Dissecting Fake News
Every so often an article comes out that can’t go unremarked upon. Lies in mass media abound, but some are worse than others. Some have the power to kill by providing misleading information. The Washington Post has recently published such an example.
It’s worthwhile to take a close look at how the media tell lies. The Washington Post, along with Bloomberg and CNN, are among the worst on the subject of chloroquine (and its derivative hydroxychloroquine). CDMedia has recently described the method to their dishonesty here and here.
As we have also reported, the WHO and Bill Gates have a vested interest in the failure of the lifesaving regimen of chloroquine, azithromycin (aka Z-pak), and zinc. Gates wants to inject the global population with a vaccine of his laboratory’s design, and has called for a trackable system to verify who is vaccinated. The task of discrediting the treatment falls to mainstream media, which is owned by corporate interests–in the case of MSN, the link is direct.
“It is fair to say things won’t go back to truly normal until we have a vaccine that we’ve gotten out to basically the entire world.”–-Bill Gates
But we already have an inexpensive, widely available, effective treatment. Enter the Fake News brigade.
Here’s the article: “How false hope spread about hydroxychloroquine to treat covid-19 — and the consequences that followed“. It was authored by two people, a young “video verification editor” named Elyse Samuels, and a young “video editor,” Meg Kelly. Both joined the Post in the past four years. Samuels was a journalism major at Northwestern. While at Barnard, Kelly majored in architecture.
In other words, they lack experience, and neither video editor is a medical expert. The video that accompanies the piece is the Post’s lead story on their YouTube channel. They’re pushing this narrative very hard, with nary an expert in sight.
The article begins with three large-format quotes by President Trump. In each, he expresses hope for hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment. To Washington Post readers, three quotes in a row by Trump is akin to throwing chum in the water: if he likes it, I hate it!
From there, they attack with four points:
- flaws in the studies on chloroquine as a treatment,
- dangerous consequences of promoting the drug, such as shortages for lupus patients,
- side effects, and,
- overlooking other treatments as a result of focusing on chloroquine.
- The “flaws” boil down to two objections: the earliest studies, when scientists were scrambling to find a cure for the Chinese virus, were not large sample size, double-blind tests, the scientific gold standard. Why? Because that takes more time. Researchers wanted to find a path to follow before beginning more controlled studies with larger groups.
Since the initial tests, larger, double-blind studies have been completed with similar success rates as the initial tests. This article ignores that fact. Perhaps Ms. Samuels would claim not to know that Didier Raoult, MD, renowned French virologist responsible for one of the preliminary tests that showed such promise, has run two subsequent tests, the most recent with over 1,000 subjects. That would make her one of the worst researchers ever, instead of a simple liar.
- The idea that promoting chloroquine would result in shortages is preposterous. Yes, initially, as interest in the drug surged, there were temporary shortages in some parts of the world. But since then, manufacturers have ramped up production to the point that millions of doses sit in federal stockpiles.
But it seems convincing on paper, especially to the eyes of a confirmation bias-seeking reader. Of that fact, authors Samuels and Kelly are well aware.
- The side effects of chloroquine are well known. The drug has been taken and tolerated for over 50 years. Mild nausea, stomach discomfort, and mild diarrhea are not uncommon.
Of course, it helps the narrative when wife of film star Tom Hanks complains about the drug.
“Rita Wilson doesn’t know if chloroquine helped her in her COVID-19 fight. She only knows how it made her feel on her road to recovery” says the Los Angeles Times.
I don’t know if the drug worked or if it was just time for the fever to break,” Wilson said Tuesday, noting the “extreme side effects” she experienced.
Wilson, who came down with COVID-19 while in Australia with husband Tom Hanks, told “CBS This Morning” that the medication left her “completely nauseous” and suffering from vertigo. She was given the drug about Day 9 of her illness, she said.
“I could not walk and my muscles felt very weak,” the newly minted “Hip Hop Hooray” rapper continued. “I think people have to be very considerate about that drug. We don’t really know if it’s helpful in this case.”
