Back in February, I was wandering around the downtown of a nearby town where I had just gotten my hair cut, when I saw this in a shop near the barbershop:

This is the narrative that harms patients.

I snapped the photo above, thinking that website advertised——looked like potential blog fodder for an SBM post, and then went about the rest of my day, filing the website in an overstuffed folder on my computer full of potential blog topics. As happens all too often, there it stayed—until today, when a reader sent me a link to the website and asked me about it. As I perused the website, my first thought was: “Too many videos. I’ll never have time to get through them and write about this.” Then I poked around more and saw that there were a number of anecdotes describing the supposed horrific treatments inflicted upon people with COVID-19, the consistent theme being that the COVID-19 victims whose stories were told on the website would have all been just fine if it hadn’t been for nefarious doctors pushing remdesivir, steroids, vaccines, ventilators, and other treatments. In other words, the consistent narrative of the website is that it was medicine, not COVID-19, that killed all the people whose stories are recounted on this website.

Unsurprisingly, I also immediately saw that the website promotes a lot of quackery for COVID-19, such as Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), ivermectin, Hulda Clark’s parasite cleanse (now there’s a blast from the past!), and even colloidal silver! At the top of the page promoting COVID-19 quackery, there was what Dr. Peter Lipson once dubbed a quack Miranda warning:

After learning I had been poisoned with Remedesivir and Baracitinib, I knew I had to rid my body of these drugs and repair it myself. So, I researched and found many things that helped me recover drastically and I still use many of these daily or as needed. I don’t endorse any specific supplement brand but I do try to find the most reputable one. I am not a doctor and don’t recommend anything to anyone, these are things that helped me. Please contact a trusted health care professional or do your own research to decide what is best for selfcare.

Also at the bottom of every anecdote:

Any use of including implementation of any suggestions or stories on the site and/or use of any resources available on does not create a professional relationship between that entity and or any of it’s professionals.

All content on this site and corresponding blog is for informational purposes only. All stories and imagery published were granted permission by the author. All other unaffiliated sites must get explicit permission from the authors themselves to republish.

Where have we seen this before? Many times?

I knew then that I had to write about this week, because it shows very well how much COVID-19 misinformation has adopted a very old narrative used by quacks of all varieties, in particular the cancer quacks that I have long written about (and used to write about a lot more often before the pandemic). Although the origin of such narratives can be difficult to trace, what is not difficult to figure out are who profits from such narratives and who are the victims. Unfortunately, as I used to discuss routinely with the case of cancer quack Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and Robert O. Young, often the victims become the most vocal and sympathetic evangelists and pitchmen for this quackery. This is why I realize that it is very likely that I will be attacked as callous and heartless for pointing out that what is being promoted on is quackery and suggesting that the patients described died of COVID-19 rather than the protocol used to treat them. My preemptive response now is, as it has always been, that I empathize with patients and families who are suffering, especially those who die prematurely of a disease like COVID-19 (or cancer or anything else). However, that empathy and sympathy do not stop me from trying to point out how their stories do not necessarily support their conclusions and thereby hopefully inoculate others who might be susceptible to the alternative medicine that they promote in their narratives with a healthy prebunking.

“It’s the treatment, not the disease, that kills!”

If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught me is that certain narratives in the denial of science-based medicine and the ineffective treatments that flow from that denial are eternal. It’s not just the conspiracy theories, either, although they are very important. I still argue that all antivaccine messaging is in some way yoked to what I like to call the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement, indeed that all science denial is a form of conspiracy theory. However, the narratives that link to those conspiracy theories are also very old and, although protean in their manifestations, still remain recognizable. Some of you have probably gotten tired of me saying things like “In the age of the pandemic, everything old is new again” and “There’s nothing new in antivaxland” over and over during the last three years or so, but it’s really true, and my repetition tends to be for educational and skeptical purposes. After all, once you become familiar with the common narratives behind quackery and antivaccine pseudoscience, you will start to see them everywhere among the “new schoolers” spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and COVID-19 itself, as well as the quacks who prey on them. Examples include the ideas that vaccines: somehow change your DNA (which predates COVID-19) to make you somehow different from human (e.g., “transhumanism”); are deadlier than the disease; are part of a “depopulation agenda”; contain “fetal tissue” or DNA; are full of toxins; produce immunity that is much inferior to “natural” immunity after infection; and sterilize our girls and women. (Let’s also not forget the idea that the virus was created in a lab or that it isn’t deadly.)

