Quacks are thriving nowadays

The Republicans have a new favorite doctor, Stella Immanuel. She loves hydroxychloroquine and detests face masks, so of course the Trumps love her. She has a few other…interesting…ideas.

Immanuel, a pediatrician and a religious minister, has a history of making bizarre claims about medical topics and other issues. She has often claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches.

She alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. And, despite appearing in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on Monday, she has said that the government is run in part not by humans but by “reptilians” and other aliens.

A couple of Trumps are retweeting her claims, as is Turning Point USA, but Twitter and Facebook are removing the false information she’s spreading.

I think the White House ought to go all in and fire Birx and Fauci and replace them with Immanuel, and also that all of Donald’s medical care henceforth be provided exclusively by Dr Immanuel.


  1. blf says

    I hads some of this alien dna ats lunch todays… a local(-ish[( vin rosé completing with a, ah, rep… rep… reptiliaoiderian thingie for dessret. Tasted like seasonoil fruits , very ymmuy those reptrillfruads.

  2. cartomancer says

    Judging by how unhealthy the man looks even after being painted up for display, I’m not sure they haven’t.

  3. kome says

    Crank magnetism is a strong force to be reckoned with. Once you deny one aspect of reality, you pretty much spiral further and further down the drain of denying all of it.

  4. KG says

    Cross-posted from Political Madness thread:

    she has said that the government is run in part not by humans but by “reptilians” and other aliens – The Daily Beast on Stella Immanuel

    So that’s why Trump has orange skin and that weird thing growing on his head! The attempt to disguise him as a human being was only partially successful.

  5. markme says

    Sounds like a whacko, but HCQ does in fact work against Covid 19. That, coupled with face masks and contact tracing, would mean that we would not need to lock down so much and could carry on with semi-normal social and economic activity.

  6. maireaine46 says

    KG, you beat me to saying it….I no longer find it hard to believe the government is run by reptilians and aliens( apologies to real reptiles).The rest of her theories though…..even doctors can be insane.

  7. KG says

    The fact that the Trumps are promoting a video by this superkook should be publicised as widely as possible.

  8. KG says

    HCQ does in fact work against Covid 19 – markme@7

    Not according to properly conducted medical trials it doesn’t.

  9. blf says

    markme@7, HCQ does in fact work against Covid 19.

    As per @9, “you need citations. Lots of citations.”

  10. raven says

    markme @ # 7 – you need citations. Lots of citations.

    No he doesn’t.
    He is a troll who will babble on for hours and never say anything that intersects with reality.
    He needs to go back to Facebook or crawl back underneath whatever rock he came from.

  11. markme says

    Yawn… we’ve been through this all before. See previous Pharygula post on New York paramedics where I laid it all out in the comments.

    The problem is that all these studies showing HCQ doesn’t work are the ones that are flawed — they give it to people who are already in the hospital or have advanced disease, where it is too late for the anti-viral activity of the drug to make much difference. From the very beginning proponents of HCQ have been saying that it needs to be prescribed earlier than that, even before infection, and to a wider segment of the population, to be effective. And recently we have some studies showing that HCQ does in fact work when used properly.

    That USA Today link is pretty funny. Here’s a hint on parsing through misinformation —- when you see a mainstream media article on a contentious topic just hammering an idea, in this case that HCQ is useless against Covid and that taking it is even dangerous (even though it’s one of the most widely prescribed drugs ever with minimal dangerous side effects); and that article provided no discussion whatsoever of the specific science behind the HCQ studies, just repeating over and over again that study after study shows that HCQ is not effective —- then you can be pretty sure that the media is lying to you because the force with which they repeat those lies reveals that they have motivation.

  12. Pierce R. Butler says

    markme @ # 14 – Linking to a blog comment from an obvious flake does not count as a citation.

    … you can be pretty sure that the media is lying to you because the force with which they repeat those lies reveals that they have motivation.

    Repeating a lie posted by an obvious flake reveals that flake has motivation.

  13. markme says

    “Linking to a blog comment from an obvious flake does not count as a citation”
    I don’t follow your logic. Rather than repeating here all the links and arguments I made in a previous post on this topic, I simply provided a link.

