Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

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Cassandros
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Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#1

Post by Cassandros »

According to the most reliable experts – those who have been correct in their interpretation of data throughout the Covid era, most prominently John Ioannidis of Stanford — the Covid pandemic is over.

Thus, Covid joins a long list of pathogens that coexist with humans and that we deal with in a focused and local manner, as necessary, if and when outbreaks occur. Like the flu. We do not test ourselves for these pathogens if we have no symptoms, we do not isolate people even if they do have symptoms, we do not expect the entire population to get vaccinated against these pathogens, and we do not obsessively track the rise and fall of cases in the population.

That’s where we should be with Covid right now.

[But its not happening, why?]
***

The reason, I would contend, is that the pandemic-industrial complex cannot and will not let go. If we leave the pandemic behind us, as it technically already is, then…:

…the politicians who have catered to their base by supporting the most draconian measures and demonizing anyone who questions them as science-denying baby killers, will have to find new reasons to portray their opponents as monsters. (Yes, I’m talking about you, so-called liberals. As a lifelong very left-leaning Democrat I am appalled by your shocking and ultimately disastrous pandemic groupthink.)

…the public health officials who have gained so much fame and adulation for finding ever more variants to track and reasons to remain vigilant will lose the spotlight and have to return to their anonymous and complicated day jobs in which they are supposed to address all aspects of what makes a population healthy. It’s so much easier to focus on just one disease! They will also have to face the public health catastrophes in terms of addiction, mental health, educational deficits, untreated conditions etc. that the all-encompassing, devastating war against Covid hath wrought.

…news outlets and online platforms will no longer be able to rivet audiences and target users with bleeding red maps, skyrocketing case counts, and doomsday predictions. The transition from Trump to Covid as a fool-proof attention-getter helped all media remain sensationally relevant. In fact, I would argue that for a large segment of the media, just as for the left-leaning parts of the country, fighting Covid almost seamlessly replaced fighting Trump, which is how the response to Covid became so hopelessly and destructively politicized.

…the multi-billion-dollar markets for masks, tests, and vaccines will significantly shrink, leaving what I imagine will become vast stockpiles of useless medicine and equipment. Stock prices and investor returns in related companies and industries will probably fall.

…all the people, most of them in the so-called liberal coastal cities, such as Philadelphia where I live, who have spent two years wearing more masks, getting more vaccines, advocating for more school closures, and feeling infinitely superior to anyone who suggests these measures are ineffective or bad, will have to find a new cause to get super anxious and super angry about.

That’s a lot of strong interests that need to be countered if we want to get back to normal. It’s a lot of pressure for public health leaders to go against if they want to come out with clear messaging about the end of the pandemic.

Read the full article here
Goodie, an offshoot of the already long established Medical Industrial Complex.

With less actual science and a whole lot more fear.
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Animal
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#2

Post by Animal »

god damn, you fucking retard. what part of the pandemic complex is interfering with your life? :lol:
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#3

Post by Reservoir Dog »

"According to the most reliable experts".... :lol: :lol: :lol:
CentralTexasCrude wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:00 am You both fucked up. You trusted me.
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#4

Post by Cassandros »

Reservoir Dog wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 2:13 am "According to the most reliable experts".... :lol: :lol: :lol:
So, suddenly saint fauci isn't your go to 'reliable expert'??

Interesting.
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#5

Post by Cassandros »

Animal wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 1:01 am god damn, you fucking retard. what part of the pandemic complex is interfering with your life? :lol:
It amazes me how daft you are on this subject. But, fear does that to people.

The wholesale spying on US citizens doesn't "affect my life" either; but that needs to end too.

All mandates should be gone, and there should be no push to vaccinate anyone who doesn't want it. Especially healthy children.
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#6

Post by Reservoir Dog »

Cassandros wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 11:58 pm
Reservoir Dog wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 2:13 am "According to the most reliable experts".... :lol: :lol: :lol:
So, suddenly saint fauci isn't your go to 'reliable expert'??

