It seems that, ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US in March, pretty much all that I’ve been blogging about has been COVID-19, be it quackery used to treat it, pseudoscientific claims and conspiracy theories about it, bad science concerning potential treatments, and antivaccine propaganda launched preemptively even before there’s an actual vaccine. For all the misinformation, pseudoscience, and conspiracy mongering over COVID-19, even I never thought I’d see the resurrection of one of the most abusive treatments I’ve ever come across for autism. I’m referring, of course, to “Miracle Mineral Solution” or “Miracle Mineral Supplement” (MMS) a.k.a. chlorine dioxide, a.k.a. a form of industrial bleach. The difference? Now the quacks are using it to treat COVID-19, because of course they are. Hilariously and bizarrely, it’s one of biggest über-quack grifters of all, Mike Adams, touting the use of bleach to treat the disease, with a story entitled Researchers claim 100 percent cure rate vs. covid-19 in 100+ patient trial conducted in Ecuador, using intravenous chlorine dioxide:
Preliminary data from a clinical trial involving more than 100 covid-19 patients in Ecuador has resulted in a claimed 100 cure rate within four days, according to Andreas Kalcker who is closely following the results of the effort. The tests were carried out by the Asociacion Ecuatoriana de Medicos Expertos en Medicina Integrativa, a group of integrative medicine practitioners.
Ecuador has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus, and the current “standard of care” promoted by Western medicine — largely based on the use of ventilators — has been killing the vast majority of critical patients while utterly failing to address the real root of the problem.
Covid-19 isn’t an Acute Respiratory Disease (ARD), it turns out. Rather, it often presents as an inflammation and blood clotting condition (see The Lancet research, below) which causes the blood to be unable to carry oxygen, resulting in patient hypoxia and eventual asphyxiation.
This is why intravenous chlorine dioxide — which immediately delivers a high dose of oxygen to blood cells — is believed to work so effectively against covid-19. It reportedly restores the oxygen-carrying capacity of hemoglobin and clears the clotting in the lungs, all while destroying pathogens.
This is, of course, utter nonsense, and treating COVID-19 with industrial bleach is utter quackery. We’ve also met Andreas Kalcker before on this blog at least twice. Indeed, one time I discussed him it was in the context of him and another bleach quack named Kerri Rivera (whose name might be more familiar to regular readers of this blog) hosting a karaoke session at the autism quackfest known as Autism One. (There was a reason I called it bleach enema karaoke.) Of course, the quacks about which I’ve been writing have used MMS only orally or by enema. I’ve never come across its use by intravenous injection before. Intravenous bleach! That’s a new level of awful that I never expected, even in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adams also mentions another clinical trial of MMS, only oral MMS, for COVID-19, “Determination of the Effectiveness of Oral Chlorine Dioxide in the Treatment of COVID 19” (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT04343742). It’s actually being run by an entity called the Genesis Foundation, which is clearly the Genesis II Church, run by Jim Humble. It’s a church that sells MMS as a cure for basically everything, including autism. Indeed, it’s sometimes referred to disparagingly (and rightfully so) as the “church of bleach.” As for the clinical trial itself, its design tells me that it’s utterly worthless. It’s a single arm trial of only 20 patients that will supposedly examine symptom severity and virus positivity in patients with COVID-19 treated with MMS run by someone named Eduardo Insignares Carrione, who’s described thusly:
Surgeon at the Universidad del Norte de Barranquilla, specialization studies in Pathology Central Military Hospital, Specialization in Bioenergetic Medicine Latin American Academy of Biological Medicine Dr. German Duque Mejía, occupational health Javeriana University, Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine, researcher, teacher and founder of Genesis, Foundation for the development of the integral being (Transpersonal Psychology). Author of the Book the Code of Forms, (Theory of the origin of the form and of the different energy bodies).
“Integral being”? “Energy bodies”? Well, that sounds promising for a science-based approach to life…not. I also note that the website on which that description resides is the website of a producer of homeopathic remedies, Magnofarma, because of course it is. What else could it be?
But what about Adams’ claim that COVID-19 isn’t an acute respiratory disease? That’s an old bit of misinterpretation of the nature of the pneumonia caused by the coronavirus and a debate over not whether ventilators should be used to treat COVID-19 but how. Basically, way back in early April (which, these days, seems like ancient history), an emergency medicine doc named Dr. Cameron Kyle-Sidell produced a YouTube video in which he questioned how ventilators were being used to treat COVID-19 patients. His concerns were mainly that doctors were too fast to place patients on a ventilator and that they were using ventilator settings for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). One of the key characteristics of ARDS is that the lungs become noncompliant (stiff) as part of the inflammatory process that impairs their ability to exchange oxygen. Consequently, high ventilatory pressures are often needed, specifically positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP), the pressure at the end of expiration, which helps keep the alveoli (air sacs) open.
Although Dr. Kyle-Sidell’s video was treated as though it were a shocking revelation that proved that doctors don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to treating COVID-19, in reality what he was saying wasn’t anything that radical at all. It also seemed to reveal an ignorance of how COVID-19 was actually being treated in ICUs at the time. Dr. Rohin Francis wrote a great article on MedPage Today entitled The Great Ventilator Fiasco of COVID-19, where he noted that the “very core principle of ventilating a patient is to reduce oxygen and pressure being delivered as much as possible. ITU [intensive treatment unit] nurses are experts at doing exactly this and it’s been an absolute fundamental of management for decades.”
But what about that article in The Lancet to which Adams refers? I looked for it. It’s not actually in The Lancet but in The Lancet Rheumatology. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t say what Adams thinks it does:
To simplify these findings, covid-19 is not acute viral pneumonia impacting the respiratory system but rather an inflammation-based immunological response that leads to thrombosis (clotting in the lungs) which kills the patient. The use of ventilators only makes the problem worse, which is why previous observational studies have found that 88% of patients put on ventilators end up dying. They are dying because the ventilator treatment is the wrong treatment.
