Sweden Spared Surge as SARS-CoV-2 Infections Stay Low

While health experts in the U.S. and many other countries are warning of a second wave of COVID-19 as we move into fall and winter, one nation that does not appear to worry about a resurgence of people testing positive for the virus and/or hospitalizations and deaths attributable to COVID-19 is Sweden.

Anders Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist in charge of Sweden’s coronavirus response, has stated1 he does not believe Sweden will see a second wave with widespread contagion as the country is seeing a rapid decline in positive tests, indicating herd immunity has been achieved.2

Sweden’s Trajectory Shows How Unnecessary Lockdowns Are

Sweden, one of the few countries that did not shut down schools and businesses or mandate strict social distancing or mask wearing rules, choosing the route of natural herd immunity development instead, has been sharply criticized by many over the past several months.

Rather than locking down the whole country, Sweden only temporarily closed high schools and colleges, banned gatherings of more than 50 people and asked seniors over the age of 70 to self-isolate. All others were simply asked to respect physical distancing recommendations, and to work from home whenever possible.

Tegnell told The Guardian3 that the primary goal has been to slow the spread to avoid overwhelming medical services. As you may recall, this was the original plan just about everywhere. The difference is, Sweden actually stuck to the original goal, whereas other nations have twisted response plans to, apparently, prevent infection transmission altogether, even among those for whom the risk of such an infection is vanishingly minor.

At this point, Sweden is proving to be a valuable test case, demonstrating just how ineffective and unnecessary the global shutdowns have been. Countries that enacted draconian freedom-restrictions are faring no better than Sweden, which allowed its citizenry to largely go about their business as usual. As noted by the National Review back in April 2020:4

“In theory, less physical interaction might slow the rate of new infections. But without a good understanding of how long COVID-19 viral particles survive in air, in water, and on contact surfaces, even that is speculative …

It is possible that the fastest and safest way to ‘flatten the curve’ is to allow young people to mix normally while requiring only the frail and sick to remain isolated.

This is, in fact, the first time we have quarantined healthy people rather than quarantining the sick and vulnerable. As Fredrik Erixon, the director of the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels, wrote5 in The Spectator (U.K.) last week:

‘The theory of lockdown, after all, is pretty niche, deeply illiberal — and, until now, untested. It’s not Sweden that’s conducting a mass experiment. It’s everyone else.'”

UK Enacts New Restrictions in Face of Mounting ‘Cases’

Despite Sweden’s tactical success, many countries are continuing to enforce and even enact new lockdown restrictions due to new upticks in positive tests. For example, September 22, 2020, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced6 new restrictions, which he predicts may remain in place for the next six months, warning that if Britons fail to follow the rules, they may be looking at a second lockdown.

This, even though there’s no concomitant rise in hospitalizations or deaths. The vast majority of people testing positive at this point remain asymptomatic.

Johnson’s announcement came on the heels of dire — and completely implausible — predictions by professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, whose models predict the U.K. may be looking at 50,000 new “cases” (i.e., positive tests) per day by mid-October unless new restrictions are put into place.

In the video below, journalist Ben Swann reviews why such predictions are likely to be a gross overestimation, and one that is unlikely to result in a dramatic increase in hospitalizations or deaths.

Sweden’s Death Rate Hits Zero

Meanwhile, in Sweden, infection rates have reached an all-time low. As reported by The Guardian, September 16, 2020:7

“According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the Scandinavian country’s 14-day cumulative total8 of new cases was 22.2 per 100,000 inhabitants on Tuesday, against 279 in Spain, 158.5 in France, 118 in the Czech Republic, 77 in Belgium and 59 in the UK, all of which imposed lockdowns this spring.

Twenty-two of the 31 European countries surveyed by the ECDC had higher infection rates. New cases, now reported in Sweden only from Tuesday to Friday, are running at roughly the rate seen in late-March, while data from the national health agency showed only 1.2% of its 120,000 tests last week came back positive …

Thirteen Covid-19 patients are in intensive care in Swedish hospitals, and its seven-day average of coronavirus-related deaths is zero.”

The two graphs from The Guardian, below, show Sweden’s infection rate and deaths per million, compared to other countries that enforced stricter lockdown rules.

sweden's infection rate and deaths per million
swedens infection rate april

High Mortality Was Due to Nursing Home Failures

Initially, Tegnell’s approach came under fire as Sweden’s death toll soared five to 10 times higher than its neighboring countries, Denmark, Norway and Finland. However, Tegnell insists this early spike in deaths was not due to a lack of lockdowns or social distancing in general, but rather due to a failure to prevent infection in nursing homes, where a majority of the deaths actually occurred.

“Of course something went wrong there,” Tegnell told The Guardian.9 Other than that, Swedish authorities insist the strategy to encourage and trust citizens to take personal responsibility for their health and well-being has been the correct one.

Contrary to other nations, Sweden’s decision has also resulted in consistent public messaging about disease prevention, thereby avoiding the confusion, frustration and distrust that comes from getting mixed messages.

In April 2020, Emma Frans, science communicator and a postdoctoral researcher in medical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, told the National Review:10

“The strategy in Sweden is to focus on social distancing among the known risk groups, like the elderly. We try to use evidence-based [measures]. We try to adjust everyday life. The Swedish plan is to implement [measures] that you can practice for a long time.”

The Vanishing Middle-Class

As a result of their sensible approach to the pandemic, Sweden has also largely escaped the financial ruin experienced in other areas, including the U.S. This also means they’ve minimized the impact of the pandemic on mental health. As Tegnell told11 The Daily Mail, April 4, 2020, “We can’t kill all our services. And unemployed people are a great threat to public health. It’s a factor you need to think about.”

Indeed, preventing healthy people from working is upending the middle-class in the U.S. and elsewhere, and has (as expected) resulted in a massive rise in suicide and other tragedies. As noted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in “How the Government Uses Fear to Control,” research from the 1980s found that for every 1-point rise in unemployment there were 37,000 excess deaths, 4,000 excess imprisonments and 3,300 excess admissions into mental institutions.

Kennedy also cites recent data from a hospital in San Francisco that stated they saw one year’s-worth of suicides in a single month, a 1,200% increase, and British research showing that while there were 30,000 excess deaths in nursing homes during a five-week period during the lockdown, only one-third of them were due to COVID-19.

In other words, the death rate from isolation was double that of the virus itself. People didn’t get the proper medical care for chronic conditions and so on. Kennedy also rightly points out that what we will see — and are already seeing — is the obliteration of the middle-class and the shift of wealth from the poor to the already ultra-rich.

A September 20, 2020, article12 in The Wall Street Journal highlights the financial devastation experienced by the American “loan-laden white-collar” middle-class. Journalist AnnaMaria Andriotis tells the story of Alysse Hopkins, a Rockland County, New York foreclosure and personal-injury lawyer:

“In a good year, the 43-year-old lawyer and her husband, Ian Boschen, 41, together brought in about $175,000, the couple said — enough to cover the mortgage, two car leases, student loans, credit cards and assorted costs of raising two daughters in the New York City suburbs.

After the coronavirus halted many foreclosures and closed courts, her work dried up. Unemployment benefits have helped, Ms. Hopkins said, but the family is running low on savings and can’t keep up with $9,000 in monthly debt payments including mortgage installments. ‘It frustrates me to not be able to earn a living,’ she said. ‘I have a law degree, almost 20 years of practice’ …

While lower-wage workers have borne much of the brunt, the crisis is wreaking a particular kind of havoc on the debt-laden middle class … The coronavirus has spared few industries and expanded unemployment benefits designed to replace the average American income didn’t cover all the lost pay of higher-earning workers, especially in or near expensive cities.

The extra $600 weekly payments expired in July, putting them even further behind. ‘What I see happening here is a core assault on successful college-educated families, which are the new breed of middle-class American families,’ said Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. ‘There’s a professional workforce that’s getting slammed.'”

Lockdowns Have Likely Done More Harm Than Good

So far, most efforts to curb COVID-19 infection have proven to be ill advised. Evidence shows the illness spreads mostly indoors,13,14,15 for example, casting doubt on the sanity of closing parks and beaches, especially during the summer. 

Importantly, the total all-cause mortality is not significantly different than in previous years, as discussed by my interview with Denis Rancourt. Many other deaths have been shifted to COVID-19, bringing a high spike in deaths, but when you look at the area under the curve for total deaths, it really doesn’t differ from previous years.

This statistic has also been highlighted by the American Institute for Economic Research.16 As early as April 2020, they referred to the COVID-19 pandemic as “An egregious statistical horror story” that resulted in “a vandalistic lockdown on the economy,” which:

” … would have been an outrage even if the assumptions were not wildly astronomically wrong. Flattening the curve was always a fool’s errand that widened the damage …

The latest figures on overall death rates from all causes show no increase at all. Deaths are lower than in 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2015, slightly higher than in 2016. Any upward bias is imparted by population growth.

Now writing a book on the crisis with bestselling author Jay Richards, [statistician William] Briggs concludes: ‘Since pneumonia deaths are up, yet all deaths are down, it must mean people are being recorded as dying from other things at smaller rates than usual.’ Deaths from other causes are simply being ascribed to the coronavirus.

As usual every year, deaths began trending downward in January. It’s an annual pattern. Look it up. Since the lockdown began in mid-March, the politicians cannot claim that their policies had anything to do with the declining death rate.

A global study17 published in Israel by Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, chairman of the Israeli Space Agency and Council on Research and Development, shows that ‘the spread of the coronavirus declines to almost zero after 70 days — no matter where it strikes, and no matter what measures governments impose to try to thwart it.’

In fact, by impeding herd immunity, particularly among students and other non-susceptible young people, the lockdown in the U.S. has prolonged and exacerbated the medical problem.”

Why Krill Oil Is the Best Source of Choline

Choline is an often-overlooked nutrient — so overlooked that it wasn’t until 1998 that the Institute of Medicine officially recognized it as an essential nutrient.1 Choline has many roles in human metabolism and is involved in everything from cell structure to the synthesis of neurotransmitters.

