Did the Chinese Communist Party Influence a Key Paper on Hydroxychlorquine for Use in Early Treatment of Covid-19?
“Finally, the tables are starting to turn…”, Talkin’ Bout a Revolution, -Tracy Chapman
The spring of 2020 was an eventful time in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. In addition to the events surrounding the death of George Floyd, an extraordinarily influential study of the drug Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for the treatment of Covid-19 was led by a team from the University of Minnesota.
The study in question states, “Participants were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive hydroxychloroquine or placebo. Recruitment began on 22 March 2020, enrollment stopped on 6 May, follow-up concluded on 20 May, and final hospital outcomes were known by 15 June 2020.” George Floyd died in Minneapolis, where the trial was based, on 25 May 2020, which fell after the date of the final study follow-up but before the date for which a death might have been tallied. It is generally a fair starting point to assume the timing and collocation of these two seemingly unrelated events might be merely a curious coincidence. However, it is best to avoid drawing conclusions before considering all possibilities.
Perhaps the best way to introduce the context and importance of the studies of hydroxychloroquine led by researchers at the University of Minnesota is to review the comments by Yale Professor of Epidemiology, Dr. Harvey Risch from an interview conducted by Mark Levin and aired on Fox News on 23 August 2020. Video of this 7-minute interview is presently available at: (https://www.marklevinshow.com/2020/08/24/renowned-epidemiologist-sees-massive-disinformation-campaign-against-hydroxychloroquine/ .)
Levin (interviewer): “Steve Hatfill is a veteran virologist, and he recently wrote, ‘There are now 53 studies that show positive results of HCQ in COVID infections. There are 14 global studies that show neutral or negative results – and 10 of them were of patients in very late stages of COVID-19, where no antiviral drug can be expected to have much effect. Of the remaining four studies, two come from the same University of Minnesota author. The other two are from the faulty Brazil paper, which should be retracted, and the fake Lancet paper, which was.’ What is going on here? … (Dr. Risch) writes in part, ‘I am usually accustomed to advocating for positions within the mainstream of medicine, so I have been flummoxed to find that, in the midst of a crisis, I am fighting for a treatment that the data fully support but which, for reasons having nothing to do with a correct understanding of the science, has been pushed to the sidelines. As a result, tens of thousands of patients with COVID-19 are dying unnecessarily. Fortunately, the situation can be reversed easily and quickly.’
(As a layman), you read this and (think) ‘what in the world is going on here?’ Dr. Risch, you’ve looked at all these studies, and what do you conclude?”
Dr. Harvey Risch: I conclude the evidence is overwhelming… (HCQ) has a very substantial benefit reducing risk of hospitalization or mortality, and there has been a massive disinformation campaign that stretches from the government to the media either suppressing this message or countering it with a false message. And I’m not an expert in why that is happening other than just observing it. But I am an expert in the science, and I can tell you the science is all one-sided. In fact, the science is so one-sided in supporting this result, it is stronger than anything else I have ever studied in my entire career. The evidence in favor of HCQ benefit in high-risk patients treated early, as outpatients, is stronger than anything else I have ever studied.
Levin: Most studies cited by (those who oppose HCQ treatment) are studies that do not treat patients early in the virus. Is that correct?”
Dr. Harvey Risch: It’s either that…or they cite studies such as the Boulware studies from (the University of Minnesota studies) that treat low-risk patients… (where there are) virtually no patients hospitalized.”
(later in the interview)…Levin: “As a non-expert ..it is incredible to me that in the middle of a pandemic… that there is this effort to fight (HCQ and where) and to destroy the doctors (who prescribe it) and the experts… Now pharmacists are afraid to provide it. And now doctors are concerned to prescribe it, and some hospitals won’t prescribe it. And this has been politicized in an incredible way. And you write here, ‘Wait a minute. This drug could save thousands and thousands of lives.’ Have you ever seen anything like this?”
Dr. Harvey Risch: “Never. Never – that somehow we have let politics overrule science. It’s an absurd situation in that people have compared this to (the Orwell novel) 1984 and the ‘Ministry of Truth’ that is limiting what people can say on objective facts. ”
Notably, then-President Trump communicated a link to the interview of Dr. Risch the night it aired on Fox News via Twitter.
In the first article in TheWayOut substack (
), the motivation of one sponsor of the so-called ‘Boulware studies’ (using Prof. Risch’s terminology) was explored. According to press reports, Roblox along with its CEO and founder David Baszucki reaped billions of dollars in profits after lockdowns of children were enforced shortly after the Minnesota study publications stated that there was ‘no evidence’ that hydroxychloroquine was effective against Covid-19. The ‘Way Out’ article was referenced in an enlightened discussion of the FTX scandal and related issues in a recent “Rounding the Earth” substack article which concludes by suggesting that a Global elite wish to “establish a Global Digital Central Bank to enslave the human race, cull populations, and subject them to genetic information control.”
The “Rounding the Earth” article was also re-published in an abridged fashion by Zero Hedge. https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/grand-unified-theory-ftx-disaster#comment-stream
The conclusion of the Skipper et al. paper, which was classified as a randomized controlled trial (RCT), stated that “hydroxychloroquine failed to show a substantial clinical benefit.” To demonstrate the outsized influence of the article, the conclusion was repeated by Dr. Brett Giroir, coordinator of the Trump administration’s coronavirus testing response, in an interview on Meet The Press on 2 August 2020, only 16 days after the Skipper et al. study conclusions were made public.
The host of NBC’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd, asked Dr. Giroir whether President Trump’s advocacy for Hydroxychloroquine was a “danger to public health.” Giroir replied, “At this point in time there has been five randomized controlled trials that do not show any benefit to Hydroxychloroquine…There is no evidence to show that it is (effective). But on the other hand, we have Remdesivir, we have steroids which reduce mortality by 30 percent.”
Giroir went on to state “(T)he evidence just doesn’t show that Hydroxychloroquine is effective. I think we need to move on from that and talk about what is effective, both from a public health standpoint. (sic) I told you the masks, the crowds, wash your hands, avoid indoor spaces. And for treatments… we have effective therapies like Remdesivir… and a vaccine really on the horizon.”
(Transcript at https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meet-press-august-2-2020-n1235604 )
Given the combination of comments by Professor Risch and Dr. Giroir, it is clear that if the Boulware study had concluded that HCQ were effective, billions of dollars in profits for large pharmaceutical companies from Covid vaccines and proprietary drugs, such as Remdesivir or Paxlovid, would likely never have materialized. Dr. Giroir also classified masks as an effective for improving public health.
But what if the motivation for showing “no evidence” for the benefits of hydroxychloroquine in treating Covid-19 went beyond financial considerations?
Consider that one of the four listed project sponsors of the Boulware studies was the Minnesota Chinese Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) and (see
The mission statement of the MCCC is provided here: “Minnesota Chinese Chamber of Commerce is organized exclusively for enhancing communication and cooperation among Chinese business owners, promoting Sino-US business cooperation and communication and improving cooperation between MCCC and local business organizations, relevant governmental and educational institutes.” Observe the specific mention of Chinese business owners, rather than Chinese-American business owners.
Yet another of the four listed sponsors of the Boulware studies was The Alliance of Minnesota Chinese Organizations (AMCO). Neither MCCC nor AMCO have a history of funding medical trials.
A November 2019 US Senate Subcommittee Report titled “Threats to the U.S. Research Enterprise: China’s Talent Recruitment Plans” describes how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influences the policies of the National Institutes of Health in order to attain an economic and military advantage. One excerpt of this US Senate report, describing the “Thousand Talents” recruitment plan organized by the CCP states:
“The National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) invests over $31 billion annually in medical research through 50,000 competitive grants to more than 300,000 researchers. NIH has recently found instances of talent recruitment plan members committing grant fraud and transferring intellectual capital and property. It also found possible malign foreign influence in its peer review process. NIH has attempted to address these issues, but significant gaps in NIH’s grant integrity process remain…. NIH officials remain concerned that China’s talent recruitment plans are more pervasive than what they have uncovered to date.” (p. 3)
While the focus of the report was recruitment, the overarching theme is that the Chinese government is actively undermining the work of the US National Institutes of Health. One example of this role is found through an unexpected source.
AMCO was featured in a company newsletter published by United Family Medicine on 15 June 2020. The purpose of the article was to praise the group for providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for the United Family Medicine clinic, which at that time was located on West Seventh Street in the Sibley Plaza in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The full story is given in images below:
While the story seems on the surface to be a positive description of the group’s activities, it does include an illuminating excerpt.