This is utter nonsense. As Dr. Francis put it:
Now, one interpretation is that ventilators are killing people. Another, more logical, interpretation is that the people being placed on ventilators are so sick that even a ventilator cannot save them. What if I told you that 80% of people who die in motorway crashes were wearing seat belts? Would you conclude that seat belts are killing them or were they just traveling so fast that even the seat belt didn’t save them?
Another statistic that’s important to know here is how many people not wearing seat belts — i.e., people who weren’t intubated at the same disease severity — go on to die. If 100% of them die, then your intervention has actually saved 20%, which is still very unsatisfactory, but it’s a long way from saying ventilators are killing patients.
And, continuing to riff on Elon Musk’s apparent extrapolation from this debate in which he “wondered” if ventilators were killing people and basically make the same sorts of misguided observations as Adams:
A world-renowned master of mechanical ventilation, Luciano Gattinoni, the guy who literally invented proning patients, turning them on their front, wrote on March the 30th that this is not a typical ARDS.
My buddy here was WhatsApping me at the same time, saying that this isn’t typical. In ITUs all over the world, people had already realized that some patients don’t need those high pressures and were changing their guidelines.
Exactly. The false narrative that emerged out of Dr. Kyle-Sidell’s video is that intensivists just crank the oxygen and PEEP way up and then leave them there, or, as Drl Francis sarcastically put it, “the idea of doctors turning the ventilator up to 11 and just walking off is nonsense.”
Also, none of this has anything to do with what The Lancet Rheumatology article said. Adams, as is his usual practice, cherry picked a couple of excerpts that seemed to support his contention. Here’s a different excerpt:
Extensive lung infiltration by macrophages and other immune cells leading to diffuse alveolar damage has been reported in SARS pneumonia, with similar findings emerging in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.12, 14, 15, 16 The extensive nature of viral infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) results in diffuse lung inflammation that involves the large juxtaposed pulmonary vascular network.8 The diffuse, slowly evolving COVID-19 pneumonia has similarities to a MAS-like syndrome with regard to both clinical and laboratory features. These clinical findings suggest that an initial pulmonary intravascular coagulopathy occurs in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia that is distinct from disseminated intravascular coagulation.8 Herein, we propose a model for the pathophysiology of this pulmonary intravascular coagulopathy and describe how extensive coronavirus infection and age-related changes in immunity, combined with diffuse pulmonary immunothrombosis, explain the cardiovascular mortality in these patients (table 1).
See? The authors refer to a severe ARDS caused by SARS-CoV-2 and an evolving COVID-19 pneumonia. The coagulopathy that results in small clots forming in the blood vessels in the lung is on top of the viral pneumonia. Moreover, even if there were no pneumonia caused by the virus, an immune reaction that results in clots in the lungs that cause inflammation and impaired oxygen exchange would still require mechanical ventilation to support the patient in the hopes that the lungs can recover.
Of course, Adams can’t resist finishing with one of his typical rants:
Notably, the criminal Big Pharma cartels and corrupt government regulators (like the FDA, FTC, CDC) are going out of their way to try to criminalize or suppress any non-vaccine, non-pharma solutions that might save lives. Over the last month, we’ve all witnessed an astonishing level of aggression and mafia-style tactics used by the FDA and FTC against pioneering researchers offering a variety of possible solutions, from colloidal silver to chlorine dioxide and even intravenous vitamin C.
They’ve even declared war on hydroxychloroquine and the medical establishment has been engineering clinical trials which are designed to fail from the start in order to discredit the off-patent, affordable drug.
There is no doubt that Big Pharma’s obedient government lackeys are at war with truth and are desperately trying to suppress information about natural cures and integrative treatments that might eliminate covid-19 before vaccines can be made available.
I can’t help but note here that hydroxychloroquine very likely doesn’t work against COVID-19, no matter how much Donald Trump’s cheerleaders claim that it’s a miracle cure, (even as Trump himself announced the other day that he’s taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19). The evidence thus far, other than the lousy studies coming out of Didier Raoult’s laboratory, has been nearly uniformly negative. The most generous interpretation is that hydroxychloroquine has very modest activity against the coronavirus; more likely, it just doesn’t work, although it can cause serious side effects, even death. It’s very amusing how Adams lumps the drug in with “natural cures” and “integrative treatments” when, even if it works, it wouldn’t be a “natural cure.”
Be that as it may, it’s downright evil of quacks like Adams and the quacks at the Asociacion Ecuatoriana de Medicos Expertos en Medicina Integrativa to be promoting intravenous chlorine dioxide (a.k.a., a form of industrial bleach) as a treatment for COVID-19. There’s no evidence that chlorine dioxide, as Adams claims, increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of hemoglobin. Quite the opposite, actually. At high doses, chlorine dioxide can actually oxidize hemoglobin and cause hemolytic anemia. I suppose it’s not surprising that these “integrative” quacks would inject patients with bleach. Their website references Drs. Mauricio Quiñonez Mendoza and Victor Garcia Garcia offering “Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Neural Therapy, Ozone Therapy, Medical Biomagnetism, Biological Decoding of Diseases, Serotherapy” and “Homotoxicology, Electro acupuncture of Voll, Neural Therapy, Physiological Regulation, Nano pharmacology, Orthomolecular Nutrition, Ozone Therapy with Autologous Hematopoietic Cells of Fatty Tissue, Mesenchymal Pranic Healing,” in other words, a veritable cornucopia of quackery.
Intravenous bleach fits right in. I don’t need to be able to speak Spanish to understand the included video to know that you don’t want to inject bleach into your bloodstream.