News Round-Up: January 26, 2021

(image via Depositphotos)

Some news items you might have missed:

Right Wing Watch: Religious anti-gay loon Scott Lively told his radio audience that God removed Donald Trump from the White House because he was too pro-gay. #srsly

NewNowNext: Montana’s House of Representatives has voted in favor of two vehemently anti-transgender bills. The first is House Bill 112, which would bar trans student athletes from playing on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. The second is House Bill 113, which would block medical professionals from providing potentially life-saving gender-affirming health care to trans or nonbinary youth.

The Frontier: Last April, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt ordered $2 million worth of hydroxychloroquine based, in part, on Donald Trump’s promotion of the malaria drug for use against the coronavirus. Now, the state is trying to unload nearly the entire shipment.

Instinct Magazine: Nearly two months after coming out as a transgender male, Elliot Page and wife Emma Portner have filed for divorce.

NBC News: A gay New York City couple say they were harassed and asked to leave a restaurant this month because of their sexuality. Because the incident happened in New York, the men may have legal recourse, but in nearly half the states, they would not.

New York Times: Grindr has been fined 100 million Norwegian kroner, or about $11.7 million, for illegally disclosing private details about its users to advertising companies.

Justice Department: The Wisconsin pharmacist who intentionally intended to render hundreds of doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine ineffective pleaded guilty to two charges filed today in federal court. Steven R. Brandenburg, an admitted skeptic of vaccines in general, now faces up to 10 years for each charge against him.

Reuters: The good news – By a vote of 55-45 the U.S. Senate on Tuesday rejected a Republican effort to stop former President Donald Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial on a charge that he incited the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. The bad news – Democrats need more than 5 GOP Senators to vote to convict Trump.

FDA Withdraws Emergency Use Authorization Of Hydroxychloroquine For COVID-19

The first confirmed case of the omicron variant in the U.S. has been discovered in California.

The FDA has pulled the emergency authorizations for using hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19 due to concerns about effectiveness and safety.

Donald Trump has spent the past couple of months heralding the drug as a miracle treatment for the novel coronavirus.

Via Politico:

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday withdrew emergency use authorizations for two coronavirus treatments promoted by President Donald Trump despite concerns about their safety and effectiveness.

The agency revoked the authorizations for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine after a request from Gary Disbrow, acting director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

After reviewing new information from large clinical trials the agency now believes that the suggested dosing regimens “are unlikely to produce an antiviral effect,” FDA chief scientist Denise Hinton said in a letter announcing the decision.

Critics have accused the agency of caving to political pressure when it authorized use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in hospitalized Covid-19 patients in late March despite thin evidence.

More recent randomized controlled trials have found the drugs do not benefit coronavirus patients, and doctors have reported that hydroxychloroquine can cause heart problems.

News Round-Up: May 20, 2020

Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic in HBO’s ‘Welcome To Chechnya’

Some news items you might have missed:

Oregon Live: A gay man recently became angry with his mother when she didn’t know how to respond when he introduced his new boyfriend who is HIV-positive. She fears if they stay together and have children the new boo might infect the future/possible kids. She wrote to the popular column ‘Ask Amy’ for advice.

CBS Detroit: A Wisconsin woman who has taken hydroxychloroquine for 19 years to treat lupus has tested positive for COVID-19. The woman, a self-described Trump supporter, says she only left her home to go the grocery store. She told CBS News she thought she would be safe because of what Donald Trump has said about the drug.

HBO: From Academy Award-nominated director David France comes Welcome to Chechnya, a powerful and eye-opening documentary about a group of activists risking their lives to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ persecution in the repressive and closed Russian republic of Chechnya.

Politico: More than 40,000 National Guard members currently helping states during the coronavirus health threat will face a “hard stop” on their deployments on June 24 — just one day shy of many members becoming eligible for key federal benefits like education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI bill and/or early retirement.

Bloomberg News: Researchers are finding evidence that patients who test positive for the coronavirus after recovering aren’t capable of transmitting the infection, and could have the antibodies that prevent them from falling sick again.

AZ Central: Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) dropped four percentage points in a month trailing Democrat Mark Kelly by 13 points, according to the latest tracking poll by OH Predictive Insights. The same poll in April favored Kelly 51% to McSally’s 42%, and now in May, it’s 51%-38%. The poll shows independents breaking more than 2-1 for Kelly.

TikTok: Since the fan on my two-year-old laptop sometimes goes into high gear for no apparent reason, I clicked on this. I had no idea computers could get so filthy inside.