    I’m not sure why you call me a flake (are you calling me a flake or someone else?). Can you elaborate, specifically in relation to the arguments I previously posted?

    Here’s another tip — when someone reverts to calling you names, you can be pretty sure that you have struck a nerve and rather than addressing your points head-on, they revert back to childish name-calling behaviour. It’s ironic seeing this type of behaviour on this site, seeing at is purportedly motivated by science and not politics or petty grievances.

  14. blf says

    In addition markme@14 asserts — again without any citations (to an obvious flake or otherwise) — [R]ecently we have some studies showing that HCQ does in fact work when used properly.

    It is still, as per @9 etc., “you need citations. Lots of citations.”

  15. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Markme, what evidence is reblockquoteuired to convince you HCQ doesn’t work, and is in fact potentially dangerous? True believers™, like godbots, simply won’t listen to and will dismiss anything that goes against their delusional presuppositions. You appear to do the same. I, as a scientist, listen to the experts at the FDA:

    The move is based on a review of data generated since the initial emergency use authorization, FDA chief scientist Denise Hinton wrote in a letter to BARDA official Gary Disbrow. After reviewing recent findings, FDA found the drugs are “unlikely to produce an antiviral effect” at the previously recommended doses.

    A clinical trial couldn’t reproduce initial reports of decreased viral shedding, she added. Additionally, a large randomized trial “showed no evidence of benefit for mortality or other outcomes such as hospital length of stay or need for mechanical ventilation of HCQ treatment in hospitalized patients with COVID-19,” Hinton wrote.

    In all, the FDA no longer believes the benefits of the medicines outweigh the risks.

  16. stroppy says

    @ 16 markme

    I haven’t been following all of your comments, so if you could at least point specifically to where you made actual citations it would be appreciated. So far as I know, the claims you are making have all been debunked, so I think we can be forgiven for thinking that you are attempting to “rebunk.”

    And just so you’re aware, when someone reverts to tone trolling, you can be pretty sure that you have struck a nerve and rather than addressing your points head-on, they revert back to childish deflections.

  17. markme says

    “I haven’t been following all of your comments, so if you could at least point specifically to where you made actual citations it would be appreciated.”
    Not sure I follow you, I provided a link to a previous post where I laid out all the supporting links and arguments.

  18. kome says

    To the trolly mctrollerson commenter:

    By contrast to that single study you linked to, we have:
    “Given the risk of bias for individual studies and the conflicting direction and magnitude of results, the evidence from both RCTs and cohort studies remains insufficiently strong to support a benefit of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.”

    “Moderate certainty evidence suggests that HCQ, with or without AZ, lacks efficacy in reducing short-term mortality in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.”

    “Our results suggest no important antiviral effect of hydroxychloroquine in humans infected with SARS-CoV-2.”

    And, for added measure, all of those studies in the links I provided cited the study you linked to, so that study and its results are considered by these other independent research teams.

    Whether an effect consistently replicates, or replicates at all for that matter, is kind of important in helping us sift through study results to help us identify what might be a Type 1 error (or false positive). Selectively reporting only outcomes that confirm your biases is a poor way to do science or think scientifically. Stop spreading misinformation just because you want wage slaves to get back to work making this world comfortable for you while they go without essentials. There is no conclusive evidence that HCQ has any benefit in the treatment of COVID-19.

  19. markme says

    As I said before, all of the studies showing that the drug is not effective administer it too late. The study I linked showing a significant benefit from the drug administered it earlier on than the others, but still not early enough to realise the full benefit of the drug, according to the proponents of its efficacy.

    Let’s settle this debate once and for all by doing some proper trials where HCQ is administered the way it has been argued all along — before infection, or shortly afterwards. Not when the patient is already half-dead in hospital. Until then, we can debate these studies till the cows come home but we might as well be debating the colour of eggplants because it has as much relevance since the studies simply are not being implemented properly.

    Until those studies are done properly, all we have to go in is anecdotal evidence which seems to strongly suggest that HCQ is effective when administered properly. For example, the 10,000 police officers in India who were offered HCQ prophylaxis. Half declined and half took it. Those that took it showed significantly better results than those who didn’t.