It isn’t just antivaccine messaging, either. One narrative common to both antivaccine messaging and to many forms of pseudomedicine is the idea that medicine is more deadly than the disease. Basically, this is the idea that the disease isn’t what kills, but rather the medical interventions to treat the disease. While it is undeniably true that there have been (and still exist) medical treatments whose benefits are marginal and/or whose risks arguably outweigh the benefits, that is not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is, for example, this sort of narrative, starting with one of the first such cartoons I ever came across:

Then, of course, there’s Mike Adams pushing the same narrative:

This view of chemotherapy, promoted by those advocating alternative medicine like Mike Adams of “Natural News,” can frighten cancer patients into refusing effective science-based medicine for their cancers and choosing instead ineffective alternative medicine.

Notice any similarities? The narrative is that conventional medicine is not interested in curing the patient but instead promotes toxic—and profitable!—treatments, while rejecting “nontoxic” natural treatments that work miraculously. As I will keep emphasizing, this is a very old narrative, too:

Cancer can be cured

The narrative that there are nontoxic treatments for cancer is an old one.

Indeed, the narrative consists of three key parts:

  1. The disease is not deadly and/or it is the treatment, not the disease, that kills patients. One might remember that Robert O. Young went beyond claiming that treatment is more deadly than the disease by claiming that the cancerous tumor itself is the body’s effort to remove the true cause of the cancer. It’s also the same idea behind German New Medicine and its bastard offspring Biologie Totale. (Young also claimed that sepsis doesn’t exist.)
  2. There exist nontoxic (often “natural”) alternatives to conventional medicine. Examples for cancer include Hulda Clark’s parasite cleanses, MMS, Stanislaw Burzynski’s antineoplastons. For COVID-19, examples include hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, zinc, and the various “early treatment” protocols promoted by quack groups like Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance. (FLCCC)
  3. “They” are trying to cover it all up: how toxic and ineffective “conventional medicine” is and the existence of nontoxic and highly effective “natural alternatives.” Often woven in the anecdotes will be stories about how the patient recovered on the unproven treatment, only to relapse when he couldn’t get it anymore.

You don’t even have to look past the photo above to see the elements of the story in just the shopkeeper’s narrative, with cold, uncaring physicians and nurses rejecting her efforts to save her husband—who was improving on ivermectin!—and forced him to be treated with steroids.

Anecdotes with a familiar message

My first inclination was to try to find the story in the poster. Searching for the names of the doctors on the website using Google Advanced Search didn’t return anything; so I tried searching for the hospital, Beaumont (now, unfortunately, rechristened since a merger as “CoreWell Health,” perhaps the most boringly corporate name for a hospital that I’ve ever seen) and only came up with one entry, for which the name did not match the name of the shop owner, nor did the husband’s name match her husband’s name. The two men were roughly the same age (one was 39, the other 41); both had a similar appearance (bearded, although the shopkeeper’s husband was cleanshaven in a couple of the photos). Their stories also appeared to be from around the same time late 2021/early 2022), during the Omicron surge, which, not-so-coincidentally, was around the same time that the promotion of ivermectin as a COVID-19 cure was hitting its peak. I did ultimately find a GoFundMe for the shopkeeper, but decided to stick with stories on the website, starting with Kyle and Sarah because it was the story that the search for Beaumont returned.

Here’s part of the narrative after Kyle had fallen ill with COVID-19 pneumonia:

Kyle fell ill on 11/7/21 and was admitted to the hospital on 11/15/21 for “COVID” pneumonia. He was mistreated and refused potentially life-saving medications when he was in their death camp. He was prescribed Ivermectin and azithromycin by a telehealth doctor that we contacted because we were afraid of the horror stories we heard about what was going on inside the hospitals. We had a difficult time finding a pharmacy that would fill the Ivermectin prescription. Kyle started complaining that he was having a little bit of difficulty taking a full breath. I ordered a pulse ox machine online and made an appointment for urgent care in hopes to get some steroids. At home, his oxygen was 84-94%. When my husband arrived at the appointment the next day, his blood oxygen level was 91%. The urgent care staff told him they couldn’t treat him, that he needed to go to the emergency room, he was hypoxic.