Another Study Shows Hydroxychloroquine Ineffective In Treating COVID-19

A new medical study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug often touted by Donald Trump as a treatment for COVID-19, is not effective in treating patients with the disease.

From CNBC:

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted by researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, looked at 1,376 consecutive patients who showed up at the emergency room with symptoms of coronavirus.

Nearly 60%, or 811 of the patients, received the drug within 48 hours and were found, on average, to be more severely ill than those who didn’t receive the drug, the researchers said. They said the study’s findings didn’t find any potential benefit or harm from the drug, adding a rigorous, randomized clinical trial is needed.

The new findings come two weeks after the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers against chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 outside a hospital or formal clinical trial setting.

Researchers in multiple studies looking at the drug have noted serious heart rhythm issues in those treated with the medication.

Two weeks ago a study conducted at Veterans Administration hospitals found patients on the drug fared worse than those who received just standard care.

And, a study in Brazil ended abruptly after COVID-19 patients being given chloroquine, a medication used to create hydroxychloroquine, developed unusual heart rhythms, which led to death in some patients.

As I recently reported, Gilead Sciences’ experimental drug remdesivir seems to be the front-runner in terms of a drug that may actually help COVID-19 patients.

Study: More Deaths Among Those Given Malaria Drug Vs Standard Care

Donald Trump has famously been promoting the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential cure for COVID-19 but a new study at Veterans Health Administration medical centers shows the drug had “no benefit” for those diagnosed with the virus.

In fact, there were more deaths among those who received the drug versus standard care.

While not a huge experiment, researchers looked at the use of the drug on 368 male veterans who were hospitalized with confirmed coronavirus infection and were either discharged or died by April 11.

According to the Associated Press, 28 percent who were treated with hydroxychloroquine plus usual care died, versus 11 percent of those provided with just standard care.

Among a group of patients given hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin, 22 percent died although the researchers indicate the group wasn’t large enough to rule out other factors. 

Additionally, the study found the drug didn’t seem to make any difference in regard to patients needing a ventilator.

Although side effects were not tracked specifically throughout the study, researchers did note the drug might have caused damage to other organs. This doesn’t come as a surprise as hydroxychloroquine has long been known to have side effects like causing blindness or affecting heartbeats.

Scientists in Brazil who were studying an older version of the drug, chloroquine, ended part of their research after a quarter of those being given a higher dose developed heart rhythm issues.

Interestingly, POLITICO recently reported that Trump and his buddies at Fox News have all suddenly fallen silent regarding the medication. Trump’s last mention of the drug came on April 14 just days after the study ended.

As I recently reported, Gilead Sciences’ experimental drug remdesivir seems to be the front-runner in terms of a drug that may actually help COVID-19 patients.

News Round-Up: April 9, 2020

Mitch Fit (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Woofy ginger Mitch Fit (above) is catching up on his reading during COVID-19 quarantining. I just finished an autobiography by an America’s Got Talent alum for an interview soon to come. Who else is reading to pass the time these days? And what? Share in the comments section.

KIT212: Leftover fabric from the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt is now being used to make coronavirus masks.

Deadline: ABC’s hit sitcom Modern Family may have ended its 11 season run last night, but a “Cam & Mitchell” spinoff could happen…

NowThis News: Donald Trump called mail-in voting ‘corrupt’ moments before confirming that he himself voted by mail this year. Democrats have pushed for funding for expanded vote-by-mail elections as part of debates on COVID-19 stimulus bills. Trump told Fox News vote-by-mail would endanger GOP election chances.

Salon: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday quietly removed bizarre guidelines for using the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for the new coronavirus. The unproven treatment has been repeatedly hyped by President Donald Trump in spite of the warnings of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Daily Kos: The former acting Navy secretary’s round-trip flight to Guam to tell the crew of the USS Roosevelt why their commander, Capt. Brett Crozier, was fired after he penned a letter to higher-ups pleading for help with COVID-19 infections on his ship, cost American taxpayers more than $243,000.

Power99: A Mississippi barber has died from the coronavirus after his family says he continued to cut customers’ hair during the pandemic. Eugene Thompson tested positive on March 22 and felt symptoms as early as March 17. However, it appeared that he was still accepting clients at his shop as well around that time, social media posts show.

InstaHunks 2: Singer/songwriter Justin Utley – who I recently interviewed for his terrific new single and music video “American Nightmare” – is looking super-jacked these days. Dang…