Choline is necessary for cell-membrane signaling, the transport of lipids and methyl-group metabolism, which is involved in detoxification. During development, choline is essential for the brain and memory in the fetus and decreases the risk of neural tube defects.2

A deficiency in choline may contribute to liver disease, atherosclerosis and neurological disorders, and its importance continues through adulthood and into old age.

While choline is found in a variety of foods, intakes for adults and children are believed to be far below optimal levels, putting public health at risk and leading experts to suggest that [intake of choline-rich foods should be encouraged.3 Among them, krill oil may be superior, due to its unique phospholipids.4

Why Krill Oil Is an Ideal Source of Choline

Norwegian researchers conducted a study looking into the use of phosphatidylcholine from krill oil to counteract the drop in choline that often occurs among athletes competing in triathlons. Choline plays a role in normal muscle function, and it’s known that the concentration of free choline may decrease during long distance high-intensity exercise.5

Krill oil contains 69 choline-containing phospholipids to synthesize phosphatidylcholine, a critical component of human cell membranes.6 This is key to its benefits as a source of choline, because it’s estimated that 60% of choline in organic salts is otherwise lost when gut bacteria convert it to the metabolite trimethylamine (TMA).

Enzymes may then turn TMA into trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), a potential biomarker for insulin resistance and heart problems. Krill oil, however, contains fatty acids in the form of phosphatidylcholine (PC) — unlike fish oil, which contains them in triglyceride form.

As noted by the researchers, “Choline in the form of PC is considerably less converted to TMA as demonstrated in a single-dose study with krill oil,7 potentially resulting in more efficient delivery of choline.”8 It’s been shown for instance, that 28 days of krill oil supplementation increased choline levels in healthy young adults.9

Krill Oil May Protect Choline Status in Athletes

Writing in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, researchers set out to determine if supplementing with phosphatidylcholine from krill oil prior to a triathlon would counteract the expected drop in choline during the race.10 For the study, 24 athletes received either 4 grams of krill oil or 4 grams of mixed vegetable oil daily for five weeks prior to the race.

Blood samples to assess choline and its metabolites were taken before, immediately after and the day after the race. Choline concentrations significantly declined from before the race to after among the athletes, but those in the krill oil group had significantly higher concentrations of choline compared to the vegetable oil group, and also had a significantly greater increase in choline after the race was completed.

“In conclusion,” the researchers noted, “krill oil may help to prevent that circulating choline concentrations become limiting during endurance competitions.”11 However, it’s not only athletes who may benefit from the choline krill oil provides, especially considering that a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that 90% of the U.S. population had inadequate choline intake.12

Risks of Choline Deficiency

Choline is a nutrient that’s important throughout life. Among adults deprived of choline, 77% of men and 80% of postmenopausal women developed fatty liver or muscle damage — signs of organ dysfunction — as did 44% of premenopausal women.13 When incremental amounts of choline were added back into their diets, normal organ function was restored. As noted by researchers in the journal Nutrition Reviews:14

“Because of its wide-ranging role in human metabolism, from cell structure to neurotransmitter synthesis, choline deficiency is now thought to have an impact on diseases such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, atherosclerosis (via lipoprotein secretion), and possibly neurological disorders. Therefore, getting adequate choline in the diet is important throughout life for optimal health.”

Some of the symptoms associated with low choline levels include memory problems, lethargy and persistent brain fog. Choline also prevents the buildup of homocysteine in your blood, which is important since elevated levels are linked to heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline and bone fractures.15

Choline also reduces chronic inflammation, and research shows that people with choline-rich diets have lower levels of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein, homocysteine, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor.16 Meanwhile, choline deficiency is linked with DNA damage and apoptosis, and breast cancer risk may be reduced by 24% among women who eat a high-choline diet.17

Choline for Brain and Liver Health

Choline has also been implicated in the risk of dementia,18 may improve cognitive performance19 and low levels are associated with increased anxiety levels.20 It’s believed that choline may help to support the structural integrity of neurons, benefitting brain function in the elderly, and may even reduce the progression of dementia in people with Alzheimer’s disease.21

Further, without choline a range of your body’s metabolic processes will be seriously affected. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health:22

“The body needs choline to synthesize phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, two major phospholipids vital for cell membranes. Therefore, all plant and animal cells need choline to preserve their structural integrity.

In addition, choline is needed to produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions. Choline also plays important roles in modulating gene expression, cell membrane signaling, lipid transport and metabolism, and early brain development.”

A deficiency in choline can also lead to liver damage, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD or hepatosteatosis). Because choline is involved in fat metabolism, low levels of the nutrient can result in an overaccumulation of deposits of fat in your liver.23

Not only have studies found that risk of NAFLD increases with lower dietary choline intake, but the risk of NAFLD was found to be 32% lower in women, and 25% lower in men, with the highest choline intakes compared to those with the lowest.24

Are You Getting Enough Choline?

A Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) has not been established for choline, but the Institute of Medicine set an adequate daily intake value for men, women and children. The daily values are 425 milligrams (mg) per day for women, 550 mg for men and 250 mg for children as a minimum amount to prevent choline deficiency and potential organ damage.

However, requirements may vary depending on your overall diet, genetic makeup and other lifestyle factors. Groups at particularly high risk for choline deficiency include pregnant mothers, endurance athletes, postmenopausal women, vegans and those who consume high amounts of alcohol. Here’s a further breakdown from the National Institutes of Health:25

Age Male Female Pregnant Women Nursing Women

0 to 6 months

125 mg/day

125 mg/day

7 to 12 months

150 mg/day

150 mg/day

1 to 3 years

200 mg/day

200 mg/day

4 to 8 years

250 mg/day

250 mg/day

9 to 13 years

375 mg/day

375 mg/day

14 to 18 years

550 mg/day

400 mg/day

450 mg/day

550 mg/day

19 years and older

550 mg/day

425 mg/day

450 mg/day

550 mg/day

While your liver makes a small amount of choline naturally, the amount it synthesizes is not enough to meet your body’s needs. This means you’ll need to consume it via your diet regularly.

Krill and Other Dietary Sources of Choline

According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, only 8.03% of U.S. adults are getting enough choline (including only 8.51% of pregnant women).26 Krill oil is a simple solution, which can boost choline levels after a single dose.27

In a study comparing phosphatidylcholine, present in krill oil, and choline bitartrate salt, it was found that the krill oil led to higher levels of the important metabolites betaine and dimethylglycine (DMG) along with lower levels of TMAO, which can lead to health issues, compared to the other choline source. Researchers explained:28

“Krill oil is increasingly recognized as a useful source of phosphatidylcholine, in addition to its acknowledged role in providing the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. In a former study, phosphatidylcholine was shown to raise plasma choline levels more efficiently compared to ingestion of free choline as choline chloride.”

Aside from krill oil, eggs — particularly the yolks — are another excellent choline source. Among egg consumers, more than 57% met the adequate intake levels for choline, compared to just 2.4% of people who consumed no eggs.29

In fact, the researchers concluded that it’s “extremely difficult” to get enough choline unless you eat eggs or take a dietary supplement, though it’s preferable to get nutrients from dietary sources whenever possible.30 Other dietary sources of choline include:31

Grass fed beef liver

Organic pasture raised chicken

Atlantic cod

Alaskan salmon

Kidney beans


Brussels sprouts


Shitake mushroom


Krill oil also offers additional nutrients alongside choline — another reason why it’s a great choice. In addition to choline, krill provides eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are beneficial for heart health and have been shown to improve blood pressure,32 reduce overall inflammation, reduce the effects of rheumatoid arthritis33 and depression34 and help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.35

How Did Carcinogenic Generic Pill Get Past the FDA?

Earlier this year, I reported that carcinogenic N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) had been found in certain blood pressure, heartburn and diabetes medications. As of February 2020, drugs recalled due to contamination with this poison included:1

  • Valsartan, losartan and irbesartan (high blood pressure medications)
  • Zantac2 and Axid (heartburn medications)
  • Metformin (diabetes medication)

In the case of valsartan, the three companies whose drugs were recalled in 2018 had all purchased the active ingredient from a Chinese company called Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co. It’s one of China’s largest manufacturers of generics.3

Since 2018, the recall has been expanded dozens of times to also include losartan and irbesartan, made by more than 10 different companies with distribution in some 30 countries.4

As reported5 by Bloomberg in December 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration checks less than 1% of imported drugs for impurities (or potency for that matter). Clearly, the regulatory system, which is meant to safeguard patients, is broken, and trust in drug manufacturers is often misplaced.

Disturbingly, Bloomberg’s report6 suggests the NDMA contamination at Huahai may have been intentional, at least in the sense that profitability was prioritized over thorough quality testing and perfecting of novel manufacturing methods.

What Is NDMA?

NDMA is a water-soluble chemical known to cause cancer in animals. In humans, it’s classified7 as a probable carcinogen and causes serious liver damage and liver failure.8

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s technical fact sheet,9 NDMA, which can form in both industrial and natural chemical processes, is a member of N-ni-trosamines, a family of potent carcinogens.

“Potential industrial sources include byproducts from tanneries, pesticide manufacturing plants, rubber and tire manufacturers, alkylamine manufacture and use sites, fish processing facilities, foundries and dye manufacturers,” the EPA notes. However, we now know the chemical can also be produced during the manufacturing of drugs.

Historically, there are several cases10 in which NDMA was used as a poison. In 1978, a German teacher’s wife died after he put NDMA in her jam and a Nebraska man was sentenced to death that same year for spiking lemonade with it, killing two people.

In 2013, a Chinese medical student died as a result of an April Fool’s prank when NDMA was put into the water cooler, and in 2018, a Canadian graduate student poisoned a post-doctoral fellow by injecting it into an apple pie. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of patients around the world have been taking drugs contaminated with this poison, oftentimes daily, for years on end.