Right from the start, you see the narrative. Sarah describes the hospital as a “death camp.” She and her husband found a telehealth doctor to prescribe him ivermectin (which doesn’t work) and azithromycin (of note, part of the hydroxychloroquine-azithromycin protocol promoted by Didier Raoult in early 2020 that resulted in a number of “miracle dure” testimonials). I couldn’t help but wonder if it had been one of America’s Frontline Doctors (another COVID quack group) that had been busted for running a telehealth ivermectin prescription mill, but they had been busted a couple of months before Kyle fell ill.

The story continues with Kyle being admitted to the hospital because he was hypoxic and his chest X-ray showed signs of an atypical pneumonia consistent with COVID-19 pneumonia. He was apparently not tested for COVID-19 at that time, with Sarah doubting that he actually had COVID-19 because of the lack of testing. However, I point out that the chest X-ray appearance of COVID-19 pneumonia can be so characteristic as to be diagnostic. Sarah and Kyle wanted him to get monoclonal antibodies, which, I suspect, were refused because most existing monoclonal antibodies then had lost their ability to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 because of the rise of the Omicron variant.

In any event, Kyle became more hypoxic, and, according to the account, doctors urged him to take remdesivir, an antiviral authorized for use against COVID-19 that is a prodrug converted by the body into a drug that interferes with the action of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and evades proofreading by viral exoribonuclease, while correctly (in my opinion) refusing to give him ivermectin, which, as I’ve discussed many times here, does not work against COVID-19:

They refused to give monoclonal antibodies because now they were telling him he was too sick to get them. We asked about him taking his prescription for Ivermectin and they refused to let him take it and somehow talked him out of it (I wasn’t allowed in so I’m not sure exactly how that went down, but he was very afraid to take it after talking to the doctors.) They just continued to try and convince him to take the Remdesivir. The night of the 17th, after talking to many staff members and every single one of them convincing him that he would get worse, he was coerced and feared into accepting the Remdesivir. The doctors also refused to give Kyle inhaled steroids stating that they don’t give breathing treatments to COVID patients because it “spews COVID particles everywhere.” They were adamant, it was their way or the highway.

A recent Cochrane review suggests that inhaled steroids might be useful in mild COVID-19 but evidence was lacking for severe COVID-19, with an NIH consensus statement concluding that for hospitalized adults with COVID-19 there “is insufficient evidence for the Panel to recommend either for or against the use of inhaled corticosteroids for the treatment of COVID-19 in these patients.” Given the lack of evidence that inhaled steroids work in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, it was not at all unreasonable not to use them for the reasons stated above. Also, he was already apparently already on intravenous steroids. (Steroids are mentioned later as a cause of his white blood cell count going up.)

The story continues:

At this point, I was getting very sick and tired of the nonsense going on and I brought to the attention of the attending that they never tested Kyle for COVID and insisted that they tested him in hopes that it would come back negative and I can visit and help advocate for my husband. On 11/23/21, unfortunately, his test was still positive for COVID. BUT they already had him “enrolled” in their deathly COVID treatment plan and actually completed the whole course of Remdesivir before they even tested him! WOW! Kyle’s oxygen requirements started to increase as the days went on and his white blood cell count was rising, daily, consistently. I asked about a potential infection and they told me the white blood cell count was going up due to the steroids. On 11/26/21 Kyle told me and the staff that he was having chest and back pain and they gave him Tylenol. I could tell he was working harder to breathe or perhaps harder to breathe against the high flow oxygen he was on?!

