How to bend the corona-virus curve: Treat patients with Hydroxychloroquine

The recent chart on the corona-virus infection is really scary:

It is better to plot the Corona-virus cases on a logarithmic scale. It is less scary, but more serious. It shows the dame thing. the virus cases double every 3 days. This is never seen before in pandemics history. Even worse, CDC is set up to develop and approve new medications with a time-frame of months, or even years, not 3 days

That is why the Presidential task force is forced to act with unprecedented speed and approve drugs that have not been subjected to double-blind clinical trials, which sometimes take years to validate. No, here speed is of essence, and President Trump is a man of immediate action, reacting on instinct rather than established scientific studies. Somebody showed him this study:

He got so excited he shared it in one of the daily briefings. The result was predictable. Three Democratic governors forbade its use in their state. They have since then all modified their stance and allow it under strict control of a licensed Physician or Licensed Practitioner. Governor Cuomo was still insisting it could only be done in a hospital, not as an outpatient.

Then yesterday more information got out, so he tweeted this:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
I agree with this. Watch!
@WashTimes
·
Hydroxychloroquine rated ‘most effective therapy’ by doctors for coronavirus: Global survey bit.ly/2xKne7I
11:17 AM · Apr 4, 2020
The survey was large and international. 37% overall surveyed suggested that Hydroxychloroquine was the most effective treatment. It is interesting that the U.S. doctors had the lowest approval rating for this drug of all the nations surveyed.
There are some possible side effects when using the drug as with every medicine you take. That is why it should be taken after consulting a physician, but for over 95% it is perfectly safe. What are the side-effects? For people with arrhythmia it can worsen the condition, as with vision problems, but otherwise they are few severe side-effects.
Doctors in areas of mitigation should offer the drug to anyone who is a candidate for it, but we live in a free country, so you cannot force the drug on anyone that would rather die than use a remedy that has been strongly advocated by President Trump. In the other areas the drug should be offered to anyone testing positive for COVID-19 and their contacts! This is what China did after they had cremated the evidence in Wuhan and Chongqing, and the new infection rate went to nearly zero, only affecting foreigners visiting China, or so their recent statistics show.

China and rare earth metals. Can China be trusted? Consider COVID-19 and pharmaceutical supplies.

In early May, 2019, President Xi and Vice Premier Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator, visited a rare earth metals mine in Jiangxi province. This has led to the rumor that China is seriously considering restricting rare earth exports to the US. China may also take other countermeasures in the future. The trade negotiations between U.S. and China got a lot more serious. It extended far beyond tariffs and intellectual property, it began to involve strategic materials.

The first thing we must realize is that rare earth metals are not all that rare. They are a thousand times or more abundant than gold or platinum in the earth crust and easy to mine, but a little more difficult to refine. Thorium and Uranium will  also be mined at the same time as the rare earth metals since they appear together in the ore.

Related image

U.S. used to be the major supplier of rare earth metals, which was fine up to around 1984. Then the U.S. regulators determined that Uranium and Thorium contained in the ore made the ore radioactive, so the regulatory agencies decided to make rare earth metal ore subject to nuclear regulations with all what that meant for record keeping and control. This made mining of rare earth metals in the U.S. unprofitable so in 2001 the last domestic mine closed down. China had no such scruples, such as human and environmental concerns, so they took over the rare earth metals mining and in 2010 controlled over 95% of the world supply, which was according to their long term plan of controlling the world by 2025.

Rare Earth Element Production

The U.S. used to have a strategic reserve of rare earth metals, but that was sold off in 1998 as being no longer cost effective or necessary. Two years later the one U.S. rare earth metals mine that used to supply nearly the whole world, the Mountain Pass Mine in California closed down, together with its refining capacity. From that day all rare earth metals were imported. In 2010 it started up again together with the refining capacity but went bankrupt in 2015, closed down the refining but continued selling ore to China. They just announced they will start up refining again late 2020. Meanwhile China is slapping on a 25% import tariff on imported ore starting July 1. Rare earth metals may be in short supply for a while.

So, why is this important? Just take a look at all the uses for rare earth metals. The most sought after pays all the cost of mining and refining, and the rest are readily available at nominal cost.

