Mainstream Reports Reflect Growing Skepticism Over Experimental Health Interventions

by Travis Mateer

Yesterday I saw an article at NBC Montana that surprised me. A Missoula researcher, said the headline, is going to present info on potential COVID-19 treatment to county officials. Here’s what retired doctor Walter Peschel is claiming from the link:

Retired Missoula family physician Walter Peschel has been studying a combination of oral anti-inflammatory and statin medicines for decades, including how they may significantly reduce the symptoms of diabetes, and now says they can do the same for COVID-19.

“These four drugs have been approved for more than 40 years,” Peschel said. “They’ve been found to be safe and they’ve been found to be affective; each for their own individual use that they were tested for. I am just trying to repurpose their use.”

He says COVID-19 patients’ inflammation readings are off the charts, and not caused by the virus itself, but done so indirectly, through a hyperactive immune response.

Used together, Dr. Peschel says these already widely used medicines can increase their power in leveling the immune response.

If there are actual NON-VACCINE treatments for Covid-19, as this doctor is claiming, what could that mean for mandate-obsessed cheerleaders for Big Pharma? Will the entire EMERGENCY USE authorization be called into question, since it was predicated on the claim no effective treatment for this new illness existed?

Other realities about the experimental vaccines are beginning to seep into legacy media stories, like this Bloomberg piece, which begins like this:

Anecdotes tell us what the data can’t: Vaccinated people appear to be getting the coronavirus at a surprisingly high rate. But exactly how often isn’t clear, nor is it certain how likely they are to spread the virus to others.

Though it is evident vaccination still provides powerful protection against the virus, there’s growing concern that vaccinated people may be more vulnerable to serious illness than previously thought.

Across the pond, the BBC is openly pondering the emerging reliance on boosters for the vaccinated, writing this:

It is now a serious question that has implications for whether children should ever be vaccinated. And whether we use the virus or booster shots to top up immunity in adults. Both have become contentious issues.

“We could be digging ourselves into a hole, for a very long time, where we think we can only keep Covid away by boosting every year,” Prof Eleanor Riley, an immunologist from the University of Edinburgh, told me.

While these valid concerns get some mainstream attention (while skeptics like me have been aware of these issues for months), the FDA is busy putting its stamp of approval on Big Pharma’s new “health” technology.

Once upon a time activists on the left side of the political spectrum understood that regulatory capture could be spelled like this: F A S C I S M.

Now I’m just hoping mainstream news reports like the ones highlighted above might help break the cult-like spell of scientism deranging their cognitive abilities.

Only time will tell.

Thanks for reading.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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8 Responses to Mainstream Reports Reflect Growing Skepticism Over Experimental Health Interventions

  1. Djinn&tonic says:

    Interesting, is it not? That they (NBC) went out of their way to NOT mention the names of four drug combination.

  2. JC says:

    Peschel has been in many media articles about his 4 drug cocktail over the last 10-15 years. Yet he never discloses publicly what those 4 drugs are. He seems like a very honest and ernest gentleman, and it’s hard to criticize him. Yet I think there’s a reason he retired 10 years ago. If you watch his video, you’ll understand why his ideas never really go anywhere. And it’s not due to any media or pharmaceutical suppression. It’s kinda painful to watch.

  3. The erroneous assumptions and assertions in this piece are numerous. But that’s the point of interactive discourse, to provide point & counterpoint with aim of illuminating truth, right?
    Before addressing the flaming rhetoric that casts far more heat than light, debunking meritless claims is in order.

    I’d provide citations to published, peer-reviewed journal articles, and to generally accepted scientific principles embodied in academic sources if time permitted, because mainstream media stories almost invariably misinterpret results and conclusions of the studies published in the scientific journals, and consumer media editors affix often-misleading headlines intended to alarm and therefore attract readers. In the digital world, “clicks” are everything because they are monetized. Because, however, you rely on such media, I’ll also do so when it illuminates why public health policy ought not be based upon either popular opinion or popular media. Where I do not provide attribution to an assertion, it is one that is not disputed in academia or that has been demonstrated in the aforementioned journals by valid methodology subjected to rigorous peer review, and that has been replicated by other valid studies.

    *** The assertion that the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. are “experimental” is false. All COVID-19 vaccines authorized for U.S. use pursuant to Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) have undergone extensive in vitro, animal and human 3-phase trials. The number of human participants in the trials conducted in support of EUA status far exceeds the number typical for a non-emergency FDA approval.

