Uncommon Sense

December 18, 2020

Follow-up on the IM Doc COVID Letter

Filed under: Politics,Reason,Science — Steve Ruis @ 12:19 pm
Tags: ,

I link to the follow-up article below but note that someone was suspicious as to why the doctor didn’t use his name, and used the moniker “IM Doc” instead (standing for internal medicine doctor). Apparently the author was afraid he might lose his job if he went full on public. Can’t say whether that fear is valid, but since this is a Class Warfare blog, erring on the side of caution seems prudent.

The post is HERE.


  1. I appreciate the follow-up on this but you are pretty close to going down a rabbit hole of Trump and right-wing talking points.

    Some of the links in the article you link are filled with hydroxychloroquine opinions which still have little substantial evidence back them up. Big Pharma has been trying various drugs to treat this and they have had mostly negative results, so it is not exactly like every drug that can turn a big profit is being dumped on the American public.

    You can get a general idea of the failures from this statement by Derek Lowe on the SOLIDARITY trials:

    “One drug reported on is hydroxychloroquine. This showed no apparent benefit along with a statistical possibility of increased hazard, although the latter was also not proven. This is consistent, as the paper points out, with the results of 27 other trials, and for God’s sake, enough said. Another was the lopinavir/ritonavir combination, and no benefit was found for that, either, which is consistent with two other reported trials. A third intervention was interferon-beta1, with and without lopinavir, but this also showed no evidence of benefit. The statistics on it do not rule out a small useful effect, but do rule out anything moderately beneficial or above, and it’s worth noting that they don’t rule out small amounts of harm, either. This was either subcutaneous or i.v. administration – there has been a report that administering it to the lungs via a nebulizer could be effective, but that only had 100 patients. There is also another trial underway with s.c. dosing, but after these results it’s hard to be optimistic about that one”.


    Regarding the amount of adverse reactions. When I read the Pfizer report, it didn’t seem to me to be all that excessive. It seemed about what I might have expected from most flu vaccines.

    And this mRNA technology has been under development for decades. This written a while back.

    “There are currently no licensed mRNA vaccines in the United States. However, researchers have been studying and working with them for decades. Interest has grown in these vaccines because they can be developed in a laboratory using readily available materials. This means the process can be standardized and scaled up, making vaccine development faster than traditional methods of making vaccines.

    mRNA vaccines have been studied before for flu, Zika, rabies, and cytomegalovirus (CMV). As soon as the necessary information about the virus that causes COVID-19 was available, scientists began designing the mRNA instructions for cells to build the unique spike protein into an mRNA vaccine”.


    From my perspective, I would expect mRNA vaccines to be much safer than live or attenuated virus ones since they only incorporate a small portion of the genetic material of the virus with some agents to trigger the development of anti-bodies.

    And this:

    “While the concept seems simple, it required decades of work for mRNA vaccines to overcome a series of hurdles. First, scientists learned how to modify mRNA so that it did not produce violent immune system reactions. Second, they learned how to encourage immune system cells to gobble up the mRNA as it passed by in the blood. Third, they learned how to coax those cells to make large amounts of the critical piece of protein. Finally, they learned how to enclose the mRNA inside microscopically small capsules to protect it from being destroyed by chemicals in our blood.

    Along the way, they also learned that, compared to traditional vaccines, mRNA vaccines can actually generate a stronger type of immunity: they stimulate the immune system to make antibodies and immune system killer cells — a double strike at the virus”.



    Comment by James Cross — December 18, 2020 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

    • Sorry about being slow to respond. Re “I appreciate the follow-up on this but you are pretty close to going down a rabbit hole of Trump and right-wing talking points.” This is the quandary of our times … where to get information. For me, I don’t believe anything I read, I just accept it as having been said. What drew my eye in this piece was “In what is arguably the most important decision the Food and Drug Administration has made this year — its emergency use authorization of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine — the agency apparently assigned only a single reviewer in each of two key scientific disciplines (clinical and statistics) to do the work in three weeks that usually takes months to do….” If this is true (I have no way of knowing) this is rather alarming.

      My approach is to read a great deal and see if any coherent patterns become evident. You seem to have done a better job at researching the basics. (You I trust more than them … and if that doesn’t scare you … :o)

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 20, 2020 @ 12:49 pm | Reply

      • I don’t think I can rule out 100% some hidden issue but on the whole I would encourage everybody not allergic to vaccines or prone to complications with them to get the vaccine. The biggest unknowns in my view are how long will protection last and how protective will the vaccines be of mutations of the virus? I don’t see anyway that could be tested or known on these timelines. But I think they likely will provide protective right now for many without major side effects. So I would say get them.

        A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. ~ George S. Patton


        Comment by James Cross — December 20, 2020 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

        • I know that is a slight variation on the actual Patton quote.


          Comment by James Cross — December 20, 2020 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

        • Basically I am with you. I am in a group probably sooner than later up to the trough. One of the things not being emphasized is that the protection doesn’t kick in until the second dose and know my countrymen, as soon as they get that first shot, they will be stripping off their masks, shouting “Free at last, free at last!” and heading to the nearest bar. Sigh.

          I assume any large scale reactions will show up as hospital and critical care workers get their first doses. On the good news front, my Medicare Supplemental program pays for the shots. :o)

          On Sun, Dec 20, 2020 at 4:34 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — December 21, 2020 @ 11:54 am | Reply

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