Today I watched and listened to the presentation to the Global Covid Summit by Dr. Harvey Risch, an epidemiologist at Yale. I’ve quoted Risch in the past and linked to some of his interviews. He’s probably best known at this point for his advocacy for the use of hydroxychloroquine in the early treatment of Covid. That qualification “in the early treatment” is at the heart of Risch’s presentation.
The presentation can be found here:
Yale epidemiologist Harvey Risch explains the benefits of hydroxychloroquine in early treatment of COVID 19 patients, following U.S. Senate testimony
At that page there is a quote from Risch’s Senate testimony that explains his emphasis on “early” treatment:
In May of this year  I observed that results of studies of a drug suggested to treat Covid, hydroxychloroquine, were being misrepresented by what I thought at the time was sloppy reporting. We have heard from Dr. McCullough how Covid disease progresses in [three] phases, from  viral replication, to  florid pneumonia to  multi-organ attack. Viral replication is an outpatient condition, but the pneumonia that fills the lungs with immune-system debris is hospitalizable and potentially life-threatening. We have also heard how each phase, each pathologic aspect of the disease, has to have its own specific treatments that apply to its own biologic mechanisms. Thus, I was frankly astounded that studies of hospital treatments were being represented as applying to outpatients, in violation of what I learned in medical school about how to treat patients.
In the video—which is about an hour long—Risch explains that he was naive in thinking that the misrepresentations were the result of sloppy science. He goes into detail to explain that he came to realize that the misrepresentations were, in fact, deliberate. In particular, he explains that Fauci’s attempt to draw an unscientific distinction between random trials and so-called “anecdotal” studies could only be fraud—criminal fraud in the circumstances. He also explains that the methods used to make HCQ unavailable were motivated by the intent to protect the interests of Big Pharma companies, to the disadvantage of all other companies—without regard for the cost in human life. It’s a compelling presentation:
This tweet says it all, but it’s remarkable because of its pertinence to the news of the day:
You can read the full survey report here if you’re so inclined.
National Security News
Now, in non-Covid news—and I haven’t seen any real discussion of this—there was a possibly significant decision today coming out of the 9th Circuit. I can’t see the government conceding, so I’d expect a rehearing at the Circuit level and then possibly on to the SCOTUS:
(Reuters) - Seven years after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the mass surveillance of Americans’ telephone records, an appeals court has found the program was unlawful - and that the U.S. intelligence leaders who publicly defended it were not telling the truth.
In a ruling handed down on Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said the warrantless telephone dragnet that secretly collected millions of Americans’ telephone records violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and may well have been unconstitutional.
“I never imagined that I would live to see our courts condemn the NSA’s activities as unlawful and in the same ruling credit me for exposing them,” Snowden said in a message posted to Twitter.
Evidence that the NSA was secretly building a vast database of U.S. telephone records - the who, the how, the when, and the where of millions of mobile calls - was the first and arguably the most explosive of the Snowden revelations published by the Guardian newspaper in 2013.
Up until that moment, top intelligence officials publicly insisted the NSA never knowingly collected information on Americans at all. After the program’s exposure, U.S. officials fell back on the argument that the spying had played a crucial role in fighting domestic extremism, citing in particular the case of four San Diego residents who were accused of providing aid to religious fanatics in Somalia.
…, but the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that those claims were “inconsistent with the contents of the classified record.”
Let me remind those who may be inclined to think that this is a straightforward 4th Amendment search warrant issue, that that’s not necessarily the case. Until FISA was passed in 1978 the established—long established—law was that national security spying, including NS wiretaps, did not require a warrant. Such searches came under the Executive’s constitutional mandate to protect the country from enemies domestic and foreign. FISA, in fact, contains a loophole clause that recognizes this rule in emergency situations, and Dubya made extensive use of that before the Patriot Act was passed. He was never seriously challenged.
Here, of course, we’re not dealing with the targeting of known or suspected national security threats, but rather the prophylactic collection of essentially all digital data. The government argues that such collection—until recently quite literally unimaginable—is necessary because of the exponentially greater danger from terrorist attacks making use of modern technology of various sorts. On the other hand, just as neither proponents nor opponents of FISA could foresee all the possibilities of “modern” technology—post 1978—so, too, who can foresee all the dangers of misuse of current practice in the national security field. We have only had glimpses of the possibilities, and they are extremely unsettling.
These are the issues that the SCOTUS has hitherto addressed only in very piecemeal fashion. Is a momentous day of reckoning drawing near—momentous for the very nature of our constitutional order? To anyone who wonders why I appended this to a Covid post, consider: If dissenters from the Covid Regime are designated “domestic extremists” or even a national security threat—perhaps in secret by the FISC—what would prevent the government from unleashing NSA on such malefactors?