Can FDA Ensure Drug Safety?

Bloomberg’s report11 reviews the history of how carcinogens like NDMA have crept into the generic drug supply, and raises serious questions about the FDA’s ability to ensure drug safety.

The article features the story of Karen Brackman, who after taking generic valsartan for two years suddenly found herself with a diagnosis of a rare and aggressive liver cancer, despite having no family history of cancer, and no specific risk factors for it.

As reported by Bloomberg,12 some of the contaminated valsartan pills contained as much as 17 micrograms of NDMA per pill, an amount estimated by European health regulators to give 1 in 3,390 people cancer. Brackman suspects she’s one of the unlucky ones.

While generics are a boon to patients in that they’re far less expensive while still providing the same benefits, there’s more room for error as they also receive far less scrutiny by regulators, and manufacturers are trusted to regulate themselves.

Most Active Ingredients Are Manufactured in China and India

An estimated 80% of all active drug ingredients are manufactured in China and India, and overseas plants are rarely inspected by U.S. authorities. At present, the U.S. has just one FDA inspector’s office in China. In the case of valsartan, even when a plant is inspected and found wanting, it can take years before problems are addressed — if ever.

“Huahai, the first manufacturer found to have NDMA in its valsartan, is also the one whose product had the highest concentration,” Bloomberg reports.13

”When an FDA inspector visited in May 2017, he was alarmed by what he saw: aging, rusty machinery; customer complaints dismissed without reason; testing anomalies that were never looked into.

He reported that the company was ignoring signs its products were contaminated. Senior FDA officials didn’t reprimand Huahai; they expected the company to resolve the problem on its own. Huahai didn’t …

It wasn’t until a year later that another company … found an impurity in Huahai’s valsartan and identified it as NDMA. That was when the FDA demanded drugmakers begin looking for NDMA in their valsartan. They found it again and again.”

As David Gortler, a drug safety consultant and former FDA medical officer, told Bloomberg, “Valsartan is just the one we caught. Who knows how many more [tainted drugs] are out there?” Well, we now know the NDMA contamination affects many other drugs as well, including metformin, used by more than 78.6 million Americans as of 2017.14

Huahai’s Mistake

Bloomberg goes on to recount some of the historical details of Huahei, from its inception in 1989 to its current status as one of the largest generic’s companies in China, and the first Chinese company to gain FDA approval to export finished drugs to the U.S. — a generic HIV medication.

When Novartis’ patent on Diovan (the brand name for its valsartan drug) expired in 2011, Huahai became one of the companies to manufacture valsartan for generic drug companies. Valsartan, being a simple compound to make and used daily by millions, looked like it could be just what Huahai needed to grow and improve its bottom line.

Now, as explained by Bloomberg, if a company like Huahai wants to create its own version of a generic drug and then export it to the U.S., they must first get FDA approval. However, if they’re just manufacturing and supplying the active ingredient to a U.S. company that then produces the finished product, then FDA approval is not required. All they have to do is inform the FDA if there are any changes to the manufacturing process.

In the case of Huahai’s valsartan, the company did make a change to its manufacturing process, but downplayed its significance. In November 2011, Huahai stopped using the solvent used by Novartis in the manufacturing of the brand name drug, and started using another called dimethylformamide (DMF).

This turns out to have been a massive mistake, as side reactions ended up producing NDMA, which could not be removed from the drug. “The chemists at Huahai either didn’t realize that or didn’t consider it a potential hazard,” Bloomberg writes, adding that, in 2018, after the recall began, vice chairman of Huahai, Jun Du, told an FDA inspector that “The purpose of the change was to save money,” thus increasing their profits.

The cost-savings were so substantial, it allowed Huahai to dominate the global market share for valsartan. Making matters worse, since Huahai’s patent was public, other generic companies copied the new, toxic, process. According to Bloomberg,15 this is “one reason so much of the world’s valsartan supply is now contaminated.”

Incompetence or Intentional Poisoning?

It’s hard to justify a defense of ignorance, though, seeing how the 2017 FDA inspector’s report noted multiple problems at the plant, including suspicious contaminants showing up in quality tests.

Du claimed the tests showed “ghost peaks … from time to time for undetermined reasons.” In another instance, he referred to the residual spike showing in testing as “noise.” Huahai never investigated to determine what the contaminants might be, or how they got there. Instead, they simply omitted the incriminating tests from official reports.

The FDA inspector recommended the agency issue a warning letter, which would have meant Huahai would have to pass another inspection before continuing its manufacturing. But the FDA didn’t send a warning letter. Instead, they urged Huahai to resolve the issues on their own — which they didn’t.

Disturbingly, a lax FDA approach to inspections that reveal faked quality testing is not unusual. Bloomberg spoke to Michael de la Torre, who runs a database of FDA inspections. According to Torre, in the five years up to 2019, the FDA issued warning letters in response to faked data just 25% of the time.

Bloomberg also recounts a number of quality problems discovered at Indian drug manufacturing plants. Clearly, FDA is failing in its mission to regulate the generics industry overseas.

The industry is expected to regulate itself, and profit wins over quality concerns most of the time when no one is around to hold the companies accountable. A company is only as ethical and conscientious as the people running it.

Quality problems are really not uncommon. The New Haven, Connecticut-based online pharmacy Valisure LLC tests every drug it orders, and reports rejecting more than 10% of all batches it receives — in some cases due to inaccurate amounts of active ingredient, in others due to contaminants or other inconsistencies in quality.16

Kevin Schug, analytical chemistry professor at the University of Texas, told Bloomberg17 Huahai “certainly should have caught” the NMDA contamination, and “should have modified the procedure to correct it.” Former FDA medical officer Gortler agreed, saying, “Any well-trained analytical chemist would know to check. If it’s not intentional, it’s incompetence. At some point, those are the same.”

Valisure CEO David Light told Bloomberg that while people in the industry are well aware of the problems, the overwhelming consensus is that it’s not “their” problem. “There’s no liability at any one point,” he said. “The only element who cares in this whole global supply chain is patients.”

The FDA didn’t send a warning letter18 to Huahai until November 2018, stating the obvious: The company should have anticipated the possibility that changing the process to use DMF solvent might cause problems, and when testing revealed anomalies, they should have identified the impurity.

Brackman filed a lawsuit against Huahai in April 2019. About 140 others have also sued Huahai and other drugmakers involved in the valsartan recall, and lawyers are reviewing several hundred additional cases, Bloomberg reports.

Bottom Line

This devastating and pervasive toxic exposure results largely from people’s reliance on using drugs as symptomatic bandages that in no way, shape or form treat the cause of the disease. They trust their physicians to help them but sadly they have been captured by the drug industry and are nearly universally clueless on how to identify and address the underlying cause of most diseases.

That is why it is crucial to understand that YOU are responsible for your own health and need to use physicians as your consultants, and not implicitly trust them. If you provide your body with what it needs, it typically tends to self-correct and get better so you can avoid these dangerous medications which, rarely, if ever, resolve the foundational cause.

Fortunately, this COVID-19 crisis has shown us the two most important physical strategies to optimize your health: vitamin D and metabolic flexibility. The ability to eliminate insulin resistance is a strategy that addresses the majority of illnesses that you will ever encounter in your lifetime.

This is why time-restricted eating, eliminating industrially processed seed oils like soy, corn and canola oils, eating a cyclical ketogenic diet, exercising and sleeping well can improve, if not eliminate, most conditions that you would need to take medications for. As you can see, drugs can harm you just because they were made with shortcuts to increase company profits.

When you follow these health principles you will decrease, if not eliminate, your need for these dangerous medications. You will also enjoy a high degree of health and freedom from the pain, disability and suffering associated with these conditions.

The Inside Scoop on COVID Pandemic?

Children’s Health Defense (CHD), founded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., created “The Jab” video above, which highlights the gold rush that occurred for pharmaceutical companies when the World Health Organization declared swine flu a pandemic in 2009. While Big Pharma got richer, an experimental vaccine was hastily rushed to market, and thousands suffered adverse effects as a result.

Now, in the midst of another controversial pandemic, we’re facing an eerily similar playbook — with pharmaceutical companies eager to cash in on the first COVID-19 vaccine, begging the question, “Are we are being played — again?”1

Pandemic Playbook: First, ‘The Trap’

Pandemics have been coming and going around the globe for centuries, but in recent history they’ve been used as points of manipulation that have profited corporations, particularly pharmaceutical companies. In 2005, you may remember, the bird flu epidemic was predicted to kill from 2 million to 150 million people,2 but turned out to be a whole lot of hot air, and prompted me to write the book “The Great Bird Flu Hoax.”

At the time, Nature Immunology published an editorial stating that the fear of bird flu had prompted government officials to prioritize developing plans to deal with pandemic influenza, and the WHO had named bird flu as the No. 1 health concern.

“This heightened concern exists despite any evidence suggesting sustained human-to-human transmission of the potentially pandemic H5N1 strain of avian influenza virus,” according to the article.3 In the years that followed, WHO executed agreements — so called “sleeping contracts” — with European and African nations in the name of protecting people from a future global pandemic.

The contracts stated that countries would buy vaccines in the event of a pandemic, but this would only be necessary if WHO declared a Phase 6 influenza pandemic.4 Both GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Baxter were named in contracts with the U.K. parliament, for instance, which stated the pharmaceutical companies would supply a pandemic influenza vaccine to the U.K. and were valued at £155.4 million (more than $206 million) over four years.5

“Unfortunately,” CHD noted, “the government officials who signed the contracts never suspected that GSK makes multimillion-dollar donations to the WHO in return for control over decisions that result in GSK windfalls.”6

WHO Changes Definition of Pandemic

It was June 11, 2009, when WHO declared H1N1 swine flu to be a Phase 6 global influenza pandemic, even though it had only caused 144 deaths worldwide. That declaration put the sleeping contracts into an active state, to the tune of $18 billion directed to the production of H1N1 vaccines, including GSK’s Pandemrix.

