Science can happen fast

When life is happening fast, you have to respond fast. I find it interesting that Dr. Fouci (the CDC communicable disease guy on the podium supposedly advising Trump about the Wuhan virus) keeps dismissing the hydroxychloroquine + z-pak + zinc treatment / cure for the disease as “mere anecdote, not rigorous studies showing efficacy.” OK, fair enough. But he’s been saying that for WEEKS. It is claimed to have some effect in 12-24 hours, major improvement in 2-3 days, and perhaps clear it totally in 5. We are now adding more than 10,000 new cases a DAY. How long does it take to put together a study that could test a few thousand people when we’d literally know in a week if it works? I could design a study in a day that would have two or three variables, have a team assemble the med-packs by hand in a day while a couple of web-app geniuses put together a simple data-collection app/website, and in ten days we could have results of a control, five variations of meds, and six thousand or more participants in each treatment groups (control/placebo, hydroxychloroquine only + placebo, hydroxychloroquine + zinc, hydroxychloroquine + zpak, hydroxychloroquine + z-pak + zinc, hydroxychloroquine + z-pak + zinc + vitamins C and D3), somewhat blocked by sex, age, race, and health. Two weeks, tops. Why in the hell can’t these bozos do it in a month with all the money they have to spend?

The normal course of the disease is that it’s a pain for about ten days, then it either starts clearing up, or for about one in five of them  it takes a turn for the worse; it’s at this point folk usually head for the ER or Urgent Care. Have them start taking it as soon as possible, then have everyone report their health status on a daily basis via the web-site. Each person would have basic stats and an approximate guess of how many days they’d been symptomatic when they started taking it. Everyone being tested gets a random treatment packet, and they can be blocked up with similar starting dates and demographics taking the other treatments later. You could gather a large enough dataset very quickly that data size would make up for imperfections in perfect blocking and randomization. Two weeks max you’d know conclusively the proper course. With 20% needing some sort of serious medical attention at around day ten, and most people likely starting their meds around day 5 on average, anything less than 10 % taking that turn would be HUGE. And considering the cost per dose on the whole package is ~$5, there isn’t any reason to not do it.

I’d bet they CAN…. so why don’t they? What do they gain by it? Why are they deliberately slow-walking the science? Whose team are they really on?

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