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The latest COVID-19 quackery: Intravenous bleach

Just when I thought I’d seen it all, I discover that there are quacks in Ecuador treating COVID-19 with bleach—intravenous bleach.

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.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

37 replies on “The latest COVID-19 quackery: Intravenous bleach”

Chlorine dioxide is not bleach and you know that. I tell you what. You lay there not being able to breath because your hemoglobin is not working anymore and have 100 people who have been in the same position walk alive and breathing past your bed. Then tell me honestly what you would do. You just wont make any money off a cheap solution. You are murderers hiding simple cures that work. You are weak. You will lose.

Chlorine dioxide is not bleach and you know that.

Perhaps you could soak a new pair of dungarees in it and see how that comes out.

There aren’t 100 people walking by anyone’s bed. There’s a guy with a video of people carrying an ordinary water bottle of bleach. (Yes, it’s bleach. It’s not the same stuff as in Chlorox, but that doesn’t make it not bleach.)

There’s not a good rationale for bleach in the blood killing a virus. If you’ve ever used it you know that bleach destroys blood. Why would killing blood cells help the body get more oxygen? Uck.

Anyhow if this guy really has cured 100 people 100% it should be trivial to prove it. If it pans out everyone will be happy. Just bring them. Just bring those 100 people out and let everyone see them. March them past beds. Go for it.

@DC, No chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is NOT sodium hypochlorite (bleach, NaOCl). It is in fact, a better oxidizing agent than bleach, and more dangerous in the hands of morons such as yourself. Promoting its use as a curative is idiocy.

Looking at the share price of Clorox, this would have been a good idea at the start of the worldwide spread of covid-19.

The thing that started all this mess was a Chinese doctor that treated patients with lupus and found it to be underrepresented in his patients. Likely they were self-isolating. But we can say 100% for certain that if there’s an effect it’s small and doesn’t justify the danger of taking it.

Anyone who found a cure for COVID, even if it’s an old drug like hydroxychloroquine, would get fame and fortune overnight. They’d be in demand at every conference and would be asked to consult on every hydroxychlorquine + X treatment or sorta hydroxychoorquine drug development and that would go on until we’d found a more or less 100% cure.

Hell, this even applies to homeopathy and intravenous bleach. If it worked Big Pharma would be on like white on rice. Like a dog on a possum. Like cheese on macaroni.

From NN: “This means Facebook has blacklisted hundreds of thousands of videos and articles on gardening, smoothie recipes, nutrition, pet care, diabetes prevention, women’s reproductive health and other topics that offer extraordinary wisdom and aid for humanity.”

“Smoothies For Humanity” is one of my favorite causes, second only to “Inject Bleach For Jesus”.

One can hope that perhaps these vile quacks are using a “homeopathic” dosing of bleach on their victims (aka no bleach) but that may be too much to hope.

So very sad to read of people dying of COVID-19 in Ecuador and their bodies being left in the street.

NYT has an opinion piece today that is right on point:

“The odd thing about reporting on the coronavirus is that the nonexperts are supremely confident in their predictions, while epidemiologists keep telling me that they don’t really know much at all. “This is a novel virus, new to humanity, and nobody knows what will happen,” said Anne Rimoin, a professor of epidemiology at U.C.L.A. Some of that epidemiological humility should seep into public discourse.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/20/opinion/us-coronavirus-reopening.html

How did this clinical trial get IRB approval? Is it that having the trial conducted by Ecuadoran doctors allows them to evade the IRB approval requirement?

Except that there seem to be more countries involved than Ecuador. Dr. Insignares appears to be based in Barranquilla, which is in Colombia. And yes, that looks like a bunch of quackery he’s involved with.

The name of that Ecuadoran association also raises red flags. As Orac probably guessed, the name of the association translates to English as “Ecuadoran Association of Doctors Specializing in Integrative Medicine”.

Semiological

Maybe they wrote semi-logical as a polite way of saying half-assed and it got autocorrected. Happens all the time.

Myles Power, a chemist on YouTube, made several videos on MMS and the cult performing unsanctioned human experiments on a Ugandan village. Pretty disgusting.

Albert. 154 out of 154 were Cured in of Malaria that day from a half cup of purified water. I talked with multiple people who were there, and finally the video evidence was leaked which the WHO tried to bury so know one would find out just how fast and successful it worked. I have both of the videos now for evidence. Doctors, Lab assistants. Every person who got 1 dose of MMS was cured of 1 and 2 kinds of Maleria within hours, they just did not do the second test until the next day. Over 100,000 people were cured of Malaria using MMS. 1.2 Million die a year. Think about how many would be alive today, for a 15 cent dose of purified water, because that is basically what Chlorine Dioxide does, purifies water, they are just drinking it while the ingredient is active, so you purify your 60% water which your body is made of. I have never seen such noneducational replies, absent any evidence. Since I have the ear of the President which the Public Letter to the President at https://AmericaWeServe.Com I intend to report all people lying directly in publications which potentially would cause additional deaths because of misleading We the People, purposefully and intentionally. You want to comment in public, then everyone needs to be accountable for their words, if they are doing this, and it causes people to loose their lives, when now their is direct evidence that every single article on MMS is true for now going on 24 years. And that over 783,000 people die a year from FDA approved drugs directly and indirectly every year since 1996 till present. When they have only blamed possible 2 deaths in 24 years on MMS, because bottles were on the dinning room table or because of abuse. 20,000,000 estimated dead from Prescribed drugs against 2 (possible deaths, not proven was MMS) in the same 24 years….and your going to tell people they can’t try an obviously working and real possible solution to their health problems? As I said before, all of you need to be held accountable for your actions. Lord have mercy on all of you for lying to the American People if not World too!

