Last month Ruijing Hospital in Shanghai reported on their first 50 COVID-19 cases given intravenous vitamin C1. “All patients who received vitamin C improved and there was no mortality. Compared to the average 30-day hospital stay for all their other patients, those who received vitamin C had a hospital stay about 3-5 days shorter.", said Dr Mao.
In the US the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group say they’ve ‘cracked the code’ of the virus and are reporting NO DEATHS. At East Virginia Medical School, Dr Paul Marik, Professor of Critical Care, says “We treated thirty patients in ICU and have had zero deaths.” A Houston hospital reports “To date, we have 0% mortality at United Memorial Medical Center. Zero percent. I know it’s too good for people to believe in this but it’s working.", said Dr. Varon2. Over twenty New York hospitals are reporting similar results. Pulmonologist and critical care specialist Dr Andrew Weber from Long Island, representing the Northwell group of hospitals said. “The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C. It helps a tremendous amount, but it is not highlighted because it’s not a sexy drug.3; Three vitamin C trials were announced in the US last week – one to prevent infection in hospital staff, one to reduce severity of infection in outpatients and one in hospitalised patients.
The formula being used in ICUs is intravenous vitamin C, plus the drug hydroxychloroquine, cortisone, a blood thinner and zinc. Some give quercetin. Both quercetin and chloroquine drive zinc inside infected cells which then attacks the virus. That’s the upside.
What I’m starting to realise is that non-patentable treatments like vitamin C could be seen as a potential threat to the vaccine market. After all, if no-one need die the vaccine demand won’t be so imperative. Knowing this, I was interested to see what I’m told is a Gates Foundation funded trial appear at the NIH’s (National Institutes of Health) trial register with a very weird design.
The trial aims to pitch hydroxychloroquine, the old malaria drug that seems to have some benefit, against vitamin C, to be given, not to patients, but to hospital workers. The dose for the drug (also off patent, hence cheap and unprofitable) was not the usual 400mg a day, but 400mg a week. I showed this to a phamacologist who said ‘useless dose’. The vitamin C dose is 1 gram. Also useless. It won't stop you getting a cold and won’t make it shorter it you get one. The ‘end point’ is whether or not the person becomes antibody positive, eg immune, to the virus, or gets hospitalised. I showed the trial to the highly respected Dr Malcolm Kendrick (author of ‘The Great Cholesterol Con’) who knows a lot about trial design. Here’s what he said:
This trial is incredibly stupid for two main reasons. First, it is testing two interventions against each other. So there is no way of knowing if either works better than placebo, is the same as placebo, or is worse that placebo. If they are both equally ‘effective’ then you have no idea what you have discovered. If one is ‘better’ than the other, they could still both be better than nothing. Or worse than nothing, or one better and one worse. On that basis alone it is completely stupid.
Even more stupid is that the outcome they are using is meaningless. No-one has suggested that either vitamin C or hydroxychloroquine stops you getting infected. Only that they may improve survival/duration of infection once you have been infected.
So they have two unknown variables and a pointless outcome. You couldn’t design a more pointless trial. At the end of it, if there is no difference between the two interventions. What have you proved… nothing. If there a difference between the two outcomes what have you proved…nothing of any use.
No doubt a lack of difference between the two interventions will be presented as neither agent working. Which is obviously what they want to ‘prove’. Then it will be vaccine, vaccine all the way.” Says Dr Kendrick.
By the way, I’m not against vaccines if they are proven effective and safe. Safety requires a proper double-blind placebo controlled trial where one group are given the vaccine and the other an inert placebo to really know if there any adverse effects. If you watched Andrew Marr on Sunday talking to Professor Sarah Gilbert at Oxford University, saying that there could be a vaccine by September you might have noticed the same oddity. In this case, she explained, the volunteers would receive either the new corona vaccine or a meningitis vaccine, which contains aluminium. That’s hardly an ‘inert’ substance! Using a substance that could also produce adverse effects is a classic way to hide adverse-effects of a new treatment. If the same number of people are harmed you’d say the new vaccine is safe because there would be no difference.