This statement is important because, as Bloomberg reported in an article titled “China’s Epic Dash for PPE Left the World Short on Masks” in August 2020, there was a concerted effort by what the Bloomberg article termed the ‘United Front’ – an arm of the Chinese Communist Party to direct personal protective equipment to China in early 2020. Excerpts of the Bloomberg article are given here (bold added for emphasis):
“Just after the lockdown of Wuhan in January, the same week the U.S. confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus, Chinese civic organizations in dozens of countries on five continents began buying masks and other personal protective equipment. It was the beginning of an unprecedented humanitarian mobilization, orchestrated by the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department, to send PPE supplies to a China struggling with an epic public health crisis… The result was stunning: By the end of February, as other countries were realizing their own need for masks and protective equipment, a total of 2.5 billion items worth 8.2 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) had been sent to China, including 2 billion masks, according to Chinese government figures, which include all PPE that cleared customs during that period. The United Front took credit for its civic groups directly arranging 2 billion yuan worth. The United Front has the U.S. Congress’s attention because it is more than a humanitarian organization. In June, 148 Republican lawmakers called for sanctions on top United Front officials, citing ‘malign influence campaigns’ as a factor. ‘Beijing’s exploitation of diaspora networks to gather personal protective equipment from overseas is a stunning example of how it is integrating economic, political, and security campaigns, with the United Front Work Department as the vanguard,’ says Robin Cleveland, chairman of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a bipartisan congressional organization that published a 2018 report on the United Front.
Mao Zedong called it a ‘magic weapon’ for its ability to so neatly marry civic action with the aims of his Chinese Communist Party—notably during the two-decade civil war that led to the 1949 defeat of Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist forces. The organization has played a role in building support for China’s moves to suppress dissent in Hong Kong. It is the organizer or close affiliate of thousands of overseas associations focused on Chinese living abroad, who numbered 60 million in government estimates from 2015, including people of Chinese origin born outside the country. These groups typically have words like ‘friendship’ or ‘benevolent’ in their names, or chambers of commerce or associations of people from particular regions of China.”
Thus, by sending $50,000 worth of PPE to China, the actions of AMCO, one of four listed sponsors of the Boulware stud
ies were consistent with United Front activities which support the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Specific individuals in China, also had a monetary incentive to accrue PPE in January and February 2020. According to Forbes, “Other (new billionaires), like medical products veteran Liu Fangyi and online trading fintech magnate Li Hua, have seen the pandemic boost demand for their services.”
This Forbes article on China’s newly minted billionaires from 2020 specifically mentions profits from personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, as the reason why Liu Fangyi’s company had a 650% increase in share price in 2020. Did the CCP act through United Front organizations like AMCO to corner the market on PPE in early 2020 in order to benefit Chinese billionaires, such as Liu Fangyi? If so, one could draw a comparison of Liu Fangyi’s company (Intco Medical Technology) to organized crime, and the money trail is likely extend to individuals well outside the borders of China.
One might point out that AMCO also raised funds for the clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota. But what if one motivation for AMCO’s donation of over $100,000 for the clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota was to encourage patients at the clinic to voluntarily enroll in the AMCO-sponsored study of HCQ for Covid-19? For example, did the donation enable the group to provide material advertising the Boulware-led study inside or near the waiting room of the clinic? Did the third-year resident who worked at the clinic, and who was connected to AMCO through her family, mention the study to any of her patients who tested positive for Covid-19 or who had symptoms? Did the clinic allow volunteers from AMCO offer to assist those patients thinking about joining the study with navigating the internet-based application process of the Boulware-led studies? As a sponsor of the studies, AMCO would have been motivated to ensure its success, and recruitment of volunteers plays an essential role for many such trials. If these (or similar) actions were taken, it is conceivable that AMCO might have influenced the outcome of the so-called ‘Boulware studies’.
Curiously, the partner of the entity which published the newsletter-United Family Medicine- removed its intern program from the same clinic only a few months later - in October 2020. A news story from the Pioneer Press states:
“For 50 years, the United Family Medicine clinic on St. Paul’s West Seventh Street has catered to the working poor and underinsured patients, including today many East African immigrants and neighborhood residents. And the nonprofit health center has done so hand-in-hand with Allina Health, a 12-hospital, 90-clinic health network that has provided the majority of the clinic’s physicians, 21 medical residents, electronic records, lab services and even their phone line. Now, Allina is in the process of pulling out all 21 medical residents and finding another location near United Hospital where the medical residents can complete their three-year rotations in family medicine. By the end of the year, the faculty physicians are expected to follow them, leaving the clinic nearly devoid of primary care doctors. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners are expected to pick up the slack under the clinic’s new model of team-based care. ‘The pandemic certainly has accelerated changes in the health care system,’ said Sara Criger, president of United Hospital, who said medical residents and faculty had complained of patient scheduling and other issues at the clinic, hurting the reputation of Allina’s residency program. Criger added: ‘There were problems that United Family Medicine needed to address. As the clinic made changes, we had to determine if they meet our requirements or not, and it became apparent that they did not.’”
Did any irregularities surrounding the close relationship between AMCO and the clinic, which included the acceptance of a 6-figure donation from the group, play a role in Allina’s decision to end its longstanding partnership with the clinic only a few weeks after the AMCO-sponsored HCQ study had been published?
*** The importance of one death ***
An interesting facet of the Boulware-led RCT of hydroxychloroquine was that only two deaths were reported in the trial described in Skipper et al.: one in the test (HCQ) arm and one in the placebo arm. Moreover, the death which was tallied in the HCQ arm occurred outside of a hospital. In a Twitter post the day of the Skipper et al. article’s release, Dr. David Boulware stated that “Nonhospital death was from COVID per next of kin.” Requests from other Twitter users inquiring whether PCR testing confirm that the individual were unanswered, so one might reasonably infer that there was no PCR test confirmation of Covid for the death in the Hydroxychloroquine arm of the trial.
It is possible that the next-of-kin of the individual who died outside the hospital may have provided information on the death as best as he or she could. However, it should also be emphasized that funeral expenses, up to $9,000, were available to the families of individuals whose death “may have been caused by, or was likely the result of, Covid-19” as a contributing cause of death. By contrast, a death certificate with simply ‘stroke’ or ‘heart attack’ would have yielded no financial benefit to the family of the deceased. So there was a financial motivation to state that Covid-19 was a contributing cause.
In addition, the frequent news reports of Covid-19 deaths might have led family members to discount other possibilities, as will be illustrated below.
Contemplate how differently the Skipper et al. study outcome might have been received if zero deaths, rather than one death, had been reported as occurring in the HCQ arm of the trial. The drug might even have been described as having been 100% effective in reducing deaths due to Covid-19.
The authors of the Boulware studies expressed surprise that the event rate was so low. As stated by Skipper et al., “Before the first interim analysis on 24 April 2020, it became apparent that the pooled event rate of hospitalization or death was substantially lower than our initial 10% expectation... Without unblinding of treatment allocation or analysis of the data, the principal investigator proposed to the data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) that we modify the primary end point to the change in overall symptom severity over 14 days as longitudinally measured on a 10-point visual analogue scale. The DSMB approved the change on 24 April 2020. The change was necessary because the low event rate of hospitalizations or deaths in the trial would have required increasing the sample size to 6000 participants, which was not attainable.”
Their trial recruitment specifically focused on health care workers via the internet, and they were more successful with younger individuals than the older majority, who tended to be most affected by Covid-19. Per Skipper et al.: “Of the 423 participants contributing data for the primary end point, there were 241 (57%) health care workers, 106 (25%) household contacts, and 76 (18%) with other exposures. The median age was 40 years, and 56% (n = 238) were women.”
To clarify the reasons the researchers might have expected more hospitalizations and deaths than they found, it is worth revisiting some of the deaths of health care workers were reported in the media during the time frame of the study (late March 2020 through May 2020). Since the HCQ-arm death occurred outside the hospital while the placebo-arm death occurred inside a hospital setting, the reports enumerated below are split into those two categories.
To begin, consider one telling instance of a death initially attributed to HCQ but later found to be a result of a kidney infection:
A news story, published by a local CBS affiliate in Florida on 29 July, describes a case of a female nurse named Danielle DiCenso. She was only 33 years old who died at home on 9 April 2020. The cause of death was believed by her next-of-kin to be COVID-19.
Shortly after Danielle DiCenso’s death in April, her widower, David DiCenso gave an interview to a local CBS affiliate. In his interview, he stated: “He (David) says Danielle came home with horror stories about treating patients with COVID-19, but most horrific of all, she said she was not given proper personal protective equipment, like a face mask to wear at work. “She went to work one day and they didn’t have a mask for her," he said. David says Danielle began experiencing coronavirus symptoms in late March and she suspected she had it, but her test came back inconclusive and she thought she could fight it off at home. "She was like ‘no I don’t want to waste a ventilator on me, I'm healthy, I don’t need it.’'" DiCenso recalls. "She was always caring about other people before her. I was like 'alright baby you’re the professional so I’ll take your advice on that.'"
Moreover, in the video interview, David DiCenso remarked, “If you’re young and if you show symptoms, don’t try to fight this thing. It can get very serious, very fast. And…you don’t feel like it is taking the life out of you. Once I touched her, she must have been gone for a couple of hours. But she looked like she died in her sleep, so it’s like the oxygen got taken out of her.”
