JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Trump might yet pull off a gamechanger thanks to chloroquine

A High Stakes Game

If the trials of the anti-malarial chloroquine (or variants) work, Trump will get away with all the understatements he said in February.

On twitter the combination of Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin are known as #TrumpPills. The trials started Tuesday. We don’t know the results but doctors are buying up pharmacy stocks across the US — presumably to protect themselves (hopefully).

As the death tolls mounts, the Democrats are surely planning to put all the Trump quotes like “it’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle” on high rotation leading up to the election. But if the trials of anti-viral agents bring good news, he can reframe the past as if he was betting on that in February. (Perhaps he was?)

Though not many people spend two trillion dollars on a problem that’s disappearing.

Combo of existing drugs shows promise against COVID-19

Most patients treated with hydroxychloroquine alone cleared the virus in three to six days, compared to an average of 20 in China — …

The authors advise: “Use this treatment cocktail early, and don’t wait until a patient is on a ventilator in the intensive-care unit.” They also note that in some places hydroxychloroquine is being used as a prophylactic treatment for health workers in high exposure situations.

Key takeaway: “Our experience suggests that hydroxychloroquine, with or without a Z-Pak, should be a first-line treatment. Unfortunately, there is already a shortage of hydroxychloroquine.

Just as we think we’ve got used to the rate-of-change of the rate-of-change, things might change the other way.

Bloomberg reports that a new study shows Chloroquine Is No Better Than Regular Coronavirus Care. But under the headline they reveal that that new study wasn’t statistically significant, involved only 30 people, and that regular Chinese care includes other anti-virals like lopinavir and ritonavir. In other words, it was not much of a trial.

The whole world will be watching these results. Spare a thought for Indonesia which has ordered 3 million chloroquine tablets in a population of 260 million people and where people are falling in the streets today.

But if it’s not Chloroquine, there are plenty of other possibles: like blood plasma from survivors.

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Rating: 9.6/10 (37 votes cast)
Trump might yet pull off a gamechanger thanks to chloroquine, 9.6 out of 10 based on 37 ratings

55 comments to Trump might yet pull off a gamechanger thanks to chloroquine

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    The Trump Train – all aboard!
    First stop: Winning.

    In a world run by hysterical believers in failed UN doomsday global warming, President Trump is the one world leader who has displayed common sense.

    Let us hope common sense wins again.

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    • #
      David Engel

      At this point, the U.S. numbers are similar to Norway and Germany in terms of deaths per population. Much better than Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark and are at about 3% of Italy’s level. I think Trump has to shut down public transit because it is a major forum for transmission of the disease. Less than 3% of the U.S. population is in NYC but almost 1/3 of the deaths today occurred there.

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    • #
      David Engel

      At this point, the U.S. numbers are similar to Norway and Germany in terms of deaths per population. Much better than Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark and are at about 3% of Italy’s level. I think Trump has to shut down public transit because it is a major forum for transmission of the disease. Less than 3% of the U.S. population is in NYC but almost 1/3 of the deaths today occurred there.

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  • #
    Raving

    “How the Pandemic Will End”
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/how-will-coronavirus-end/608719/

    Raving’s Opinion: Seems that the corona virus (common cold, flu) relies on little or no immunity. This is why new fluvaccines need to be constantly developed.

    A successful corona virus requires a population without immunity. Fundamental nature of the beast

    10

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Undoubtedly this will have to go down as the weirdest event of my life.

    Australia has been shutting down for twenty years now but yesterday was unreal: in a large shopping centre almost everything was shut except the supermarket chains.

    Empty shelves. Weird.

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    • #

      Keith, please stay home!

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      • #
        Bob-l

        Gotta eat Jo. You might have the income to buy a months food but your average pensioner lives week to week that means we are forced to venture out once and usually up to 3 times a week by the time medical needs are satisfied.

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        • #

          Can you order online? Arrange a car park pick up? Try a smaller retailer and see if they will take a phone order and drop it in your boot. Wash it when you get home.

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  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    On the press side of the briefing room are a bunch of folks who work for wholly owned subsidiaries of the Democratic National Committee,
    hate Trump, and even in the best of times do little but spew narratives from their bubble.

    So its easy to forget that he has a heck of a team, and he appears to listen to them. Somebody in the US, a country of 330 million people,
    has to make a bunch of life and death decisions about which states get what, about what rules apply, about how to give us necessary bad news and at the same
    time help us be optimistic. Not sure it is what he signed up for, and I think he is doing OK.