Interesting.
The author of your linked article, Debbie Lerman, is a full-time photography artist who fancies herself to be a scientist. (don't go to her website unless you don't mind looking at a lot of penises)

The "most reliable experts" Lerman is referring to are three guys who wrote an opinion piece called "The Great Barrington Declaration" which argued that the best way to handle Covid-19 was to lockdown all old people and let herd immunity save all the young people.

The Brownstone Institute is 1 year old, it has no building, its mailing address is a Wells Fargo bank in Austin, Texas. (I can only assume it's a post office box in the bank)

The Brownstone Institute refers to itself as "the spiritual child of the Great Barrington Declaration".

The guy who "founded" the Brownstone Institute, Jeffrey Tucker, has been a proponent of wild conspiracy theories for years.


Excellent source, dude.
CentralTexasCrude wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:00 am You both fucked up. You trusted me.
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#7

Post by stonedmegman »

Reservoir Dog wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 12:27 am
Cassandros wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 11:58 pm
Reservoir Dog wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 2:13 am "According to the most reliable experts".... :lol: :lol: :lol:
So, suddenly saint fauci isn't your go to 'reliable expert'??

Interesting.
The author of your linked article, Debbie Lerman, is a full-time photography artist who fancies herself to be a scientist. (don't go to her website unless you don't mind looking at a lot of penises)

It'll keep CTC busy for a few days.
5 OUT OF 4 PEOPLE STRUGGLE WITH MATH
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#8

Post by Animal »

Reservoir Dog wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 12:27 am
Cassandros wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 11:58 pm
Reservoir Dog wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 2:13 am "According to the most reliable experts".... :lol: :lol: :lol:
So, suddenly saint fauci isn't your go to 'reliable expert'??

Interesting.
The author of your linked article, Debbie Lerman, is a full-time photography artist who fancies herself to be a scientist. (don't go to her website unless you don't mind looking at a lot of penises)

The "most reliable experts" Lerman is referring to are three guys who wrote an opinion piece called "The Great Barrington Declaration" which argued that the best way to handle Covid-19 was to lockdown all old people and let herd immunity save all the young people.

The Brownstone Institute is 1 year old, it has no building, its mailing address is a Wells Fargo bank in Austin, Texas. (I can only assume it's a post office box in the bank)

The Brownstone Institute refers to itself as "the spiritual child of the Great Barrington Declaration".

The guy who "founded" the Brownstone Institute, Jeffrey Tucker, has been a proponent of wild conspiracy theories for years.


Excellent source, dude.
:lol: Cassandros is impossible to have an intelligent conversation with. Discussing something with him must be the feeling the FBI negotiator had when he talked for hours each day with David Koresh.
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#9

Post by Cassandros »

Reservoir Dog wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 12:27 am
Cassandros wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 11:58 pm
Reservoir Dog wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 2:13 am "According to the most reliable experts".... :lol: :lol: :lol:
So, suddenly saint fauci isn't your go to 'reliable expert'??

Interesting.
The author of your linked article, Debbie Lerman, is a full-time photography artist who fancies herself to be a scientist. (don't go to her website unless you don't mind looking at a lot of penises)

The "most reliable experts" Lerman is referring to are three guys who wrote an opinion piece called "The Great Barrington Declaration" which argued that the best way to handle Covid-19 was to lockdown all old people and let herd immunity save all the young people.

The Brownstone Institute is 1 year old, it has no building, its mailing address is a Wells Fargo bank in Austin, Texas. (I can only assume it's a post office box in the bank)

The Brownstone Institute refers to itself as "the spiritual child of the Great Barrington Declaration".

The guy who "founded" the Brownstone Institute, Jeffrey Tucker, has been a proponent of wild conspiracy theories for years.


Excellent source, dude.
And that invalidates the point... how exactly?

This isn't a study, this is an opinion.

One that makes some good points. If you weren't so hung up on just attacking the messenger.
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#10

Post by Burn1dwn »

Not really too much of a Hot Take. Of course companies and individuals who profited from the pandemic will want to stretch it out as long as possible.
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#11

Post by Biker »


Another conspiracy theory comes true

The Centers for Disease Control used cell phone tracking data to measure whether Americans were complying with lockdowns, possibly including the (unconstitutional) state travel quarantines.


A bombshell article in Vice magazine reveals just how aggressively the federal government tried to track Americans during 2020 and 2021.