The Chinese almost got away with it, and that is but one reason the trade negotiations are so complicated and hard fought, but necessary. Donald Trump fights for reciprocity and fair competition.

For example, according to a 2013 report from the Congressional Research Service, each F35 Lightning II aircraft requires 920 pounds of rareearth materials. Who is making the most critical parts to this airplane? You guessed it – China, from our drawings and according to our specifications.

But it is getting worse. the COVId-19 virus hit China bad, probably in November or so, nobody knows and China won’t tell. Then they told us there was a small outbreak, but it is not contagious from person to person. Then on January 10 the first case of the Wuhan virus hit the U.S.A. Late January President Trump halted entry into the U.S. from foreigners having been in China recently. At one of the daily COVID-19 briefings President Trump got excited about a potential treatment. He had been shown the result of a french study. Here it is:

To make matters a little more complicated, China has stopped export of one of the ingredients in making this medicine, and they are the only source, until we have started up production of our own. We have to do it in days, not weeks.

It turns out that China had been, and is treating their COVID-19 patients with this medicine, both as a preventive, and as a cure for months, but they never told the world until now.

Why did China stop this medical export? There are at least two possibilities, either they are lying through their teeth about the COVID-19 cases and they need it for their own consumption but didn’t tell us, or, which is even worse, they do want to maximize the damage in the rest of the world.

This is the real China. The people are wonderful, but their government is evil.

The COVID-19 epidemic presented in charts. How to scare or calm down with the same, perfectly valid statistics.

The impression you want to make on the public depends on how you want to present the data in charts. This is the data for the COVID-19 outbreak you would use if you are a reporter working for the mainstream media.

The chart is absolutely true, and is selected to scare you as much as possible.

Governor Cuomo of New York does no longer want to scare you, but present a clear and present danger, since New Yourk State has nearly half of all COVID19 cases, and NYC by itself nearly a quarter of all cases. He then would choose a statistics that shows the infection rate per million people

While hardly comforting, the chart is equally true, but not nearly as alarming as the first one.

Now, there is great debate if any of the two charts above show the real picture. The cases are confirmed only if a test has been made, and many go on unnoticed.

A better statistics would then be made by only counting the COVID-19 deaths, and again show the result as per million people. This would be the most accurate to show, and is used by the modelers and forcasters in the Trump/Pence task force.

Italy is doing poorly with an over 11% death rate, Spain next with 8, France is slowly increasing, but not as slow as Iran, which has different travel habits between cities and villages. United States and Germany show a very similar pattern, and both countries have excellent health systems with by far the most emergency rooms per capita of any nation.

One nation has done significantly better. Japan has a death rate of 0.3 %. It is probably because they are an obedient people and practice social separation anyway, they don’t shake hands, they bow, and they have a habit of wearing masks if they cough or sneeze.

And yes, there is one more country, China. They are officially over the crisis, but anecdotal evidence tells another story. There was an increase in demand for at least 40000 cremation urns this winter in the City of Wuhan alone, and the Chinese government paid for the cremation if the cause of death was not disclosed. Another nugget of evidence is that Chinese Telecom lost 18.5 million wireless customers and two million wired customers in January and February. They are busing in and training peasants from the countryside to fill the factories to get the production started up again after they shut down the country for a month. The Chinese Government has been less than transparent.

 

Why did the Michigan Governor prohibit promising treatment for COVID-19. A Limerick.

The Governor’s Trump hate in Lansing,

from science advancement distancing.

She would let people die,

valid treatment deny

to stop Donald Trump’s reelecting.

The Detroit News’ Kathy Hoekstra reports that Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has sent a letter to all physicians and pharmacists in the state warning of “professional consequences” if they prescribe or dispense hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine to treat coronavirus patients. Hoekstra writes that “beyond the rational recommendation against hoarding as production of this medication needs to be ramped up, the letter deviates into open threats of “administrative action” against the licenses of doctors that prescribe hydroxychloroquine.” It also orders pharmacists to “ignore physician orders for this medication.”