    The FDA regulatory criteria and process for issuance of an EUA are found here:
    Emergency Use Authorization of Medical Products and Related Authorities | FDA

    Here is what Reuters fact-checkers said about this (April 30, 2021):

    “Claims that COVID-19 vaccines are “experimental”, have skipped animal testing and have not completed initial research trials are false. They were included in a Facebook post addressed in this check. 

    “Titled “6 facts about the 3 vaccines”, the post can be seen (here). Four of the most damaging claims will be discussed below. Any others, however, are outside the scope of this check. 

    “CLAIM 1 - “All the vaccines are considered experimental” 

    “According to the post, all vaccines are considered experimental. This is not true – they have all been put through standard safety testing before being rolled out to the public. 

    “Both the United States and United Kingdom have authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines for emergency use, while the former has also authorized shots by Johnson & Johnson; the latter by Oxford/AstraZeneca. 

    “Emergency use authorization (EUA) in the U.S. has been issued as a result of the severity of the pandemic. When the pandemic is over, the EUA will cease and vaccine manufacturers will need to apply for full U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval (here). No timeline on this has yet been given (here). The UK, meanwhile, has a similar mechanism (here , here).

    “The Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca shots are viral vector vaccines, a type of jab also used during Ebola outbreaks, as well as in studies of illnesses including influenza, Zika and HIV (here). They both use a modified and weakened version of a harmless adenovirus to deliver instructions to cells to make coronavirus spike proteins. This will generate an immune response and prevent infection (here , here). 

    “Meanwhile, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) to generate a similar immune response. While these are the first mRNA vaccines to be rolled out to the general public, the technology behind them has been developed over a number of years (here).  

    “CLAIM 2 - “All were allowed to skip animal trials”  

    “The claim that COVID-19 vaccines have skipped animal trials has already been covered by Reuters here) here . 

    “Oxford University confirmed the vaccine it created with AstraZeneca has undergone animal trials in the UK, US and Australia (here). Pfizer and BioNTech released information in Sept. 2020 about the effects of their mRNA vaccine in mice and non-human primates (here).  

    “Moderna has released similar information (here, here), as has Johnson & Johnson (here). 

    “However, due to time constraints and the urgency to find a vaccine for COVID-19, Moderna and Pfizer did receive approval to run animal testing and early trials on humans at the same time, as opposed to fully completing animal trials before moving on to human trials. This, however, does not mean animal trials were skipped. (  here, here ,  here).

    “CLAIM 3 - “None have completed initial research trials”    

    “All four vaccines given emergency authorization in the U.S. and UK have published results from the final phase three trials.

    “Pfizer/BioNTech’s phase three trial began in late July 2020 and the results were published in December 2020 (here). The trial enrolled 46,331 participants at 153 sites around the world in Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and the U.S., according to Pfizer’s website (here).

    “Oxford/AstraZeneca’s clinical trials involved 23,848 people across the UK, Brazil, and South Africa between April and November 2020, according to a report published by the Oxford Vaccine Group in the medical journal The Lancet (bit.ly/3u7POsa, page 1).  

    “Johnson & Johnson recruited 44,325 people for its phase three clinical trial between September 2020 and January 2021 (here, here), while Moderna had 30,420 volunteers for the same phase of testing between July and October 2020 (here).

    “CLAIM 4 - “None will complete a research trial for 2-3 years”  

    “This is not true, and likely stems from misinformation shared elsewhere which equates “estimated study completion dates” on clinical trial websites to the actual end dates of clinical trials. 
    “For Pfizer, this estimated date is listed as Jan. 31, 2023 (bit.ly/3vvVPiz), while Moderna is Oct. 27, 2022 (bit.ly/3aSmb6y).

    “However, these dates do not mean clinical trials will continue for this long, and instead reference continued safety monitoring after the vaccine has been approved and rolled out, which is standard practice within the industry. 

    “VERDICT  

    “False. COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. and UK are not experimental and have all completed animal and clinical trials. 

    “This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team.

    The Pfizer mRNA vaccine has just received FDA approval. The Moderna vaccine will follow shortly.
    *** Dr. Peschel’s cocktail.