(From https://cbs12.com/news/local/33-year-old-nurse-from-wellington-dies-after-being-exposed-to-covid-19 )
The statement made by David DiCenso clearly emphasizes a shortage of both masks and ventilators. One might be tempted to assume that the actions of the United Front, and AMCO, contributed to the lack of PPE, which perhaps contributed to Danielle DiCenso’s death. Surely, David DiCenso would have claimed his wife’s death was from Covid-19, just like the next-of-kin in the Skipper et al. paper did.
However, an autopsy published on 29 July 2020 revealed that Danielle DiCenso did not have Covid-19 but rather died of a kidney infection (see https://cbs12.com/news/local/autopsy-shows-wellington-nurse-died-of-kidney-infection-not-covid-19). Interestingly, the autopsy report clarifying that Covid-19 did not cause the death was not released until after the Skipper et al. study had been published. Thus, the HCQ study investigators who relied on “obituaries or other evidence of vital status” might have reported Danielle Dicenso’s outcome as a “non-hospitalized COVID-19 death.” Since there were enrollees from Florida and since the details of the individuals who died during the Skipper et al. study have not been released to the public, we must consider the possibility, even if unlikely, that Danielle DiCenso was the lone death reported in the HCQ arm of the study, even though an autopsy showed her death was not attributable to Covid-19.
Let’s consider several other reported deaths of health care workers due to Covid. In 2020, the Guardian partnered with Kaiser Health to document deaths of healthcare workers in the early spring of 2020. In their introduction, the article states, “Hospitals are overwhelmed,workers lack protective equipment and some staff suffer from underlying health conditions that make them vulnerable to this pernicious virus.” A total of 72 individuals are profiled, most with pictures, along with a few details (about 200 words each) related to their healthcare work and disease progression. The brief description includes a statement about PPE availability for 22 of the 72 individuals. Since AMCO was involved with sending PPE to China in January 2020, emphasis is added for instances wherein the article focuses on either PPE or locking down. Emphasis is also added herein when the articles describe the timing of the illness and occasionally other interesting facets of each story. Where appropriate, additional sources are also cited and quoted.
Of the 72 workers discussed in the Guardian report, only 4 are said to have died outside a hospital setting. These include:
1. Jenniffer Anderson-Davis, 44 of Ballwin, Missouri, who died on 14 April 2020
Jenniffer Anderson-Davis, 44, of Hazelwood, tested positive for COVID-19 on April 9 and died at home 5 days later (per Guardian article). She most recently served as an admission and discharge nurse. "She loved her residents — I can't say that enough," said her daughter, Bailey Davis, 19. "She would do anything for them." Lutheran Senior Services, the company that owns Meramec Bluffs, said in a statement that an official cause of death has not been released. "We are not speculating as to whether COVID-19 was the cause," the company said in a statement. Senior living facilities have enacted strict rules during the pandemic, like banning visitors, screening employees and residents, and canceling group events. Still, several communities in the St. Louis region have reported COVID-19 cases. Bailey Davis said she and her brother also both spent time working at Meramec Bluffs, in the dietary department. Anderson-Davis grew up in Cape Girardeau. She had been a licensed practical nurse for about 20 years, and had worked at Meramec Bluffs for about three years, her daughter said. She leaves behind three children. "She's a very big-hearted person," said her mother, Edna Anderson. "Her kids were her joy." Anderson described her daughter as hardworking and caring. "She was a very good daughter. She always watched out for me," Anderson said.
2. Lisa Ewald, age 53, Detroit, MI, March 2020
Lisa Ewald died this week of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, (friend Juleen) Miller said. This Saturday would have been her 54th birthday. Henry Ford Health System President and CEO Wright Lassiter III confirmed on Friday the death of an employee. “There are not adequate words to describe how saddened we are," he said. "Our hearts ache for our employee's family, friends and colleagues. As health care providers on the frontlines of this pandemic, we know we are not immune to its traumatic effects. Ewald lived in Dearborn and spent 20 years as a nurse at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, most recently working in post-surgery rehab. Her niece and nephew, Mandi and Micah Standifer of Shelby Township, said she was a jokester and “a nerd in the best way.” “It’s hard to believe this even happened, because she was so full of life,” said Micah Standifer, 35. “She’s the person you would expect to beat it.” Ewald also loved to travel and was an active member of the Wayne County Republican Party. They (Miller and Ewald) became friends at Inter-City Baptist School in Allen Park, where they both went to school. She attended the Motor City Comic Con every year and loved Harry Potter books and Star Trek. She was an active, optimistic person with no known health problems, they said… Ewald believed she was exposed to the virus after treating a patient who later tested positive, said Mandi Standifer, 32. Ewald told her niece she was not wearing a mask and had asked to be tested, but hospital officials told her she couldn’t get a COVID-19 test until she began to experience symptoms of the disease. Ewald learned Sunday (29 March 2020) that the illness she was experiencing was COVID-19, said (her niece) Mandi Standifer. By Tuesday (31 March 2020), she was dead. Ewald’s neighbors and a fellow Henry Ford nurse found Ewald lifeless in her living room Wednesday morning. The Standifers said they can understand the unique complications posed by a viral pandemic that caught the whole country off guard. They can understand that personal protective equipment and test kits are in short-supply. Still, they said, it’s frustrating that Ewald was forced to wait so long for testing, and then was instructed to go home and wait out the illness on her own. “It’s just wrong,” Micah Standifer said. “You would think they would take care of their own.”
3. Neftali Rios, age 37, Memphis, TN, 26 April 2020
Guardian report: In mid-April, he came down with fever, body aches, a terrible cough and tested positive for the virus. Several family members got sick, too. His parents were both hospitalized. On 26 April, Neff collapsed at home, unable to catch his breath. His wife, Kristina, called 911, started CPR and waited for the EMTs. When they arrived, he had already died. The family believes he was exposed at work. A spokesperson for the hospital declined to comment, citing family privacy. “Neff was never scared” of catching the virus at work, Josue said. “You take an oath to take care of people, no matter what.”
He was married to Kristina Bateman Rios. “Neff was a loving husband, a son, a brother, an amazing uncle, a loyal friend, a die-hard Eagle fan, a car enthusiast and my favorite nurse," said Rios. She says two weeks ago Neff began to have flu-like symptoms, and when she took him to get tested for COVID-19 his results were positive. Kristina says Neff passed away Sunday, April 26 due to COVID-19 complications.
News video at:
4. Celia Yap-Banago, age 69, Kansas City, Missouri, April 2020
Yap-Banago died on April 21 at age 69, her son told CNN. Tuesday would have marked her 40th anniversary at the hospital. Now, her colleagues, and the nurses’ union she was a member of, hope her death will raise awareness about the lack of personal protective equipment…Christine Hamele, HCA Midwest Health System spokeswoman, called the allegations of exposure ‘vague.’ “We screen all individuals entering the hospital, including our colleagues and we follow CDC and state health department guidelines on the notification of any individuals who may have been in contact with a suspected COVID patient,” she said in an email statement to CNN. “As important, if a colleague is quarantined per the CDC guidelines and works in a patient care facility, we will pay 100 percent of base pay for up to two weeks, regardless of where the exposure occurred.” Charlene Carter, a registered nurse at RMC who worked with Yap-Banago for seven years, first treated the patient before handing her off to Yap-Banago. After seeing that the patient was exhibiting potential coronavirus symptoms, Carter said she raised her concerns to her charge nurse, who then relayed those concerns to higher-ups. “They assured my charge nurse that they were not treating this patient as if she has Covid-19,” Carter told CNN. “It was already an understanding that if you didn’t have a positive Covid patient, they didn’t want you to use PPE unnecessarily.” Carter said that the PPE was placed in a centralized location for the floors that worked with confirmed and probable coronavirus patients. When asked about Carter’s assertion, Hamele declined to comment further. Two days after treating the patient, Yap-Banago learned that the patient had tested positive for the virus, according to her son. So, she took extra precautions to avoid potentially spreading the virus by isolating herself away from her husband and sleeping on the living room couch. “It wasn’t until maybe that Sunday (March 29) where it started to take a turn for the worst,” Banago said. “Her fever got up to over 101 and she wasn’t eating so that’s when we swapped her back into her room and dad came out to the living room. Once she went in that room on Sunday, she did not leave.” While there’s no way to tell exactly if she contracted the virus from the patient, Yap-Banago’s test for the virus came back positive, her son said. Carter told CNN that she herself had also tested positive for the virus. Unlike many other coronavirus patients who need to be hooked up to a ventilator, Yap-Banago never experienced shortness of breath so she didn’t admit herself into a hospital, Banago said. She started to seem like she was getting better, Banago said, but after being bedridden for two and a half weeks, the virus took its toll. “I saw her from the door and she was kind of just in a weird position,” he recalled. “That’s when I went up to her and she was unresponsive.”