Prior to the pandemic’s declaration, WHO had defined a pandemic at the top of their Pandemic Preparedness website as follows:7

“An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity, resulting in several, simultaneous epidemics worldwide with enormous numbers of deaths and illness.”

The 144-person death toll certainly didn’t seem to fit the description of an “enormous” number of deaths, but, conveniently, it didn’t matter because WHO changed their definition of a pandemic. According to CHD in “The Jab”:8

“Suspiciously, just 39 days before declaring the pandemic, the W.H.O. deleted the pandemic definition from their website. When confronted, they told the media that their definition ‘painted a rather bleak picture and could be very scary.’

In the new definition, the W.H.O. no longer required that anyone die before they declare a pandemic. GSK’s Pandemrix jab was an experimental vaccine that was never tested for safety or efficacy. It was given straight to hundreds of millions of Africans and Europeans. This wasn’t the time for red tape and formalities. By any definition — rather, by the new definition, we were in a global pandemic.”

Pandemic Expert Panel Fraught With Conflicts of Interest

Lest anyone suggest that WHO, which received funding from GSK, wasn’t entirely unbiased in their decision to declare swine flu a pandemic, it should be noted that the opinion of an Emergency Committee from WHO’s International Health Regulations Review Committee was sought.

The guidance of many of these leading experts benefited the pharmaceutical industry, but their identities were kept secret in order to “protect them from outside influences.”9 In 2010, however, a joint investigation by the BMJ and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed troubling conflicts of interest between key panel members and the pharmaceutical industry. According to the BMJ:10

“The investigation by the BMJ/The Bureau reveals a system struggling to manage the inherent conflict between the pharmaceutical industry, WHO, and the global public health system, which all draw on the same pool of scientific experts.

Our investigation has identified key scientists involved in WHO pandemic planning who had declarable interests, some of whom are or have been funded by pharmaceutical firms that stood to gain from the guidance they were drafting.

Yet these interests have never been publicly disclosed by WHO and, despite repeated requests from the BMJ/The Bureau, WHO has failed to provide any details about whether such conflicts were declared by the relevant experts and what, if anything, was done about them.”

H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine Caused Narcolepsy

As is the case with all vaccines, unexpected injuries can occur, but in the case of the ASO3-adjuvanted swine flu vaccine Pandemrix, GSK continued to promote the vaccine even as cases of adverse events rose. Pandemrix was released in Europe during the swine flu pandemic of 2009 to 2010. Its approval process was accelerated, with most safety and efficacy tests bypassed.

At the time, the WHO tried to assure the public that this was safe, but at the same time they admitted, “Further testing of safety and effectiveness will need to take place after administration of the vaccine has begun.”11

Years later, Pandemrix (used in Europe but not in the U.S. during 2009-2010) was causally linked to childhood narcolepsy,12 a chronic neurologic condition in which your brain loses its ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally.

As a result, this causes you to suddenly fall into a deep sleep at any point during the day, which is debilitating and seriously affects quality of life. Many cases of narcolepsy also involve cataplexy, which is the sudden loss of voluntary muscle control triggered by strong emotions or laughter. According to “The Jab”:13

“GSK’s adjuvanted Pandemrix vaccine caused both [narcolepsy and cataplexy], devastating at least 1,300 children across Europe — for life. In the media, GSK’s AS03 adjuvant, added to stimulate a powerful immune response, shouldered the blame for amplifying these heinous reactions.

Documents obtained by plaintiffs in a series of European lawsuits revealed that GSK knew about the mounting adverse events associated with Pandemrix in the winter of 2009 — including a 5.4-fold increase in death. By December 2009, an injured person filed a report with GSK for every 12,500 doses of Pandemrix administered. Yet, they continued promoting their vaccine in order to move inventory.”

Later, in 2019, researchers described a “novel association between Pandemrix-associated narcolepsy and the non-coding RNA gene GDNF-AS1”14 — a gene thought to regulate the production of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor or GDNF, a protein that plays an important role in neuronal survival.

According to the researchers, “Changes in regulation of GDNF have been associated with neurodegenerative diseases. This finding may increase the understanding of disease mechanisms underlying narcolepsy.”15

Antiviral Drugs Also Fraudulently Stockpiled for Pandemics

Pandemrix is only one example of a pandemic medication gone wrong. Antiviral drugs like Tamiflu are another, yet are still recommended by government agencies like the U.S. CDC,16 despite long-standing studies questioning their effectiveness and safety.

At one point, WHO even classified Tamiflu as an “essential” medicine and recommended that it be used “as soon as possible” after a flu diagnosis.17 WHO’s definition of “essential” is reserved for drugs “selected with due regard to public health relevance, evidence on efficacy and safety, and comparative cost-effectiveness.”18

That status was downgraded in 2017, when the WHO moved Tamiflu from a “core” essential medicine to a “complementary” drug, which is used for those that are less cost effective.19

In a BMJ editorial, Mark Ebell, professor of epidemiology at the University of Georgia, called the move “far too late” and described a multisystem failure that allowed Tamiflu to become a blockbuster medication,20 once again in the name of potential pandemics:21

“Concerned about a possible outbreak of avian influenza, as well as the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, the UK government stockpiled oseltamivir at a cost of over £600m (€680m; $770m) from 2006 to 2014. Similarly, the US government has spent over $1.5bn stockpiling the drug, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

In 2019, a whistleblower lawsuit was filed against Tamiflu’s maker, Roche, alleging Roche duped the U.S. government into stockpiling Tamiflu while mispresenting its effectiveness. According to the suit, Roche knew Tamiflu was ineffective at fighting influenza pandemics but went ahead and “masterfully marketed this drug to fill Roche’s coffers at taxpayer expense.”22

COVID-19 Deja-Vu

The unsettling question now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is whether another experimental vaccine will make it to market, padding the drug companies’ pockets further while putting lives at risk. Asking, “Will they get away with it this time?” “The Jab” notes:23

“Relying on the same attenuated definition of ‘pandemic,’ on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic when its partner, the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, received 125 million-dollar commitments from the Gates Foundation and Mastercard just one day prior.

On July 31, 2020, GSK and Sanofi scored 2.1 billion US taxpayer dollars to partner on an experimental Covid-19 vaccine. Sanofi will provide the vaccine and GSK will provide — you guessed it — hundreds of millions of doses of their AS03 adjuvant from the 2009 narcolepsy epidemic.”

The earliest results from COVID-19 vaccine studies are starting to roll in, and they’re far from reassuring. Initially, public health officials had stated that a vaccine could be ready in an unprecedented 12 to 18 months. Now, there’s talk of accelerating vaccine delivery even further, with a target date of fall 2020.24

However, as noted by Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), based on the historical failures of past coronavirus vaccines, a fast-tracked COVID-19 vaccine could become one of the biggest public health disasters in history.

And, no one involved is accountable or will face any repercussions, just as GSK was not held accountable for the narcolepsy cases caused by Pandemrix. Instead, they will all continue to profit.

Melinda Gates Slams Social Media for Spreading ‘Disinfo’

In a September 2020 interview with Axios on HBO, Melinda Gates said “It may be time for a reckoning” with social media’s role in spreading disinformation. According to Axios:1

“Bill and Melinda Gates … [have] seen firsthand the impact of disinformation, as they’ve become targets of conspiracy theories amplified and spread via social media … [Melinda] Gates … said society may need to start holding social media companies to account for their role in helping such disinformation spread.”

It’s ironic, to say the least, considering the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funds and influences mainstream media companies, which in turn write whatever the Gates desire, be it truthful or not, without disclosing their conflict of interest.

Through its grants to the Leo Burnett Company, an ad agency owned by Publicis, the Gates Foundation is also financially linked to NewsGuard and HealthGuard, as both of these “fact-checking” sites are funded by Publicis. As such, Gates already has the power to pull strings and censor content they don’t like.

Gates Foundation Funds Scientific Disinformation

The Gates Foundation also has a history of funding disreputable and flawed to the point of being fraudulent science. What they call “disinformation” and “conspiracy theories” are to a large extent merely information exposing the Gates Foundation’s own disinformation campaigns.

Case in point: The Gates Foundation funds the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis to the tune of millions of dollars per year. The MRC Centre is the leading body advising world governments and the World Health Organization about infectious disease outbreaks.

Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London and co-founder of the MRC Centre, has produced a string of pandemic predictions that have turned out to be spectacularly incorrect:2,3

In 2001, Ferguson’s team produced a model for the spread of foot and mouth disease in British livestock, concluding that even in cases where there was no evidence of infection, animals had to be culled to curtail the outbreak.  

The projection led to the slaughter of more than 6 million cattle, sheep and pigs in the U.K. that year, costing the national economy an estimated £10 billion. As reported by Spectator:4

“It has been claimed by experts such as Michael Thrusfield, professor of veterinary epidemiology at Edinburgh University, that Ferguson’s modelling on foot and mouth was ‘severely flawed’ and made a ‘serious error’ by ‘ignoring the species composition of farms,’ and the fact that the disease spread faster between different species.”

In 2002, Ferguson predicted that by 2080, beef tainted with mad cow disease could kill up to 50,000 people, with a worst-case scenario killing 150,000.5 As of 2015, there had only been 177 human deaths attributable to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the U.K., the human version of mad cow disease.6

In 2005, Ferguson forecasted that 200 million people would die from bird flu. Meanwhile, in the real world, just 282 people died from bird flu, worldwide, between 2003 and 2009.7

In 2009, Ferguson predicted the swine flu would have a case fatality rate of 0.3% to 1.5%, with the most likely fatality rate being right around 0.4%. Based on this model, the U.K.’s projected death toll was 65,000. Once the pandemic ended, it turned out to have a death rate of just 0.026%, killing just 457 Britons.8

In 2020, Ferguson’s Imperial College model for COVID-19, relied on by governments around the world, led to the most draconian pandemic response measures in modern history. It predicted9 the U.K. would be looking at a death toll of more than 500,000, and the U.S. some 2.2 million, if no action was taken.