The Centers for Disease Control bought huge databases that use detailed mobile phone location data to measure the size of gatherings, visits to churches and schools, and even “counts of visits to participating pharmacies for vaccine monitoring,” according to the article.

The CDC even considered using the data to track “adherence to state-level policies to quarantine after arrival from another state” - a particularly problematic use, as the state quarantines were highly constitutionally suspect even without any federal support for them. It is not clear whether the CDC went ahead with that part of the tracking.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/m7vymn/ ... ta-curfews
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#12

Post by Animal »

:lol: They didn't do that to spy on anyone. They did it to study the effectiveness of areas that complied vs areas that did not.

My god, the craziness you people put into shit.
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#13

Post by Burn1dwn »

Animal wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:06 pm :lol: They didn't do that to spy on anyone. They did it to study the effectiveness of areas that complied vs areas that did not.

My god, the craziness you people put into shit.
Yeah, but now you are on their list bro!
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#14

Post by Biker »

Animal wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:06 pm :lol: They didn't do that to spy on anyone. They did it to study the effectiveness of areas that complied vs areas that did not.

My god, the craziness you people put into shit.
Actually, its the definition of spying, but please, keep simping for government overreach
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#15

Post by Animal »

Biker wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:35 pm
Animal wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:06 pm :lol: They didn't do that to spy on anyone. They did it to study the effectiveness of areas that complied vs areas that did not.

My god, the craziness you people put into shit.
Actually, its the definition of spying, but please, keep simping for government overreach
Then the US Census is the biggest spy ring ever pulled on the world. Imagine wanting to know where people live and how many are in their house? And all of that personal information on each one of them? This is KGB stuff.
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#16

Post by Biker »

Animal wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:38 pm
Biker wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:35 pm
Animal wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:06 pm :lol: They didn't do that to spy on anyone. They did it to study the effectiveness of areas that complied vs areas that did not.

My god, the craziness you people put into shit.
Actually, its the definition of spying, but please, keep simping for government overreach
Then the US Census is the biggest spy ring ever pulled on the world. Imagine wanting to know where people live and how many are in their house? And all of that personal information on each one of them? This is KGB stuff.
Animal 2000- No warrant, no access to my information

Animal 2012- Fuck!! Obama allowed the NSA to spy on US citizens!!! WTF???

Animal 2022-
Image
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#17

Post by Animal »

Biker wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:41 pm
Animal wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:38 pm
Biker wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:35 pm
Animal wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 3:06 pm :lol: They didn't do that to spy on anyone. They did it to study the effectiveness of areas that complied vs areas that did not.

My god, the craziness you people put into shit.
Actually, its the definition of spying, but please, keep simping for government overreach
Then the US Census is the biggest spy ring ever pulled on the world. Imagine wanting to know where people live and how many are in their house? And all of that personal information on each one of them? This is KGB stuff.
Animal 2000- No warrant, no access to my information

Animal 2012- Fuck!! Obama allowed the NSA to spy on US citizens!!! WTF???

Animal 2022-
Image
you are going through the kind of mental stages that ended up with Manson hiding in a cabinet on a movie set in the desert.
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#18

Post by Cassandros »

There is a bigger issue on the table regarding the CDC 'spying' on Americans.

Government agencies are not allowed to collect data/spy on people, its a violation of the Constitution.

But, government agencies, can lawfully buy the data from a private data farms. This should raise red flags and alarm bells. Because while the CDC's alleged use is somewhat benign, that is probably not the case with other agencies that do the same thing. Police included.

The intent of use is secondary to the principle of the matter. People should not tolerate Constitutional abuses, not matter how they get justified.
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#19

Post by Animal »

Cassandros wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:03 am There is a bigger issue on the table regarding the CDC 'spying' on Americans.

Government agencies are not allowed to collect data/spy on people, its a violation of the Constitution.

But, government agencies, can lawfully buy the data from a private data farms. This should raise red flags and alarm bells. Because while the CDC's alleged use is somewhat benign, that is probably not the case with other agencies that do the same thing. Police included.

The intent of use is secondary to the principle of the matter. People should not tolerate Constitutional abuses, not matter how they get justified.
if that's true, then why isn't the government arrested for conducting census counts?

