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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/29/20

Politics, Politics, Politics...and Science

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It's become almost impossible to disentangle politics from science these days. The Covid-19 Pandemic - or, is it? - has pitted people so vociferously against each other that even the lines of Right and Left are blurred.

Can you "believe" in the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine if you are a Left-leaning non-Trump supporter? I know a doctor treating Covid-19 patients personally who will not even listen to a prominent doctor, Doctor Zelenko, who has been prescribing hydroxychloroquine - along with azithromycin and zinc (does adding two politically "neutral" drugs or minerals(!) make it OK to also prescribe hydroxychloroquine at the same time?), conducted studies with 100s of patients, and prevented 100s of complications from Covid-19. But Zelenko is a Trump supporter, in part because the president has supported hydroxychloroquine, so my doctor-friend will not "listen to a Trump supporter."

Can you "believe" in wearing masks if you are a Trump supporter, or does that violate some inner code of loyalty to a president who, until recently, disparaged mask-wearing and hanged his "tough guy" image upon it? Many medical professional and epidemiologists, though not all, say wearing a mask decreases the spread of Covid-19. Yet, it's become a political issue, not a scientific one, with violent reactions, particularly from the Trump-supporting Right, against states and stores requiring them.

I did a Bing Search on "Mask wearing by political ideology" and got over 28 millions results:

A very small sample of controverisial links about mask wearing
A very small sample of controverisial links about mask wearing
(Image by Bing)
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For those still interested in the science, an article in Newsweek by Harvey A. Risch, MD, PhD , Professor of Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, entitled "The Key to Defeating COVID-19 Already Exists. We Need to Start Using It" discusses some of the latest findings supporting the use of hydroxychloroquine, along with the less politically baggaged drug and mineral mentioned above, which other studies have shown make the treatment up to twice as efficacious.

Science, including medicine was supposed to be about finding the reality of the world, including nature. People from opposite ends of the political spectrum can conduct the same experiment and get the same results. That's the beauty of science. Nature doesn't care about your politics - unless it is "political science" which is a soft science, maybe not a science at all - it just does what it does.

Trump has not helped things, however, so everything he says, even when he's right (not just Right) is suspect.

The progressive commentator, David Pakman has a recent video showing that when the Health and Human Services Administration (HHS), which was tasked with collecting data from hospitals instead of the CDC on July 16, coincided with a sharp and unbelievable dropoff of Covid-19 cases, but only in Red states that voted for Trump in 2016. As Pakman shows, the sudden reversal of caseloads is all but impossible to explain any other way than that the figures are being manipulated for political gain.

All the other reporting, from the CDC to John's Hopkins, relies on this data, so they are all reporting the same misleading statistics. Pakman points out that eventually the death rates will spike along with the caseloads, so the Administration will have to start lying about those too. Will the Republican Governors also go along with the Trump lie in order to open up their states again?

To add to the debate, there is social media disinformation, such as the recently discredited "America's Frontline Doctors" video that turned out to be featuring frauds and non-doctors and was bankrolled by deep conservatives more interested in opening the country than in medical science. Donald Trump Jr. had his Twitter account suspended for a half day for tweeting it, though it's not even clear he knew it was fraudulent.

What is true?

On Hydroxy, I've been reading some of the latest and best studies and they aren't showing a very promising results for Hydroxy alone - less clear is the synergistic effect when combined with Azithromycin and zinc. I'm now of the opinion that:

1 - Hydroxychloroquine alone is not effective at later stages of Covid-19 when lung damage has occurred.

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Scott Baker Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:
http://www.americaisnotbroke.net/

Scott is a former President of Common Ground-NYC (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of articles for (more...)
 

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