Saturday, August 08, 2020

July 28, 2020  (The Guardian)  -A Nigerian-born doctor, Stella Immanuel, on Monday said she had successfully treated more than 350 people in the United States with coronavirus using hydroxychloroquine, zinc and Zithromax. Immanuel disclosed this when she addressed the press after America’s Frontline Doctors Summit in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on Monday, July 27.

She had first touted the effectiveness of the drug on April 27.

“Hydroxychloroquine works if given early. President Trump we are with you. Many of us doctors know it and have used it. Don’t stop speaking up for us,” she tweeted.

Hydroxychloroquine has long been used to treat malaria as well as other conditions such as lupus and arthritis.

It’s used to reduce fever and inflammation, and the hope has been that it can also inhibit the virus that causes Covid-19.

US President Donald Trump and his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro have since claimed hydroxychloroquine could prevent or treat COVID-19.

“I’m here because I have personally treated over 350 patients with COVID,” Immanuel said in video that has gone viral.

“Patients that have diabetes, patients that have high blood pressure, patients that have asthma, old people … I think my oldest patient is 92 … 87-year-olds. And the result has been the same. I put them on hydroxychloroquine, I put them on zinc, I put them on Zithromax, and they’re all well.”

She said she put herself, her staff and other doctors she knew on hydroxychloroquine for prevention of COVID-19.

“We see patients, 10 to 15 COVID patients, every day,” she said.

“We give them breathing treatments. We only wear surgical mask. None of us has gotten sick. It works.”

Video of Stella speaking quickly went viral gaining more than 13 million views on Facebook and Youtube. In fact, the video was the 2nd top post on all of Facebook in the last 24 hours, according to CrowdTangle data.

Immanuel pointed to a study published by the United States’ National Institute of Health to back up her claims on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine and claimed in that much-maligned big pharma companies may have conspired against the use of the hydroxychloroquine to COVID-19.

However, the Food and Drug Administration a federal agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services cautioned against using hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients.

National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s foremost medical research centres in the US, also shared the same sentiment and halted its clinical trial of the drug, finding that it provided no benefits.

Also, the Recovery trial run by Oxford University has involved 11,000 patients with coronavirus in hospitals across the UK and included testing hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness against the disease, along with other potential treatments.

It concluded that “there is no beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with Covid-19” and the drug has now been pulled from the trial.

There’s been some hope that hydroxychloroquine could be effective if used early on when a person gets the virus before there’s a need for them to be hospitalised.

However, there’s no clear evidence on this and the jury is very much out as to its effectiveness in the early stages of infection.

There are in fact overall more than 200 trials currently underway around the world on its impact either as a prophylactic or treatment for Covid-19.

Stella, however, said she did not need to do a double-blind study because it was unethical.

“All of you doctors that are waiting for data, if six months down the line you actually found out that this data shows that this medication works, how about your patients that have died?,” she said.

“We don’t need to die. There is a cure for COVID,” she insisted.

August 2, 2020   LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wilford Brimley, who worked his way up from movie stunt rider to an indelible character actor who brought gruff charm, and sometimes menace, to a range of films that included “Cocoon,” “The Natural” and “The Firm,” has died. He was 85. Brimley’s manager Lynda Bensky said the actor died Saturday morning in a Utah hospital. He was on dialysis and had several medical ailments, she said. The mustached Brimley was a familiar face for a number of roles, often playing characters like his grizzled baseball manager in “The Natural” opposite Robert Redford’s bad-luck phenomenon. He also worked with Redford in “Brubaker” and “The Electric Horseman.” Brimley’s best-known work was in “Cocoon,” in which he was part of a group of seniors who discover an alien pod that rejuvenates them. The 1985 Ron Howard film won two Oscars, including a supporting actor honor for Don Ameche.

July 31, 2020  LONDON (AP) — Alan Parker, a successful and sometimes surprising filmmaker whose diverse output includes “Bugsy Malone,” “Midnight Express,” and “Evita,” has died at 76, his family said. A Briton who became a Hollywood heavyweight, Parker also directed “Fame,” “The Commitments and “Mississippi Burning.” Together his movies won 10 Academy Awards and 19 British Academy Film Awards. The director’s family said he died Friday in London after a long illness. Parker was born in London on Feb. 14, 1944, and, like many other aspiring British directors of his generation, including Ridley Scott and Adrian Lyne, began his career in advertising as a copywriter and director of commercials.

NEW YORK (AP) — When historians look back on the top films at the box office in the summer of 2020, they may feel like they’ve slipped into a time warp, or maybe “Back to the Future.” Over the second weekend in July, “Empire Strikes Back” — 40 years after it was first released — was again No. 1. “Ghostbusters” claimed the July 4th weekend, 36 years after opening. Over the June 19-21 weekend and 27 years after it last led the box office, “Jurassic Park” again ruled theaters. In a pandemic that has resurrected all kinds of vintage pastimes, from puzzles to drive-ins, even the blockbusters are retro. That is much out of necessity. About 1,000 theaters in the U.S. are currently open, just about a sixth of the nation’s cinemas. That includes the approximately 300 drive-ins that have, since the multiplexes shuttered in March, hosted the majority of moviegoing.

July 29, 2020  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tracy Morgan and his wife of five years are ending their marriage The actor-comedian’s representative said in an emailed statement Wednesday that Morgan and Megan Wollover have filed for divorce. “This is a challenging time for all involved, so I ask that you please respect our privacy,” Morgan said in a statement. Morgan and Wollover married after the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member recovered from a 2014 highway crash. One man was killed in the crash that left Morgan and two friends seriously injured. The crash happened when a Wal-Mart truck slammed into the back of a limo Morgan was riding in.