  20. bcwebb says

    The study markme quotes does not correct for a substantial difference in the ages and initial health between the chloroquinone&antibiotic group and the untreated group. I can’t tell whether there is enough there to warrant another study with proper controls or not. The study data are consistent with the already established premise that younger-healthier people are likely to do better with COVID-19, or that maybe the stuff does something when used early.

  21. markme says

    Thanks for that link, I’ll have to go through it. I did find the following comment amuzing:

    ““The hope was maybe, if you treat early in the disease, you don’t need a silver bullet,” such as remdesivir, an antiviral used for covid-19,”

    LOL the evidence supporting Remdesivir is even more tenuous than HCQ, even with all of the poorly implemented HCQ studies. So Remdesivir is a “silver bullet” is it? Then why is Covid still raging? Because it costs thousands of dollars for Remdesivir? Well I suspect that if they REALLY wanted to get a handle on this pandemic they’d find ways of making Remdesivir cheaper and accessible to all, if indeed it is the “silver bullet” we are told.

  22. Reginald Selkirk says

    Why hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine don’t block coronavirus infection of human lung cells
    Commentary based on this paper:
    Chloroquine does not inhibit infection of human lung cells with SARS-CoV-2

    These results indicate that chloroquine targets a pathway for viral activation that is not operative in lung cells and is unlikely to protect against SARS-CoV-2 spread in and between patients.

    Hoffmann, M., Mösbauer, K., Hofmann-Winkler, H. et al. Chloroquine does not inhibit infection of human lung cells with SARS-CoV-2. Nature (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2575-3

  23. R. L. Foster says

    Of course aliens are running the govt. Jabba the Hutt is testifying before the House today.

  24. blf says

    Hair furor’s “administration” is a dalekocrazy (an originally-accidental misspelling of dalekocracy, rule by Daleks, or in this case, by wannabe-daleks). Hair furor himself is perhaps Albar Prentis — complete with the Tivolian’s typical cowadice and annoying desire to be conquered & enslaved — enslaved, in his case, by Putin (the Master?). The various so-called cabinet secretaries could probably be matched to other Doctor Who monsters, albeit many of the monsters are both sentient and clever. Maybe the cabinet are all plastic Autons? Or, perhaps more matching their abilities, giant maggots. Moscowmitch’s dominion is some lethal planet, and can be easily simulated with a quarry.

  25. dianne says

    Anyone else here starting to suspect Mark of being a plant from Gilead sent to make easily debunkable arguments in favor of hydroxychloroquine in order to make their weak but active drug look better? How else do you explain their insistence that trials on early disease would be definitive so soon after negative trials in early disease came out?

  26. dianne says

    For the record, HCQ has been tested with and without azithromycin in prophylaxis, early disease in non-hospitalized patients, early disease in hospitalized patients needing minimal oxygen support, and hospitalized patients needing respirator or other advanced support. It has worked in none of these settings. Dexamethasone, OTOH, has shown efficacy in later stage disease and redesivir has shown moderate activity with a marginal survival benefit in multiple disease stages. Neither is a cure, both are incremental progress. It’s time to focus on what’s working and abandon what isn’t.

  27. wzrd1 says

    Laughably, the singular paper that he provided has this gem: “Study endpoint The primary endpoint was inpatient hospital mortality in each treatment group.”.
    So, it’s highly effective in killing every patient it was tried upon. Per that very retrospective study, giving some nonsense of raising intracellular PH and that macrolides now suddenly work by blocking viral entry, despite that never, ever being observed.
    There is quite a bit of P torturing, I’m sure if you torture P enough it’ll tell you whatever you want to hear, truth or not.
    So, one thing was conclusively proved, every one of the “study” participants died in the hospital, but somehow, that makes the abuse of those drugs effective – if killing the patient is one’s desired endpoint.
    Oh, add in part of the protocol was tocilizumab and steroids to modulate the immune system, which studies have shown to be highly effective in severe cases, but oddly don’t have antiviral treatment listed.

  28. some bastard on the internet says

    @bcwebb #30

    @29 so is Jar-Jar Binks, Jared or Pence?