The bleachers are just so minor league, so penny ante. Big league scammers think bigly. If you’re going to put people at risk for profit, do it at scale, man:

A study of 96,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients on six continents found that those who received an antimalarial drug promoted by President Trump as a “game changer” in the fight against the virus had a significantly higher risk of death compared with those who did not. The study, published Friday in the medical journal the Lancet, is the largest analysis to date of the risks and benefits of treating covid-19 patients with antimalarial drugs. The difference between patients who received the antimalarials and those who did not was striking. For those receiving hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic — the cocktail endorsed by Trump — there was a 45 percent increased risk of death and a 411 percent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias. “It’s one thing not to have benefit, but this shows distinct harm,” said Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. “If there was ever hope for this drug, this is the death of it.” [from Wapo, condensed]

Remember, the Trumpers plan was to mass distribute this stuff throughout the Northeast (if not the nation as a whole), giving out a massive government contract that would have provided a windfall to one of Trump’s major campaign donors. I’m not sure Dr. Topol is right about the death of hydroxychloroquine hype, as the White House is now organizing a group of “Docs for Trump” to support his pandemic policies, drawing support form (yeah, you guessed it already) the AAPS.

This is either real, or an example of a pseudo-celebrity who can’t bear it when people aren’t talking about her:

A “reality TV star” who supposedly sprays her kids with bleach for sanitary reasons.

“I don’t really care [about chemicals] because I ingest so many different pills,” the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, 47, told Becca Tobin on the Friday, May 22, episode of her “Brandi Glanville Unfiltered” podcast. “I spray bleach on my children … when [they] come in because you can’t buy rubbing alcohol anywhere. So I just diluted some bleach and water and everyone gets a little spray spray.”

http://usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/brandi-glanville-sprays-kids-with-bleach-water-when-they-enter-house/

The people promoting this product in Australia (under the cloak of religious self-righteousness) recently received huge fines for unlawful advertising:
https://www.tga.gov.au/media-release/mms-australia-fined-151200-alleged-unlawful-advertising

They’ve also had the dishonor of being nominated by Skeptics Australia for the 2020 ‘Bent Spoon Award’ for their contemptible role in “selling a form of bleach (chlorine dioxide) as a panacea for many health conditions, including COVID-19”:
https://www.skeptics.com.au/features/bent-spoon/nominations/#nom-5

I have already responded to your sad articles. Letter to the President at https://AmericaWeServe.com with massive fully proved evidence, hundreds of videos, testimonies, documented proof. 20 Million people have used it world wide, 11 Million in the U.S. alone, it has worked every single time without fail. President Trump already knows, and even though I don’t use any drugs EVER, Trump is not wrong that the drug he has been taking works fine for initial deterrent of Covid-19. But to truly get rid of it at any stage of Covid-19, MMS will do it. I Used MMS for my entire family, within 24 to 48 hours, all members which got it were cured completely back in December 2019, China lied, it started in November, all symptoms were Covid-19, but for 3 of the family members which were taking the maintenance dose of 6 activated drops per day, never got sick at all. Matter of fact, my father who is 91, has been taking 1 dose every day for 5 years, and has not been sick 1 day all 5 years, yet before he started taking it, he was sick 3 or more times a year every year prior. All they did in Ecuador was following through on what he had already proven with fully laid out certified test trials. You guys have to be sick in the head. It is an Oxidizer. And for you to lie so blatantly to We the People and say your an honest journalist or writer, is very sad and very damaging to We the People. Misleading We the People by destroying and lying about REAL PROVEN SCIENCE! What is science, experiment, if successful, then provide info to all others to repeat experiment and duplicate the same success. Not only was the science proven, but it was replicated and successful 11 Million times just in the U.S. alone. There is a term for people like you. If your publication feeds false and misleading info to innocent seeking people, and you cause their death by your misleading information, it is called partial genocide against a class of people seeking true solutions which work! Since I now have the ear of the President, and now there is now 2 fully proven Test trials, 154 out of 154 Maleria patients cured within 24 to 48 hours, and now 100 out of 100 Covid Patients cured 100%, tested before and after, fully documented and certified, and you lie to the American People. Media, and publishers are liable for direct misinformation. And this article violates all ethical standards, when fully proven certified test results are now done. The drug industry worth $844 Billion U.S. Dollars in Revenue, does not want any natural simple easy to get and make solution which actually works! It would cause several hundred Drug products to be removed off of the shelves overnight. Just because they can’t patent it, and sow it up. It is too common a mineral. Salt is 60.1% Chlorine, you going to call Salt Bleach? You all have mush for brains, and I feel sorry for you. May God have mercy on your souls! I am compiling a list of all responses I have had to write in order to respond to liars nationwide, and will forward these violations against We the People to the President’s Attention, which he very much can’t stand liars of any kind, where even when proof is right in front of your face, you will lie to the People anyway! God Bless President Trump, and these United States of America!

I had my dick in the presnidents ear before you had it. And, I fucked your mom to while you were a’freepin’.

Trust in Trump’s pla…. fuck you guys.

Maybe their shit is diluted. I would hope so. Otherwise, put some in your laundry full steangth and marvel at how now all your clothes looks like they were tie-dyed in semen.

And random patent pages are not scientific citations. And yes, chlorine dioxide is a type of bleach. Actually more fools believe stuff they read on teh interwebs than you can imagine, trying looking in a mirror.

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