It has been three years since the new coronavirus appeared and most of the world appears to be moving on without giving it much thought. Hollywood has started to set stories in the pandemic with the film Glass Onion—A Knives Out Mystery standing out as an example. It satirizes, just a little, the mass psychosis of the time as the characters flaunt the new rules and carry on with their privileged lives. The public mood now seems to be more of a will to forget rather than a will to reckon with what just happened.

An article published in the Daily Kos on February 17, 2023 disparaged the anti-war rally to be held in Washington on February 19, 2022, slandering all the left-wing speakers involved by dismissing the event as a platform for right-wing grifters, Putin apologists and conspiracy theorists. In the mix was the accusation that many of the participants had peddled “Covid-19 conspiracy theories” during the pandemic. Instead of noticing at this late date that almost everything that was labelled “conspiracy theory” has come true, self-proclaimed progressives stick to the official narrative: that masks and lockdowns were effective, the vaccines—and only the vaccines—would end the pandemic, the vaccines were safe, and the billions to be gained by the pharmaceutical companies did not influence media or government policy. They cared about your welfare, apparently. Sideline public safety in the pursuit of profit? They wouldn’t do that!

Kate Hudson as Birdie Jay in Glass Onion, sporting
her version of a mask that was, after all, no less
effective than the masks worn by her servants.

Maybe you wouldn’t, but they would. This short saying perhaps sums up best the mass psychosis of naivete that struck “first world” nations during the pandemic years. I don’t have the motivation to go over it all again. Read my blog posts from 2020-21 for the record of how I covered it as it was happening. I called it early and there is very little that I got wrong. I won my so-called “bet on the pandemic,” which was not a bet at all. I committed the sin of “doing my own research” and figured out what to do by reading the hundreds of dissenting medical opinions. I suffered no damage from the infection, but, unfortunately, I saw a dozen colleagues, friends and relatives experience serious adverse events after getting their mRNA shots. Relationships also suffered some adverse effects. But none of these people are dead, so this mood of forgetting and moving on reminds me of something the fictional grifter Saul Goodman liked to say: ’ts’all good, man! They did everything just right because, you know, “It would have been worse if we hadn’t [fill in your own blank].” People believe what they want to believe, and the world moves on to the next thing. Joe Biden decided the Covid thing will be officially over on May 11th. Maybe they have something big planned this year to commemorate Unternehmen Barbarossa (1941/06/21). (Naaah, they wouldn’t do that!) Throughout history, war has always been the answer for capitalism in crisis and its need for a great reset. The pandemic served that role for a while, but they took that as far as they could.

As a short reminder of a few of the pertinent issues to assess post-pandemic, what follows is an excerpt of a recent interview with Professor Didier Raoult, the dissident French doctor who saved his patients with early, effective treatments and spoke early and often about the errors of public health policy. In the interview he gave on February 14, 2023, he discussed the potential of new uses of off-patent drugs, if governments can create a way to support the research and marketing of them. This would be an alternative to the present corrupt practice of approving new high cost patented drugs developed by pharmaceutical companies. Professor Raoult also reminded us of the tremendous corruption that was on display during the pandemic: the lies told about off-patent drugs, the promotion of the toxic and useless drug remdesivir, the backroom text-messaged deals between the CEO of Pfizer and the war-mongering lunatic president of the European Union, and the pathetic level of scientific ignorance of journalists, bureaucrats and politicians.

Professor of Medicine, Didier Raoult: In France, the level of scientific research is very low

Sud Radio, 2023/02/14

Translated by Dennis Riches.

The interview was translated, edited and, in a few segments, paraphrased in order to improve the clarity while preserving the speaker’s intent.

Didier Raoult: I’m fairly optimistic. I think that there will be a shift with regard to the repurposing of old drugs to treat diseases… Since the 19th century, we’ve been through a technological revolution and an evolution of medicine that is partly based on innovation but also on hygiene, on quality of life etc. Simply increasing the size of houses has decreased the transmissibility of diseases. But after 150 years of chemistry we have an absolutely astounding inventory of compounds that were found to be effective. But what’s more impressive is that the compounds found in nature are very often dual use, or polyvalent. It is now a question of exploiting the versatility of these compounds and testing them. For example, there are a number of molecules that have been shown in the laboratory to be effective against this virus [SARS-Cov-2]—including neuroleptics and sedatives—and this was unexpected. So these molecules exist, and we know that they are not toxic. That’s why the greatest fantasy sold [during the pandemic] was the alleged toxicity of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that had been prescribed for 70 years. Or ivermectin is another example. So we know their toxicity. We know that they don’t have toxicity at certain doses, so we have to test their efficacy in other situations, and many compounds have uses that are unsuspected. So there can be a recycling of these drugs which costs nothing because these drugs are inexpensive. And this is actually the problem with them. I warned a few years ago in a column I wrote to say that we must find a social space for someone to earn money by developing these drugs.

But the world is changing… whatever the subject is. We think that in Paris we run a part of the world, and then Europe runs another, and the United States runs the rest, but as a total of the world population these places are not very big. In other places they know how to deal with corruption better than we do. For example, the Chinese have punished very, very severely…

I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t believe that there is a summit of people who talk to each other and decide the affairs of the world, but when you find out that corruption is one of the problems… It’s obvious… Pfizer has been hit with between 13 billion and 20 billion in penalties in the United States in the last few years, so we have discovered that Pfizer is likely to be corrupt and we seem to find it normal that the president of the European Commission negotiated with the CEO of Pfizer, without any witnesses present [the text messages of Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, and Ursula Von der Leyen, president of the European Commission]. I think they don’t care about the world.

