children caused significant but little-discussed problems
  • dissenting scientific voices like his never should have been marginalized
  • he’s one of the three authors of the Great Barrington Declaration (I signed in Nov 2020)
  • he admits that the mRNA vaccines decrease severe disease (deaths and ? hospitalizations)
  • he took the Pfizer vaccine and caught COVID-19 afterwards; not boosted
  • “We never should have closed the schools.”
  • the collapse of confidence in public health authorities is a major problem; the authorities need to apologize for their bad recommendations
  • there’s no evidence that mask-wearing in children is helpful
  • he’s against vax mandates and vax passports, based on the science
  • the vaccines don’t stop spread of the disease
  • politically, he says he’s center-right
  • he’s against Big Tech censorship of dissenting voices
  • “COVID is here to stay, it’s never going away.”
  • expect new waves of disease and new variants
  • he says academic researchers are dependent on NIH grants and that’s a major reason academics were and are reticent to question Fauci’s recommendations
  • in addition to Fauci, Francis Collins and Rochelle Walensky deserve blame for mismanagement of the pandemic in the U.S.

I don’t disagree with anything Dr B says in the video. I figure he’s smarter than me, and certainly more articulate.


From UK’s DailyMail:

CDC and FDA ‘altered’ Covid guidance and even ‘suppressed’ findings while under political pressure, bombshell report suggests: Whistle-blower employees say they feared ‘retaliation’ if they spoke up

CDC and FDA officials ‘altered’ Covid guidance and even ‘suppressed’ findings related to the virus due to political pressure, a bombshell report suggests.

Investigators from the watchdog Government Accountability Office (GAO) spoke to more than a dozen directors and managers who worked at the agencies behind the country’s pandemic guidance.

They unearthed allegations of ‘political interference’ in scientific reports, raising fears that research was tampered with.

You didn’t see this on Fox, CNN, MSNBC, our your local news station, did you?


In Another Orwellian Move, Biden DHS to Create a ‘Disinformation Governance Board’

RedState says “Biden’s New ‘Ministry of Truth’ Director Turns out to Be a Raving Lunatic.” Her name is Nina Jankowicz.


Steve Parker, M.D.

Does MCT Oil Help in Alzeimer Disease?

One in four adults over 80 has Alzheimer Disease
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

The study at hand was very small, only 20 participants. So results may not be reproducible. The Canadian researchers’ main conclusion: “This is the longest duration MCT Alzheimer Disease study to date. Eighty percent had stabilization or improvement in cognition, and better response with 9‐month continual MCT oil.”

MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides, which apparently are derived from coconut and palm oil. The MCTs provide a source of energy for the brain – ketones – as a partial substitute for the brain’s usual energy source, glucose.

Study participants as expected were elderly and had mild to moderate Alzheimer Disease. Folks with diabetes were excluded from participation.

The article introduction has some interesting facts:

The brain is an obligate glucose metabolizer using 120 to 130 g/day of glucose. It uses 16% of the body’s total O2 consumption, despite representing only 2.0% to 2.3% of adult body weight. In conditions of low carbohydrate intake or fasting, the body uses ketones (acetoacetate and beta hydroxybutyrate [BHB]) as an alternative energy source to glucose. Ketones are normally generated in fasting states from beta‐oxidation of adipose stores to maintain cerebral function. In long‐term fasting, ketones can supply > 60% of the brain’s energy requirements, and are preferentially taken up by the brain over glucose. This occurs in cognitively normal younger and older adults, as well as in those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD.

Ketones can also be induced with a very low carbohydrate high fat (VLCHF) diet. Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil has the potential to produce a nutritional source of ketones for an alternative brain fuel to glucose, or by the consumption of MCT oil or esterases in freeze‐dried form. This is independent of the fasting state or carbohydrate intake. Long‐term compliance with fasting or VLCHF and LCHF diet regimes is challenging and requires strict medical supervision. Hence, the potential advantage of nutritional ketone sources (MCT) over these restrictive diets. Our recent study showed a clear dose‐dependent effect on ketone (BHB) generation with varying doses of MCT supplementation, and was found to be equivalent in young, elderly, and AD subjects.

In Alzheimer Disease (AD), the brain is unable to use glucose normally, causing hypofunction of 20% to 40% in key areas of the brain responsible for the symptoms in AD.


The MCT oil used was Bulletproof Brain Octane ® (NPN 80057199). Are other MCT oils just as good? Hell if I know. The goal dose was three tablespoons (15 ml) daily. My sense is that it was recommended as one tablespoon (15 ml) three times daily. The average consumption ended up as two tablespoons daily. Caregivers were in charge of dosing and they tended to forget or omit the lunchtime dose. Some study participants had limited dosing due to MCT side effects: abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Conclusion:

This study shows that participants taking MCT supplementation for 11 months continuously did better cognitively than their peers who had their 11 months of MCT interrupted by 4 months of placebo (olive) oil. Given that most patients should experience a drop in their cognitive scores over the 15 months, the fact that those on longer continuous MCT did not, could be a sample size error for the outcomes other than Montreal Cognitive Assessment, but it could also be that the difference in scores (showing stability) is valid.

