Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Be Careful Choosing Sides

I spent some time yesterday scouring the MSM for stories of Dr. Fauci disagreeing with President Trump, specifically about the candidate treatment for the Wuhan Flu, chloroquine.

My initial conclusion was that the news media was rooting for the virus. That stuck out like a sore thumb. I'm sure that plays well inside the news rooms where they're still drying their tears because Hillary lost, but out here in rubeville, it is, shall we say, a bad look.

What I found in my research was a pack of gossip columnists from high school newspapers chattering about how Mark didn't like Suzy any more because Suzy had been making eyes at Juan which made Maria furious.

There wasn't a single actionable piece of information in the WaPo, the NYT, Yahoo News, CNN, whatever. It was trash.

When you stripped away the mean girl talk, you found that the entrepreneur had a good feeling about the drug while the scientist said the clinical trials hadn't been completed and all we had were anecdotes. Anyone who wanted to help the public make decisions would have asked about the direction the anecdotes were taking, but instead they went with howls of rage because some idiots had taken chloroquine phosphate, a fish tank cleanser, and died from it.

I'd call it worthless, but that would be an insult to worthless things everywhere.

Last night on Tucker's program, I watched an interview with the head of the FDA and then a doctor he has on regularly. They both hedged their bets as they should, but they both said the drug showed promise. The FDA dude said that doctors were free to prescribe it. The doctor dude said that early results showed that it worked particularly well in the early stages of the disease.

Experiments can indeed turn around in midstream. Something that looks good can go sideways and crash and burn. However, given that chloroquine has been around for decades and is already FDA-approved, a whole bunch of mechanisms, read: disastrous side effects, for failure are off the table.

In other words, things look really good.

Not that the idiots in the news media would tell you that. I wonder if they even understand. I doubt it. If they did, they'd dismiss it because Orange Man Bad. They're rooting for the virus because they hate Trump. In the long run, siding with the virus won't turn out to have been a good decision.

Your daily news summary.
Going out on a limb: I'm calling the market bottom right now. Yesterday's S&P 500 close of 2237 was the lowest it will go.


tim eisele said...

If you would like another source for information about the status of various treatments, I suggest Derek Lowe's blog, "In the Pipeline".


I've been reading his blog for years[1], and in general he is pretty fair-minded and no-nonsense, and takes the effort to track down primary sources and get the actual numbers.

Derek is a drug discovery chemist who has worked for a number of pharmaceutical companies over the years, and is extremely familiar with the whole process of developing drugs and how clinical trials are conducted.

[1] I admit that I started reading his blog for the "Things I Won't Work With" entries about chemicals that are so dangerous that only the suicidally insane will make them. They are a good read:

Foxfier said...

It really makes me wonder if folks slept through chemistry class-- this is like drinking bleach because you heard gargling with salt water was good.