    Frankly, when I watch the press, and most of the political folks in congress, the standard isn’t very high and hie is a giant among Lilliputons.

    I want to sit a lot of these damn gum flappers down and say: OK, California, Washington, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey are all out of Hospital beds. You have two (2) boats
    and eight (8) FEMA hospitals in inventory, less than half of what was needed yesterday. You get to call the governors and explain who gets what.

    Rinse and repeat a few dozen times a days.

    And your big accomplishment was to make sure the relief bills didn’t send a penny to any property he owned. I wasn’t a big supporter. I don’t much like the way he brags on
    himself. But he’s carrying a hell of a load and getting the job done, and preserving our values and spirits at the same time.

    If your politics or your pet cause are still more important that getting though this thing, you’re simply evil. And the voters will notice.

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    • #
      David A

      And remember, P. Trump, against all media criticism, against the CDC, against WHO, instigated travel bans.

      No US President is responsible for epidemic planning, except in regard to whom they hire to do said planning. The US CDC is full of Obama appointees, some of who literally cried when P Trump was elected.

      The US testing failure was and is 100 percent their responsibility. P Trump has refrained from public criticism, yet he went straight above them to break the buracratic gridlock instituted by Obama in who could develope tests. His people then brought in private enterprise to jump start the process. His “lies” he supposedly told about test availability, were not made up, it is what the inept political based CDC told him.

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    • #
      Doc

      Nobody hates like the left!

      30

  • #
  • #
    ren

    I think that antiviral drug slow down the virus when given at the first symptoms, e.g. loss of sense of smell and taste. Five days after the symptoms may no longer be effective.

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    • #

      Could be effective if given to all close contacts, but this is tough regarding medical approval since they are not even sick yet.

      But this would potentially reduce the rate of spread if it works.

      00

      • #
        Doc

        Can’t have long to wait now Jo.
        So much riding on a decision. It could be huge – either as a success or failure.

        10

  • #
    Another Ian

    Someone doesn’t like the malaria treatment idea!

    “Nevada Governor Signs Emergency Order Banning Prescriptions of Hydroxychloroquine For Treatment of Coronavirus…”

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/03/24/nevada-governor-signs-emergency-order-banning-prescriptions-of-hydroxychloroquine-for-treatment-of-coronavirus/

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    • #

      Now that I live in Nevada as a California climate policy refugee, I can’t wait to vote this A-hole out of office.

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      So , one of the things about the N W O boys is they want a high death rate….pesky humans polluting their mythical “Gaia” and all….

      20

    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      Might be a good time to talk about possible side effects.
      And ‘harm minimisation’ at least in view of the ocular effects.
      “From: Korean J Ophthalmol. 2014 Feb; 28(1): 100–107.
      “Published online 2014 Jan 21. doi: 10.3341/kjo.2014.28.1.100
      “PMCID: PMC3913974
      “PMID: 24505207
      “Retinal Damage in Chloroquine Maculopathy, Revealed by High Resolution Imaging: A Case Report Utilizing Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3913974/
      “Keywords: Adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, Bull’s eye maculopathy, Chloroquine maculopathy [My bolding], Hydroxychloroquines, Photoreceptor

      “Chloroquine and its analogue hydroxychloroquine have been used successfully for the treatment and prophylaxis of malaria. The indications for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have since “been expanded to successfully and safely treatment rheumatic diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, sarcoidosis, dermatomyositis, Sjögren’s syndrome, and “chronic juvenile arthritis [1]. At present there are three forms of chloroquine drug in use, namely, chloroquine sulphate (Nivaquine; Rhone Poulenc, Paris, France), chloroquine phosphate “(Aralen; Sanofi-Synthelabo, New York, NY, USA) and hydroxychloroquine sulfate (Plaquenil, Sanofi-Synthelabo).

      “Visual loss associated with chloroquine is generally” ……

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      • #
        Doc

        My guess is that is after a long extended use as a malarial prophylaxis.
        Use for viral treatment or prevention would arguably be very short term.

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        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          I am mainly concerned about those who purchased the drug in bulk that might be overdosing or taking the drug as a supplement etc.

          00

  • #
    The Dark Lord

    its going to end quickly (relative to the seasons for instance) becasue thats what they do, he wasn’t betting anything, he just was wary of the “experts” and their graphs drawn using 2 data points and a ruler …

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  • #
    Bruce

    So I take 400mg of Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate a day becuase I have arthritis.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxychloroquine for discussion on this…

    What are my chances of getting Covid-19?

