Biscuit returns, albeit a bit hoarse…

Biscuit and Nindy return to talk about their dumbest COVID-19 ideas of the week. Nindy had to do most of the talking though since Biscuit tried to drink the Lysol. Poor dog just believes everything he hears on TV….

My throat hurts Jim……

1) Underestimating COVID-19 infection rates. Infection rates have been remarkably underestimated, which gives people a false sense that most of the population has not seen coronavirus yet. This week some of the largest cities started screening people for antibody. We’re seeing rates that range from 5% in rural areas to 20%+ in New York City. This infection has definitely been throughout the population especially in the big cities and other hot spots!

Only 1 out of 4 NYC residents is infected; not so bad. But then there is my brother.

2) Selling unregulated COVID-19 antibody tests. COVID-19 antibodies are an important marker for infection and may help people returning to work. There been concerns about some of the tests not performing well. Why did the FDA allowed them to be sold in the US without approval? This created much confusion and undermines the credibility of appropriately trying to screen people for antibody.  

3) Not performing studies to validate the use of COVID-19 antibody test to help individuals going back into the workforce. We need to fund studies to evaluate the use of antibody test to see if they really predict individuals who won’t get re-infected. (Disclosure! I am doing one of these studies)

4) Opening up tattoo shops first. Maybe I’m being an old man, but tattoo shops seem like one of the lesser needs for society. Forget about transmitting COVID-19, hepatitis C and other delights have already been associated with tattoo parlors.

5) Plasma treatments for COVID patients. While we’ve seen a lot of hype around treatments for COVID. Even dismissing the chloroquine fiasco, no drug or other approach should be proffered without full clinical trials. Remdesivir proved that this week. We are being bombarded with emotional stories of people donating plasma for other patients. This needs to be tested in controlled trials to determine if this is helpful because it might even hurt patients.

Dr. Rick Bright

6) Fighting between government scientists. I know both Rick Bright and Bob Kadlec and they are both smart and reasonable people. Whatever happened this week to result in Rick’s transfer doesn’t seem to be productive. Open fighting over the government’s effort is certainly not productive. In the immortal words of Rodney King “why can’t we all just get along.”

7) Speaking of BARDA, the organization Rich Bright ran, they seem to be putting all their eggs (dollars) in one basket. They gave Moderna, a multibillion-dollar startup company that has never produced a drug, $500 million to develop a coronavirus vaccine. This is despite their technology having never been shown to produce a viable human vaccine. I like the venture capital model where you give 10 companies $50 million and see which one actually produces the vaccine and then make your investment.

Moderna CEO S. Bancel: We’re in the money!

8) PPP loan follies. We need to do something to keep large, well-funded companies out of the PPP pool. Maybe we could put some type of dollar limit on the amount of money that companies can receive from the PPP program. If it were $500,000 or less, these loans might be less interesting to the large corporations are sucking the money. It would at least help them avoid the embarrassing act of having to give the money back.

Welcome to our restaurants. Please bring money….

Published by jbakerjrblog

Immunologist, former Army MD, former head of allergy and clinical immunology at University of Michigan, vaccine developer and opinionated guy.

3 thoughts on “Biscuit returns, albeit a bit hoarse…

  1. Jim: In a you tube interview with two ER doctors in a moderate size California county, the doctors extrapolate the testing data from the world, the US and its states, and consistent with their experience, conclude that the mortality from covid is very, very low…0.03% in the US, and not materially changed by lock-downs when compared to no lock-downs in other parts of the world. They point out that they were taught to quarantine the sick and not the healthy. Indeed, quarantining the healthy serves to reduce their immune system. Do you agree? Randy


    1. I don’t think quarantining the healthy will hurt their immunity, but will hurt their psychological and economic status. I agree we need to identify the infected better and quarantine them for 2-3 weeks. Death rates have been exaggerated, and I will write about that today.


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