In other words, MCT oil didn’t improve cognition, but stabilized it. I.e., it prevented the usual expected decline over time.

Steve Parker, M.D.

h/t The Low Carb Diabetic

PS: Another way to get ketones to the brain is with a ketogenic diet, which is an option in my books.

CT Versus Invasive Angiography in Stable Chest Pain

Heart attacks and chest pains are linked to blocked arteries in the heart

We’re all gonna die of something, right?

The #1 cause of death in the U.S. is coronary artery disease (CAD), which causes heart attacks and sudden cardiac death. Blockage in the heart arteries typically develops over years and many people are walking around not knowing it’s there. The lucky ones develop warning signs like chest pain or shortness of breath on exertion. After consulting a physician, the next step may be a “stress test” or some sort imaging of the arteries of the heart.

Angiography refers to imaging of arteries or veins. Angiography of the heart arteries is helpful in diagnosing blockage of arteries that may cause heart attacks or sudden cardiac death in the future.

CT stands for computerized tomography: x-rays obtain images that are then manipulated by computer technology to provide more information than plain x-ray technology alone. CT angiography of the heart arteries is done with iodinated contrast injected into the low-pressure venous system of circulation. In contrast, standard arterial angiography involves introduction of a needle (and catheter) into the high-pressure arterial system, usually the femoral artery in the groin or the smaller radial artery in the wrist. Standard arterial angiography is associated with a higher risk of complications such as leakage of blood from the artery. Another potential complication is embolization of arterial plaque or clots downstream from the arterial puncture. Because of the higher complication rate in the arterial system, standard angiography is considered “invasive.”

The study at hand asks which is a better way to image heart arteries in a patient with stable chest pain: CT versus standard arterial angiography. The article abstract doesn’t define “stable” chest pain. I assume the researchers did not include acute myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) and unstable angina.

European researchers concluded that:

Among patients referred for invasive coronary angiography (ICA) because of stable chest pain and intermediate pretest probability of coronary artery disease, the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events was similar in the CT group and the ICA group. The frequency of major procedure-related complications was lower with an initial CT strategy. 

I bet the non-invasive CT is also less expensive that standard arterial angiography.

Steve Parker, M.D.

#COVID-19 Link Dump: Denmark Suspends Vax Program, Religious Exemption From Vax Mandate, Vax May Prevent Recurrent Infection, Ivermectin Worthless

artist's rendition of coronavirus
Artist’s rendition of Coronavirus

Denmark suspends their vax program starting May 15. May restart in the Fall.


From Jann Bellamy at Science-Based Medicine (Federal employment rights agency inundated with thousands of COVID-related discrimination claims):

As for a worker claiming a religious exemption to an employer’s vaccine mandate, the EEOC’s guidance said that the employer must provide a reasonable accommodation “for the religious belief, practice, or observance” that prevents the worker from receiving the vaccine under Title VII, unless that accommodation poses more than a “de minimis” cost or burden.

“If, however, an employee requests a religious accommodation, and an employer has an objective basis for questioning either the religious nature or the sincerity of a particular belief, practice, or observance, the employer would be justified in requesting additional supporting information . . .”

Further complicating the issue, the EEOC advised that “religion” is not limited to established religions like Christianity, Judaism and Islam. It also includes “religious beliefs that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal church or sect, or only held by a small number of people”. As well, “nontheistic beliefs can also be religious for purposes of the Title VII exemption as long as they ‘occupy in the life of that individual’ ‘a place parallel to that filled by. . . God in traditionally religious persons’”. Thus, “the non-discrimination provisions of the statute also protect employees who do not possess religious beliefs or engage in religious practices”.


In Israel:

Among patients who had recovered from Covid-19, the receipt of at least one dose of the BNT162b2 [Pfizer] vaccine was associated with a significantly lower risk of recurrent infection.

But…

If you have a recurrent infection, wouldn’t you expect to be sick? Acute illness didn’t necessarily have anything to do with labeling someone as infected. “We compared rates of recurrent infection, as identified on ad hoc RT-qPCR testing, among patients who had received the BNT162b2 vaccine with rates among unvaccinated patients.” I found no criteria defining “ad hoc” in the Methods section. “Recurrent infection was defined as a positive RT-qPCR test for SARS-CoV-2 at least 100 days after the primary infection.” Regardless of symptoms, then. I’ve run across a number of patients with a positive PCR test yet no symptoms. Until very recently, the hospital where I work was testing everyone admitted, for any reason, for COVID-19. So if you felt fine but got bucked off your horse and suffered a hip fracture, you got tested.


From Brazil:

Treatment with ivermectin did not result in a lower incidence of medical admission to a hospital due to progression of Covid-19 or of prolonged emergency department observation among outpatients with an early diagnosis of Covid-19

The treatment dose was 400 mcg/kg daily for three days. Study subjects were allowed to have symptoms for up to seven days before starting the drug. Ivermectin proponents would say you need to start the drug much earlier than seven days in. The researchers report: “We observed no benefit with ivermectin as compared with placebo among patients who began the trial regimen within 3 days after symptom onset (relative risk, 1.14; 95% Bayesian credible interval, 0.76 to 1.74).” About have of the ~650 ivermectin recipients were started on the drug within 3 days os symptom onset.