Three additional “Covid-19 deaths of health care workers outside of a hospital in the US” were discovered in addition to those reported in the Guardian via an internet search. They are as follows:
5. Earl Bailey, Age 56, Sunrise, FL, April 2020
Sashia Bailey, of Pompano Beach, said her father got sick about two weeks ago “and they told him to go home and quarantine. I’m upset he was told to go home and self-quarantine and return if you feel worse. Not everyone has that opportunity to return,” she said. “We don’t know where my dad caught it from.” Bailey died Sunday morning at his Sunrise home, almost immediately after “his breathing went bad," his daughter said. "He died right after, before the ambulance could even be called.” According to Broward’s Medical Examiner’s Office, Bailey went into cardiac arrest at home after being quarantined over testing positive for the virus. “My father was very strong and felt he could beat it," she said. "He was very healthy, he worked out every day, even at Florida Medical Center, he would round up the nurses and go exercise.” “He felt he was healthy and he wanted to save the space for somebody else.” Sashia Bailey said her father was born in Jamaica. He moved here in about 2002 from Canada. “He loved to take care of people,” she said. “He liked to nurture people.” Jennifer Lovelace, a nurse practitioner at Florida Medical Center, described him as a “health care hero” who was a “superhero, a body builder, a man of God” and a “gift” to humanity. She said Bailey had been a nurse for more than two decades who “took myself and couple other nurses to the gym for... training three times a week before our night shifts to encourage us to stay in shape” and known for playing his favorite worship songs "and preach to us the gospel and salvation; one who when we order pizza will refuse to eat it saying ‘I’m good, my wife packed me fish and yam.’ "
6. Frank Gabrin, Age 60, East Orange, NJ, March 2020
An ER doctor and two-time cancer survivor has died in his husband’s arms in their Harlem apartment — just days after he started to notice coronavirus symptoms, the grieving man told The Post on Wednesday. “He was an amazing doctor. He loved to take care of people. He was an angel,” Arnold Vargas, 28, said about his husband, Dr. Frank Gabrin, 60, an ER physician at East Orange General Hospital in New Jersey who died Tuesday (31 March 2020). “Yesterday morning he just told me, ‘I can’t breathe,’” Vargas said tearfully in a phone interview from his Harlem apartment. “I tried to do everything to save him. He died in my arms.” A longtime friend told The Post that Gabrin told her he thought he caught the deadly bug from having to use the same face mask for an entire week. “He had one medical kit — including the face mask — for a whole week,” creative strategist Debra Vasalech Lyons, 55, said. “He had one pair of gloves. They ran out of the large and extra-large gloves and Frank had to try to wear a size medium. Every time he put them on they ripped. They ran out of soap,” she said. “When he got sick he told me, ‘I know exactly when I got sick. It’s when I had to reuse my mask,'” added Lyons, who said Gabrin also worked at St. John’s Hospital in Queens. Gabrin, who began experiencing chest pain and other symptoms on March 25, woke up Tuesday (31 March 2020) complaining that he couldn’t breathe, Vargas said. As his condition deteriorated, Vargas said he called the NYPD about 10:30 a.m. and was transferred to another department. By the time paramedics arrived 30 minutes later, it was too late. In a moving post on Twitter, Lyons wrote that she lost her best friend. “He planned to go back to work when he recovered. It took only five days from the first sign of symptoms. He leaves a husband of less than one year behind. We are devastated. #PPENow,” she wrote… In a statement to The Post, East Orange General Hospital said: “It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the loss of one of our beloved East Orange General Hospital family members. … Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Gabrin’s family and friends, and also with all our frontline caregivers who are dedicated to serving our community during this unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak. “We are committed to ensuring the safety of our patients, staff and physicians. We currently have sufficient staffing, supplies and equipment – including N95 respirators and facemasks – on hand to care for patients,” it added.
7. Luis Tapiru, Jr., Age 20, Chicago, IL
A Chicago family has been devastated by the coronavirus. In less than a week, the Tapiru family lost a mother and her 20-year-old son to the virus, which their father only learned after being taken off a ventilator for his own battle with the virus. "Just a really kind and beautiful family," said Sergio Pecirno, Luis Tapiru's childhood friend. "Genuine and very kind people." Luis Tapiru, II, 20, died from COVID-19 on April 14, and is now among Chicago's youngest victims of the virus. Luis was found dead in his home, his brother said. "I kept calling him and calling him and he did not pick up," said his older brother Justin Tapiru. Justin said Luis was told to stay home and self-isolate because both his parents were sick with COVID-19. "He told me in the morning that he was fine," Justin said. "He said he maybe coughed a little bit… For the entire household to be affected by it in such a serious way, it really shows how serious it is," Pecirno said. (see also his mother Josephine Tapiru in the hospitalized category below)
Most of the remaining (68) cases reported in the Guardian were associated with “Covid-19 deaths” within a hospital. The average age of the 72 individuals in the Guardian article is 56.1 years. Contrast this value to the CDC statistics cited by https://www.acsh.org/news/2020/06/23/coronavirus-covid-deaths-us-age-race-14863 for the time period 1 Feb through 17 June 2020 which indicated that over 92 percent of Covid deaths occurred in ages 55 and up:
Clearly, many health care workers and first responders described in the Guardian article are decades younger than the vast majority who reportedly died due to Covid-19.
Twelve examples provided here exemplify (1) how young some of the individuals were in the reports of Covid-19 deaths in March-April 2020, (2) how quickly individuals died after being admitted to a hospital, and/or (3) how the story of a death due to Covid-19 was frequently used to promote a morality tale about the failure to provide PPE and/or to enforce lockdowns:
1. James House (in the same news story as Lisa Ewald), Age 40, Detroit, MI, 29 March 2020
James House, a nurse at a Detroit nursing home, died earlier this week after falling ill. Although he had not been tested for COVID-19, his sister Catrisha House-Phelphs told the Free Press Friday that her brother worked at Omni Continuing Care on Conner in Detroit, and had classic symptoms of the disease — cough, low-grade fever, shortness of breath. She said her brother, a 40-year-old Warren resident, started feeling sick two weeks ago. He went to a drive-up site that was taking samples for coronavirus tests, but was turned away. House-Phelphs said her brother was told to stay home for seven days and wait it out. On Tuesday (29 March 2020), House went back to work but quickly fell ill, needed oxygen and was rushed to the hospital, House-Phelphs said. She said her brother texted her and said he was going to be intubated. “Things moved so fast,” she said. “It was like within a couple of hours of him being admitted, he had passed away…House-Phelphs described her brother, a father of five who grew up in Benton Harbor, as a committed nurse, a great brother and her best friend. “He was a great man,” she said. “I mean, it’s a huge loss.”
2. Joyce Pacubas-Le Blanc, age 53, Chicago, IL, April 2020
“Jessica Bertelson said that her sister was always willing to help people who needed equipment she had. Bertelson said Pacubas-Le Blanc was the mother hen of the family and the eldest of five children… Bertelson said for a couple of weeks, Pacubas-Le Blanc had relatively mild symptoms until she wasn't able to breathe and died less than a day after being rushed to the hospital. "A couple of days before she passed, she said, 'I'm feeling better.' I said, 'you don't sound better.'" Bertelson said. "She said, 'no, I feel a lot better.'" Le Blanc's co-workers said her death highlights the need for more COVID-19 tests and personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. ‘Everybody should be treated as though they have it to keep healthcare professionals safe so that we have all the PPE as though they were positive,’ said Eileen Fajardo-Furlin, Le Blanc's former co-worker. The CEO of UIC Medical Center said they are profoundly saddened by Le Blanc's loss. The hospital also has implemented COVID-19 testing for all patients, and is providing N95 masks for all staff providing health care.”
3. Kious Kelly, age 48, New York City, NY, 24 March 2020
“Kious Kelly, a nurse manager at a Manhattan hospital, texted his sister on March 18 with some devastating news: He had tested positive for the coronavirus and was on a ventilator in the intensive care unit. He told her he could text but not talk. ‘I’m okay. Don’t tell Mom and Dad. They’ll worry,’ he wrote to his sister, Marya Patrice Sherron. That was his last message. Ms. Sherron’s subsequent texts to him went unanswered. In less than a week, he was dead. Mr. Kelly, a 48-year-old assistant nurse manager at Mount Sinai West, may have been the first New York City nurse to die from the virus. His sister said he had asthma but was otherwise well. ‘His death could have been prevented,’ Ms. Sherron said on Facebook Wednesday. Later, she added: ‘I’m angry. He was healthy.’ Colleagues at the hospital were angry, too. Some complained on social media channels that they did not have an adequate supply of protective clothing or masks. A nurse who worked with Mr. Kelly said the hospital had offered nurses one plastic protective gown for an entire shift, though normal protocol required a change of gowns between interactions with infected patients. The nurse, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the staff member was not authorized to speak to the media, said Mr. Kelly had not used protective equipment, even though he regularly helped nurses on his team with hands-on care. As recently as March 10, he helped a nurse take off her protective gear after working with a patient who tested positive for the virus, the nurse said. Several Mount Sinai West staff members, contacted for this story, said they had been told by hospital administrators not to speak to journalists. Mr. Kelly’s death was first reported in The New York Post. Gia Lisa Krahne, an outside consultant who provided alternative Ayurvedic care to a patient at Mount Sinai West, said she last saw Mr. Kelly at work the week of March 9, interacting with patients and hospital staff, wearing neither a mask nor any protective gear…“We lost a great fighter during this war,” a co-worker named Diana Torres said on Facebook. She posted a photo of co-workers tying bandannas over their faces in an effort to protect themselves. “NO THIS IS NOT PROPER PPE,” she wrote. In an email, a hospital spokeswoman, Lucia Lee, disputed the claim that the hospital had not furnished protective equipment to its staff. “This crisis is straining the resources of all New York area hospitals, and while we do — and have had — enough protective equipment for our staff, we will all need more in the weeks ahead,” Ms. Lee said in the statement.”