Corruption is as old as the world. I like to study history and I can tell you that corruption is as old as human history. It requires checks and balances. It requires analysis. It requires transparency. That’s what prevents corruption. So when we see that they can spend 40 billion euros without the slightest transparency, we remain a little suffocated. [Remdesivir] brought in a billion euros for the manufacturer at a time when the WHO said it was useless. Europe bought a billion euros worth of it, and we don’t know who decided that.

There is a very important phenomenon that has not been talked about enough, in my opinion. In politics and among journalists there is of course an absolute, terrible, terrifying ignorance of what science is, and not only that but also a disinterest… They are uncomfortable with people who do not depend on them. They are people who have learned to talk about anything without knowing what they are talking about… These are people who are adapted to a particular selection mechanism, which does not equate with a spectacular level of intelligence. So when they find themselves in front of people who have very, very different backgrounds and who have obtained things not by obedience to different cabinets or to different ministers but by their own means, they are perplexed. And we are perplexed also because we don’t take them very seriously. Meanwhile, they say, “Who do these people think they are?”

Pr. Raoult : Le niveau d’analyse de la science est très bas en France

Sud Radio, 2023/02/14

Je suis assez optimiste. Je pense qu’il y aura une bascule à faire et qui qui va se passer, si vous voulez, avec le repositionnement de molécules anciennes pour battre les choses… On a vécu depuis le 19e siècle une révolution technologique et une évolution de la médecine qui est en partie basée sur l’innovation [et] … sur l’hygiène, la qualité de vie. Simplement, le fait d’agrandir la taille des maisons a diminué la transmissibilité des maladies. Mais au bout de 150 ans de chimie … on a un capital chimique absolument considérable or les molécules ont été découvertes pour une efficacité et à cette efficacité alors que les molécules en particulier issues de la nature sont très souvent polyvalentes. Il s’agit maintenant d’utiliser la polyvalence de ces molécules et de les tester. Par exemple, il y a une quantité de molécules dont on a montré qu’elles étaient, au laboratoire, efficaces contre ce virus—y compris des neuroleptiques, y compris des calmants—ce qui était imprévus. Donc ces molécules existent. Elles ont un intérêt et on connaît leur absence de toxicité. C’est pour ça que le plus grand fantasme a été la toxicité de l’hydroxychloroquine sur un des médicaments prescrits depuis 70 ans, ou l’ivermectine. Donc on connaît leur toxicité. On sait qu’ils n’ont pas de toxicité à certaines doses, et donc il faut tester leur efficacité dans d’autres situations, et beaucoup de molécules ont des efficacités qui sont insoupçonnées. Et donc il y a un recyclage de ces molécules ne qui coûtent rien parce que ces molécules ne coûtent rien. C’est leur problème d’ailleurs. J’avais alerté il y a quelques années dans une chronique pour dire il faut leur trouver un espace social pour que quelqu’un gagne de l’argent à développer ses molécules parce que sinon.

Mais le monde change… quelle que soit le sujet à penser que si vous voulez à paris on dirige une partie du monde et puis que l’Europe dirige le reste, et les États-Unis dirige le reste, mais tout ça ensemble dans la population mondiale n’est pas très gros. Donc les chiffons se foutent un peu. Ils savent mieux traiter que nous la corruption. Par exemple, les Chinois ont puni très, très sévèrement…

Je ne suis pas un complotiste. Je ne crois pas qu’il y ait un sommet de gens qui discutent entre eux et qui règlent les affaires du monde, mais quand on découvre que la corruption est un des paramètres… C’est évident… Pfizer a été condamné entre 13 milliards et 20 milliards de pénalités aux États-Unis ces dernières années. Alors si on découvre maintenant que Pfizer est susceptible de donner des corruptions et si on trouve normal que la présidente de la commission discute toute seule avec Pfizer sans témoin [les SMS d’Albert Bourla (PDG de Pfizer) et de Ursula Von der Leyen (présidente de la Commission européenne)]. Je trouve qu’ils se fichent du monde… La corruption est vieille comme le monde. J’aime bien l’histoire. Je peux vous dire que la corruption est aussi vieille que l’histoire humain. Ça nécessite des contre-pouvoirs. Ça nécessite des analyses. Ça nécessite de la transparence. C’est ce qui évite la corruption. Donc à chaque fois quand on voit qu’on peut signer 40 milliards d’euros sans la moindre transparence, on reste un peu suffoqué. Ça serait [remdesivir] pour l’industrie un milliard au moment où l’OMS dit que ça ne sert à rien. L’Europe en a acheté pour un milliard et on sait pas qui a décidé de ça.

Il y a un phénomène qui est très important dont on n’a pas assez parlé à mon sens. Il y a bien sûr que—nous sommes d’accord—il y a une ignorance absolue, terrible, terrifiante de ce qu’est est la science dans la politique et chez les journalistes, et non seulement ça mais du coup un désintérêt… Ils sont mal à l’aise avec des gens qui ne dépendent pas d’eux. Ce sont des gens qui apprennent à parler de n’importe quoi sans savoir de quoi ils parlent. Ce sont des gens qui sont adaptés à un mécanisme de sélection particulière, ce qui ne traduit pas à une forme d’intelligence spectaculaire. Donc c’est vrai que quand ils se retrouvent en face de gens qui ont des cursus très, très différents et qui ont obtenu les choses non pas par la succession des obéissances à différents cabinets ou à différents ministres mais par leurs propres moyens, ils ont des difficultés. Et nous aussi avons des difficultés parce que nous ne les prenons pas très au sérieux. Et eux, ils se disent « mais pour qui ces gens se prennent ? »