There must have been a reason why Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued this threatening letter. She could have heard President Trump being excited about a promising study that offered a remedy, or, which is scary, she believed it was dangerous because a husband and wife ate spoonfuls of aquarium tank cleaner which contained chloroquine phosphate, and one of them died. What made this unbelievable story the news of the day in the mainstream media was the dying man’s words:  “Look, this is what Trump recommended, why don’t we try it?” Little did they know that 2 grams is a deadly dose, but it is perfectly safe to take an appropriate dose under a physician’s supervision. It has been taken safely for over 50 years to combat malaria.

So why was President Trump so excited about the french study he was shown? Here are the results:

This was a non random test of 80 people, and one person died, a 70+ year old woman with underlying conditions. They took a chance on her because she was within hours of probable death anyhow, but she was too far gone. The other 79 recovered.

This is no time for double blind large clinical trials. They sometimes take years to verify, and the enemy, the COVID-19 virus works on a time-frame of 3 days, so the only choice is to work with incomplete and uncertified data.

To make matters a little more complicated, China has stopped export of one of the ingredients in making this medicine, and they are the only source, until we have started up production of our own. We have to do it in days, not weeks.

Why did China stop this medical export? There are at least two possibilities, either they are lying through their teeth about the COVID-19 cases and they need it for their own consumption but didn’t tell us, or, which is even worse, they do want to maximize the damage in the rest of the world.

 

 

COVID-19 response, shut down all nonessential functions for 15days. What is the “black body” reaction of America?

When engineers and scientists want to study an object, the first step is often to study it as a “black body”, apply an impulse to it and study how the body reacts. One such “opportunity” is just now happening, the Coronavirus COVID-19 and how we, as a people react to it.

The flu season started innocently enough, but there was an increase in the number of healthcare visits for flue like symptoms, already when the flu season started in week 39 (October). At this time nobody had even heard of COVID-19 

The healthcare workers expected a higher flu season than average, but nobody expected this. On Dec 31 the Chinese government officially acknowledged that this virus could spread from human to human, but was still insisting it was largely contained to the live animal market in Wuhan. But Wuhan is a large regional hub, with lots of people, even international visitors were coming and going. No tests had been developed yet for the Coronavirus, so who is to say when the outbreak started. Certainly not the Chinese, they had successfully silenced a whistleblower, and he later died of the disease. We may never know the onset, and how many had spread the virus internationally before December 31. The silence of the Chinese government was a medical malpractice of worldwide importance. After Christmas the flu symptoms seem to have abated, but after President Trump issued the travel ban for foreigners who have recently been in China, people got nervous and the healthcare visits took off again. The question is, how much did the increased healthcare visits help or hurt? This chart shows the pneumonia cases, since this is usually how people die, not from the flu but from the following pneumonia.

Yes, there seems to be a negative correlation between health care visits and pneumonia deaths. More early attention to flu like symptoms and early intervention leads to fewer pneumonia deaths. Not really surprising, but earlier intervention seems even more important than I thought.

But what was really stunning is the effect the intervention to “flatten the curve”,  that is to slow the spread of the virus by 6 feet of separation “better six feet apart than six feet under“, telling everybody in the country to stay home if they do not have an absolutely essential job, don’t cough into open air, wash your hands with soap and don’t touch your face, had. Enough people seem to have obeyed. Did it make a difference? Check out the total deaths per week:

The number of deaths in the whole country shrank by twenty thousand per Week! This is remarkable. Will it continue, will changing hygiene and social separation continue, or will we return back to where we were before?

Time will tell, but there is much hope.

The reverse is just as good:

 

Nevada governor Sisolak, in a snit of Trump-hate forbids the use of two promising treatments for covid-19, later recanted. A Limerick.

An intrigue in old Carson City

Gov. Sisolak showing no pity

For his Trump-hate is great

but the virus won’t wait

no time to delay and be snitty.

Nevada’s governor has signed an emergency regulation limiting the use of two anti-malaria drugs to treat coronavirus patients, the same medication that President Donald Trump has touted as possible treatments.

