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Nevada Today

Nevada Today is a nonpartisan, independently owned and operated site dedicated to providing up-to-date news and smart analysis on the issues that impact Nevada's communities and businesses.

2020 ElectionCOVID-19HealthNews and information

This Week in Corona Scams: The Unconventional “Plandemic”

This Week in Corona Scams, it’s the Republican National Convention! With President Donald Trump already shilling a brand new unproven “corona cure”, we have plenty more work to do. And with other bad actors continuing to promote additional unproven “cures”, we need to check in (again) on the seemingly never-ending Plandemic info-demic.

Why is Trump promoting blood plasma? (And why should we wait for the science to confirm whether it actually works?)

Not only will he never learn, but it doesn’t seem like he has any desire to learn. Just two months ago, the FDA reversed course on the Trump administration’s rush to approve hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment as actual medical data directly contradicted Trump’s shilling of hydroxychloroquine as a “game changer”. Now, Donald Trump is pressuring the FDA to rush approval for blood plasma to treat COVID-19.

White House officials claim that the FDA’s emergency approval has merit because convalescent plasma (or blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients) allegedly reduces COVID-19 mortality by 35%. But in reality, the FDA scientist who reviewed the data on convalescent plasma called for more “adequate and well-controlled randomized trials” to determine whether the transfusion of convalescent plasma has any effect on mortality and recovery.

So far, convalescent plasma promoters are relying on a Mayo Clinic study involving just over 35,000 patients as proof of its efficacy. However that study did not include a placebo group to compare with the plasma group, and more randomized plasma studies that include placebo groups are still underway. So right now, we still don’t know how effective it is at treating COVID-19. And without sufficient proof that convalescent plasma actually works, any rush to place convalescent plasma on the open market and label it as a “COVID-19 treatment” is no better than the Russian government’s rush to claim “Sputnik V” as a “COVID-19 vaccine”.

At best, Trump hyping up convalescent plasma now is akin to his premature promotion of Gilead Science’s Remdesivir, the Moderna vaccine candidate, and the Pfizer vaccine candidate when we still don’t know yet how effective any of them are at curing, treating, or preventing COVID-19. At worst, Trump risks subjecting America to another hydroxychloroquine-esque fiasco that’s all “culture war” and no real science

What about ancient Chinese “herbal medicine”?

To be fair, Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are not the only world leaders making all sorts of outrageous claims on potential COVID-19 treatments and cures. All this year, the Chinese government has been claiming that 92% of Chinese COVID-19 patients were treated with “Traditional Chinese Medicine” (or TCM). And this week, The Daily Beast published a story that gives a strong impression that TCM may ultimately prove effective against COVID-19.

So is Chinese Premier Xi Jinping on more solid medical science ground than Trump and Putin? Not so fast: Just like Trump’s frequent promotion of unproven (and sometimes flat-out fraudulent) “coronavirus cures” and Putin’s promotion of an unproven vaccine candidate, the science journal Nature noted in May that there’s not enough actual scientific evidence to back up the Chinese government’s claims that TCM “herbal remedies” work on COVID-19. And in the weeks since those reports got published, we still don’t have sufficient scientific evidence to back up the Chinese government’s claims about TCM.

Just like Trump’s and Putin’s propaganda campaigns, it appears that the Chinese government has been promoting TCM “herbal remedies” around the world to deflect criticism of the Chinese government’s own mishandling of COVID-19. So just because we see people promote TCM all over the internet, that doesn’t mean it actually works.

Next, some spoilers on the Plandemic sequel I’m really hoping you never watch!

Speaking of terrible internet advice, we have some big Plandemic news: They’ve already released a sequel! And even better/worse, they’ve partnered with the serial scammers at London Real for Plandemic: Indoctornation (or as Dr. David Gorski calls it at Respectful Insolence: “Plandemic 2: Electric Boogaloo”).

Remember that at London Real, Brian Rose used David Icke’s completely outlandish COVID-19 misinformation to promote his “digital freedom platform” that mostly proved to be a cold, hard cash grab. And remember that with the first Plandemic video, Judy Mikovits attempted to rewrite her own troubled history of faulty “medical research” by blaming everyone from Dr. Anthony Fauci to vaccine specialists for her own misdeeds. 

In Plandemic: Indoctornation, we essentially get a “Corona Scams Greatest Hits!” compilation of already debunked Bill Gates vaccine rumors, baseless Jeffrey Epstein conspiracy theories, a total misinterpretation of data on the risks and benefits of the oral polio vaccine, and a parade of completely discredited “experts” who only show “expertise” in peddling anti-vaccine propaganda that’s no science and all lies

Yes, I know London Real promises that you can “watch the video for free!” so long as you provide your email address. Please don’t. Brian Rose has already used London Real to promote his own scams, such as his “business accelerator course” that taught investors a whole lot of nothing and the “digital freedom platform” that bilked investors out of over $1 million, and others’ scams, such as Teeka Tiwari’s “Five Coins to $5 Million” cryptocurrency scam. Unless you’re desperate for spam full of scam flooding your inbox, please keep your money and your contact information as far away from London Real as possible.

And finally, an explanation on why we haven’t posted much on the Republican National Convention

Getting back to campaign politics, I know the Republican National Convention is this week. And yes, I know we haven’t been talking much about it. I promise this has nothing to do with “media bias” or “Trump Derangement Syndrome”. Rather, I’m trying my best to learn from past mistakes on how to properly cover Donald Trump and his propaganda machine

A huge mistake that so many of us in the media have made in recent years has involved our amplification of misinformation. Without providing proper context and properly fact checking their claims, we risk empowering bad actors by airing their propaganda and helping them indoctrinate more people. This is why I’ve been careful not to air any Plandemic footage, Alex Jones content, or QAnon “decoders” without proper context. 

We’re already forehead-deep in the COVID-19 pseudoscientific “info-demic”, and the last thing America needs is a week full of COVID-19 gaslighting. But of course, that’s what Donald Trump and his cohorts are doing at the Republican National Convention. They’re hoping that the media will continue to act as Trump’s “useful idiots”, yet it’s up to us to rise above the palace intrigue and cut through the spin so you can see for yourself the truth behind this and all the other “Corona Scams”.

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 DistrictWashoe County Health DistrictCarson 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.

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