‘Rebound’ COVID Cases Aren’t the Only Problem With Paxlovid

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Two of the pandemic’s most visible faces have had COVID in the past month. Both President Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci caught the virus and made the obligatory statement about being vaccinated and boosted. As is required, they credited the jabs with protecting them from severe illness, despite not a shred of medical evidence proving the vaccines do that. Even Dr. Fauci said he “believes” his vaccination helped. Belief is scientism, not science. Both men also took Paxlovid.

Paxlovid is Pfizer’s contribution to outpatient treatment. It is a protease inhibitor, which is why many people call it Pfizermectin. Both drugs inhibit proteolytic enzymes, or proteases, which are critical to viral replication. While this is only one action of many performed by ivermectin, it is the only thing Paxlovid does. And if the experiences of Biden and Fauci are any indicator, Paxlovid does not do its job very well.

Both men ended up with what is called a “rebound case.” The only explanation for this in medicine before COVID-19 would be that the anti-viral agent failed to kill all the replication-competent viruses during the course of treatment. In other words, the virus was never gone.

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This phenomenon is sometimes observed in bacterial infections where a person does not continue the medication long enough to kill all the offending germs. That is why every antibiotic label tells you to finish all of your prescribed antibiotics, even if you feel better.

Another more sinister explanation is that the virus is learning how to escape the barriers the medication presents in the patient’s system. Studies are showing this phenomenon is precisely what is happening. According to Science Insider:

A bevy of new lab studies shows the coronavirus can mutate in ways that make it less susceptible to the drug, by far the most widely used of the two oral antiviral drugs authorized to treat COVID-19 in the United States. Researchers have found some of those mutations in variants already circulating in infected people, raising fresh concerns that physicians could soon lose one of their best therapies for fighting COVID-19.

Taken together, the studies show that “when you put pressure on the virus it escapes,” says David Ho, a virologist at Columbia University who was among the first to document drug resistance mutations in HIV some 3 decades ago. Ho was not involved with the new studies but is conducting similar work on SARS-CoV-2. Although the newly identified mutations have yet to become widespread, Ho and many other scientists think it’s only a matter of time. “Given the amount of infections out there, it’s going to come,” Ho says.

This news comes as weekly prescriptions have surged to more than 160,000 a week. In the United States, the use of Paxlovid is supposed to be restricted to people with risk factors, making them more likely to develop severe COVID-19. Yet the FDA recently removed the physician from the equation when Paxlovid gets dispensed:

“The FDA recognizes the important role pharmacists have played and continue to play in combatting this pandemic,” said Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D., director for the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Since Paxlovid must be taken within five days after symptoms begin, authorizing state-licensed pharmacists to prescribe Paxlovid could expand access to timely treatment for some patients who are eligible to receive this drug for the treatment of COVID-19.”

The conditions for a pharmacist to dispense the drug do not include a screen for risk factors for severe illness with COVID-19. This oversight could be part of the increase in use. Giving it to low-risk patients is absurd since Pfizer halted a large trial of the drug earlier this month in standard-risk COVID-19 patients. It failed to show statistically significant protection against death or hospitalization. Yet the FDA is making it widely available through providers with no training to make the determination.

Related: Biden Tests Positive for COVID…Again!

Two preprints posted on bioRxiv show that SARS-coV-2 grown in the lab quickly gains the ability to avoid Paxlovid’s only defense. Two research groups independently looked at what might happen when an infected person doesn’t take the whole regimen of the drug or an immunocompromised patient has trouble clearing the virus.

One of those studies in Belgium found that after 12 rounds of treatment with Paxlovid’s active ingredient, the virus accumulated three mutations. They reduced the virus’ susceptibility to Paxlovid 20-fold. A second study at the University of Copenhagen also spotted potential resistance-conferring mutations. When those mutations occurred together, the virus was 80 times less susceptible to Paxlovid’s active ingredient.

According to researchers, these mutations are already found in patients. They found two of the resistance mutations flagged by the Belgian group in viral genomes sequenced from infected individuals uploaded to GSAID. Pfizer says patients receive a dose many times higher than the one required to stop the virus from replicating in cell cultures. This “may” prevent resistance. Sure. Just like their “vaccine” prevented transmission for about five minutes.

Again, resistance has been a long-standing problem with antibiotics. Overuse of antibiotics has made bacteria commonly found on the skin and in the body resistant to our essential medications that are well tested and effective. You may have heard of antibiotic-resistant strains of certain infections. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA (pronounced mersa) is one that many people have heard of.

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Like colds and other illnesses, a healthy person can fight off a bacterial infection without prescription medication if given a chance. This is why many practitioners have been advocating antibiotic stewardship for years. This school of thought recommends that doctors only prescribe antibiotics for a confirmed bacterial infection that persists for a certain number of days.

The hard truth is that Paxlovid, combined with leaky vaccines that wane within weeks, may combine to make an MRSA-type virus, or Super Bug, a reality. And the new, more virulent strains will mutate in people who are vaccinated and boosted or those that take Pfizer’s one-trick pony. Or those, like Fauci and Biden, who took both.

Many Americans don’t know that the real hero treatment of the pandemic, monoclonal antibodies, is still available. For the high risk, Evusheld has been shown to reduce illness severity, hospitalizations, and death among unvaccinated adults according to a random controlled trial. In a sane world, Paxlovid would be dumped and replaced with a dual-pronged treatment strategy that includes monoclonals, which worked superbly well during Delta, and the multi-drug therapy advocated by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance and other clinicians.

Of course, nothing about the public health bureaucracy has been sane since March 2020. And there are no signs it will return to its core mission of protecting the nation’s health any time soon.

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