Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Covid 19 Shutdown Politics

Advocates of quickly ending the shutdowns are in the news. Mostly, because one of them is President. Like most Americans, I think reopening soon would be a mistake (and remember I am in Italy where the shut down is severe compared to any State in the USA). I’m just going to assume that reopening by […]

Two Cheers for the FDA

Only two because the FDA did play an important role in the US Covid 19 testing fiasco. the first cheer is for extreme speed in approving phase 1 trials of candidate vaccines (vaccine in a person within 2 months of publication of the Sars Cov2 sequence) and phase III trials of Remdesivir (results leaking already) […]

Premature Hydroxychloroquine After Action Report

The action sure isn’t over. The armies are still on the field, but I fear the outcome is no longer in doubt and hydroxychloroquine will lose this battle. There are two good studies which show almost exactly no benefit of hydroxychloroquine. They are reveiewed here. Basically the only benefit detected is as a nonspecific anti-inflamatory. […]

hydroxychloroquine and Remdesivir Update

I have repeatedly argued that, based on in vitro evidence, hydroxychloroquine should be prescribed while we wait for the results of clinical trials. Such results were just published. They are very disappointing. The link is to an LA Times Article: 2020-04-17 malaria-drugs-fails-to-help-coronavirus-patients-in-controlled-studies On the other hand Early peek at data on Gilead coronavirus drug […]

Economic Policy for the Pandemic III What About Aggregate Demand ?

Unemployment has shot up in many countries especially including the USA. Is it time for aggregate demand stimulus ? One interesting thing (noted by Krugman in his newsletter which should still be a blog) is that Keynesians (including Krugman) are not treating everything as a nail, because all they have is a hammer. He (and […]

Remdesivir V

This is interesting. In addition to the two huge multi center phase III trials of Remdesivir for Covid 19 with estimated completion some time in May 2020, there is a smaller but very large trial in Beijing with estimated completion May 1 2020. The East is Remd ! May Day May Day May Day “Estimated […]


I am back complaining about the FDA as I have in The Ethics of Clinical Trials and 10 years earlier Clinical Trial Ethics (an aside — I had forgotten the old post and Google reminded me that I have been banging this drum for a decade). Now I have a lot of company, because of […]

Remdesivir IV

This post is not up to the standards of the New England Journal of Medicine Compassionate Use of Remdesivir for Patients with Severe Covid-19 is an important article written and published with amazing speed. The (many) authors (including professional writers) assess the experience of 53 “patients who received remdesivir during the period from January 25, […]