    I would assume pretty low…

    Anyone got any ideas?

    30

    • #

      I just hope you have enough supplies. My reading is that you maybe one of the lucky ones.

      There must be data on the odds of people with your comorbidity (or lupus who also use the anti-malarial drug) and their representation in the infected community versus the wider population. Anyone seen that data? If users have a lower risk that’s a natural experiment right there. (Confounded to be sure, but useful).

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    • #
      Konrad

      If you are taking a zinc supplement, then at 400mg per day, your chances of contracting the virus are near zero.

      Tried getting your legitimate script filled recently?

      Good luck with that.

      As per my research posted below, it’s not being used for frontline doctors or nurses. Not for actual COVID-19 infected to keep them away from overloading ICU. Not for NSW heath trials. No, pharmacists have taken your meds, my partner’s meds and my mum’s meds for themselves.

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  • #
    Mark Smith

    Without a massive ramp up of test production and distribution, effective early treatment wont do anything. They keep catching patients too late.b

    11

  • #
    Doc

    Just a word of caution. The world has been looking for antiviral drugs for a very very long time
    and without much success; certainly with nothing resembling the find of Penicillin. Where’s the
    drug cure for influenza for example? Yet we are told people die in their thousands each year
    and we accept it!
    According to Trump’s action group this morning, Dr Fauci said he expects this bug, Jo’s ‘string’,
    to become cyclical. That could double the annual death rate we accept!
    I won’t expect anything in the drug line to happen until it happens. We are told Hydroxychloroquine
    acts generally in the cell, facilitates zinc entry and blocks the viral replication process. After all
    these years why hasn’t this drug become the first line treatment for many viral diseases
    before now? Surely it’s been through the examination mill for viral treatments before now.

    40

  • #

    It’s true. Random claims by an idiot MIGHT be better than the claims of people who know what they’re talking about. Occasionally, guesswork produces the right result, and science isn’t perfect.

    22

  • #
    Sunni Bakchat

    If Trump is to pull off a game changer it will depend on the implementation of a much broader set of essential basics, the lack of which are presently limiting factors. Leveraging these basics is integral to recovery. Medical treatment (excluding vaccination) is the rearguard action with this virus. Recovery will be a Critical Path driven process to prevent not simply a single stage pandemic, but a multi-stage pandemic such as the Spanish Flu of 1918.

    When significantly beneficial treatments become available, patient ICU requirements will almost certainly fall below the limit of available resources that leads to the five to tenfold escalation in the mortality rate from Covid-19 as seen in such populations as Italy. This scenario could also lead to prophylaxis introduction to further reduce hospital resource demand. Parallel treatment scenarios pre-suppose sufficient drug availability prioritised to hospital use. This should precipitate rapid easing of population controls in conjunction with basic hygiene protection.

    At this point in time many populations cannot obtain hand sanitiser, N95 masks or testing. As sanitiser and masks become available, with proper use and adoption, the rate of infection (“R0″) should drop. Authorities should insist all persons in close public proximity and/or in enclosed public places should wear a mask. This would represent a reversal of guidance previously provided. The improved hygiene from this imposition should be leveraged to allow tactical easing of population controls.

    Testing should be antigen and antibody based on a broad, randomised and comprehensive basis. Testing facilities should be devolved to a municipal level, be freely available to the public and on a drive-through or walk-in basis as population density determines. Those recovered with antibody protection should be documented as such and be allowed immediately to return to work, volunteer, cross-borders, etc. Those who test positive on an antigen test should be quarantined (not self-quarantined), preferably in an appropriated facility such as a hotel where clinically suitable; and grouped on a municipal territorial basis e.g. Vo in Lombardy, tracked and their contacts traced. Recovered individuals can be leveraged flexibly in the workforce to keep essential services functioning.

    If the above essential basic factors come together in the right order and are properly leveraged, the game will change overnight. So far the response has been very disorganised and slow in many respects. Change in the right direction will accelerate once the strategy to beat the virus becomes more clear, tactical and resources are applied more effectively. Trump is right to expect this to occur and set a goal to achieve it. If only the politicians of other countries had the same “cut through” leadership capabilities!

    30

    • #

      Agreed all round. Thanks. Exactly. Testing will also expand the “virus free zone”.

      We can beat this, we just need to be smart about it.

