President Jair Bolsonaro May Have Saved Thousands of Brazilian Lives

Brazil has been dealing with one of the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 in this hemisphere. As of August 15, there have been more than 107,000 deaths recorded in Brazil. In late April, Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was being promoted by the Brazilian government as a possible treatment for COVID-19 but Brazilians were hesitant.

Despite this official HCQ promotion, there was still much opposition within President Jair Bolsonaro’s government, (mainly from medical doctors and left-wing politicians) and also widespread disapproval of HCQ by organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization. In addition, the CDC in the United States also discredited the treatment as being dangerous and ineffective.

By May 20, less than 28% of Brazilians approved of the President’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic so it makes sense they wouldn’t embrace the treatment, though they could have; a huge amount of HCQ was donated to Brazil by the United States.

With all the negative publicity surrounding this controversial treatment, it is no wonder there was minimal use of the drug to combat COVID-19. In May and June, HCQ was purportedly only being given by doctors in hospitals to very ill patients as a last resort, even though advocates for HCQ said it had to be used in the early stages of COVID-19 to be effective.

In early July, President Bolsonaro announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would be receiving the controversial HCQ treatment. On July 25, Bolsonaro went on national television to enthusiastically reveal he was Covid-free after taking HCQ. Every major media outlet in Brazil covered the broadcast as Bolsonaro proudly held up an HCQ pill and told Brazilians that this drug saved his life. What better way to convince Brazilians to finally accept HCQ as an effective treatment for COVID-19 than to show the real-life proof it works?

Bolsonaro’s openness was also in stark contrast to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who after his seven-day stint in intensive care due to Covid, refused to publicly provide details about his treatment.

The picture of President Bolsonaro smiling while holding HCQ is quite extraordinary. President Bolsonaro, like President Trump, is widely hated by the left-wing media of Brazil. When the Brazilian President touted a treatment recommended by President Trump, the left-wing media outlets in Brazil, (and for that matter the media of the world) denounced and ridiculed him.

If we look at the Brazilian cases and death statistics of COVID-19 starting around July 25, we can see that they were both very high. In fact, on July 29, Brazil recorded its highest death toll to date: 1,554. Assuming if one dies from COVID-19 it usually happens 18 to 23 days after symptoms first appear, we can align this assumption with the COVID-19 deaths in Brazil to track the true efficacy of widespread HCQ use. If Brazilians were finally convinced of the drug’s efficacy in late July following Bolsonaro’s television appearance, reductions in deaths due to taking the HCQ regimen should start to appear approximately in mid-August onward.

And what do you know? That’s exactly what seems to be happening. On August 16, 582 deaths were recorded in Brazil, about one third of the peak total on July 29.

As a related aside, the country of Costa Rica in early April decided to use HCQ both prophylactically and symptomatically to treat COVID-19. Costa Rica has done remarkably well, recording only 57 deaths per million, which is one of the lower mortality rates in the world.

It is a shame that the use of HCQ has become so highly politicized. This drug has been safely used for decades to thwart malaria worldwide with very few side effects. It has also been used for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis very successfully. Now, as we can see in the case of Brazil, it’s an effective way to combat COVID-19.

Suppressing a drug because of political considerations is not only immoral but also tantamount to condemning innocent people to a needless death.

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COVID-19

Let’s Talk about the UV Index and COVID-19

There’s a very interesting relationship between the UV index in a particular area and the mortality rate per million as it concerns COVID-19.

The CDC and NIH have not spoken about this as far as I know (or as far as an exhaustive internet search will tell me). When both organizations speak about their wildly inaccurate projections for this virus they only talk about mitigation efforts.

So far, there has been no real explanation as to why states like New York are seeing such different death rates from California, Florida and Texas. For more than a month, New York has practiced the most stringent mitigation efforts; in fact, once it was determined the virus could be transmitted by tiny droplets in the air, everyone was advised to wear a face mask. (Try entering a grocery store in Manhattan without one and you’ll realize how rigorously this measure has been followed.)

Did mandatory mask-wearing cause a drop in the virus’ progression? Who knows. What we do know is that New York remains at the epicenter of deaths resulting from COVID-19 in the United States.

As of today, New York has the highest mortality rate of 550 people per million, while California is at 20 deaths per million people. Similarly, Florida, which had a huge influx of Northerners – some presumably infected – stands at 28 deaths per million.

Elsewhere in the world, Singapore has a mortality rate of only two people per million, which is one of the lowest mortality rates worldwide. Now here’s where it gets interesting: In general, Singapore has a very high UV index but reached an extraordinary peak of 15 in February.

Brazil, as another example, kept its economy going. President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil resisted an economic shutdown and death rates for COVID-19 in Brazil’s largest cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo never approached New York City’s mortality level.

Now, excuse the bright and sunny colors for a decidedly sober subject but here’s a simple representation of UV Index from low to high, showing that 15, as Singapore clocked, is basically off the charts:

OK, back to our UV discussion. Many studies have shown that UV radiation at a certain level can indeed kill influenza-like viruses, of which the coronavirus would be contained within that category. The Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) published the findings of a study conducted several years ago that showed the effectiveness of UV in killing viruses, especially airborne viruses. In the report, titled Can UV Light Fight the Spread of Influenza?, researchers said, “continuous low doses of far ultraviolet C (far-UVC) can kill airborne flu viruses without harming human tissues.”

Referencing the study, Dr. Michael Grosso, chief medical officer at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y., also told WebMD:

“The prospect of reducing the transmission of influenza and other respiratory viruses using far-UV radiation is very exciting.”

The CDC and thee NIH have enormous resources at their disposal. Between the two organizations, they boast more than 30,000 employees and 10,000+ CDC employees according to Forbes earn a collective $1.1 billion annually yet as far as I know, they never speak about or have further researched the relationship between the virus and Ultraviolet radiation. If their models took UV into consideration, maybe the curves would look completely different and be far more accurate. All they seem to care about is mitigation but mitigation as a predictive determinant of virus spread has proven time and time again to be unreliable.

Graphs showing the UV levels for various states during February and March are easy to find (and I’ll post a few below). With just a cursory glance, you can see there is a very, very obvious correlation between mortality rates and the level of UV radiation in various countries and states.

Invariably, the higher the UV index, the lower the mortality rate per million. Not only did the CDC mislead President Trump and caused the greatest economic shutdown in the world’s history but they also exhibited (and continue to exhibit) a level of incompetence that is simply mind-blowing.

If this relationship between UV levels and COVID-19 mortality holds up, it’s quite reasonable to think the virus will fade rapidly as the index goes up in May and June as summer approaches.

Perhaps the correlation was unintentionally overlooked or else deliberately overlooked but either way, it’s a crime.

Remember, the world relies on the WHO and the CDC and the Imperial College of London for most of the statistics provided during a pandemic. All three failed the world. But there is still an opportunity to right the wrongs. These facts should be taken into consideration as governments determine the states that should open with minimal risk to the general population. In addition, if this is true, the relationship should be used when creating future models of viral outbreaks to make sure they’re more accurate than the fake-news models we’ve been told to accept as truth. The only truth I see is in the cold, hard numbers, not in the rhetoric or in the irresponsibly tossed-around numbers – 200,000 deaths? UV index and its connection to viral spread is the very essence of the politics of duh.