To recap: she had COVID-19, took chloroquine, was cured, and now warms people not to take it. She could have used her platform to do good, but chose not to.
4. The final objection, the idea that focusing on chloroquine would waste other resources, is patently false. Bill Gates has gone so far as to build seven virus labs to test his own cures. Other laboratories are testing their vaccines. Gilead’s remdesivir is but one–over 70 coronavirus vaccines are currently in development worldwide.
When drug companies sniff a potential profit, they make drugs. It’s called capitalism, and it has lifted more people out of poverty and chronic suffering than any other idea in the history of mankind.
Objections Demolished, Onto the Hype
Look at the two screenshots below. The first is a Google.com search on French virologist Didier Raoult’s 3rd successful test on over a thousand coronavirus-positive patients. The second is a Bing.com search, same exact input. Notice anything?
Chloroquine is such a political football due to Trump Derangement Syndrome that the left would eliminate our best treatment to date–hide it from consumers–to thwart President Trump. Think about that: the left is murderous in their desire to beat a duly elected, economically successful (until the virus escaped a Chinese lab) president.
Even a drug can be partisan. When asked if they would take chloroquine, 53% of Republicans said yes, but only 18% of Democrats. That’s the power of media-inspired hatred.
Back to the Washington Post, whose standard bears the motto, “Democracy Dies In Darkness”. True, so why do Samuels and Kelly throw such ridiculous shade as to cite the case of the fish tank cleaner death? The story, if you’ll recall, was from Arizona, where a 61 year-old woman and her 68 year-old husband drank fish tank cleaner containing chloroquine phosphate. She then took to the press, claiming that Trump “said it was safe.”
“Wanda,” who has not given her last name to reporters, has since been exposed as a Trump hater, referring to him as “psycho Prez” in a since-deleted Facebook account. Yet the Post feels it’s okay to repeat the story.
The article then recounts how the support for chloroquine gained momentum. This part is true. It turns out that a story about a lifesaving treatment can gain traction and be effectively and quickly conveyed to a desperate public. It’s called conservative media. To hear the Post tell it, you have to know the alarm bells, the visual equivalent of spooky music playing in the background: Breitbart…Hannity…Giuliani.
The cast of conservative villains all had their fingerprints on it, so chloroquine is bad by association. It’s been hanging out with the wrong crowd.
As for the tweets in support of the drug, the Post can’t even bear to look at them. “The [Washington Post] Fact Checker has refrained from linking to original posts on the drugs to avoid giving further oxygen to misleading information,” they say huffily. It’s almost like they’re afraid news of the cure is contagious.
Links are provided to “fact checker” pages like this one:
Not sure who needs to hear this, but that’s a LIE. Thousands and thousands of patients who were sick with COVID-19 have taken chloroquine and recovered. Notice that they cite the World Health Organization (WHO). That’s a nice touch. Tedros “I have a PhD, not an MD” Ghebreyesus, the man who stooped to calling WHO protesters “racist,” is conducting yet another lengthy trial on chloroquine.
We’ll wait…while the WHO and media run interference. While people perish.
The Post concludes their hit piece on the truth by tossing off a summary judgment: “The president earns four Pinnochios.”
So ridiculous to watch a once-great newspaper traffic in petty lies, and in serious ones. The Samuels/Kelly article is both.
Who Will Be the Last Denier Standing?
There are encouraging signs that chloroquine is gaining acceptance. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) is heading the first statewide trial of hydroxychloroquine use along with Sanford Health, a global health services firm based in Sioux Falls, SD. Further, the FDA did approve the drug for “off-label” use weeks ago.
Millions of doses are available, and India has ended its ban on exporting the drug, due in part to strong relations between Trump and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As results of tests continue to prove the efficacy of chloroquine (when combined with azithromycin and zinc, all at the proper dosages), someone will still be howling nonsense.
Keep an eye out for that person or organization . Don’t be surprised if it’s the Washington Post, or one of its pathetic reporters who claim to be “fact checkers.”