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COVID-19: Cui bono? Who benefits?

‘Cui bono’ is a Latin phrase that means “who benefits?”, and is used to suggest a high probability that those responsible for a certain event are the ones who stand to gain from it. For example, if a crime has been committed, cui bono suggests that the person who committed that crime is likely someone who benefited from it. (Effectiviology)

  • ‘Cui bono’ can help identify who is responsible for spreading a certain piece of disinformation in the media.
  • ‘Cui bono’ can help figure out who is behind the push for legislation that will suppress a medicine or technology.
  • ‘Cui bono’ can help identify who is trying to promote a new problematic government policy, and why.

It has never happened before that an FDA-approved medication, for 65 years widely available on the WHO’s list of essential medications that all countries must have for all-time, which is a derivative of quinine that is found in tree barks and is the most non-controversial of drugs – that suddenly governors and state pharmacy boards and state medical boards and the government are subjecting this drug to scrutiny. Dr. Simone Gold called it bizarre.

Dr. David Matar, MD, told Arutz Sheva: “Hydroxychloroquine is completely safe, and 54 studies of varying quality show its efficacy in prophylaxis and therapy of early disease. What needs to be done to break this epidemic is mass distribution of doses of hydroxychloroquine and zinc to as many as possible as prophylaxis to protect vulnerable people and interrupt the chain of transmission.”

Matar continued: “Any medical doctor can write a private prescription for hydroxychloroquine and zinc; both are not expensive. However, the Health Ministry does not permit subsidized prescriptions for these drugs as treatment for COVID-19 – only for lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or malaria prophylaxis.

“The situation here is better than in the United States, where in some anti-Trump areas, pharmacies will not honor even private prescriptions. The FDA at one point permitted hydroxychloroquine off-label, then revoked it due to political pressure and some bad (fake) studies.”

Dr. Ze’ev Zelenko expanded on the importance of early intervention: “If you remember at that time, the entire world was focused on building hospital capacity, more respirators, and there was zero talk about any outpatient intervention.

“It’s very important to begin to intervene, to decrease the viral load, as soon as possible within these high-risk patients… But it turns out, very simple: If you wait more than five, six days, that’s when all the lung damage and the blood clots happen. So it’s very important to intervene as soon as possible, as soon as you see the patient and you have clinical suspicion. And it’s very easy to make the diagnosis…

“The principle, the point is, the Zelenko Protocol is not the drug. The Zelenko Protocol is a concept. The concept is to stratify the patients, find the ones who have a 5-10% chance of dying, deploy your resources, your treatment, as soon as possible with these patients, and then use a various cocktail of medications to destroy the virus.”

Dr. Zelenko didn’t pull any punches: “I’d like to tell the Israeli people that people should not be dying from COVID-19. The reason why people are dying is from ineffectual leadership and ineffectual policies. If you could take the politics and the economics out of it, then we can use their $20 treatment plan at home that will significantly reduce mortality and morbidity.

“And let me give you the exact numbers: I actually published a study and it will be published in a peer-reviewed journal within the next three weeks, an international journal, and it showed an 84% reduction in hospitalization with a very low P-value, it was statistically significant, that means 84% of the people being admitted, at least to my data, in the hospitals – we could reduce that amount of hospitalization by at least fivefold.

“And that’s the tragedy here. The tragedy here is that, yes, we got much better at inpatient management programs, we have Remdesivir …there’s stem cells now; there’s plenty of good intervention. However it’s much easier to put out a small fire than it is a large fire, and it’s much better not to get into the hospital, not to get on a respirator. And that’s what we do in every aspect of medicine, or any aspect of life; let’s say someone has cancer. We don’t wait for it to become metastatic before we treat it, we treat right away. Or someone who’s septic; we don’t wait for them to be half-dead, we treat right away. Someone has a fire in the house; you don’t wait for the whole house to be on fire, you call the fire Department as soon as possible. Same thing with COVID. Unfortunately, for some reason, the governments of this world have put their head into the ground and they’re not acting in the best interest of their people.”

“It’s so clear that hydroxychloroquine and zinc are safe, there’s no debate whatsoever,” said Dr. Simone Gold. “The only debate that ever existed is if it worked, and that’s absolutely been settled. The science is very clear that it works. If you eliminate the best early contender, the drug that will work early in the disease, the people that benefit are the people that offer products relating to other stages, later in the disease. That would be Remdesivir; it would be vaccines.”

Remdesivir is a broad-spectrum antiviral medication developed by the biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences. Remdesivir is administered by intravenous infusion for five to 10 days and costs around $2,600 per course.

An interesting point of law noted by Dr. Gold: Physicians cannot submit an emergency-use authorization if there’s another available medication, vaccines for example. They cannot go quickly through the process if there’s another treatment.

“So I know that if hydroxychloroquine was on-label,” Gold says, “the options to move other drugs to the front of the line as an emergency cease to exist.”

Regarding lockdowns, Laniado Hospital Emergency Medicine Department Director Dr. Amir Shachar, one of the founders of the emergency medicine profession in Israel, explained his doctrine regarding Israel’s response to the coronavirus, saying countries that imposed closure did not manage to stop the outbreak any more than countries that did not use this measure.

On September 13th, Knesset Coronavirus Committee Chairwoman Yifat Shasha-Biton issued an urgent last-minute effort to avert lockdown, condemning Health Ministry plans for a new nationwide closure, and urging the government to vote down the proposal.

In a video message, Knesset Member Shasha-Biton warned that, if implemented, the new national lockdown would be “disastrous” for most Israelis.

She said: “A general lockdown would be a disastrous collective blow to most Israelis – an unnecessary one that would result in us getting back to this same point.”

Hospital administrators who attended the September 13th cabinet meeting also argued that full closure was not necessary.

Shaare Zedek Hospital’s Director said a closure is not the solution, while the Deputy Director of Sheba Hospital emphasized there is no danger of the health system collapsing.

The Director of Rambam Hospital in Haifa concurred, saying coronavirus morbidity numbers are rising, but are not on the scale of a collapse.

The Director of Beilinson Hospital said the trend has indeed changed since mid-August but the potential collapse of hospitals is not an issue. He said there is unnecessary anxiety and a full closure is not required.

Yet during the meeting, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein was furious at the attempts to undermine the closure outline approved by the coronavirus cabinet.

Edelstein said: “I want it to be clear – apart from cosmetic changes, I won’t allow negotiations on the plan. I say clearly at the beginning of the discussion – if the plan is not accepted I will withdraw it and not bring alternatives.”

Why?

Dr. Sebastian Gorka commented: “It’s an old question, it’s a Latin question, but it’s an important one: Cui bono? Who benefits?”

Original: Mordechai Sones – Arutz Sheva