  29. chrislawson says


    markme is a stupid troll, and yes that paper he links to is a retrospective observational study, which makes it far from strong evidence as the authors themselves make clear (“Prospective trials are needed to examine this impact”). And furthermore, his choice of paper shows that he’s dissembling when he claims that negative HCQ trials don’t count because HCQ doesn’t work if the patient is already sick…when this study was performed on people so sick they were admitted to hospital. (And his reference to the Indian police data is another borked study: observational, retrospective, clearly biased if police officers got to choose their treatment arm, and not even published; Indian medical researchers are appalled that it is being used to drive major public health decisions: https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m2170)

    BUT in clinical papers “primary endpoint” means the main outcome variable. That is, at the end of the trial they count up how many people reached that endpoint in each group and compare. It does NOT mean that every subject in the trial must reach that endpoint.

  30. mrquotidian says

    I started following skepticism around 2007.. If you had told me then that in 2020 we’d have a president personally endorsing sham doctors, medical treatments, and reptilian conspiracies… well, I would have been skeptical.

    The funny thing about the HCQ proponents is that their claims have just diminished at every turn – from being a 100% definitive cure, to “it only slightly reduces mortality if you take it before you’re sick… and with azithromycin… and also zinc. lots of zinc.” Have they never heard of special pleading?

    I’m open to the possibility that HCQ might have some prophylactic effects, but we might not know it for years down the line (it’s really hard to run definitive studies under these circumstances), and there doesn’t seem to be much evidence to make it part of a massive public health effort at this stage (unlike universal masking). But the HCQ people aren’t even willing to admit that things are currently not looking good for the drug, and that it almost certainly isn’t a silver bullet (why did anyone think it was!? How is that the starting point for inquiry!?)… no – instead they are resorting to ever more desperate claims.

  31. Andy Geth says

    Just when you think things couldn’t get any stupider along comes Doctor “Demon Jizz” to demonstrate we’re not even close to the maximum idiocy yet.

  32. wzrd1 says

    @Andy Geth, #29, when do you imagine, in your worst nightmares, when maximum idiocy will be attained?
    My already dim views suggest that we very well might top a half million dead, due to idiocy and general lunacy.
    The absolute best, per my napkin numbers is 300K dead, around 100k disabled, many requiring transplants and dying due to a dearth of donors.
    Trump’s refusal to address a major problem is an amplified problem.
    One that is utterly destructive to our nation.

  33. wzrd1 says

    @robertbaden, #41, do use Google Scholar to find said studies, they’re abundant.
    Massively abundant.
    Someone with Lupus or Rheumatoid arthritis don’t normally, save in exceptionally rare instances, suffer from endocarditis. Endocarditis induces all manner of mischief in the heart’s conduction systems. And induces a QT delay.
    Hopefully, you have a general clue on the QRS complex, as well as the P and T wave importance? Otherwise, might as well speak to a potted plant.
    The Q-T interval stretches, creating timing problems in a rather precisely tuned machine of the circulatory system. Add in endocarditis, then fuck with the heart’s rhythm, you’re begging for eventual torsades de pointes and that goes straight to death.
    I could go into the subject of why and how, but this isn’t my blog and I can get into torsades de pointes in detail, see the first reason, not my blog.
    Previously, I had only an academic reason to know such things, but Google “Salvador Dali mustache sign” and be entertained by my own life, as I don’t take digitalis, nor any analog, the injury was caused by a heat stroke.
    And that’s about as much autoimmune as my frequent farts.
    There is an autoimmune phase of COVID-19, hence why dexamethasone usage early on, went through that protocol, while waiting my COVID-19 test results, then the thyroid issues were addressed. Well, that and sudden chest pain inducing a cardiac protocol with nitroglycerin.
    Tasted wonderful, worked not at all at the issue at hand, which was properly addressed. I’ve lived for nearly three decades within a cloud of nitrates in the military, I had suspicions, doctor as well, we were confirmed in a changing mode of discompensation.
    Given that I live daily with a abdominal aortic aneurysm and everything is at “watchful waiting”, add in I’m an old SF medic and that ain’t a city, it’s a military occupation, yeah, I know where the algorithms flow toward.
    And I use such algorithms and RegEx processing by nature.