Whatever treatments Kyle was or was not receiving, this story is an all-too-familiar one to ICU doctors who treated scores of COVID-19 patients during the various surges since the pandemic hit. His clinical course as related sounds entirely consistent with deterioration due to COVID-19 pneumonia, including what later happened when he suffered the complication of a pneumothorax and required a chest tube. This suggested to me that he required high positive end-expiratory pressure, PEEP, to maintain oxygenation, which can definitely result in a pneumothorax. It’s a delicate balancing act that ICU physicians have to do with such patients: not enough PEEP and they can’t maintain oxygenation, but too much PEEP can result in a pneumothorax. Often there is no choice but to use as much PEEP as needed and accept the risk of pneumothorax. It’s not that doctors want to see patients get pneumothoraces or that they don’t care. They’re just trying their damnedest to balance risk and benefit.

The rest of Kyle’s hospital course, even filtered through the anecdote as told by his widow, is also sadly familiar to critical care doctors and infectious disease specialists. Kyle developed a bacterial pneumonia requiring antibiotics, as well as other complications, such as renal failure, the latter of which his wife blamed exclusively on remdesivir, even though COVID-19 and/or sepsis would be more likely culprits. He required increasing amounts of respiratory support, leading his wife to complain about his being in the prone position and how she kept urging them to wean his ventilator settings. Per her telling, they would do so successfully while she was around and then put the ventilator settings right back up overnight, when she wasn’t. Instead of medical need, she attributes this behavior to malign intent:

Every day was trying to wean sedation, paralytic, etc (not one thing at a time), & whenever he wouldn’t tolerate those changes or wasn’t ready for them, his oxygen would drop and they would crank everything back to the max. It was a seemingly never-ending cycle of never making progress, and never getting off the ventilator. They were setting him up for failure, every single day.


When I would leave at night, they did whatever they wanted (most times) and everything would always go wrong when I wasn’t there. When the doctors listened to me about trying to wean one thing at a time (specifically the FIO2 on the vent) he was able to get his oxygen requirements down to 70%. By morning it was back up to 100%, full vent support.

This, too, will sound very familiar to critical care doctors trying to wean severely ill COVID-19 patients from very high settings on the ventilator and failing. Moreover, I actually sympathize with Sarah’s feeling of a loss of control that comes when forced to leave a loved one for the night when they are ill and in the hospital. I’ve had that experience, and it might even be worse for a physician because as physicians we know a lot more. That being said, Kyle’s story comes across to me as more consistent with his having contracted very severe COVID-19 and then suffering an all-too-familiar cascade of complications as a result, with steroids and remdesivir failing to reverse his deterioration. The same appears true of the man in the poster in the shop window, judging from the GoFundMe account, with the husband reportedly deteriorating sometime after the administration of remdesivir, his wife noting that after “he was given a medication we demanded he NOT receive, his health quickly went downhill,” leading him to be “on a ventilator working most of the time at 100%” and on dialysis three times a week.

While it is true that remdesivir can cause renal impairment, causing grade 3/4 decreased kidney function in 2%-19% of patients and it is even possible that in this case it did just that, the far more likely explanation is that COVID-19, the sepsis that occurred after the COVID-associated bacterial pneumonia, and his cardiovascular and pulmonary collapse were the primary causes of his renal failure. To put it more simply, it is possible that remdesivir contributed to his renal failure, but that is not to say that remdesivir killed him. Again, it’s far more likely that remdesivir—along with everything else that modern medicine can offer—failed to save him, as it unfortunately did for more than a million other Americans over the last three years.

One of the earliest stories featured was that of the founder of this website, Greta Crawford, from October 2021, where she noted:

Everyone in my family got Covid. but I was the only one to go to the ER. Their Protocol nearly killed me, not Covid.

That is about as succinct a statement of the narrative about conventional medicine, that it is the treatment, not the disease, that kills (or nearly kills). Unfortunately, Crawford’s experience is what it is to be one of the minority who suffer severe disease from COVID-19 or the even smaller minority who die. It seems unfair and random to those who become deathly ill when most do not, and it is! Unfortunately, that is how diseases work. Just because the rest of your family did fine after catching COVID-19 is no guarantee that you will if you catch it.