Image

why isn't that illegal? If you can't answer that, then shut the fuck up.
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#20

Post by Cassandros »

Animal wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:25 am
Cassandros wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:03 am There is a bigger issue on the table regarding the CDC 'spying' on Americans.

Government agencies are not allowed to collect data/spy on people, its a violation of the Constitution.

But, government agencies, can lawfully buy the data from a private data farms. This should raise red flags and alarm bells. Because while the CDC's alleged use is somewhat benign, that is probably not the case with other agencies that do the same thing. Police included.

The intent of use is secondary to the principle of the matter. People should not tolerate Constitutional abuses, not matter how they get justified.
if that's true, then why isn't the government arrested for conducting census counts?

Image

why isn't that illegal? If you can't answer that, then shut the fuck up.
The census is Constitutional.

The government collecting your data however, is a direct violation of the 4th amendment.

This is basic shit dude.
“The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither, the society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great deal of both.” --Milton Friedman
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#21

Post by Animal »

Cassandros wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:42 am
Animal wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:25 am
Cassandros wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:03 am There is a bigger issue on the table regarding the CDC 'spying' on Americans.

Government agencies are not allowed to collect data/spy on people, its a violation of the Constitution.

But, government agencies, can lawfully buy the data from a private data farms. This should raise red flags and alarm bells. Because while the CDC's alleged use is somewhat benign, that is probably not the case with other agencies that do the same thing. Police included.

The intent of use is secondary to the principle of the matter. People should not tolerate Constitutional abuses, not matter how they get justified.
if that's true, then why isn't the government arrested for conducting census counts?

Image

why isn't that illegal? If you can't answer that, then shut the fuck up.
The census is Constitutional.

The government collecting your data however, is a direct violation of the 4th amendment.

This is basic shit dude.
the "census" is literally the collection of your data. By definition that's all that it is. Are you a hispanic? Do you live alone? How many cars do you drive? Do you sometimes live somewhere else?

Surely you know this.
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#22

Post by Cassandros »

Animal wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 1:10 am
Cassandros wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:42 am
Animal wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:25 am
Cassandros wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:03 am There is a bigger issue on the table regarding the CDC 'spying' on Americans.

Government agencies are not allowed to collect data/spy on people, its a violation of the Constitution.

But, government agencies, can lawfully buy the data from a private data farms. This should raise red flags and alarm bells. Because while the CDC's alleged use is somewhat benign, that is probably not the case with other agencies that do the same thing. Police included.

The intent of use is secondary to the principle of the matter. People should not tolerate Constitutional abuses, not matter how they get justified.
if that's true, then why isn't the government arrested for conducting census counts?

Image

why isn't that illegal? If you can't answer that, then shut the fuck up.
The census is Constitutional.

The government collecting your data however, is a direct violation of the 4th amendment.

This is basic shit dude.
the "census" is literally the collection of your data. By definition that's all that it is. Are you a hispanic? Do you live alone? How many cars do you drive? Do you sometimes live somewhere else?

Surely you know this.
If you are too dim to understand the difference between collecting basic info on who is in the country to decide the voting power of the various states in Congress verses spying on movement patterns, collecting phone data, and other 4th Amendment violations...

There is no hope for you chief.

Again, this is really, really basic shit.
“The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither, the society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great deal of both.” --Milton Friedman
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#23

Post by Animal »

Cassandros wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 1:15 am
Animal wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 1:10 am
Cassandros wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:42 am
Animal wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:25 am
Cassandros wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:03 am There is a bigger issue on the table regarding the CDC 'spying' on Americans.

Government agencies are not allowed to collect data/spy on people, its a violation of the Constitution.

But, government agencies, can lawfully buy the data from a private data farms. This should raise red flags and alarm bells. Because while the CDC's alleged use is somewhat benign, that is probably not the case with other agencies that do the same thing. Police included.

The intent of use is secondary to the principle of the matter. People should not tolerate Constitutional abuses, not matter how they get justified.
if that's true, then why isn't the government arrested for conducting census counts?

Image

why isn't that illegal? If you can't answer that, then shut the fuck up.
The census is Constitutional.