      20

      • #
        Doc

        That’s the Royal ‘we’ Jo. And there-in has been the problem where the Ruby Princess saga takes
        the cake. The hope is that all the jiggling around, underestimating the virus and overestimating
        People to attending to their own health by obeying the rules, and being over trusting of ships
        Captains will have really put a rocket up the kyber of the powers that be. McGowan has obviously
        come to attention.
        Your hope for smooth sailing coming down from the Everest of the infection is again going to be heavied
        by the politicians anxious to get the economy spinning. The wrestle between health and jobs will
        continue. IMO it could even be worse as we try to get out of this mess.

        Don’t worry. I’m often called a p.o.d. (prophet of doom). That’s why I love the old O’Brien poem
        ‘Said Hanrahan’.

        40

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      There are a number of drugs said to be effective as anti-virals against Covid19 but no rigorous test results yet.
      But Doctors might be facing a point where they try an uncertain drug or combination which may cure the patient OR allow the patient to die. I think I know what their response would be.

      I would point out that there is wide spread malaria resistance to chloroquine in Africa, so extrapolating from the figures (if any) there to chloroquine as the magic bullet would seem premature. But in the meantime it provides hope for those who may become infected, and may (in combination) work. Meanwhile work on a vaccine or a combination of drugs which cure patients is frantically proceeding and we must hope for rapid success.

      And please note that quinine, chloroqine and hydroxychloroquine (and other derivatives) are all DIFFERENT. Going overboard on Schweppes Tonic water won’t save you (unless you die first from other side effects).

      20

  • #
    Konrad

    Jo, some important information!

    I have an image* and verbal evidence of something important. Hydroxychloroquine has now been declared “S4D” in Australia.

    This means access is restricted from normal pharmacy and nursing staff. It turns out supplies have disappeared off pharmacy shelves. People with scripts for rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and Lupus (Yes, sometimes it is Lupus!), now can’t get a script filled.

    But where did it go? It’s a prescription drug. There is no way enough dodgy prescriptions could have been obtained in time to strip Australia of all available stock. It can’t be doctors or hospitals. They had no stock. For the conditions it treats, the medication is low dose, long term, to prevent condition flare ups. Only pharmacists would have stock.

    So I did a “pounding the pavement” exercise on Tuesday. This required a current script for 100 units of 200mg Hydroxychloroquine. (How this was obtained is not relevant to this post).

    I did around 15 chemists. (I just couldn’t stop after I got going) -

    Me: “Can you fill this script? It’s not for me. My partner has sent me to try everywhere while he is are at work. His normal chemist says they are out.”

    Pharmacist: (Without even checking stock) “No, we are all out. There’s been a run on it.”

    Me: “When did you last have stock?”

    Pharmacist: “Last week. We have it on back order, but the actives come from China.”

    Me: “But who bought it? I can’t get my partner’s script filled for the IBS thing and my mom can’t get her joints stuff! Did NSW health take it because of the virus?”

    Pharmacist: “No, I think it was people just getting extra on all their scripts because they were worried about lock-downs. NSW health hasn’t contacted us.”

    Me: (Columbo mode) “Weird, I thought they were all hording toilet paper … Oh, one more question. I believe even a minor prophylactic dose would be detectable in the bloodstream for over 30 days. You don’t have a prescription for Hydroxychloroquine do you?. Would you have a problem with all NSW pharmacists being blood tested for this drug?”

    Pharmacist: (Face freeze, sudden colour change, eyes up and to the left). “Um, err, We can’t help you with that … could I see the next customer …?”

    *I did not post on Tuesday, because my sources had not yet supplied confirmation from inside the system. I now have photographic confirmation that the drug has been classed S4D in an attempt to stop those inside the health system taking stock for their own use. Note: I fully support the prophylactic use of this medication in frontline doctors and nurses, however those working in pharmacies are not in direct contact with critical patients. Given the seniority of the pharmacy staff I questioned, the S4D classification will do nothing to prevent this abuse. If you contact me by email, I can supply you the relevant image, stripped of all metadata that could identify the source.
    [Email coming - Jo]

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    • #
      Doc

      As a very innocent minded person, Konrad, if I had one of those illnesses for which the drug is
      normally used, I would be the first through the pharmacy door to make sure I could maintain my treatment for at least 3 months. These people live in agony if they run out of their medications.. If I was a pharmacist
      I would know my patients , know what was coming and my first action would be to protect those
      supplies for my people. If a pharmacist didn’t know you, but knew the chat online about these drugs,
      or was warned by his association about the run coming, I would be very loathe to hand over my
      small supply to somebody I didn’t know

      20

  • #
    eilert

    John Solomon
    @jsolomonReports
    Breaking: Bahrain says drug touted by Trump as possible treatment for coronavirus is working effectively on its patients.
    https://twitter.com/jsolomonReports/status/1242938204589785089

    Bahrain, Belgium report coronavirus treatment touted by Trump is working for patients
    Clinical Tests of Hydroxychloroquines to Fight COVID-19 in Bahrain prove successful
    https://t.co/DOLj5RqRVK?amp=1

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      I just bought two bottles of tonic water.