More than 60 randomized trials of ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19 have been registered, and findings have been reported for as many as 31 clinical trials.5 The results have been discordant, and various review groups interpret the evidence differently — some advocating for benefits of ivermectin, and others reticent to conclude a benefit.6-8 However, most trials have been small, and several have been withdrawn from publication owing to concerns about credibility.9


I’m still waiting for the experts to tell me why otherwise healthy 55-year-olds die from this disease. A genetic defect in their immune system? Inadequate exposure to coronaviruses earlier in life? Undiagnosed and untreated vitamin D deficiency? Just bad luck?

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Obesity is a risk factor for a bad outcome from COVID-19. Let me help reduce your risk. You think COVID is done with us? Maybe. But I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. Dr Fauci had over two years to tell you to lose the excess weight, exercise, and get some sun exposure. But he never did it.

TSA Won’t Enforce Travel Mask Mandate

face mask, young woman
She’s at little risk of COVID-19 if she’s generally healthy

…for now. You may have already heard. From Politico.com:

The administration said Monday evening that it will stop enforcing the federal mask mandate for travel — for now — after a federal judge in Florida earlier in the day struck down the CDC’s mask requirement for planes and trains, ruling that the agency overstepped its statutory authority. 

An administration official said the federal government is still determining how it will respond to the ruling…

1967 Attack on the USS Liberty in the Mediterranean: What Really Happened?

Thirty-four crew members died in this forgotten disaster.

If you have only a little interest, read this short article by Alison Weir. An excerpt:

The American Legion, founded in 1919, is the nation’s largest wartime veterans’ assistance organization. According to its mission statement, the Legion is committed to “devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans.”

Yet, Legion honchos are actively hostile to veterans of the USS Liberty – the most decorated ship since World War II. In fact Liberty is among the most decorated ships for a single engagement in the entire history of the U.S. Navy.

Don’t believe everything your government and the mainstream media tells you.

Steve Parker, M.D.

The Joe Biden Diet

Will Alcohol Wreck a Ketogenic Diet?

Jameson’s in a hotel bar near Chicago

Judicious alcohol consumption is a reasonable component of many successful ketogenic diets. But the practice can also be a dangerous minefield. Anne Mullins over at DietDoctor has a great article that will steer you away from the mines. An excerpt:

Nyström notes that alcohol is actually the fourth macronutrient after protein, fats and carbohydrates, and that in many nutrition studies its intake is often overlooked. In Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy, alcohol makes up about 10 % of caloric intake and may partially contribute to the touted benefits of the Mediterranean diet, Nyström says.

Drinking alcohol, however, may slow weight loss for some. Dr. Sarah Hallberg [R.I.P.] advises her patients who are trying to lose weight and/or reverse diabetes to have a maximum 1 glass of wine for women and 2 for men, and not every day. “If they experience any weight stall, I recommend they stop the alcohol completely,” says Hallberg.

Both Dr. Jason Fung and Dr. Ted Naiman discourage any alcohol use among patients in their care who are still trying to lose weight, reverse diabetes or heal a fatty liver (see point 5). “I find alcohol is not conducive to steady weight loss,” says Fung.

Read the whole thing to learn about the dopamine reward system, alcohol abuse and addiction, liver diseases, and hangovers. If you often drink to the point of hangovers, that’s too much alcohol!

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: The Advanced Mediterranean Diet includes a doctor-designed ketogenic diet as one option for weight loss.

R.I.P.: Dr Sarah Hallberg, Low-Carb Hero

I was saddened to hear of the untimely death of Dr Sarah Hallberg even though I didn’t know her personally. DietDoctor has a tribute article about her in case you’re not familiar. An excerpt:

Dr. Hallberg first burst onto the low carb scene with a 2015 TED Talk: “Reversing type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines” The video advocated using a low carb diet – eating minimally unprocessed whole foods like eggs, meat, and vegetables with butter or cheese – to improve blood sugar and reverse diabetes symptoms.

The video went viral and has now had more than 8.6 million views. As news of her passing spread, hundreds of viewers posted on the site saying how her advice had saved their lives.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Dietitian Experiments With Low-Carb Eating for Five Years: Results?

Sous vide chicken and sautéed sugar snap peas

Registered Dietitian Joy Kiddie has a blog post summarizing the results of her five-year low-carb journey.

It starts thusly:

Tomorrow is March 5th [2022] and it is five years since I began my personal health and weight recovery journey that I’ve dubbed “A Dietitian’s Journey“.  While it began in 2017, in a way it still continues today and that is the point behind this post. 

Five years ago, I was obese, had type 2 diabetes for the previous 8 years, and had developed dangerously high blood pressure. 

Recommended. You’ll find out if low-carb eating put her diabetes into remission.

Steve Parker, M.D.

front cover of Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes

Click to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book also available at Smashwords.com.