The government collecting your data however, is a direct violation of the 4th amendment.

This is basic shit dude.
the "census" is literally the collection of your data. By definition that's all that it is. Are you a hispanic? Do you live alone? How many cars do you drive? Do you sometimes live somewhere else?

Surely you know this.
If you are too dim to understand the difference between collecting basic info on who is in the country to decide the voting power of the various states in Congress verses spying on movement patterns, collecting phone data, and other 4th Amendment violations...

There is no hope for you chief.

Again, this is really, really basic shit.
basic info for voting? Why would they need to know your job? where you work and what your occupation is called? why do they need to know if you are an american indian? do indians not vote? Why would they need your telephone number? Are they going to call you on election day?

have you ever even filled out a census questionnaire?
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#24

Post by Cassandros »

Animal wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 1:21 am
Cassandros wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 1:15 am
Animal wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 1:10 am
Cassandros wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:42 am
Animal wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:25 am
Cassandros wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 12:03 am There is a bigger issue on the table regarding the CDC 'spying' on Americans.

Government agencies are not allowed to collect data/spy on people, its a violation of the Constitution.

But, government agencies, can lawfully buy the data from a private data farms. This should raise red flags and alarm bells. Because while the CDC's alleged use is somewhat benign, that is probably not the case with other agencies that do the same thing. Police included.

The intent of use is secondary to the principle of the matter. People should not tolerate Constitutional abuses, not matter how they get justified.
if that's true, then why isn't the government arrested for conducting census counts?

Image

why isn't that illegal? If you can't answer that, then shut the fuck up.
The census is Constitutional.

The government collecting your data however, is a direct violation of the 4th amendment.

This is basic shit dude.
the "census" is literally the collection of your data. By definition that's all that it is. Are you a hispanic? Do you live alone? How many cars do you drive? Do you sometimes live somewhere else?

Surely you know this.
If you are too dim to understand the difference between collecting basic info on who is in the country to decide the voting power of the various states in Congress verses spying on movement patterns, collecting phone data, and other 4th Amendment violations...

There is no hope for you chief.

Again, this is really, really basic shit.
basic info for voting? Why would they need to know your job? where you work and what your occupation is called? why do they need to know if you are an american indian? do indians not vote? Why would they need your telephone number? Are they going to call you on election day?

have you ever even filled out a census questionnaire?
There have been a LOT of people protesting the expanded questionnaires in the census and many feel its pushing the envelope. Myself included.

The government has been using the census to subtlety push against the 4th (as well as a tool for gerrymandering) for a while now; but, that's a slightly different conversation.

You asked why the government isn't arrested for census counts and you got your answer: Its a Constitutional obligation. So, are you done being daft?
“The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither, the society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great deal of both.” --Milton Friedman
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Re: Why the Pandemic-Industrial Complex Won’t Go Away

#25

Post by Biker »

Brought to you by Pfizer
Often referred to as a "rebound" or "relapse" of COVID-19 after taking the standard five days of

Scientists and federal agencies say they are investigating reports of Americans who say they faced a resurgence of COVID-19 soon after finishing off a course of Paxlovid, Pfizer's antiviral treatment for the disease.

Paxlovid pills, experts say key questions need to be answered around why it happens, who is being affected, and how doctors should handle the cases.

For example, one report from Veterans Affairs doctors describes a 71-year-old man who saw his COVID-19 symptoms quickly clear up after two days of taking the drug. But four days after finishing the full course of Paxlovid, his symptoms — including a runny nose and sore throat — returned for a few more days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been consulting with the National Institutes of Health over potential data sources that can be used to study the cases, a CDC spokesperson said in a statement. No NIH studies are underway yet, the NIH said in a statement, though federal scientists are "actively discussing" ways to investigate the phenomenon.

Pfizer executives say reports of COVID-19 symptoms and positive tests returning after taking their drug remain uncommon.

"We do surveillance of patients in very large databases. And we have access to more than 300,000 Paxlovid treated in one of the databases. We have reports of this happening in about 0.005% or less," Dr. Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer's chief scientific officer, told the company's investors during an earnings call this week.