Based on the experiences of certain countries that chose not to lock down or mandate draconian disease prevention measures, such as Sweden, we can now see that authoritarian pandemic responses have had little if any beneficial impact. 

According to Ferguson, his woefully incorrect prediction was based on “undocumented, 13-year-old computer code that was intended to be used for a feared influenza pandemic,” the National Review reported.10

Analyses11,12 of the problematic bugs in the code have been published by a software engineer on LockdownSceptics.org. According to the author, the Imperial College has made a number of false statements and claims about this code.

In May 2020, Ferguson — nicknamed “Professor Lockdown” — resigned as government adviser to the U.K. after being caught breaking the very lockdown and social distancing rules he so strongly advocated for, to meet up with his married lover.13

Science for Hire

Ferguson’s predictions have been so far off the mark, fellow academics have started referring to him as “The Master of Disaster.”14 Jan Schnitzer, a vascular biology expert and former scientific director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in San Diego is quoted15 saying Ferguson “dances on the edge of being a publicity-seeking charlatan.”

You’d think that with this kind of abysmal track record, funding would have dried up long before COVID-19 hit. But no. This is precisely the kind of convenient disinformation and gross overestimation of risk that Gates needs and relies on to drive his own vaccine and tech agendas forward.   

Gates also has close links to Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, so it’s hard to imagine Fauci has not been given a few talking points here and there to help shepherd the masses.

Fauci was a member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Grand Challenges scientific board16 (described as a “family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve key global health and development problems”17) from 2003 until 2010, at which time he joined the Leadership Council of the Gates Foundation’s Decade of Vaccines Collaboration.18

In 2012, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of which Fauci has been the director since 1984, also began forging close ties with GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance.19 The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation founded GAVI in 1999 and has permanent seats on its board of directors.20

Gates’ War on Life

In a September 2020 article,21 environmental activist Vandana Shiva reviews Gates’ global agenda and “war on life,” highlighting the March 2015 TED Talk22 he gave in which he showed an image of a coronavirus. This, he said, was what “the greatest catastrophe of our time would look like,” Shiva writes, adding:

“When the coronavirus pandemic swept over the earth like a tsunami five years later, he revived the war language, describing the pandemic as ‘a world war’ … In fact, the pandemic is not a war. The pandemic is a consequence of war. A war against life …

The health emergency of the coronavirus is inseparable from the health emergency of extinction, the health emergency of biodiversity loss … [T]hese emergencies are rooted in an economic model based on the illusion of limitless growth and limitless greed, which violate planetary boundaries, and destroy the integrity of ecosystems and individual species

According to the International Labour Organization,23 ‘1.6 billion informal economy workers (representing the most vulnerable in the labor market), out of a worldwide total of 2 billion and a global workforce of 3.3 billion, have suffered massive damage to their capacity to earn a living. This is due to lockdown measures and/or because they work in the hardest-hit sectors.’

According to the World Food Programme,24 a quarter of a billion additional people will be pushed to hunger and 300,000 could die every day … Killing cannot be a prescription for saving lives.

Health is about life and living systems. There is no ‘life’ in the paradigm of health that Bill Gates and his ilk are promoting and imposing on the entire world. Gates has created global alliances to impose top-down analysis and prescriptions for health problems.

He gives money to define the problems, and then he uses his influence and money to impose the solutions. And in the process, he gets richer. His ‘funding’ results in an erasure of democracy and biodiversity, of nature and culture. His ‘philanthropy’ is not just philanthrocapitalism. It is philanthroimperialism.

The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown have revealed even more clearly how we are being reduced to objects to be controlled, with our bodies and minds as the new colonies to be invaded … The extended coronavirus lockdown has been a lab experiment for a future without humanity.”

Cryptocurrency System Based on Human Body Activity

Shiva goes on to review a patent granted to Microsoft the last week of March 2020, for a cryptocurrency system based on human body activity. Everything from brain activity and body fluid flows to organ activity and various muscle movements is to be used to mine for cryptocurrency in this system.

Coincidentally, the number on this patent is 060606. Remove the zeros and you end up with the ill-fated number “666,” which also happens to show up in the monstrously unconstitutional U.S. surveillance bill H.R. 6666.

The patent is an intellectual property claim over our bodies and minds,” Shiva writes.25 “In colonialism, colonizers assign themselves the right to take the land and resources of indigenous people, extinguish their cultures and sovereignty, and in extreme cases exterminate them.

Patent WO 060606 is a declaration by Microsoft that our bodies and minds are its new colonies. We are mines of ‘raw material’ — the data extracted from our bodies.

Rather than sovereign, spiritual, conscious, intelligent beings making decisions and choices with wisdom and ethical values about the impacts of our actions on the natural and social world of which we are a part, and to which we are inextricably related, we are ‘users.’ A ‘user’ is a consumer without choice in the digital empire.”

Ultimately, Gates vision, Shiva says, includes the colonization of our children’s minds and bodies “before they even have the opportunity to understand what freedom and sovereignty look and feel like.” To this end, Gates is working on reinventing education.

“The dystopia is one where children never return to schools, do not have a chance to play, do not have friends. It is a world without society, without relationships, without love and friendship,” she writes.

Indeed, the COVID-19 lockdowns and social distancing rules have repeatedly been referred to as “the new normal.” If the technocrats get their way, there will essentially be three kinds of people in the world: The uber-rich top echelon to whom rules don’t apply, digital slaves, and disposables — people who have no value in this new digital empire. If this doesn’t sound like the life we want to live, we must, as Shiva proposes, resist. And we must start now.

“We can seed another future, deepen our democracies, reclaim our commons, regenerate the earth as living members of a One Earth Family, rich in our diversity and freedom, one in our unity and interconnectedness. It is a healthier future. It is one we must fight for. It is one we must claim,” Shiva writes.

Are We in a Deadly Dilemma?

We now face what, for some, is a choice between two evils: Living with SARS-CoV-2, or continue hiding from it. I say “for some,” because others have accepted the data showing that COVID-19, in terms of lethality, is no worse than influenza, poses an exceptionally low risk for people under the age of 40 and virtually no risk at all to young adults and children.

The WHO has published data showing the overall infection mortality rate COVID-19 is about 0.6%,26 and according to CDC data27 released August 26, 2020, only 6% of the total COVID-19-related deaths in the U.S. had COVID-19 listed as the sole cause of death on the death certificate.

A September 2, 2020 study28 found the overall noninstitutionalized infection fatality ratio was a mere 0.26%. Among those under the age of 40, the infection fatality ratio is 0.01%, while those over 60 have an infection fatality ratio of 1.71%.

The estimated infection fatality rate for seasonal influenza is 0.8%,29 so this shows the only people for whom SARS-CoV-2 infection is more dangerous than influenza is those over the age of 60. Everyone else has a lower risk of dying from COVID-19 than they have of dying from the flu.

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx also confirmed a lower than typically reported mortality rate when she, in mid-August 2020, stated that it “becomes more and more difficult” to get people to comply with mask rules “when people start to realize that 99% of us are going to be fine.”30

In her August 16, 2020, Doctor for Disaster Preparedness31 lecture, Dr. Lee Merritt points out that based on deaths per capita, the death rate for COVID-19, worldwide, is a minuscule 0.009% (709,000 people have died from or with COVID-19 around the world, and the global population is 7.8 billion). So, the average person’s chance of surviving this disease is 99.991%.

Live Life or Hide Until You Die

Under normal circumstances, these data would convince just about everyone that COVID-19 is not a significant threat. Certainly, not sufficient to meekly relinquish our most basic human rights. Unfortunately, months of hardcore fear-mongering and censorship, largely spearheaded by Gates and the WHO, which Gates is the largest funder of, has led to a situation where people fear COVID-19 more than just about everything else.

It is with that mindset that some people find themselves having to make a choice to either live with the threat of COVID-19, or continue hiding from it, which means ceasing to live indefinitely. As noted in an “open letter to world leaders” published on Secret-Retreats.com, the path of hiding:32

“… has but one outcome, to condemn entire populations to misery, poverty, hunger, economic ruin and physical death. There is no hope in this path. COVID is here to stay. We will probably never have an effective vaccine (viruses by their very nature constantly mutate) and so there is no hope of a safe exit from this strategy …

The endgame of this strategy of closing a country, is the total destruction of that country’s economy, immense damage to the health and welfare of society, and plunging that country’s future into darkness.”

Meanwhile, the other path, the path of accepting the risks associated with life, COVID-19 included:

“… offers a path where there is hope for the future. Where life can go on as normal for the vast majority. It is a path where the rewards will far outweigh the cost … [It] has become clear that for the vast majority of people COVID presents no real risk of harm or even symptomatic illness.

But is it possible to live without risk? Clearly not. A life without risk is impossible. Is it possible to escape death? No. It is the very condition of living; life is terminal for us all. And death comes to us in 1000s of forms, not simply COVID. We cannot hide from death. How many people have died through hiding in fear from a perceived threat from COVID?

How many people are dying daily as a direct result of COVID policies through limited access to hospitals, health screening not happening, cancer treatments not happening in a timely manner, economic ruin driving people to make poor life choices and turning to alcohol, drugs or suicide as the solution to the problems dealt to them by COVID policies? …

What do we gain from these lockdowns, border closure policies? Between a certain death and a hypothetical risk, isn’t it better to choose the risk? The risk of living life. Why do you, our world leaders, continue to choose to keep us all locked within this eel trap of your own making?

Why don’t you make what is clearly, and backed by the science … the only sensible choice, of learning to live with COVID and allowing us to get back to living LIFE? …

Let’s dare to live with risk, as humans have done successfully since the dawn of time. We are at risk of jeopardizing the vast majority in the name of possibly protecting the few people who are at risk of serious illness or death from COVID.

And it is only ‘possibly protecting’ as even with these policies in place the risk of infection is still there and always will be. COVID is here now, and it is going nowhere, it is time we learned to LIVE with it.”