      It contains the Quinine recommended by some here.

      00

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Please see comment 15.2 above.

        As someone said (I didn’t note the reference) it would take 2.75 Litres of gin and tonic a day.
        It wouldn’t cure you but you wouldn’t care.

        30

        • #
          Konrad

          Well, if I was off work, I could easily “survive” 2.75 liters of gin and tonic per day.

          But it’s so very important to understand these medications only work in selected combinations. Just as using Hydroxychloroquine without zinc supplements is not effective, tonic water needs Bombay Sapphire. It’s just not going to work with a low grade product like Gordon’s.

          And claims you need lemon or lime are just as incorrect as claims about Hydroxychloroquine needing Azithromycin, Remdesivir or kaletra. Azithromycin is a spectrum antibiotic only needed in the case of secondary biological infection, which would be unlikely to occur if Hydroxycloroquine and zinc were used early. Remdesivir or Kaletra are experimental anti-virals, expensive, failures in their initial proposed use, trying to exploit the current virus to make a return on those patents. Note: all the success of Kaletra is “in combination with Hydroxychloroquine”. hydroxychloroquine is the old malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease drug doing the work. Note: big pharma doesn’t want clean Hydroxychloroquine+zinc only studies. (Those scientific papers from 2005 are a little embarrassing for big pharma).

          Now is Hydroxychloroquine the miracle drug? Not quite, it’s zinc. But zinc needs an ionophore to get into human cells, particularly those cells that the Wu from Fluhan is targeting. There are others, but Hydroxychloroquine has been in use for decades. It’s safe. Novartis AG has 50 million 200mg doses they are prepared to donate (not sell) right now. Only Dr Brendan Furphy is standing in the way, the man too stupid to work out how the WuFlu could possibly be spread without detectable respiratory symptoms.

          Tonic with Bombay Sapphire. Hydroxychloroquine with zinc.

          50

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    • #
      eilert

      “I’m Laying in Hospital – Watching President Trump Saying This Can Possibly Work. And I’m Living Proof!” – Hydroxycholorquine Saves Coronavirus Patient (Video)
      https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/03/im-laying-in-hospital-watching-president-trump-saying-this-can-possibly-work-and-im-living-proof-hydroxycholorquine-saves-coronavirus-patient-video/

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O-kub18O5A

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      • #
        Sunni Bakchat

        eilert, thanks very much for posting these testimonials. Interestingly the gentleman (patient) in the video said it took four days for his complete turnaround and that he now has no symptoms. Many people who’ve had Covid-19 talk of lingering lung pain and lack of aerobic function. His lack of symptoms within such a short period compared with the normal timescale of the virus is perhaps the most promising aspect of his testimonials.

        10

  • #
    Tim Spence

    The problem with chloroquine is twofold, first is that Trump was behind it (so the never Trumpers will try their best to trash it), secondly chloroquine is cheap and big pharma will want to trash it in favour of a more expensive alternatives.

    I also believe that the Arthritis dosage is much higher than the Malaria treatment and that the vision problems are temporary and generally resolve a month after stopping the medication.

    30

  • #
    Doc

    Spain. 56000 known cases, 4000 dead (rough figures from Sky News UK.
    POOR MEDICINE OR MUTATION.? Surely medical services aren’t this different in EU
    countries. Or is it France and Germany vs the rest. If so, who would want to stay
    in the EU where standards could be so different when looking at the apparent disasters that
    are Spain and Italy. Maybe this virus will be the end of the EU itself.

    20

    • #
      Tim Spence

      Regarding Spain, the nurses in medical centres were told ‘no need to wear masks’ at the beginning of the outbreak, therefore a lot of medical staff have gone down, but not before they have contaminated visitors with other ailments.

      Regarding the EU, constipation, slow to come out with anything and when they do it’s, well, you know. In truth I don’t believe they’ve had a coronavirus meeting yet.

      They had better disband before they get the EU army or it will be the siege of Brussels.

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    Doc

    Haven’t heard much about the Russians and COVID-19.

    10