Around 2% of patients saw a rebound in Pfizer's clinical trials of Paxlovid, the company's executives pointed out, regardless of whether they got the drug or a placebo.

"It's not really related to Paxlovid, but more to the individuals that then need to clear the virus. And it is a virus that can either reinfect patients or there can be reservoirs left in the patients," Dolsten said.

FDA says "no evidence" taking more Paxlovid helps
The Food and Drug Administration says that there is "no evidence" that taking more pills of Paxlovid will help patients who see a resurgence of the disease.

The FDA's statement came a day after top executives at Pfizer said patients who have symptoms come back after finishing off the five-day treatment could simply start a new round of the pills.

"It could be that in some cases, there is a rebound. That was why the label speaks about the second treatment that can be given," Pfizer's CEO Albert Bourla told investors.

Writing in NEJM Journal Watch, Harvard Medical School's Dr. Paul Sax said doctors have also been told by Pfizer and the FDA that they can prescribe another round of pills – treating the apparent rebound like they would a reinfection.

"In other words, the within-5-day symptom clock starts over with the relapse. This would be justified clinically for our highest-risk patients (severely immunocompromised, medically fragile, or with severe recurrent symptoms), and favored over other outpatient treatments (all of which have logistical or efficacy issues) until we know more," Sax wrote on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Pfizer declined to comment "on conversations between medical professionals," but said that "there are no limitations" in the FDA's emergency use authorization for treating "subsequent COVID-19 infections" in eligible patients.

However, doctors caution that even the theoretical argument for an additional course remains tenuous — and that a second round of pills is not without its downsides.

While Pfizer and the FDA say they have not spotted any signs of resistance to Paxlovid in rebound cases so far, experts warn that increased use of the drug could increase the risk of the virus evolving resistance.

In addition, many patients taking Paxlovid must put off taking other needed medications that can interact with the treatment.

"We have no data to support that a second course really is a benefit. Anecdotally, most people simply get better. We have a lot of theoretical reasons why maybe that second course isn't needed," says Dr. Roy Gulick, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Pfizer's authorization for the drug is based on data from a clinical trial that was done during the Delta variant, Gulick points out, studying Paxlovid in unvaccinated people at high risk of severe disease.

The FDA says that in the clinical trial, most patients who began to test positive again after finishing their initial round of pills were asymptomatic, and were not more likely to be hospitalized or die from the disease. Late last month, Pfizer disclosed that another recent trial looking to see if its drug could prevent infections after exposure failed to meet statistical significance.

"We are extrapolating in both those senses because many of the people at high risk for progression of COVID, of course, are fully vaccinated and fully boosted. So does Paxlovid really provide additional benefits in that group, particularly in the time of Omicron and the subvariants? We don't know the answer to that," added Gulick.

Speaking on Friday, Dr. John Farley, the FDA's top official overseeing drugs, underscored that Paxlovid was authorized with the aim of reducing the risk of severe disease, not necessarily "on the basis of symptom improvement."

"These reports do not change the conclusions from the Paxlovid clinical trial, which demonstrated a marked reduction in hospitalization and death, nor is there data at this time that would support a general change in clinical management," Farley said.

Gulick, who serves as a co-chair of the NIH's influential COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines panel, declined to comment on when or whether the group would issue guidance on how providers should handle these cases.

"I will say the guidelines are responsive to what's being talked about out there. And so clinical controversies, the guidelines certainly wants to help with," said Gulick, adding that "the guidelines review data and make data-driven decisions. So data are important to help inform this."

For now, Gulick acknowledged that providers — including himself — have been in the "uncomfortable" position of trying to help counsel patients through deciding whether to take another round of the drug amid a flood of unanswered questions and anecdotes.

"In the end, it was shared decision-making, and we elected not to use a second course of Paxlovid," Gulick recalled of a recent patient he treated with Paxlovid who then saw their symptoms return.

The patient, who was vaccinated and boosted, was over 65 — the age group at highest risk of severe disease — and had several underlying conditions. Continuing Paxlovid would have meant the person would need to keep delaying a needed cholesterol medication, Gulick said.

"The patient fully recovered, a happy person. That's about as anecdotal as it gets," said Gulick.
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