Bill and Melinda Gates’ fight against “disinformation” is really a fight against facts showing that the technocratic takeover is not an inevitable outcome of a global pandemic, but rather the result of a long-term well-planned effort.

If you haven’t taken steps to extricate yourself from their digital grasp as of yet, now’s the time to do it. For tips and guidance, see “Harvard Professor Exposes Surveillance Capitalism.”

Bioweapon Labs Get More NIH Funding for Deadly ‘Research’

EcoHealth Alliance, a corporate-funded nonprofit organization that seeks to uncover novel viruses in the environment, has been working in China for decades, trapping bats and looking for previously unknown coronaviruses that could lead to a global pandemic.1

This may come as a surprise to many, but even more surprising is the fact that the research was carried out via a grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).2

While the grant was initially supposed to continue through 2024, it was cut off in April 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic gained steam, and U.S. intelligence agencies started to look into whether the coronavirus that started it all escaped from a biological laboratory in Wuhan, China.3

EcoHealth Alliance collaborated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology for years, collecting coronavirus samples from bats and investigating whether they could jump to humans,4 and the NIH told the nonprofit that the project “no longer fit with NIH goals and priorities.”5

In August 2020, however, the NIH pivoted, granting a new $7.5 million grant to EcoHealth Alliance — part of an $82 million award being split among 11 research teams looking into the origins of viruses and how they infect people. The controversial move means that EcoHealth Alliance’s work will continue, this time targeting Southeast Asia instead of China.6

EcoHealth Alliance’s Controversial Gain-of-Function Research

Gain-of-function (GOF) research refers to studies that have the potential to enhance the ability of pathogens to cause disease, including enhancing either their pathogenicity or transmissibility.7 Such research is by its very nature controversial, since there are clear risks should the information be misused or the pathogens escape (or are maliciously released).

Further, Jonathan Latham, Ph.D., a molecular biologist and virologist and Allison Wilson, Ph.D., a geneticist, believe gain-of-function research performed at the Wuhan Institute of Virology played “an essential causative role in the pandemic.”8 Peter Daszak, EcoHealth Alliance president, however, said that the funding cut to their China bat research project would pose a threat to the U.S. public health.

“Once this pandemic is over, we know of hundreds of other coronaviruses that we’ve found evidence of in China that are waiting to emerge,” Daszak said in an interview with NPR. “We are now going to be unable to know about the risk of that, which puts us completely at risk of the next pandemic.”9

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the NIH, has also long backed dangerous GOF coronavirus research, including that conducted by EcoHealth Alliance. According to Newsweek:10

“Just last year [2019], the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases [NIAID], the organization led by Dr. Fauci, funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses.

In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million.

Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release.”

Daszak to Lead COVID-19 Task Force

Outrageously, Daszak has also been appointed to lead a task force examining whether COVID-19 may have leaked from a lab, as part of the Lancet Covid-19 Commission, which is looking into a variety of issues surrounding the pandemic and offering practical solutions.11 Part of the commission’s goal is to investigate the origins of COVID-19 and avert future zoonotic pandemics.

While Daszak said he would head the investigation with an open mind, critics such as Filippa Lentzos, an expert on biological threats at King’s College London, wrote on Twitter, “Goodness. I can’t imagine a lead investigator with more vested interests!”12,13

Not only has Daszak been widely criticized for spreading misinformation surrounding the origins of COVID-19 previously, but his longtime collaboration with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has been identified as the most probable source of a laboratory leak, is a glaring conflict of interest. If it’s found that COVID-19 did, in fact, leak from a lab, the work of Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance could come under fire, and future funding could be put in jeopardy.

As reported in GM Watch, “… if more scientists fail to speak out against his appointment as the Lancet Commission’s lead investigator, it will reflect the success of a censorship strategy that has not just allowed Daszak to evade serious scrutiny but to be put in charge of investigating himself and his associates.”14

Hundreds of Scientists Called for End of GOF Research in 2014

In 2014, a series of accidents at laboratories led to more than 300 scientists to launch a petition calling for an end to gain-of-function research.15 The U.S. issued a temporary pause as a result16 but, according to Ronnie Cummins, co-founder of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and Alexis Baden-Mayer, OCA’s political director:

“Exemptions to this ‘pause,’ eventually reviewed by a secret government panel, were nonetheless allowed to go forward. The ban was lifted in 2017. Yet between 2014 and 2016, the NIH and Fauci-led NIAID continued funding gain-of-function research overseas at the Wuhan lab, via Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance.

Not surprisingly both Fauci and Daszak have been staunch defenders of the official Chinese government story that the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) ‘naturally’ evolved from bats and/or other host species to infect humans.”

In the NPR interview, Daszak said he really doesn’t understand the rationale behind the funding cut from NIH,17 as they were only researching how coronaviruses may spread from bats to people. But as Cummins and Baden-Mayer explained in my interview with them (linked above):

“Daszak and his collaborators at the Wuhan Institute of Virology18 weren’t just studying how coronavirus spread from bats to humans, they were actually making coronavirus capable of spreading from bats to humans. They were the first to create19 a bat coronavirus capable of directly infecting humans (rather than first needing to evolve in an intermediate animal host).

EcoHealth Alliance has since funded additional gain-of-function research that Daszak has championed — without acknowledging his connection.”

Bat Virus Made Capable of Infecting Human Airway Cells

In 2015, the University of North Carolina collaborated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, performing gain-of-function research in which bat viruses were manipulated to create a chimeric virus capable of binding to human upper airway cells. That particular virus was called SHC014-MA15.20

EcoHealth Alliance had funded the research with a U.S. grant,21 but this wasn’t mentioned by Nature, which quoted Daszak as saying the findings “move this virus from a candidate emerging pathogen to a clear and present danger.”22 Cummins and Baden-Mayer pointed out the irony of this statement:

“Daszak’s statement is odd, as it seems obvious that it was the research itself that made the virus a clear and present danger, and that couldn’t be what he meant.

… Even the creators of the coronavirus-SARS chimaera questioned the wisdom of tinkering with viruses to make them more dangerous to humans. As Nature reported, in their paper the study authors conceded that funders may think twice about allowing such experiments in the future.”23

In my previously linked article, they added:

“‘Scientific review panels may deem similar studies building chimeric viruses based on circulating strains too risky to pursue,’ they write, adding that discussion is needed as to ‘whether these types of chimeric virus studies warrant further investigation versus the inherent risks involved.’”

NIH Conditions for Restoring Prior Grant Go Unmet

EcoHealth Alliance’s new grant is distinct from the previous grant that funded the Chinese bat research. The new grant is intended to fund the creation of the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases, or CREID, a network of centers focusing on different geographical regions.

EcoHealth Alliance will be conducting research on coronaviruses and other pathogens that may emerge from bats, rodents and primates in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.24 As for their earlier grant, the NIH notified EcoHealth Alliance that they may restore its funding for the Chinese research if they meet certain conditions, including the following:25

  • Obtain a sample of the SARS-COV-2 virus that the Wuhan lab used to determine its genetic sequence
  • Have independent scientists examine the Wuhan lab to determine if it had possession of SARS-COV-2 prior to December 2019
  • Determine the whereabouts of a Wuhan lab scientist whose photo was mysteriously removed from its website

According to NPR, “The scientist has been the focus of internet conspiracy theories suggesting she was in fact ‘patient zero’ for the coronavirus. The Wuhan Institute of Virology has previously said that the scientist in question was a graduate student who had finished her master’s degree and moved on to other work.”26

EcoHealth Alliance has not met the conditions for the funding to be restored, with Daszak calling them “preposterous” and telling NPR, “I’m not trained as a private detective. It’s not really my job to do that.”27 The conditions do seem unusual, particularly for a U.S. government agency to be requesting of a nonprofit organization — unless, perhaps, they believe the organization knows something they don’t.

NIH Investigation Reveals Rampant Undisclosed Ties to China

The U.S. NIH is investigating 189 scientists from 87 institutions for undisclosed ties to foreign institutions, with 54 being fired or forced to resign as a result.28

Among them, 93% received undisclosed support from China, and many had active NIH grants while accepting foreign grants that were not disclosed. About 75% of those being investigated had received active NIH grants, and close to half had at least two of them. In all, 285 active grants totaling $164 million were counted among those being investigated.

Such ties are rampant, and 133, or 70%, of the researchers being investigated did not disclose to the NIH that they had received foreign grants. More than half (54%) also did not disclose their participation in a foreign talent program, while 9% hid ties to a foreign company and 4% did not disclose a foreign patent.29,30

The investigation is part of larger efforts to limit threats to the U.S. economy and national security, as cutting-edge technologies and other information at the forefront of new industries that is being supported by federally funded research could be flowing into the wrong hands.

A broader investigation is also ongoing, with NIH highlighting 399 scientists “of possible concern,” 121 of which the Federal Bureau of Investigation is also investigating.

According to Dr. Michael Lauer, NIH’s deputy director for extramural research, after the NIH looked into the scientists “of possible concern,” 63% of the investigations came back positive, revealing the true scope of the underhanded dealings.31

Meanwhile, Fauci, who also supported GOF research on bird flu viruses 10 years ago,32 continues to support EcoHealth Alliance and their research into novel diseases, noting in a statement about the latest grants, “The CREID network will enable early warnings of emerging diseases wherever they occur, which will be critical to rapid responses.”33

In reality, should further GOF research be allowed to continue, it’s possible that it could “seed” another pandemic.34 Admittedly, it’s quite a coincidence that the very viruses undergoing gain-of-function research turned out to be the ones causing pandemics.

Vitamin D Cuts SARS-CoV-2 Infection Rate by Half

Evidence showing vitamin D lowers your risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization, severe complications and death continues to mount. Most recently, a September 17, 2020, paper1 in PLOS ONE found people with lower vitamin D levels in their blood had a significantly higher risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Higher Vitamin D Lowers Risk of Positive SARS-CoV-2 Test

The lead researcher in this study was Dr. Michael Hollick, who is widely recognized as one of the leading vitamin D experts in the world. I have interviewed him twice in the past. He and his team used retrospective observational analysis of SARS-CoV-2 tests to determine whether vitamin D blood levels impacted positivity rates.