I’ll make one more analogy. Those who, for example, believe in Stanislaw Burzynski’s antineoplastons often claim that it was chemotherapy, not the cancer, that killed their loved ones when they couldn’t get antineoplaston therapy. In this analogy, though, chemotherapy is far more toxic than remdesivir and does, on occasion, actually lead to the deaths of cancer patients before their cancer can, either through immunosuppression and opportunistic infection or other complications. (Some chemotherapy agents can injure the heart, for instance.) Nothing in medicine is perfect, and every effective treatment involves a risk-benefit calculation. When used appropriately, chemotherapy will cure some cancers and increase the chance of surviving others after surgery and other treatments, but there are risks. Similarly, as was the case for ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine testimonials, the timeline between use of the unproven drug and clinical improvement was often too fast to be believable or consistent with coincidence.

I thought about discussing other anecdotes, but they all take similar forms to the one I discussed, although the end result is not always death but rather injury and a patient out for “justice.” Instead, I’ll finish with the conspiracy theory at the heart of this website.

The most powerful promoters of alternative medicine

There is a section on the website called Hospital Protocols that attributes all the harm to malice. I saw elements of this conspiracy theory in Crawford’s account, where she spends considerable time complaining that it is “all about the vaccines,” at one point saying, “My Pulmonologist came in daily to harass me, and scare me into taking the vax.” At the end of her account, she writes:

The evil don’t need Covid concentration death camps we have them in the form of hospitals now. Instead of dragging people and forcing them into camps, the people willing go under the guise they will be healed from a man-made virus. A virus created/funded by the same man that has financial interests in the drug Remdesivir. Drugs like HCQ and Ivermectin have been banned and hospital protocols only allow unproven novelty drugs and ventilators that kill. Corruption is everywhere, having faith in God allows us to stand up against corruption and relinquish fears. Faith over fear. Do not comply.

Shades of “Cut! Burn! Poison!” indeed!

Under Hospital Protocols, she argues that genocide is the reason “why hospitals kill”:

Unvaxxed and those receiving a form of government monthly payment are targets. Freethinkers and those that can lessen the financial failures of the government need to be removed. The elderly, the disabled, those on Medicare, the uneducated, those with previous conditions, the poor, and the unvaxxed are targets for this mass genocide.

Why? From what I can tell, she thinks the reason is profit, mostly:

The first wave of Covid was presented in mainstream media as the worst pandemic in history with unprecedented death rates. We later found out from hospitals and nurses that this was not true and in fact, hospitals were nearly empty with nurses and doctors filling their time with tic tok dance videos. So when the second round, or the “Delta Variant”, came about, something had to change.

The Delta Variant just happened to coincide with the vaccine distribution. Although kept quiet, it is known that many vaxxed patients end up in the hospital with reactions to the shot. One thing that had to be done to keep this pandemic in play was to increase the actual death count of patients. Aside from going to citizens’ homes and outright murdering them, the easiest way was to have them walk into the hospitals where trusted doctors could administer poison to each victim.

Even though the vax has caused deaths and injuries that are suppressed or not reported, many people are now aware and not willing to get the shot. The government is able to scare the public into believing that Covid is deadly by paying hospitals to kill off patients. Then doctors and hospitals proclaim that the unvaxxed are the ones dying and everyone needs to receive the shot to survive. The truth is the unvaxxed are targeted for death by the hospitals and the hospitals don’t report that just as many vaxxed are hospitalized and dying as well.

There are simple ways to combat Covid at home with drugs like Ivermectin, HCQ, Budesonide, even CBD. These known, effective treatments are being suppressed so that patients will be forced to go to hospitals and ultimately murdered.

Through Remdesivir, paralytic drugs, and ventilators, the hospitals knowingly put patients to death so they can earn money and increase the fear of Covid.

Dr. Jonathan Howard has discussed extensively the myth and conspiracy theory that COVID-19 wasn’t that deadly and that hospitals were “empty.” The reason was that elective surgeries and tretaments had been canceled, and he also noted that emergency rooms, ICUs, and COVID-19 wards were far from empty. As for the rest, that is some Mike Adams-level conspiracy mongering there, with the government supposedly wanting more people to die and using the vaccine to accomplish this, all for purposes of…control? This, supposedly after considering whether to go into the homes of citizens to murder them.

