I appreciate the work you are doing - especially from a forensics perspective - trying to figure out the mistakes, the blunders, the hubris, and politcking.

However, after carefully reading many of your well documented pieces, I've had the impression that you skepticism is one directional, that you are letting your priors cloud you dispassionate judgment.

For example:

1) Sweden. You often write about Sweden disparagingly, which might have been justified early in the pandemic when the data suggested their approach was incorrect. We are 3 years out, we have the data, and it appears that their approach lead to arguably the best outcome of any country in the world for which we have reliable all-cause mortality data. I was going to comment on this in your Sept '22 piece, as the data had already reflected this, but I thought best to let another pass to see what happened.

Since then, her neighbors saw significant increases in all-cause mortality, while Sweden trended closer to pre-pandemic levels, erasing the deficits once visible in 2020.

Calculating excess is tricky, and our own biases can direct us to the models which align closest to our desires, but it requires quite a bit of data dredging and uncharitable assumptions to show Sweden had a bad outcome relative to not only her neighbors but the world at large - and even then, Sweden would place in the top ~10%-20% fewest excess deaths worldwide, again, for the countries we have reliable data.

South Korea, the once paragon of Covid response by comparison, had a staggering 372K deaths in 2022 rather than the 300K-310K expected - yet I don't see any pieces from your team examining what when wrong in the country that has one of the highest mask rates (high quality too), high vax rate, and (previously lauded) test and trace programs and highly efficient containment programs.

All of this is readily available to verify through the Human Mortality Database at mortality.org, which collects data from ~40 countries respective CDCs equivalents.

Bottom line, I'm unclear how anyone who is dispassionate of outcome (which I hope you are, as this is one of the 4 founding principles of science), could look at the data, and judge Sweden a failure rather than a success story, even if their approach defied the consensus.

2) I don't think HCQ or Ivermectin have any efficacy against Covid. I have a very high standard (as all scientists should), I want double blind RCTs of therapeutics, which neither drug have demonstrated. I've spent countless hours critiquing the promoters of these drugs pointing out the weak data, cherry picked results, and "goalpost moving" arguments they present (typically "well, had it been given earlier, you would have seen result).

Yet at the same time, the skepticism I direct towards HCQ and IVM I also apply to a myriad of other therapeutics which I have not seen you comment on, many of which were authorized and promoted for a period, then (typically) quietly removed from standard of care. You know the ones.

It feels like once again, your skepticism is one directional - useless treatments promoted by a particular political group you spend time debunking and hand wringing, the useless treatments by your "team" I haven't seen any outrage.

What's more, you seem willfully ignorant that many of the treatments you are enraged were suggested as treatments to covid, were in fact, long hypothesized to be the potential "one drug - many viruses" (quoting "Coronavirus Titan" Ralph Baric) long sought in virology. HCQ in particular had nearly a decade of promotion as a potential "wonder drug" that could fight a variety of viral infections, including other Coronaviruses.

As I have read your pieces, it appears you had no idea this was the case, and instead are denigrating the very thought that HCQ was anything more than a parasitic drug, presuming it was obvious it wouldn't work.

Again, I don't think it does work, but I can understand how easy it was for so many intelligent people to be tricked to believe that it might work, as this was the pre 2020 consensus, and ANY treatment against a disease with a 99%-99.9% survival rate is always going to be hard to tease out true efficacy.

To support my "heretical claim", I googled "hydroxychloroquine could help with viruses before:2020" and here are the results I found:

Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread


Effects of chloroquine on viral infections: an old drug against today's diseases


Chloroquine is effective against influenza A virus in vitro but not in vivo


Anti-malaria drug chloroquine is highly effective in treating avian influenza A H5N1 virus infection in an animal model


Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) inhibits rhinovirus (RV) replication in cultured human tracheal epithelial cells


Hydroxychloroquine Inhibits Zika Virus NS2B-NS3 Protease


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Excellent article.

And I found out everything that occurred for me to end up believing in a conspiracy theory in which cheap treatments were being sabotaged and supposedly millions were left to die for money! After a long and hard process of reflection, I have identified how it happened and I have the courage to assume the error. And now, without wasting any time, I have already engaged in a campaign in defense of science to try to undo the mistakes I caused people. Here I invite you to read the whole reflection.


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