4. Prea Nankieshore, Age 34, Long Island, NY, 5 April 2020 (location of death not provided)
A clerk who registered patients in the emergency room at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills hospital has died after getting infected with the coronavirus, her family said. Prea Nankieshore, 34, who had 8-year-old twin boys, succumbed to the illness on April 5. She resided with her parents in Ozone Park. Nankieshore’s 66-year-old mother is in the intensive care unit fighting COVID-19 and her father is at home trying to beat the killer virus, Prea’s sister, Lisa Singh, told The Post. “Prea was on the front lines. She was the first point of contact registering patients in the ER.” Singh, a year younger than Nankieshore, resides elsewhere and has not been physically impacted. She said her sister appeared to be healthy and did not have any underlying medical conditions that would make her more vulnerable to COVID-19. A GoFundMe page has been set up by Nankieshore’s friends to help care for her twin boys. “Our dear friend passed away during the fight against COVID-19. She leaves behind her two young twin boys who rely on her,” the appeal said. “She was a great loving mother and a well respected, hard working team member at the Forest Hills Emergency department. We all miss her. May her soul rest in peace. Please help us raise money to help care for her family.” Nankieshore joins other hospital workers killed by COVID-19, among them Kious Kelly, an assistant nursing manager at Mt. Sinai’s Midtown West hospital. His death spurred complaints from staff there about a shortage of personal protective equipment. Three nurses even resorted to wearing trash bags over their scrubs to protest a lack of gowns.
From the GoFundMe site: https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-prea-nankieshore?utm_source=messenger&utm_medium=chat&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet
“Fazila Lalani and Amy Smith are organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Lisa Singh. Dear friends, loved ones and absolute strangers with a huge heart: We have the sincerest of appreciation for all of your generosity in helping put away $43,000 for Kashaun and Eshaun. It’s Just astounding what people can create when we think with their hearts. We pray for Prea’s soul to rest in eternal peace and for the strength of her family to raise these two boys with the same love and attention Prea would have. Out of respect to her and all those who lost their lives, please continue to always wear a mask and stay safe. The world doesn’t need more tragedy.
Another site includes video although the person who claims to be her fiancé does not appear in the video- From https://abc7ny.com/prea-nankishore-coronavirus-nyc-update-corona-virus/6086645
"We lost a dedicated mother with a heart of gold," fiancé Marcus Khan, who asked us not to show his face, said. "We lost a sister. We lost a friend. I lost the love of my life." Unable to hold back tears, Khan tried to put into words the pain of losing his fiancée, who died Sunday after losing a battle with the coronavirus. "She said, 'I can't leave the hospital understaffed. They're already flooded with patients. Doctors are working hard, and I can't leave them like that. I have to do my part,'" he said. "I just want everyone to take this seriously," Khan said. "This pain, this pain that me and her family are feeling right now, you don't want your loved ones to feel this pain."
5. Larrice Anderson, Age 46, New Orleans, LA, March 2020
“Larrice Anderson, a nurse at New Orleans East Hospital, tested positive for coronavirus and died this week, LCMC Health announced Wednesday afternoon… Anderson put caring for her patients above all else, according to a former co-worker and longtime close friend, Dorothy Lewis. They met working at Ochsner in Kenner many years ago, and became such close friends that Anderson was the godmother of Lewis' daughter. Lewis recalled how Anderson recently told her over the phone that she needed to quickly finish their conversation so that she could "gear up." ”She only went to work and home," Lewis said. "She had no room for nothing else. That tells you right there where she got it from… Lewis said that Anderson became sick in early March, initially only experiencing stomach problems that they thought could be food poisoning. But she got worse, was diagnosed with viral pneumonia and was eventually admitted to the New Orleans East Hospital as a patient. She was transferred to UMC when she needed additional ventilation, Lewis said. Anderson was on the upswing and doctors expected her to be discharged before she took a surprising turn for the worse hours before she died Tuesday (28 March), Lewis said. “Next thing you know, she had trouble breathing, they brought her back to the ICU, her heart stopped and they couldn’t get her back," she said. Heartfelt tributes to the mother of two poured out on social media in the hours after her death from friends, family and coworkers.”
Photo from https://obits.nola.com/us/obituaries/nola/name/larrice-anderson-obituary?id=2219852
6. Brittany Bruner-Ringo, Age 32, Los Angeles, CA, April 2020
When Brittany Bruner-Ringo, a nurse at an upscale dementia care center on Los Angeles' Westside, phoned her mother in Oklahoma in mid-March, she was uncharacteristically rattled and looking for advice. Her supervisors at Silverado Beverly Place had instructed her to admit a new resident, a retired doctor flown in from New York City, despite the fact that the facility was under lockdown to prevent the sort of COVID-19 outbreaks that were cropping up in the man’s hometown. The man had COVID-19, and in the days and weeks that followed, at least 63 residents and employees came down with the virus. Nine have died. One who succumbed was Bruner-Ringo. The 32-year-old nurse stopped breathing April 20 in the intensive care unit at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Her family said that before she was placed on a ventilator, she talked about going public with what happened at the Silverado as soon as she recovered. “I was just praying every day that Brittany would be able to tell her own story,” said her sister Breanna Hurd. Silverado’s Irvine-based parent company has consistently defended the decision to admit the new resident as reasonable and compassionate. Representatives, including the company’s chief executive, have insisted the man had a pressing need for care. They’ve said he showed no signs of the virus March 19 when he entered the building in the Beverly Grove neighborhood, and this week they produced redacted medical records in which Bruner-Ringo appears to describe him in good health upon admission… Like nursing homes and senior residences across the country, Silverado started locking down in response to the coronavirus outbreak in early March. The doctor, accompanied by one of his children, flew from New York to LAX on March 19 and was driven to the facility, according to current and former employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of professional retaliation. From the underground parking garage, the man and his relatives took the elevator directly to the third floor, where Bruner-Ringo met them. She took him to a private room and began evaluating him. Redacted medical records shared by the company indicate that about 8 o'clock that night, she recorded his temperature as 96.5 (degrees). “Resident appears well-groomed and is very pleasant and cooperative with assessment,” the record states. “No cough noted, no [symptoms] of any respiratory distress.”… When Bruner-Ringo returned for her shift the following day, the doctor’s condition had worsened. Medical records provided by the company indicate he was coughing up green phlegm, had a fever of 101.9 and was experiencing chills. He was taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Hours later, she texted her sister that she’d gotten word the doctor probably had COVID-19... The nurses would later tell the family that she was their strongest COVID-19 patient. While others in the ICU were unconscious, Bruner-Ringo was awake, smiling at staff, following their instructions and writing notes. Silverado executives reached out to her mother for updates, and she told them that the prognosis seemed good. She was young and healthy, the doctors said, a perfect candidate to beat the virus. “Until that last day, they said her labs and vitals looked good,” she said. She was still on the ventilator when she died. After all the days of sitting in a hotel, thinking and praying about her daughter in the hospital, Kim Bruner-Ringo finally got to go there. She wasn’t allowed in the room with her daughter’s body, but she was allowed to view it through a window. It was like the way newborns are displayed in a hospital nursery, she thought. She knew her daughter had died doing what she loved, helping people, but it was hard to ignore the bleakness of her end. “My daughter died alone,” she said.
7. Mike Marceaux, Age 49, Shreveport, LA, April 2020
Registered nurse Mike Marceaux died after contracting the coronavirus while working as an emergency room nurse at Christus Highland - Shreveport, the hospital confirms for KSLA News 12. “He is selfless and he took joy in making others happy,” said Wesley Caston, a fellow registered nurse. Caston works at another local hospital that went through nursing school with Marceaux at Northwestern State University - Shreveport. Wesley says he’s shocked at how fast COVID-19 took his friend’s life. “Mike and I texted back and forth since we are E.R. nurses,” Wesley said. He shared their experiences of fighting the virus outbreak on the front lines. “He actually lost contact with me for two days. That’s when I got in contact with family members and realized he was hospitalized,” Wesley continued. He says family told him Mike’s condition quickly worsened, dying just days after losing contact with him by phone. “He was a selfless guy, from nursing school through our clinical experience. Everyone shared the same opinion. What a great guy.” Wesley tells KSLA News 12′s Doug Warner that Mike is an Air Force veteran, and married with four sons. Friday afternoon Christus Health sent KSLA a statement about Mike’s passing. “Michael Marceaux will never be forgotten by his coworkers, his family, and all those who were honored to know him.”
