Published August 3, 2022
Shortly after President Joe Biden touted his recovery from Covid last week, he once again tested positive for the virus, in a rebound case that is often associated with the drug Paxlovid, which Biden was taking.
Countless Americans who have taken Pfizer’s Paxlovid following a Covid infection have experienced what everyone is calling “rebound Covid.” Rebound Covid is a recurrence of the virus that occurs in a person who has already recovered from Covid, many times shortly after completing Paxlovid.
What does it mean?
Clinical scientists are offering all kinds of different theories, but no definitive explanations for the “rebound” Paxlovid phenomenon have been established. It’s a mystery and regardless of what it is, it can’t be good.
Why Make High-Risk Patients Sick Twice?
Rebound Covid post-Paxlovid raises a critical public health and drug safety concern. According to the NIH, only high-risk populations are supposed to get Paxlovid, but taking Paxlovid sometimes opens those same high-risk patients to a rebound infection with Covid. In some cases, the rebound Covid symptoms are worse, placing the same high-risk patients in more severe danger.
One doesn’t need to be a physician to know that having a high-risk patient get sick twice is worse than once.
Why is Biden still advocating for Paxlovid’s use, as recently as last week? The White House doesn’t have a political option. It must either a) admit failure or b) ignore public health.
The White House foolishly chose to pay Pfizer $10.6 billion for Paxlovid, based on a highly preliminary “pilot study” showing nearly 90 percent effectiveness which later dissolved into its study failing and being voluntarily discontinued by Pfizer prior to its completion. Paxlovid failed its trial endpoints when compared to a placebo group. Perhaps the Biden White House didn’t realize that informal preliminary pilot studies are never conclusive and “results” need confirmation with a formal clinical trial. Regardless, the White House did not wait until the formal trial was complete before committing $10.6 billion in taxpayer dollars. It’s a $10.6 billion fortune down the drain.
Spending Billions on a Questionable Drug
The White House’s actions are inexcusable.Not only do they refuse to acknowledge that the drug was a failure and that they had prematurely and inappropriately spent a vast fortune on something ineffective and potentially dangerous, but they continue to promote Paxlovid’s use!
Rather than protecting patients, the White House is choosing to sacrifice the well-being of at-risk patients and promote a drug that Pfizer itself gave up on before the clinical trial was even completed.
The actual rate of Paxlovid rebound is hard to know. First, Americans were told it was “rare,” less than 1 percent. Then we were told it was 5.4 percent, then 10 percent. On July 30, 2022, one CNN medical analyst and professor at George Washington University stated that with the newest Covid strain it is “likely 20-40 percent or even higher.” Anecdotal reports from social media make it seem that a huge percentage of people who have taken Paxlovid have rebounded.
The silence of the CDC, FDA, NIH, and Dr. Fauci (who also had a rebound case after taking Paxlovid) is deafening, but unfortunately predictable.
A Similar Story to Vaccines and Boosters
In case this feels familiar, that’s because it is. Americans have seen the exact same thing before regarding Covid-19 vaccine adverse effects. While the federal government scolded Americans for not getting vaccines and boosters, they simultaneously remained silent on adverse events and deliberately complacent in suppressing them.
Even if Paxlovid was effective, do patients need it? At this point, the same question goes for Covid-19 vaccines and boosters. The dominant variants today typically produce a milder infection; most people get minimal to moderate cold-like symptoms from Covid infections whether vaccinated or not.
It’s also telling that many Americans aren’t interested in boosters. If they had been shown to work, people would be taking them — but they haven’t, so people aren’t. In the U.S. alone, the government has been forced to throw out more than 82 million vaccine/booster doses, yet Americans aren’t dropping dead everywhere. Even leftist academic centers can’t hide objective epidemiological evidence coming out of hospitals in recent months that illustrate record lows in Covid-19-related hospital ICU admissions.
Digging Their Heels in Deeper
Despite all of that, the White House is still endlessly seeking to purchase more vaccines. By July 29, the White House had committed to purchasing a total of 171 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for the new omicron mutations of Covid-19, despite having zero clinical trial evidence of safety or efficacy — e.g., exactly like they did with Paxlovid!
The combination of promoting endless boosters of an vaccine that fails to prevent infection or transmission, along with promoting Pfizer’s Paxlovid despite its ineffectiveness and mysterious “rebound” pharmacology, makes me wonder about something that I have thought about for a long time, especially as a former senior FDA official: Is there some sort of unholy union between the FDA, Pfizer, and the Biden White House? Pfizer spends millions in lobbying and campaign contributions. Its revolving door with government health agencies is concerning. Would the Biden White House dare place Americans’ public health at risk in the name of politics? I pray the answer is no and also hope that I am wrong, perhaps missing part of the story, but a compelling amount of data points to my suspicions being accurate.
The White House needs to be more careful about funneling fortunes to Big Pharma for unproven, and possibly unsafe or unneeded, drugs. Americans should very carefully consider what they are hearing from the White House, its officials, and all federal alphabet agencies about the Paxlovid “wonder drug.”
David Gortler, Pharm.D. FCCP is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center whose work focuses on FDA oversight and accountability. Dr. Gortler is a pharmacologist and pharmacist and a Yale-trained bench research scientist in molecular biology with a subspecialty in the field of vascular medicine. He was a professor of pharmacology and biotechnology at the Yale University School of Medicine, where he also served at Yale’s Center for Bioethics, and was an FDA Medical Officer who was later appointed by the White House to serve on the FDA’s Senior Executive Leadership Team as senior advisor to the FDA Commissioner.