    Contrary to your inferences, this does not concern a substitute for vaccination. If it were recognized as standard of care for COVID-19 patients, it would still not in any way vitiate the need for vaccination. The purpose of a vaccine is to induce creation of B-memory cells for production of antibodies to a specific pathogen, so that in the event of infection by that pathogen, antibodies respond so quickly that the infection is neutralized and no disease results. When a pathogen evolves into a variant or strain with vaccine-evasive characteristics, vaccines will continue to prevent serious disease requiring hospitalization for most individuals, unless genetic reassortment or other major mutations have occurred. In the case of COVID-19, the current mRNA vaccines remain highly effective in preventing hospitalization and death in patients infected by the dominant variants.

    The more immunological stimulation a person receives to a pathogen, the more diversity is expressed in the antibodies produced in response to infection. This is why empirical data indicate superior protection from COVID-19-variant disease in persons who previously contracted and recovered from COVID-19, who then received a single dose of mRNA vaccine, compared to persons without prior COVID-19 infection who received two doses. If we had adequate vaccination rates – 80-90% — the two-dose regimen would end this pandemic because the mild infections from the emergent variants would diversify antibodies to the point that the unvaccinated population would be too dispersed to support a sustained human reservoir for the virus.

    FDA just granted authorization for third doses in immunocompromised individuals. This is based on studies that showed waning antibodies in vaccinated individuals after six months. The problem with this is that “waning antibodies” are to be expected. That does not mean waning protection. The antibodies produced by vaccination dissipate. They are rapidly generated by B memory cells upon infection by SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, T-cells and CD4 cells respond and neutralize the virus. Many elderly people and those with certain conditions have poor B-memory cell response, and those are the individuals for whom a third jab may be appropriate. Sending vaccine to Africa and other poorly vaccinated places makes more sense than pushing for general administration of a third dose to Americans. This is one issue in which Big Pharma greed may be playing a part.

    Dr. Peschel’s request, by contrast, related to drug therapy for patients (now overwhelmingly the unvaccinated) who develop clinical disease from COVID 19 infection. This concerns his use, many years ago, of two, then four, already approved drugs with anti-inflammatory properties, for diabetic retinopathy and in one patient, pre- and post- cardiac surgery anti-inflammation. Fewer than ten patients were involved. The effects of the drug cocktail were evaluated by measurement of
    C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in patients’ blood. CRP is one, non-specific, marker indicating a significant inflammatory process somewhere in the body. Dr. Peschel says that a larger, NIH-approved and funded experiment conducted by many ophthalmologists resulted in 100% arrest of diabetic retinopathy and returned normal vision to many patients. This was followed by an informal one in which all four drugs were used, with good results. He laments having never published those findings. Last year he sought “permission” from the Missoula City-County Health Board to “enroll” 10-15 COVID-19 patients in a study on the efficacy of his drug cocktail in suppressing symptoms of COVID-19. His request was denied.

    To properly interpret what this means, it’s necessary to understand what “permission” is necessary in order for a physician to prescribe “off-label” use of approved drugs, who has authority to authorize clinical trials, what is entailed in a valid clinical study, and how Dr. Peschel could get the ball rolling on potential recognition of his therapeutic cocktail as standard of care.

    A physician may (absent a specific FDA regulatory restriction) prescribe a drug for purposes other than that for which it was approved. For example, for 17 years I was prescribed the drug venlafaxine (Effexor) not for its approved use as an antidepressant, but rather to prevent cataplexy, a debilitating feature of narcolepsy. It’s the most common drug prescribed for this purpose. Prescribing Effexor for that purpose is what’s called “off-label” use. FDA finally got around to “approving” Effexor for that use last year. In the meantime, its lawful off-label use pursuant to prescription enabled me to live a near-normal life and to not be wheelchair-bound, hallucinating and effectively paralyzed.

    The Missoula City-County Health Board has no authority to regulate the practice of medicine. Nor does it have authority to “authorize” clinical trials. Its refusal to do either is not a manifestation of a sinister conspiracy to stifle research & development of drugs by other than Big Pharma.

    Valid trials require: randomization of the cohort(s) receiving the therapy under test and the control(s); defined end points at which safety and efficacy are determined; accounting for various confounding variables that could produce false conclusions from the results; large enough test and control populations to prevent results and conclusions not reflective of statistical anomalies; high confidence interval; measures to prevent biased results from knowledge of which subjects are test subjects and which are controls.

    Dr. Peschel’s proposed “study” fails to satisfy any of those criteria. He explained that he lacks the resources to perform a proper study. That is unsurprising. But his clinical observations are valuable. Inflammation is one aspect of the innate immune system’s response to invasion and injury. The triggering of a “cytokine storm” resulting in generalized inflammation and consequent organ failure is one process by which COVID-19 patients die. Anti-inflammatory drugs suppress the immune response.

