Axios Proclaims Paxlovid An "Enigma"
The Real Enigma Is On What Planet Do Axios Writers Spend Most Of Their Time?
I will begin with a necessary concession: staying abreast of important issues is a challenge. Being conversant with even a modest fraction of the threads to a major news story requires a lot of reading, a lot of perusing multiple sources, including more than a few cringe-inducing ones (which are not all within the realm of corporate media).
However, being conversant with at least a modest fraction of the threads to any story is at the very least a qualitative predicate to writing about that story. If I want to produce a quality Substack article, step one is that I have to do my homework.
So I find myself scratching my head when I stumble across this Axios overview of Paxlovid that proclaims Pfizer’s COVID antiviral an “enigma”.
Paxlovid, once hailed as a "game-changer" for its ability to treat COVID-19 infections at home, is becoming one of the pandemic's biggest enigmas.
Really? Paxlovid is merely an “enigma” at this late date? That’s the treatment the “journalists” at Axios want to give the drug?
There is indeed an enigma here, but it is not about Paxlovid. The engima is why aren’t Axios writers doing their homework before banging something out on the keyboard?
The enigma is, as I stated in the title, on what planet to the writers at Axios spend most of their time?
Let Us Be Clear: An “Enigma” Is A Mystery. Paxlovid Is Not
Merriam-Webster defines “enigma” thus:
something hard to understand or explain
The writers at Axios seem to be struggling to understand how it is that Paxlovid is not now—nor has ever been—a “game changer” against COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
There is no “mystery” surrounding Paxlovid as an approved therapeutic for treating COVID-19. The drug does not work. The data establishing that Paxlovid does not work has been out there literally for months.
I know this because, unlike the writers at Axios, I have done the research, I have followed the data, and I have not ignored resources wherever they may be.
Nor is this me taking credit for having seen “the truth” of Paxlovid. That honor goes to the likes of Igor Chudov, who accurately assessed Paxlovid as “snake oil” back in April—nearly five months ago.
That honor goes also to the likes of Brian Mowrey, who also in April advanced a compelling thesis that Paxlovid does little more than hit “pause” on replication of SARS-CoV-2 virions.
If you study what both of these gentlemen have had to say about Paxlovid, and compare it to items that have cropped up in the corporate media since April, you will find their work holds up fairly well.
My contribution, such as it has been, was to connect the dots between their research and items reported in the corporate media over the summer to not only reiterate the case that Paxlovid does not work, but to highlight the potentiality that Paxlovid’s inefficacy is also a manifestation of immune system damage wrought by the mRNA inoculations.
As I pointed out in April, the Paxlovid story has been one of the more glaring “epic fail” moments for the corporate media, and also one of the alternative media’s shining successes, because while the corporate media was behind the curve on Paxlovid in April, the alternative media, and in particular the writers and readers here on Substack, were ahead of the curve.
Yet if the corporate media was behind the curve in April, Axios in September has not even gotten out of the starting gate, for the rest of corporate media was being silly and calling Paxlovid a “mystery” (synonym for “enigma”) in April when even then they should have known better.
Hence the question: “on what planet do the writers of Axios spend most of their time”?
Axios Is Not Even Examining Current Research
Axios not deigning to look beyond corporate media would be ludicrous and laughable on its own, given that even corporate media stories on Paxlovid’s role in rebound infections were willing to acknowledge even in May social media commentary as a viable source of data.
To only look within corporate media archives was journalistic incompetence in May and it is still journalistic incompetence.
However, Axios makes no effort even to describe the broad and hopefully independent research surrounding not just Paxlovid but also the potential of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to develop resistance to the category of drugs to which Paxlovid’s constituents belong (protease inhibitors).
Axio makes no mention of the research that is ongoing to evaluate the potential for augmenting Paxlovid’s constituents with another type of protease inhibitor in a “drug cocktail” strategy. Granted, the write-up of that research is found on a pre-print server and not in a peer-reviewed publication, but if one’s thesis is going to be that Paxlovid is an “enigma”, it is simple prudence to cast a wider net and at least make mention of various research efforts that might shed some light on that “engima.” Moreover, Axios is at least aware of the pre-print servers, as they cite a pre-print article describing the phenomenon of viral rebound.
What Axios missed was the peer-reviewed research describing viral rebound among COVID patients that pre-dates the availability of Paxlovid, something I summarized in speculating that Paxlovid's involvement in viral rebound potentially is an indicator of immunological damage done not by Paxlovid but by the mRNA inoculations themselves.
What Axios missed was that viral rebound has been a researched phenomenon associated with other pathogens, including influenza and HIV. That is surely an important dimension in any investigation, journalistic or scientific, to understand the “engima” of viral rebound among Paxlovid patients.
What Axios missed even within its cursory perusal of corporate media archives was the speculations by doctors that viral rebound occurs in as many as 40% of Paxlovid patients, and that some doctors claim this is likely due to Paxlovid actually suppressing the body’s immune system and thus retarding viral clearance. Instead, they are merely regurgitating a statement of the “consensus” view on the topic:
"The consensus by the vast majority of people caring for COVID patients is that the rebound is not really a side effect of Paxlovid, it is more that are we really treating people for long enough or not?" Sarju Ganatra, a cardiologist at Lahey Hospital and co-author of the Clinical Infectious Diseases study, told Axios.
Anything can look like an “enigma” if one makes little effort to search for information. Real enigmas are mysteries that remain after one has made significant effort to search for information—something that Axios apparently did not do.
If Axios Is The State Of Corporate Media Today, Substack Is The Future
The takeaway from this admittedly self-indulgent criticism of Axios is to reiterate a point that should be obvious to all: no one has a monopoly on information. The corporate media does not have a monopoly, nor do peer-reviewed scientific journals. Substack does not have a monopoly on information. I certainly do not have a monopoly on information.
That awareness is essential to pursuing an understanding of any issue. To achieve complete understanding requires complete information. Without all the facts, questions will invariably remain. If one domain is lacking in factual materials on an issue, it is imperative to delve into other domains. What peer-reviewed journals might miss, pre-print servers might have. What corporate media might dismiss, alternative media might highlight.
One might even say (and I will say), that “All Facts Matter” (yes, that’s gratuitous self-promotion!).
Corollary to the takeaway is the reality that corporate media time and again fails to present even a broad cross section of available information—something Axios demonstrated in abundance with its naive assertion that Paxlovid is an “enigma.” When it comes to Paxlovid, the best information, and the most cogent understandings, are found right here on Substack.
Paxlovid is but the latest reason I firmly believe that corporate media’s days are numbered. Axios merely reiterates this, and if Axios is the state of corporate media journalism today, then it is highly probable (and I am highly hopeful) that Substack (and all of the alternative media) represents the future of journalism.
Journalism is for those who relentlessly seek out facts and information to share with others, and right now those people are not in corporate media, but right here on Substack.
Axios demonstrates why one should not trust anything, but should verify everything. The facts are out there. The information is out there. The truth is out there. One just has to look for it.
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