This Week in Corona Scams, it’s looking extra scammy out there. With Labor Day fast approaching, we have some repeat offenders to check up on. And as always, QAnon tops that repeat offender list.
Also: Pay attention to this before you even think about finding steroids to “cure” COVID-19.
WARNING: I’m extra pissed off this week, so I’m in no mood to censor foul language. Reader discretion is advised.
First off, it wouldn’t be “This Week in Corona Scams” without a Donald Trump and QAnon update.
Besides being more QAnon bullshit, this “only 6%” nonsense only shows that most people don’t know how death certificates work. They ask for immediate cause of death (eg respiratory failure) then any health problems that contributed to that (eg COVID). It’s not a conspiracy.
— Ryan Marino (@RyanMarino) August 30, 2020
On Monday, we actually got a head start on our first “corona scam”: The incessant online claims that “only 6% of reported COVID-19 deaths were actually COVID-19”. No, stop right there. That’s an absolute lie.
As I tried my best to explain on Monday, the CDC’s recent report on COVID-19 deaths merely points out that only 6% of America’s reported COVID-19 deaths had no apparent pre-existing conditions. And as Australian epidemiologist Dr. Gideon Meyerwitz-Katz explained on his Medium page Sunday, “The CDC has actually estimated [COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death], and puts it at over 95% of all COVID-19 deaths, meaning that the vast majority of deaths recorded as caused by coronavirus in the U.S. were caused by COVID-19. In other words, most COVID-19 deaths were almost certainly caused by COVID-19.”
Yet as per usual, President Donald Trump himself, various pro-Trump media pundits, and QAnon online zealots quickly misinterpreted the CDC report to make their fraudulent claim on COVID-19 deaths. Not only have they given the strong impression that they have no fucking clue how comorbidity works, but they’ve also given the strong impression that they really don’t give any fucks about the 180,000+ Americans who have died after contracting COVID-19.
But wait, there’s more: WTF are those QAnon “Save the Children” shirts, and why shouldn’t we buy them?
If you spend any time on the internet, you’ve probably seen the viral “Save the Children” t-shirts, and perhaps you’ve even seen footage from these “Save the Children” rallies happening across America. Spoiler alert: The very real non-profit organization Save the Children has nothing to do with any of this. Rather, QAnon is hijacking a very real charity and a very worthy cause to further spread its nonsensical “deep state” conspiracy mish-mosh.
As Mel Magazine and the fact-checking specialists at Logically pointed out last month, QAnon took advantage of the United Nations’ World Human Trafficking Awareness Day to traffic their greatest hits in already debunked conspiracy theories: Pizzagate, the 5G COVID-19 derp-fest, “Clinton Body Count”, “Deep State Madness”, Plandemic-palooza, Hollywood’s Adrenochrome addiction (FYI, it’s not even a real drug!), and so much more. And even worse, Reuters noted last week that cyberwarfare and surveillance experts have caught Russian operatives amplifying QAnon’s “children” propaganda for the express purpose of boosting Donald Trump and hurting former Vice President Joe Biden.
If you actually want to help in saving children from human trafficking and other forms of abuse, please support real non-profit charities like Save the Children and the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Next, let’s revisit the subject of steroids.
Back in March, we debunked the growing rumor that anabolic steroids (as in, the “juice” that super swole guy once tried to sell you at the gym’s parking lot) prevent, treat, and/or cure COVID-19. Today, we need to revisit this in light of recent news that the World Health Organization (WHO) now recommends the anti-inflammatory corticosteroids for COVID-19 treatment.
Remember: Corticosteroids are not the same as anabolic steroids. While doctors prescribe corticosteroids (like prednisone and dexamethasone) to treat arthritis, asthma, allergies, and mild skin infections because they reduce swelling, anabolic steroids (such as anavar, dianabol, and trenbolone) take the body in a completely different direction because they’re synthetic derivatives of the male sex hormone testosterone. While corticosteroids reduce inflammation, anabolic steroids promote tissue growth, particularly in muscles – hence why some bodybuilders and other athletes “juice up”.
Not only is the kind of corticosteroid therapy that the WHO recommends completely different because these corticosteroids are prescribed by doctors and administered in a safe medical setting, but these corticosteroids are also very different drugs than the “juicy” anabolic steroids that some (wannabe and professional) athletes often use with little or no guidance from licensed and ethically-minded medical professionals. So if that super swole guy from the gym tells you to buy his “juice” because “it cures ‘The Rona’”, tell him to “juice up” on actual medical science for a change.
And finally, some stone-cold science on the never-ending “BS Beads” scam!
If it’s any day that ends in “y”, the notorious Younique MLM presenter known as “KM” is peddling more dangerous pseudoscience. On her Friday Facebook live stream, “KM” upped the ante some more by promising that “BS Beads” cure substance abuse, heart disease, and even kidney cancer. She’s previously been caught claiming that these Bullshit Beads cure COVID-19 and promote weight loss.
As we’ve previously discussed, Bullshit Beads have zero “magical healing powers” because there is zero scientific evidence that “crystal energy healing” cures anything, whether it’s COVID-19 or the “Quarantine 15”. While it’s possible for one to “feel better” when using crystals (or in this case, overpriced beads), that’s far more likely to be a “placebo effect” than any kind of “magical healing”. So please, think twice, do your research, and shop around for better quality and pricing before plunking down any big bucks on Bullshit Beads.
If you’re in need of medical treatment, contact your primary health care provider first. If you fear you can’t afford treatment from a hospital or doctor’s office, check with the Southern Nevada Health District, Washoe County Health District, Carson City Health and Human Services, or the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services for resources in your area. For additional aid, check the Nevada Current’s and Battle Born Progress’ resource guides. If you can afford proper treatment and you are fortunate enough to help others in need, please donate to larger operations like Direct Relief and Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, and to local groups like Three Square.