    Nothing prevents him from generating substantial clinical interest in his “cocktail” that could lead to its acceptance as a standard of care therapy. He could pursue this by, in lieu of conducting a clinical trial, submitting his anecdotal evidence to medical and scientific journals in the form of correspondence. Colleagues are not restricted from administering the cocktail because the drugs involved are already approved and this would be a permitted off-label use. It actually may not even be off-label, because the drugs involved all are approved anti-inflammatories. All major journals generally recognized as employing appropriate publication standards and pre- and post- publication peer review, publish such correspondence, which then results in responsive correspondence by other researchers and clinicians who either highlight weaknesses or flaws in the hypotheses, or report on the success or lack thereof in administering the same or similar regimen to patients. From this activity, retrospective statistical analyses can be designed and undertaken to evaluate efficacy and safety. This, in turn, may result in general acceptance of the therapy as standard of care. It requires comparison to the outcomes in patient populations receiving different therapy.

    The additional manner of generating clinical use of the cocktail by future correspondents is by submitting Case Notes to the journals. My case of a very rare manifestation of narcolepsy that was misdiagnosed for many months prior to proper testing and evaluation, led to publication of such a case note that improved the standard of diagnosis and treatment for patients exhibiting that constellation of features.

    With the pandemic has arrived an unfortunate paradigm of pre-print journal articles being prematurely released and picked up my mainstream media, as well as the even more unfortunate phenomenon of press releases being issued by pharmaceutical entrepreneurs whose therapies have not even attained pre-print status.

    *** Finally, we come to the rather vituperative rhetoric characterizing the vaccination campaign as shilling for Big Pharma, and the adherents of scientific method as “cultists.”

    With respect to the former: your real complaint should be with late stage capitalism and with the corrupt partisan duopoly that props up the oligopoly. It should be noted, however, that the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine development project was a non-profit endeavor intended to develop and manufacture a vaccine to be distributed at cost for $2-$3 per dose. Unfortunately, the effort was plagued with documentation errors, misrepresented data, and excessive serious side effects of a frequency well above the background occurrence of the effects reported. It also had efficacy well below the mRNA vaccines (but still well above some other vaccines such as those for influenza).

    With respect to the latter: scientists – those who seek knowledge based on laws of nature and the scientific method rather than superstition – are far from cultists. There are, for sure, those few who,
    by their entrenchment into “camps” that resist evolution of understanding arising from the progress of accumulated knowledge, do injustice to science and behave in the manner of a cult. But it’s not cultism to refrain from ascribing false equivalency between pseudoscience/nonscience, and indisputable scientific facts. For example, it is not “cultish” for scientists to refuse to debate flat-Earth adherents (who are true cultists).

    By contrast, ascribing love of Big Pharma to vaccine proponents, conflating valid studies with tiny anecdotal clusters, ascribing false equivalency between peer review journals and daily lay newspapers, refusing to attain functional literacy in the target of one’s wrath, equating basic, traditional and well-proven anti-epidemic public health measures with “fascism,” and fervently
    clinging to vague conspiracy dogma, manifests the characteristics of cultism.

    I wish you continued good health.

    — JKH

  4. While I wait for a one-word answer from council candidate J. Kevin Hunt about whether or not he supports my right to say no to a…”vaccine”, I’d like to provide a quote from the prologue of THE SCIENCE DELUSION by Rupert Sheldrake, a man with MANY letters after his name, which should alleviate the dogmatic mantra from the cultists to TRUST THE EXPERTS!!!!!

    I have spent all my adult life as a scientist, and I strongly believe in the importance of the scientific approach. Yet I have become increasingly convinced that the sciences have lost much of their vigour, vitality and curiosity. Dogmatic ideology, fear-based conformity and institutional inertia are inhibiting scientific creativity.

    -Rupert Sheldrake

    • Roy says:

      Here is a great quote on the topic of “consensus science” from a talk author Michael Crichton gave at the California Institute of Technology in 2003:

      “I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

      Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

      There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

      In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of”

      (From a talk at the California Institute of Technology on January 17, 2003, printed in Three Speeches by Michael Crichton, SPPI Commentary & Essay Series, 2009.)

  5. Pingback: Do I Have The Right To Say No? | Reptile Dysfunction

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