Trump has said that using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as treatments for coronavirus could be “one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine,” and said the drugs had been approved for a long time in the treatment of malaria.
Here is a result from a French non-randomized test. This is no time for randomized tests. They may be scientifically perfect, but they take a long time to complete and are very inefficient. Better save lives now!
U.K. and now India is blocking export of these substances, so we must make our own, and fast. FEMA has appropriated all available stockpiles of  Hydroxychloroquin and is distributing to medical doctors as needed to prevent hoarding.
To be fair, Governor Sisolak in a later tweet indicated  that he will not forbid a licensed medical doctor to administer whatever he/she deems necessary for treatment of a patient, in other words, render his executive order moot. But it  captured the headlines.

 

President Trump promises innovative approaches to eliminate nuclear waste. Thorium is the answer! A limerick.

The nuclear waste meant for Yucca

would destine Nevada the sucka

But with Thorium we rid

us of waste that is hid

No need for that waste to be trucka!

Where is the storage for spent nuclear fuel and other nuclear waste now? Look at the map, it is scary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this is just the U.S. installations!

Many years ago I studied Engineering at Chalmers’ University in Sweden and I thought I would become a nuclear engineer. Sweden had at that time a peaceful heavy water based nuclear power program together with Canada and India. The advantage with heavy water as moderator is that it can use natural, un-enriched Uranium. One of the end products is of course Plutonium 239, the preferred material to make nuclear bombs, but it could also use Thorium, and the end product is then Plutonium 238, used in space exploration, and we were dreaming big. One of the advantages of Thorium as fuel is that it produces about 0,01%  of trans-Uranium waste compared to Uranium as fuel. About that time the U.S. proposed we should abandon the heavy water program and switch to light water enriched Uranium based nuclear power. They would sell the enriched Uranium, and reprocess the spent fuel at cost. They also had the ideal final resting place for the radioactive waste products in Nevada. This was an offer the Swedish government could not refuse. This was in the 1960’s! India on the other hand did refuse, and they eventually got the nuclear bomb. In disgust I switched my attention back to control engineering.

 

 

 

What did President Trump mean with innovative approaches?

This is where Thorium comes in!

Here is a list of

Twenty-five reasons to rapidly develop Thorium based Nuclear Power generation.

We need badly to develop and build Thorium based molten salt fast breeder nuclear reactors to secure our energy needs in the future. Lest anyone should be threatened by the words fast breeder, it simply means it uses fast neutrons instead of thermal neutrons, and breeder means it produces more fissible material than it consumes, in the case of Thorium the ratio is about 1.05.

1. A million years supply at today’s consumption levels.

2. Thorium already mined, ready to be extracted.

3. One ten-thousandth of the TRansUranium waste compared to a U-235 based fast breeder reactor.

4. Thorium based nuclear power produces Pu-238, needed for space exploration.

5. Radioactive waste from an LFTR decays down to background radiation in 300 years compared to a million years for U-235 based reactors.

6. Thorium based nuclear power is not suited for making nuclear bombs.

7. Produces isotopes that helps cure certain cancers.

8. Molten Salt Thorium Reactors are earthquake safe.

9. Molten Salt Thorium Reactors cannot have a meltdown, the fuel is already molten.

10. Molten Salt Nuclear Reactors have a very high negative temperature coefficient leading to a safe and stable control.

11. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions.

12. Virtually no spent fuel problem, very little on site storage or transport.

13. Thorium Nuclear Power generators  scale  beautifully from small portable generators to full size power plants.

14. No need for evacuation zones, can be placed near urban areas.

15. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will work both as Base Load and Load Following power plants.

16. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will lessen the need for an expanded national grid.

17. Russia has an active Thorium program.

18. China is having a massive Thorium program.

19. India is having an ambitious Thorium program.

20. United States used to be the leader in Thorium usage. What happened?

21. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like the Three Mile Island disaster will not happen.

22. With a Molten Salt Reactor, disasters like Chernobyl are impossible.

23. With Molten Salt Reactors, a catastrophe like Fukushima cannot happen.

24. Produces electrical energy at about 4 cents per KWh.

25. Can deplete some of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles.

Look carefully at note 17. We can do better than Russia!