Age 49 from obituary: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/209346789/michael-lee-marceaux
8. Josephine Tapiru, Age 56, Chicago, IL
A Chicago family has been devastated by the coronavirus. In less than a week, the Tapiru family lost a mother and her 20-year-old son to the virus, which their father only learned after being taken off a ventilator for his own battle with the virus. Luis Tapiru, II, 20, died from COVID-19 on April 14, and is now among Chicago's youngest victims of the virus. (see non-hospitalized category above for more on Luis Tapiru, II). The family believes COVID-19 started spreading through their apartment on March 31, when Josephine stayed home from work because she wasn't feeling well. Her family believes she got the virus from a local nursing home where she worked. "One of her coworkers got sick, and then everybody else got sick," Justin said. The Filipino family moved to Chicago from Canada. The community remembers them as hardworking and loving. Their neighbors are working to raise money to help them during this difficult time. "The grieving process is really different because you have to start by making sense of it, and then I think we are seeing how serious this is," said Pecirno. This week, Luis Sr. was moved out of the hospital and to a rehab center to help with his ongoing recovery.
More details from https://www.gofundme.com/f/friends-of-the-tapiru-family :
“On April 4, 2020, Jo was rushed to Saint Francis hospital and has been in an induced coma since then. A few days later, Loy and Louie, who both lived with Jo in Chicago, showed symptoms of and tested positive with the coronavirus. On Good Friday, April 10th, Loy was also rushed to the hospital where he continues his fight against COVID-19 with the help of a ventilator. This page was set up to unite family and friends in supporting the Tapiru family in this most difficult of times. All proceeds from your generous donations through this campaign will go towards their immediate and future financial needs. Jo and Loy have both been in the caregiving profession for almost two decades in Canada and the US. It is our ardent hope that when Jo and Loy recover, they will be comforted to know that we cared for Justin and Louie as our very own. Your continuing prayers for the whole family is much appreciated.”
9. Tomas Pattugalan, Age 70,
When Tomas Pattugalan learned he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, he called his son and made a joke. Prince Charles had tested positive, too. Now, Pattugalan said, he had something in common with royalty. The lighthearted response was typical of Pattugalan. The gregarious doctor wasn’t one to brood. “He had such a social personality,” said his son, Gino Pattugalan. “He could be friends with anybody.” In mid-March, as horror stories rolled in from China and Italy, father and son talked about how important it would be for Tomas Pattugalan to take the virus seriously. New York City had not yet shut down, and Pattugalan was still seeing patients at his internal medicine practice in Jamaica, Queens. Then two patients tested positive. Pattugalan moved to telemedicine, but he soon tested positive as well. He died five days after getting the result…
The Guardian story notes that: “Pattugalan had a cough. Then came wheezing. His oxygen levels dropped. He even tried hydroxychloroquine, an experimental treatment touted by Donald Trump that has yielded mixed results. Nothing helped. On 29 March, at his family’s urging, Pattugalan agreed to seek hospital care. He died that day.”
Interestingly, another source states that he not only died that day, but that he died in the morning of the day he went to the hospital. “Dr. Pattugalan passed away Sunday morning, March 29, 2020 in the emergency department at Nassau University Medical Center.” (see:
10. Valeria Viveros, Age 20, Died 5 April 2020
Viveros, born in California to Mexican immigrants, grew attached to her patients at the nursing home, bringing them homemade ceviche, Urrea said. About a month ago, as he watched her cook, play and joke with her grandmother, he noticed how much her social skills had grown. Viveros began to feel sick on 30 March, went to a nearby hospital and was sent home with Tylenol, Urrea said. By 4 April, she was too weak to get out of bed on her own. She left in an ambulance and never came back (dying the very next day). “We’re all destroyed,” he said. “I can’t even believe it.” On 5 April, county health officials reported a coronavirus outbreak had sickened 30 patients and some staff at the nursing home where she worked. Trent Evans, general counsel for Extended Care, said staffers were heartbroken by her death.
“Rafaela Pinto Urrea is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Caroline Viveros: In her first job as a nurse assistant, my 21 year old niece Valeria did not have the heart to stay home! She was driven to be with the elderly under her care at a skilled nursing facility in Riverside, in spite of the fact that several patients were infected with COVID-19. Last Saturday Valeria herself went to the hospital with the dreaded symptoms and tested positive. We are grateful to the ICU Corona Hospital staff who cared for her. Today Friday, 4/10, after just seven days we are mourning her death.”
11. Israel Tolentino Jr, Age 33, Passaic, New Jersey, Died 31 March 2020
When Israel Tolentino Jr arrived for his EMT shift one morning in March, he seemed fine. Then he got a headache, and then a fever. He was sent home, said Vito Cicchetti, a director at Saint Clare’s Health… He was husband to Maria Vazquez, whom he’d met at church, according to nj.com. They had two young children… Izzy died in hospital care. The coronavirus tore through his EMT team. Most eventually recovered. But his friend and co-worker Kevin Leiva also died.
12. Kevin Leiva, Age 24, Passaic, New Jersey, Died 7 April 2020
Guardian: When Kevin Leiva died of Covid-19 in early April, it was a second crushing loss to his close-knit team of EMT workers. Their colleague, Israel Tolentino Jr, had died one week before. “People were scared that everyone was going to die from it,” said Vito Cicchetti, a director at Saint Clare’s Health, where the men worked. “After Izzy died, we all started getting scared for Kevin.”
“Kevin Leiva married his high school sweetheart, but their story didn’t start the way teenage romances are often depicted in novels. They met in an online chat their sophomore year. He was in New Jersey, she was more than 1,000 miles away in Wisconsin… Leiva, who suffered from asthma as a child but was otherwise healthy, is believed to have been exposed while on a call… One day, he got an email meant for someone else about a scholarship for emergency medical technicians. He applied and got it. Marina thinks about that event as ‘an act of God.’… Marina said she finds comfort knowing Leiva died pursuing his passion.”
(Another source: https://www.businessinsider.com/healthcare-workers-who-died-with-the-coronavirus-2020-4?op=1 )
*** Analysis of deaths of health care workers and first responders in spring 2020***
In 4 of the 8 stories (including that of Danielle DiCenso, which was initially reported to be due to Covid-19), a lack of masks and PPE were described as a potential factor in the death outside the hospital setting.
The emphasis placed on the lack of PPE for heathcare workers in so many of these stories might lead one to conclude that the United Front effort to send PPE from the US to China led to a shortage in the US. Certainly, the news stories led hospitals and nursing facilities to purchase PPE at inflated prices, in turn enabling Liu Fangyi, among others, to make billions of dollars in profits.
However, given the follow-up story of Danielle DiCenso, there is another, even more troubling, aspect to explore. The media suggested that a supposed lack of PPE and inability (in the case of others such as Brittany Bruner-Ringo) to enforce a lockdown led to her death, even though an autopsy revealed her death was not due to Covid-19. In other words, the death of a 33-year-old nurse was used by the media to promote a narrative which praised the Chinese government response to Covid-19 while maligning the response by the United States government and- by extension- President Trump.
The deaths of several individuals were told seemingly in the fashion of a cause and effect:
-Lisa Ewald did not wear a mask – and she died at home.
-Dr. Frank Gabrin had only one mask for an entire week – and he died before he could get to a hospital.
- Kious Kelly, according to one nurse, who “spoke to the New York Times on condition of anonymity” said Mr. Kelly had not used protective equipment - and he died at the age of 48 of Covid-19.
- An “upscale dementia care center” on Los Angeles' Westside allowed a new resident from New York instead of locking the individual out- and a 32-year-old nurse, Brittany Bruner-Ringo, died from Covid-19 as a result.
Consider also the deaths which, in hindsight, occurred in otherwise healthy working-age individuals. In many instances, the progression of Covid-19 from symptom appearance to death occurred over a very brief period of time-much shorter than that of the typical length of most Covid patients. In several instances, the patients are even described as ‘doing well’ shortly before dying. For example:
-“Things moved so fast,” she said. “It was like within a couple of hours of him (James House ) being admitted, he had passed away.”
-“Unlike many other coronavirus patients who need to be hooked up to a ventilator, Yap-Banago never experienced shortness of breath so she didn’t admit herself into a hospital, Banago said. She started to seem like she was getting better, Banago said…”
-“A couple of days before she (Joyce Pacubas-Le Blanc ) passed, she said, 'I'm feeling better.' I said, 'you don't sound better.'" Bertelson said. "She said, 'no, I feel a lot better.'”