Based on vitamin D results from the preceding 12 months and SARS-CoV-2 test data from mid-March through mid-June 2020 from 191,779 patients from 50 U.S. states, people with a vitamin D level of at least 55 ng/mL (138 nmol/L) had a 47% lower SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate compared to those with a level below 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L).2 As noted by the authors:

“The SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate was 9.3% and the mean seasonally adjusted 25(OH)D was 31.7 [ng/mL]. The SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate was higher in the 39,190 patients with ‘deficient’ 25(OH)D values (<20 ng/mL) (12.5% …) than in the 27,870 patients with ‘adequate’ values (30–34 ng/mL) (8.1% …) and the 12,321 patients with values ?55 ng/mL (5.9% …) …3

The risk of SARS-CoV-2 positivity continued to decline until the serum levels reached 55 ng/mL. This finding is not surprising, given the established inverse relationship between risk of respiratory viral pathogens, including influenza, and 25(OH)D levels.4

SARS-CoV-2 positivity is strongly and inversely associated with circulating 25(OH)D levels, a relationship that persists across latitudes, races/ethnicities, both sexes, and age ranges. Our findings provide impetus to explore the role of vitamin D supplementation in reducing the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease.”5

The graph below, obtained from GrassrootsHealth,6 shows how the rate of positive SARS-CoV-2 results declines as vitamin D levels go up. Again, as you increase your vitamin D level from 20 ng/mL to 55 ng/mL, your risk of having a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result decreases by 47%.

Even after adjustment for gender, age, ethnicity and latitude, the risk of having a positive test result was 43% lower among those with a vitamin D level of 55 ng/mL compared to those with a level of 20 ng/mL. I understand that the COVID-19 test may be worthless and counterproductive with its false positives, but it is the only metric we currently have to assess interventions.

positive SARS-CoV-2 results declines as vitamin D levels go up

Vitamin D Lowers Infection and Hospitalization Rates

That higher vitamin D levels lower the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection (i.e., getting a positive test result) was also confirmed in an Israeli population-based study7,8 published in July 2020. This paper examined data from 7,807people tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection between February 1 and April 30 of 2020 who also had vitamin D test data available.

Here, those with a vitamin D level above 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) had a 59% lower risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 compared to those with a vitamin D level between 20 ng/mL and 29 ng/mL (50 to 74 nmol/L), and a 58% lower risk compared to those with a vitamin D level below 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L). The graph below, from a GrassrootsHealth report,9 illustrates the findings.

covid-19 infection risk by vitamin d level

Vitamin D Lowers Hospital and ICU Admissions

Seeing how higher vitamin D levels lowers your risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the first place, it’s no surprise then that other data show higher vitamin D also lowers hospital and intensive care admissions.

The Israeli analysis10 above, for example, found that among individuals who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection, those who had a vitamin D level below 30 ng/mL also had a 1.95 times (crude odds ratio) to 2.09 times (odds ratio after adjustment for demographics and psychiatric and somatic disorders) higher risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19.

In other words, having a vitamin D level below 30 ng/mL about doubled the risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19. Vitamin D, when administered to hospitalized patients, can also lower their risk of needing intensive care.

This was demonstrated by Spanish researchers in a small randomized clinical study11,12,13,14 published online August 29, 2020. They found hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were given supplemental calcifediol (a vitamin D3 analog also known as 25-hydroxycholecalciferol or 25-hydroxyvitamin D) in addition to standard of care — which included the use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin — had significantly lower intensive care unit admissions.

Patients in the vitamin D arm received 532 micrograms of calcifediol on the day of admission (equivalent to 106,400 IUs of vitamin D15) followed by 266 mcg on Days 3 and 7 (equivalent to 53,200 IUs16). After that, they received 266 mcg once a week until discharge, ICU admission or death.

Of those receiving calcifediol, only 2% required ICU admission, compared to 50% of those who did not get calcifediol. None of those given vitamin D supplementation died, whereas 7.6% in the standard care group perished.

icu admission and death among hospitalized covid 19

Vitamin D Lowers COVID-19 Mortality

Other studies have also confirmed that higher vitamin D levels lowers your risk of complications and death from COVID-19. Among them is an August 2020 study17,18 published in the journal Nutrients, which found patients who had a vitamin D level below 12 ng/mL (30 nmol/L) had a 6.12 times higher risk of severe disease requiring invasive mechanical ventilation, and a 14.7 times higher risk of death compared to those with a vitamin D level above 12 ng/mL.

need for invasive mechanical ventilation

An Iranian study19,20 published online in mid-July 2020 also found that patients with vitamin D levels above 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) had better clinical outcomes and a far lower risk of death. Among COVID-19 patients over the age of 40 who had vitamin D levels below 30 ng/mL, 20% died, compared to 9.7% of those with levels at or above 30 ng/mL. Among those with a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/mL, only 6.3% died.

Low Vitamin D Is a Risk Factor for Respiratory Failure

Yet another study, published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation in August 2020, found vitamin D deficiency was a common factor among hospitalized patients in Italy who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 related respiratory failure.

As reported by GrassrootsHealth:21

“Vitamin D levels were measured for each patient and were defined as insufficient (20-29 ng/ml or 50-74 nmol/L), moderately deficient (10-19 ng/ml (25-49 nmol/L), and severely deficient (<10 ng/ml or <25 nmol/L). A normal vitamin D level was defined as 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/L) or higher.

81% of the patients with acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19 had vitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/L); and 24% had severe vitamin D deficiency (?10 ng/ml or ?25 nmol/L).

When looking at mortality rates after 10 days of hospitalization, it was found that those with severe vitamin D deficiency had a 50% probability of death, compared to 5% among those with a vitamin D level greater than 10 ng/ml (25 nmol/L).

This is a 10 times higher risk of death among patients with severe vitamin D deficiency compared to patients with vitamin D levels >10 ng/ml (>25 nmol/L) at 10 days of hospitalization.”

survival rate among covid 19 patients

According to the study authors:

“Altogether, these considerations support the recommendation that people at risk of influenza and/or COVID-19 consider vitamin D supplementation to raise their 25(OH)D concentrations above 40-60 ng/mL, and that treatment of patients infected with influenza and/or COVID-19 includes higher vitamin D doses.”

How and Why Vitamin D Lowers COVID-19 Risks

In “Bradykinin Hypothesis Explains COVID-19 Complexities,” I reviewed how vitamin D lowers your risk of COVID-19 complications and death by inhibiting both cytokine22 and bradykinin storms.23 Vitamin D also:

Lowers viral replication24

Boosts your overall immune function by modulating both innate and adaptive immune responses

Reduces respiratory distress25

Improves overall lung function

Helps produce surfactants in your lungs that aid in fluid clearance26

Lowers your risk of comorbidities associated with poor COVID-19 prognosis, including obesity,27 Type 2 diabetes,28 high blood pressure29 and heart disease30

All of these factors make it an important component of COVID-19 prevention and treatment. As temperatures and humidity levels drop — two factors that influence the viability of SARS-CoV-2 in air and on surfaces — it’s quite likely we’ll see a reemergence as we move into fall and winter.

My #StopCOVIDCold campaign seeks to raise awareness about the importance of vitamin D optimization to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. The two reports, which you can download free of charge on the #StopCOVIDCold website, provide in-depth information about the biological mechanics behind vitamin D’s protective effects.

Now, as the northern hemisphere heads into autumn, is the ideal time to check your vitamin D level and start taking action to raise it if you’re below 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L). Experts recommend a vitamin D level between 40 and 60 ng/ml (100 to 150 nmol/L). An easy and cost-effective way of measuring your vitamin D level is to order GrassrootsHealth’s vitamin D testing kit.

Once you know your current vitamin D level, use the GrassrootsHealth vitamin D calculator31 to determine how much vitamin D you might need to reach your target level.

To optimize vitamin D absorption and utilization, be sure to take your vitamin D with vitamin K2 and magnesium. As explained in “Magnesium and K2 Optimize Your Vitamin D Supplementation,” taking magnesium and vitamin K2 can lower your oral vitamin D requirement by as much as 244%.

Lastly, remember to retest in three to four months to make sure you’ve reached your target level. If you have, then you know you’re taking the correct dosage. If you’re still low (or have reached a level above 80 ng/mL), you’ll need to adjust your dosage accordingly and retest again in another three to four months.

Weekly Health Quiz: EMFs, Vaccines and COVID

1 Which of the following companies halted their Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials in August 2020 due to a serious and unexpected adverse reaction in one of the participants, pending medical review?

  • AstraZeneca

    AstraZeneca has temporarily halted its Phase 3 vaccine trials due to “a suspected serious and unexpected adverse reaction” in a British participant. The company did not divulge the nature of the adverse reaction, but an anonymous source claims the trial participant was found to have transverse myelitis, an inflammatory condition that affects the spinal cord and is frequently triggered by viral infections. Learn more.

  • Moderna
  • Pfizer
  • National Institutes of Health

2 According to polls, what percentage of Americans and Europeans say they do not plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine once it’s licensed?

  • 70% to 100%
  • 40% to 70%

    Governments have given pharmaceutical companies a liability shield from lawsuits when COVID-19 vaccines injure or kill people. Every poll taken this year has revealed that between 40% and 70% of people living in the U.S. and Europe do not plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is licensed. Learn more.

  • 20% to 40%
  • Fewer than 20%

3 To minimize your risk of respiratory infections such as influenza and COVID-19, I recommend having a vitamin D level:

  • Below 20 ng/mL
  • Between 20 and 40 ng/mL
  • Between 40 and 60 ng/mL

    To minimize your risk of respiratory infections such as influenza and COVID-19, I recommend a vitamin D level between 40 and 60 ng/mL. Learn more.