To this end, the site warns of various tactics, including PCR tests to diagnose you with a supposedly benign “disease,” refusal to retest because they “want to get paid for Covid deaths,” pushing vaccines, financial incentives for “the protocol” from the government, promoting premature use of “deadly” ventilators, and the usual litany of COVID-19 conspiracy theories. Elsewhere on the site, recommended “leaders” listed include antivax icons like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and COVID-19 quacks like Dr. Zev Zelenko (now deceased) and Dr. Mary Talley Bowden.

Long ago when discussing cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski, I noted that the families of his patients—even family of the ones who died (particularly of the ones who died)—were his most powerful weapon. The reason is that they believed whole-heartedly either that their loved ones would have been saved if only they could have accessed Burzynski’s antineoplastons or that the reason their loved ones died was because they only got antineoplastons too late because their oncologists had put up every roadblock and refused to work with Burzynski. Because they had suffered the tragedy of the death of a loved one or dealing with a child with a deadly cancer, they were, in essence, untouchable as far as criticism goes. Indeed, when I discussed testimonials related to patients of Stanislaw Burzynski and other cancer quacks and how those testimonials did not support the cancer quack’s claims of incredible efficacy for their nostrums, I frequently came under attack as being callous and uncaring. I even once had a Burzynski patient report me to my state medical board for having discussed her case on my blog based on her public postings on Facebook and other social media.

With that background it was with some trepidation that I ultimately decided to discuss and the sorts of anecdotes and testimonials there. I will conclude by emphasizing just how similar the overall vibe of this website is to the vibe that I used to encounter routinely on websites devoted to extolling Stanislaw Burzynski, Robert O. Young, and other cancer quacks, which finally led me to decide to chance writing about it, if only to demonstrate the constants in narratives about alternative medicine and antivaccine claims. Indeed, it’s not just cancer quacks. In fact, the vibe of is perhaps more similar to the vibe that I used to find on antivaccine blogs and websites extolling miraculous claims for “autism biomed” quackery, where parents who mistakenly believe that the “medical-industrial complex” and vaccine manufacturers had intentionally given their children autism in order to profit from vaccines, primarily to profit. In all of these narratives, nefarious forces are at best indifferent to the “collateral damage” falsely attributed to science-based conventional treatments and at worst actively murderous, even to the point of genocide or “depopulation.” Also common to all narratives is the belief that “they” are actively suppressing highly effective and “alternative” treatments.

The problem for those of us trying to defend science-based medicine from such narratives is that those who mistakenly view themselves or family members as “victims” of vaccines, chemotherapy, COVID-19 treatments, ventilators, or other conventional medical treatments are, in fact, victims, just not in the way that they think. In reality, they are victims of the quacks and grifters who promote false narratives that cancer and COVID-19, for example, are curable with nontoxic natural treatments and that conventional treatments like chemotherapy for cancer and remdesivir and supportive care like ventilators for COVID-19 are what really resulted in the deaths of their loved ones, not the diseases themselves, while “They” (doctors, the government, big pharma, vaccine manufacturers, public health officials, etc.) are trying to “hide” The Truth (with a capital T) of the deadliness of their interventions, based on nefarious motives. The conspiracy theories are about as obvious as obvious can be, but they believe them.

They are also incredibly effective ambassadors for the alternativ medicine interventions they promote and the conspiracy theories behind them for obvious reasons. Because they or their relatives are also victims of a deadly disease like cancer or COVID-19 or parents who have a very difficult time dealing with a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder, survivors or surviving family members of the deceased are very sympathetic, and their ironclad belief in alternative medicine is that much more persuasive. This is no less true of those who lost loved ones—like a husband—to COVID-19 than it was (and still is) for those who lost children to cancer. Those of us who labor to explain why their anecdotes and testimonials do not support the narrative of deadly conventional medicine compared to nontoxic miracle “cures” like ivermectin for COVID-19 or antineoplastons for cancer are thus very easily cast as the villains attacking very sympathetic people, no matter how respectful and empathetic we try to be about it. Quacks know that, which is why they realize that these survivors and surviving family members are their most persuasive and untouchable allies.

Same as it ever was, unfortunately. The diseases might change, but the tactics, narratives, and conspiracy theories of quacks do not.

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