- “In less than a week, he was dead. Mr. Kelly, a 48-year-old assistant nurse manager at Mount Sinai West, may have been the first New York City nurse to die from the virus.”
-“ Anderson was on the upswing and doctors expected her to be discharged before she took a surprising turn for the worse hours before she died.”
- “Until that last day, they said her (Brittany Bruner-Ringo ) labs and vitals looked good,”
In hindsight, the deaths attributed to Covid-19 for many individuals in March-April 2020 time period are extraordinarily young. Perhaps these news stories drove the expectation by those involved with the Boulware studies that more deaths and hospitalizations would occur in their trial than actually did.
Reflect that the news stories describing PPE shortages written and publicized by the US-based media were required in order for the Chinese companies to reap billions of dollars in profits. So there was a motivation on the part of Chinese PPE providers to partner with US media outlets to amplify the message that PPE was in short supply in the US in order to drive demand for their products.
So it is a fair to ask, “Did the US corporate media and healthcare systems partner with the Chinese companies or organized crime elements to exploit the deaths of young healthcare workers and first responders in order to share in the profits?” A corollary question is: “Were certain media outlets so motivated to portray President Trump as ineffective during a time of crisis that they exaggerated claims of PPE shortages?” If so, the Chinese companies in the business of selling PPE in the United States would have made billions in profits from the media narrative.
Now consider another possibility: What if the ultimate goal for the CCP and other like-minded entities, such as the World Economic Forum and organized crime elements, went beyond economic considerations? What if their plan was to bring about a new world order and impose a totalitarian government on the United States? If so, it is logical to believe that, given the high stakes, agents representing those groups would have been willing to murder US citizens in order to bring about a Great Reset. What if these actors – in some combination– murdered several of the health care workers described in the Guardian article in March-April 2020?
Consider the circumstances around Dr. Tomas Pattugalan. He apparently was talked into going to the hospital, yet he died the morning of the very same day. It is likely that he would have disclosed to the hospital staff that he had taken Hydroxychloroquine, presuming the Guardian report is correct. If he had survived, he may have been prepared to prescribe HCQ to his patients. Is it possible that Dr. Tomas Pattugalan was murdered by criminals within the hospital in order to preserve the narrative the HCQ is a dangerous drug and that it is ineffective for treatment of Covid-19?
It is rational to consider all possibilities, and if the death of only one of the 72 individuals profiled in the Guardian involved foul play, it could be interpreted as an act of war. Given the unusually young age at which many of the individuals perished, the following question is not only fair and reasonable but is also necessary to ask in order to protect the United States: Were some of the individuals who seemingly died of Covid-19 in March and April of 2020 murdered in order to project a narrative that the Chinese Communist Party totalitarian-style system is a more effective form of government than the US Constitutional system?
*** Using “Racism” to divide the country ***
The Chinese Communist Party and others worked to demoralize the people of the United States throughout 2020. One way their campaign was carried out was by diminishing the association of the virus with the actions of the CCP. A second method was to frame the theory that the virus was made in the Wuhan lab, rather than having natural origins, as “racist”. One example was reported by the National Review ( : https://www.nationalreview.com/news/new-york-times-covid-reporter-calls-discussion-of-lab-leak-theory-racist ) which cited a Tweet from a New York Times reporter, as follows:
“Someday we will stop talking about the lab leak theory and maybe even admit its racist roots. But alas, that day is not today,” she (New York Times reporter, Apporva Mandavilli) wrote.
The National Review article continued, “Mandavilli has also doubled down on her original point, declaring that ‘a theory can have racist roots and still gather reasonable supporters along the way. Doesn’t make the roots any less racist or the theory any more convincing, though.’”
The statements by Mandavilli from May 2021 echo those of “China state-affiliated media” member Chen Weihua from 22 November 2020. In response to Peter Navarro’s tweet calling for the US to “revisit hydroxychloroquine,” Chen Weihua’s response expressed satisfaction that the Trump administration would be replaced by the Biden administration. The Chinese government-affiliated media and the New York Times reporter were closely aligned in insinuating that any criticism of the role of the Chinese Communist Party in bringing about the Covid-19 crisis should be considered “racist” and therefore condemned.
The actions of AMCO in sending PPE to China in early 2020 suggest the group functioned as part of the CCP-linked United Front. Consider that if the AMCO-sponsored Boulware studies had shown a benefit for hydroxychloroquine, the outcome might have led to an end to lockdowns and other restrictive measures. In turn, such a conclusion would have disrupted the CCP propaganda touting the superiority of their totalitarian system over that of the US Constitutional form of government. Did the AMCO and MCCC co-sponsorship of the so-called Boulware studies of hydroxychloroquine give the CCP, among others, leverage to affect the outcome of the trial with the ultimate goal of imposing a Great Reset upon the world?
The discussion of “racism” is important in the context of the present article if we reconsider the key question raised above: “Were some of the individuals who seemingly died of Covid-19 in March and April of 2020 murdered in order to project a narrative that the Chinese Communist Party totalitarian-style system is a more effective form of government than the US Constitutional system?”
If the answer is affirmative, then a case may be made that the premeditated murder of George Floyd (see
, published on 25 September 2022, and
, published on 11 October 2022) functioned as an extension of the philosophy behind the murder of healthcare workers – of all races and backgrounds – in early spring of 2020. The logic is simple: most people of the United States place faith in authority figures, whether they are engaged in the health care fields, law enforcement, government, or the media. If a group of bad actors are capable of infiltrating these pillars of society, they would have the power to project images of a failed system using the deaths of innocent Americans. One outcome of such an approach would be to demonstrate incompetence leading to high mortality rates attributed – falsely - to Covid-19.
However, a second outcome desired by the CCP and others was to project the image of not only incompetence but also outright malice by authority figures in the US. I believe that in seeking their goal, a highly organized group plotted and carried out the premeditated murder of George Floyd. In doing so, this group of bad actors projected a narrative that racism is inherent to law enforcement throughout the United States.
When an innocent man named George Floyd was confronted by now-disgraced former officers Kueng and Lane, he followed instructions and trusted that the officers- authority figures- would treat him fairly. But Kueng, Lane, and Chauvin were motivated by factors which were well beyond the George Floyd’s scope of comprehension. Ultimately, the officers murdered him in cold blood in what was clearly (for those who take the time to see it) a premeditated organized crime operation.
To understand how this CCP-enmeshed group’s desired narrative of racism in the United States was developed, reflect upon excerpts from this Voice of America story (from 4 June 2020) titled “Who’s Behind the Violence at George Floyd Protests in US?” (https://www.voanews.com/a/usa_whos-behind-violence-george-floyd-protests-us/6190522.html )
“The daytime protests this week across the US have been largely peaceful, consisting of people drawn from all racial backgrounds and all walks of life, young and old…. But many of the nights since Floyd’s death have been different, full of rampant pillaging, arson, and vandalism and brawling with police…. Who’s behinds the violence? President Donald Trump and some of his top officials accuse “radical left” agitators for the mayhem. U.S. Attorney General William Barr points the finger at “far-left extremist groups” including Antifa, a network of confrontational, autonomous far-left groups.
Some Democratic governors have in turn blamed far-right groups, highlighting an announcement this week by social-media giant Twitter that it had suspended an account linked to a white nationalist group, Identity Evropa, for inciting violence. The account was set up with a fake Antifa profile and was linked to other false-flag accounts that pumped out provocative false information accusing authorities and internet providers of censoring protest news. Facebook also announced this week it had suspended several accounts linked to white nationalist groups after they urged people to bring weapons to protests in the U.S. Meanwhile, members of the so-called “Boogaloo” movement -- an amorphous collective with far-right and far-left elements -- were seen at protests in some states, wearing their signature Hawaiian shirts, including in Minnesota, Texas and Pennsylvania.
Some “Boogaloo” adherents are part of a broader movement of white supremacists called “accelerationists,” who welcome civil disorder and want to foment violent political polarization, hoping it will end up toppling America’s current political order... Law enforcement officials in several states and cities contacted by VOA say they believe out-of-state actors seeded themselves within the overwhelmingly non-violent local community protestors… ‘Some people being arrested appear to be affiliated with the hard left, but others seem to be from the far right’ (according to Professor Brian Levin).”
Most violence took place in multiple cities across the US took place from 29 May to 1 June - within just one week of George Floyd’s murder the evening of 25 May 2020. It is also worth considering that the authorities had already charged Derek Chauvin with murder on 27 May, which otherwise might have been a focal point, before the most of the nationwide protests/riots occurred. Pause and reflect how much effort would be required to organize and carry out the rioting by so many allegedly different groups across so many diverse geographic locations. Does it seem reasonable that such sophisticated logistical planning would have been carried out by fringe organizations in only a few days?
In my opinion, the most logical explanation for such an apparent level of organization by those who carried out the violent acts in the wake of the murder of George Floyd is… that the planning took place for more far longer than just one week. In other words, the groups which turned peaceful protests into violent riots fraught with vandalism were part of the highly organized group which carried out the premeditated murder of George Floyd.