  • Above 80 ng/mL

4 Which country recently decided to ban the sale of junk food to minors to combat comorbidities that worsen outcomes and increase the risk of death from COVID-19?

  • Australia
  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Mexico

    Underlying health conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes have emerged as key factors in COVID-19 severity and fatalities. More than a dozen states in Mexico have decided to combat the pandemic by banning the sale of junk food to minors. Learn more.

5 Which of the following are particularly prone to the negative impact of electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation?

  • Brain and nervous system

    One of the primary mechanisms by which EMFs harm your biology is through the creation of peroxynitrites, which are potent oxidant stressors. Your brain and nervous system are particularly prone to the adverse impacts by EMFs, because in addition to the damage caused by peroxynitrites EMFs also trigger excessive neurotransmitter and neuroendocrine release. Learn more.

  • Cardiovascular system
  • Respiratory system
  • Digestive and salivary systems

6 Which of the following legislations shields vaccine manufacturers from liability and requires individuals who are injured by vaccines to sue the U.S. government for compensation instead?

  • The Affordable Care Act of 2010
  • The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986

    The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 shields vaccine manufacturers from liability and requires those injured by vaccines to sue the U.S. government for compensation instead. Learn more.

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970
  • The Health Act of 1956

7 Which of the following hypotheses speaks to SARS-CoV-2’s manmade origin?

  • SARS-CoV-2 has the same furin-cleavage site as other coronaviruses
  • SARS-CoV-2 has not evolved since the outbreak of the pandemic
  • SARS-CoV-2 has the same backbone as another bat coronavirus but the receptor-binding motif of its spike protein has the ability to bind to human ACE2 receptors

    Dr. Li-Meng Yan and colleagues suggest SARS-CoV-2 was made using a bat coronavirus as the backbone. The receptor-binding motif in the spike protein was then manipulated to give the virus the ability to strongly bind to the human ACE2 receptor. Learn more.

  • SARS-CoV-2 bears no resemblance to any animal-derived coronavirus

Oregano Oil Benefits Immune System and Fights Infection

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is usually associated with Italian cooking, but it’s believed to have originated in Greece. It’s closely related to marjoram (Origanum majorana) and the two have often been confused.1

A variety of oregano from Mexico (Lippia graveolens) was used for decades before being brought to America. It didn’t make an appearance in American cookbooks until after World War II. The herb that originates from the Mediterranean and from Mexico are slightly different.

The Mexican herb has a stronger flavor, while the Mediterranean leaf is smaller, lighter in color and has a milder flavor. When choosing which to include in your cooking, the Mexico variety works well with spicy flavors and the Mediterranean complements Italian and Greek dishes.

Origanum vulgare is a perennial plant that grows up to 3 feet high and 2 feet wide.2 It blooms between July and October with pinkish purple or white flowers. Oregano enjoys full sun and is a low-maintenance plant that attracts butterflies. It’s also resistant to drought and erosion.

The herb is rich in phenols, which are natural phytochemicals that have beneficial antioxidant effects. The two most abundant are thymol and carvacrol.3 Oregano has been used in traditional remedies as a relaxant, pain reliever and antibacterial agent. It also offers immune system support.4

Oregano Oil Effective Against Norovirus

Around the world, norovirus triggers nearly 20% of all cases of gastroenteritis leading to diarrhea and vomiting.5 In the U.S. it’s the leading cause in people of all ages.6 Outbreaks usually happen from November to April; in years when there is a new strain, it can boost the numbers by 50%.

Symptoms of norovirus infection include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea. Some people may also experience fever, body aches and headache.7 Symptoms develop from 12 to 48 hours after being exposed and most people are well from one to three days after the symptoms appear.

Each year there are 900 people who die from norovirus, with 109,000 hospitalizations and up to 21 million cases. Many of the outbreaks occur in crowded locations such as nursing homes and schools.8 Despite the impact on health and the economy, no drugs are currently available for its prevention or treatment.

In addition to this, many aspects of the virus are not known since it is difficult to culture human norovirus and there is no small animal model. Noroviruses have been identified in mice, cattle and pigs and of these the murine norovirus found in mice replicates in cell culture and small animals. For this reason, it is the strain of norovirus studied in the lab.

Researchers have found that carvacrol, one of the primary components of oregano oil, is effective against murine norovirus. In one study, scientists used cell cultures and a side-by-side experiment with a cell binding assay and transmission electron microscopy.

Viral infectivity dropped within 15 minutes of exposure to both oregano oil and carvacol, but using carvacrol alone was far more effective. The researchers concluded carvacrol could:9

“… inactivate [murine norovirus] within 1 hour of exposure by acting directly on the viral capsid and subsequently the RNA. This study provides novel findings on the antiviral properties of oregano oil and carvacrol against MNV and demonstrates the potential of carvacrol as a natural food and surface (fomite) sanitizer to control human norovirus.”

Oregano oil and carvacrol are active against other bacterial agents found in the kitchen which can lead to food poisoning. In another study, researchers found that oregano essential oil could remove young and mature Staphylococcus aureus biofilms on stainless steel.10

Oregano Oil Active Against Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is the term used to describe an abnormal rise in overall bacterial population of the small intestine.11 It can happen when surgery, disease or medications slow the intestinal tract, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria. This can negatively impact immune health since your gut microbiome regulates your immune homeostasis.12

Some of the health issues that can cause motility problems in the gastrointestinal tract include scleroderma, lupus and diabetes.13 The use of antispasm medications, the long-term use of proton pump inhibitors and the frequent use of antibiotics and narcotic medications all have been linked to SIBO.

Excess bacteria can cause weight loss, malnutrition and diarrhea. The primary treatment options used by Johns Hopkins Medicine are the antibiotic rifaximin (Xifaxan), and in some cases a combination of rifaximin and neomycin.

The condition has been studied in those who have disease affecting the intestines, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In one review of the literature, researchers identified 50 studies and found that more than 38% of people with IBS were positive for SIBO.14 The prevalence varied according to the type of test used for diagnosis and the risk rose for women, people of older age and those who had diarrhea with IBS.

In another study researchers gathered data from 104 people who tested positive for SIBO. Participants completed a study intervention and subsequent testing.15

They were offered a daily regimen of rifaximin or herbal therapy for 4 weeks. The researchers used a combination of herbs to provide broad coverage. Oil of oregano was one of those chosen because it’s well-documented that it “directly kills or strongly inhibits the growth of intestinal microbes. Oil of oregano has other beneficial properties such as inducing apoptosis in human colon cancer caco2 cells.”16

At the end of the study, each person underwent a lactulose breath test (LBT) to check for the presence of SIBO. Of the patients who received herbal therapy, 46% had a negative follow-up compared to 34% of those using the rifaximin. There were 31.8% who did not respond to rifaximin and were offered herbal rescue therapy. Of those, 57.1% had a negative LBT after completing the treatment. The researchers concluded:17

“Herbal therapies are at least as effective as rifaximin for resolution of SIBO by LBT. Herbals also appear to be as effective as triple antibiotic therapy for SIBO rescue therapy for rifaximin non-responders. Further, prospective studies are needed to validate these findings and explore additional alternative therapies in patients with refractory SIBO.”

Oil May Help Reduce Antibacterial Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a threat to human health. Infections caused by antibiotic resistant pathogens are sometimes impossible to treat. Health experts have been warning for decades that the overuse of antibiotics in humans and agriculture would usher in a potential explosion of death from pathogens that were once easily treated.

The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance was requested by the U.K. prime minister in 2014. The data suggested that drug resistant infections cause the loss of 50,000 lives each year in Europe and the U.S.18 Globally, that number is at least 700,000.

However, another estimate suggests the number in the U.S. is far higher, at about 162,000 each year.19 In addition, experts predict the global number may rise to 10 million people each year by 2050.20 This is 2 million more than are expected to die from cancer that year.

Essential oils, such as oregano oil, may help reduce antibiotic resistance. In one study, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of frankincense, lavender, lemon, thyme, oregano and myrtle essential oils against common pathogenic bacteria,21 including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus.

These bacteria are responsible for several types of infections including gastrointestinal and dermal ailments. The researchers used aqueous and micellar extracts to determine the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal bactericidal concentrations (MBC). The oils with the most activity against the bacteria were oregano oil, lemon, lavender and thyme.

Oregano oil had 64 times lower MICs and MBCs than ethylic alcohol. The bacteria that were most susceptible to it included methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Oregano and lavender aqueous extracts were active against K. Pneumoniae. The researchers concluded:22

“The present results may suggest some formulas of colloid or micelle suspensions of whole essential oils such as oregano, thyme or lemon oil, that may help in antimicrobial fight. Aqueous extracts of oregano or thyme oil with good antibacterial activity could also be used in selected cases.”

Take Care When Choosing Your Oregano Oil

When purchasing oregano oil, take care to purchase from a trusted manufacturer because some sell adulterated oils. As I’ve written before, some oil may be made from products which do not provide the same health benefits.

Oregano oil should be diluted in water or used with a carrier oil. My top choices are olive oil, coconut oil or jojoba. Test it on a small area of your skin when using it topically to be sure you don’t have a reaction. The pure oil can be a moderate skin irritant and it irritates your mucous membranes as well, which is why it must be diluted before use. Don’t use it on sores or cuts.

Clinical herbalist Michelle Lynde writes that the ideal ratio when diluting it for topical use is one part oregano oil to three parts carrier oil. A few drops of essential oil can also be added to a vaporizer or diffuser to help relieve the symptoms of allergies, sinusitis, chronic bronchitis and coughs.23

However, diluted oil should be avoided in women who are pregnant or nursing, and it should not be given to babies or children. People who have high blood pressure or a heart condition should also avoid using oregano oil. When taken internally, the taste can be strong. The diluted oil can be mixed with juice or honey or added to pizza sauce.