One source reported that the CCP played a prominent role in organizing the riots, citing Radio Free Asia from August 2020 ( https://wentworthreport.com/2020/08/24/chinese-consulate-in-houston-intervened-in-us-political-movement/ ):
“Radio Free Asia (RFA) published an article [in Chinese] explaining the reason that the U.S. closed China’s Consulate in Houston. …The Second Department of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which is the PLA’s intelligence unit, sent staff members from [Huawei], with fake IDs, to China’s Consulate in Houston. Those technicians used [TikTok] to identify people who might participate in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) and ANTIFA’s protests and then created and sent them customized videos on how to organize riots and how to do promotions. The purpose was to ‘weaponize’ big data technology. It delivered relevant materials precisely to those people who were most likely to participate in the protests, while other people could not even find those videos. To what extent is the rioting in the USA encouraged, instructed, and directed by the Chinese Government? This would explain why the US Government shut down the consulate, and is so determined to curb Huawei and TikTok.”
And according to Gordon Chang in an interview with Fox News from 22 July 2020 ( https://www.foxnews.com/media/gordon-chang-reacts-to-houston-consulate-order-china-is-stoking-racial-tensions ):
“There are stories that this consulate had links with protest groups in the United States providing financial and logistical support. That’s unconfirmed," he added. "But, what is confirmed is that the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Communist Party's global ties have been engaged in a malicious disinformation campaign, deliberately stoking racial tensions in the U.S. And, U.S. Customs has seized items coming from China this year that would be very handy for protesters," Chang noted.
*** It’s all connected. ***
Given the constant drumbeat of disinformation, it is understandable that some readers remain skeptical about any possible relationship between the events surrounding George Floyd and deaths attributed to Covid-19 among health care workers and first responders in early spring 2020.
Consider a speech delivered by FBI Director Wray on 24 October 2022 (given emphasis in bold italics).
Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., October 24, 2022, Remarks prepared for delivery.
Director Wray’s Remarks at Press Conference Announcing Actions to Disrupt Criminal Activity by Individuals Associated with the Government of the People’s Republic of China
“First, let me begin by pointing out that 10 of the 13 charged individuals we’re discussing today are Chinese intelligence officers and Chinese government officials. They’re charged in three different cases that might seem at first glance to be about unrelated issues. However—and this is something I’ve been talking about for years—each of these cases lays bare the Chinese government’s flagrant violation of international laws, as they work to project their authoritarian view around the world, including within our own borders. In all three of these cases, and in thousands of others, we’ve found the Chinese government threatening established democratic norms and the rule of law, as they work to undermine U.S. economic security and fundamental human rights—including those of Americans…”
Perhaps coincidentally… on the very same day (24 October 2022) that the FBI Director released the above statement, Minnesota Public Radio’s Brandt Williams reported: “In a surprise move in court, (former officer Alexander) Kueng accepted a plea deal from the state similar to one taken by his former co-defendant Thomas Lane.”
It is, perhaps, a good time to remind readers again of the “Way Out Substack” articles published on 25 September 2022 and 11 October 2022 (referenced above). All the material cited in these articles is accessible via the internet to anyone who wishes to review it. For example, the second article called for Alexander Kueng to confess and cooperate with authorities after video evidence from his body-cam revealed that he held an object which could have been used to inject George Floyd with either poison or drugs at a pivotal time during the encounter.
Of course, it is certainly possible that Alexander Kueng’s “surprise” acceptance of a plea on the very same day as the FBI Director’s announcement in merely a coincidence. On the other hand, perhaps it is a sign that, finally, the tables are starting to turn…
***We are George Floyd ***
Healthcare workers who died in March and April 2020 and George Floyd both faced the same dilemma. They implicitly trusted that the authority figures (the NIH, US-based academic institutions, healthcare professionals working in hospitals, and police officers) would act in our best interest.
Just imagine what would happen if some of those entities were motivated to murder American citizens for reasons beyond our own comprehension. In the case of the healthcare workers, consider what might occur if elements within the media were compensated to collude with hospitals and government health officials to cover up any malfeasance, whether by agreeing to downplay effectiveness and discourage use of inexpensive early treatments of Covid-19, such as Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin, or by denial of the existence of Covid-19 vaccine injuries after they rolled out in 2021.
It is my opinion that precisely this sequence of events has transpired and that the United States - and the world- have paid dearly. The very foundation of our society has been attacked, and the media has been complicit. To be clear, I believe that there is a virus -perhaps released from a lab in Wuhan, China- which led to deaths classified as Covid-19, and that many of which could have been prevented with proper early treatment. I also believe that a handful of deaths, for example due to heart attack or stroke, occurred coincidentally during this time period but were falsely attributed to Covid-19. However, I also believe ordinary US citizens were murdered in early spring of 2020 with the goal of increasing the apparent mortality rate of the virus, especially among the young, in order to instilling fear of the disease Covid-19. This fear was leveraged by bad actors to demoralize the American people by suggesting a failure of government policy in response to Covid-19.
Then, in late May 2020, the premeditated murder of George Floyd was carried out in order to diminish confidence in police officers, most of whom are well-intentioned, around the country. Organized crime elements then positioned agitators around the United States to invade peaceful protests and stoke violence, vandalize communities, and portray the United States as an irredeemably racist society.
The US federal and many state governments enforced lockdowns, mandatory masking, and vaccine mandates – each of which restrict freedom and qualify as totalitarian measures. The goal of the organizations working together (1) to murder US citizens in order to instill fear of the disease and (2) to enforce these measures which restrict freedom was and remains to upend the US constitutional system of government and impose a Great Reset.
While it is important to see the big picture, let us also maintain focus on the evil inflicted upon the specific individuals who were murdered. These were average people “just living their lives” who happened to get a flu-like illness at the wrong place and at the wrong time. My opinion is that our brothers and sisters were hunted and killed in order to demoralize a nation and bring about a “Great Reset” of a totalitarian government. Those individuals, along with George Floyd, could have been any one of us. In a very real sense… “We are George Floyd.”
It is my opinion that the Chinese Communist Party collaborated with others to carry out these evil acts. But it would not surprise me in the least if the CCP played a subordinate role. The level of sophistication of the effort was certainly enhanced by CCP elements, but the breadth of the ongoing operation within the United States and elsewhere is simply staggering. It suggests the assistance of many other highly organized criminal elements. Be very wary of those who scapegoat only the CCP in this matter.
*** The Way Out ***
Despite these horrendous and evil actions I describe, I am optimistic about our future. A dedicated group of Americans is fighting to maintain our core values. Despite what many may want us to believe, this group is very diverse when it comes to political affiliation. What we do share, though, are common values.
The Framers of our Constitution established our system such that we are able to rectify mistakes, and we often succeed in doing so. For example, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was once imprisoned for advocating for civil rights, but he now is revered throughout our society.
One reason we admire Dr. King is that his words and ideas transcend a single timeframe or set of ideas to encompass the breadth of our liberty. In this spirit of admiration, permit me to adapt Dr. King’s inspirational words and principles to convey a message appropriate for our present times….
Let freedom ring from the top of the Empire State Building. Let freedom ring from the Pacific shores of California. Let freedom ring throughout our land. Do not break our solemn covenant with future generations. Do not allow the freedom we enjoy to be withdrawn from our children and grandchildren.
But not only that… let freedom ring from all the proud bastions of democracy around the world. Do not accept the shackles of “vaccine passports” or a “social credit system” in any society which values liberty.
And let us not forget those who have suffered more than anyone else at the hands of totalitarian, murderous tyrants…. Let freedom ring from the highest mountains of the Himalayas to fill the hearts of the oppressed throughout Tibet and throughout Xinjiang! Let freedom ring throughout the skyscrapers and the streets of Hong Kong! And let freedom ring… in Tiananmen Square!
Communist countries enslave their people to serve the chosen elite, and this unfair system can only be maintained by ruthless, violent oppression. Anyone who falsely believes that the people of China simply “prefer Communism” or “would not understand any other form of government” due to culture or ethnicity have wholly failed to grasp the essence of Dr. King’s message. The desire for liberty is more than an American value – it is an inherent part of the human spirit.
When we allow freedom to ring from every village and every hamlet, from every country and every city throughout the world, we will be able to speed up the day when ALL God’s children will be able to join hands and sing, “Free at last, free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!”
Those in Western societies who have been persuaded and corrupted by promises of money and power to cast a blind eye to the crimes against humanity carried out in Communist countries like China have lost their way. They are unfit to serve as leaders in any capacity in our society.
Recognizing this will be the first step in correcting our wayward path and lead us to… “The Way Out.”
Great article! This should go to every government official who was involved with suppressing hydroxychloroquine and a full investigation of David Boulware needs to be undertaken.
In reality, the fraudulent studies were the ones claiming that hydroxychloroquine did work as a COVID-19 treatment.