Man, I hate articles like the one in Axios about Donald’s latest snake oil. I’m not going to link to it. It should have started with
OLEANDRIN CAN KILL YOU, AND OTHER EXTRACTS FROM THE OLEANDER PLANT *WILL* KILL YOU
Instead, it cites papers to look authoritative and buries a quote from one researcher that translates to
DO NOT DO THIS
and shows pretty flowers in the pill bottle.
One of the heuristics I’ve carried with me from my time in California is “Oleander is poison. Do not eat.” The flowers are pretty, and it’s everywhere in California. So when I saw this a week or so ago, I did some research. Apparently oleandrin is one of the less toxic oleander components. It’s being used experimentally against cancer. God only knows why anyone is researching it for COVID-19, because it’s still pretty toxic. Not a path I would take until less toxic alternatives are exhausted.
It also looked like people refer to broader extracts from oleander as “oleandrin,” not just one component. So it’s only a matter of time until someone dies.
I’m sorry, but the My Pillow guy wouldn’t lie to me.
I mean, he promised his pillow would cure sleep apnea.
Until he was told by authorities he couldn’t make that claim.
And Ben Carson, I’ve been told he’s a brilliant surgeon!
I mean, sure there were a few complaints against him; like that time he operated on a woman without bothering to read her charts. And then when she was damaged by his surgery, he said “If I’d read your charts I never would have done the operation!”
Oleander branches/shoots grow straight and long.
Just don’t cook your hotdog on one!
Something that a lot of cancer medications have in common is that they rely on their ability to kill the cancer a little bit faster than they kill you. This is not how most antivirals work, as far as I know.
There’s a whole movie about that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Oleander_(film)
Given how toxic many of the normal cancer drugs are, that’s not a particularly reassuring statement. “Use only in a hospital while being continuously monitored by a team of trained professionals, because otherwise it will almost certainly be worse than the disease.”
It’s been obvious for some time that Trump wants a magic solution that will make COVID go away, and he’s willing to shill for anyone selling snake oil promising to do so. Honestly, one of the things I’m most worried about is that if and when we come up with a vaccine, intelligent people will avoid it because Trump is telling them it’s a good idea.
And why would either of these assclowns be associated with the federal government if they weren’t brilliant?
Oh, sorry, I’m being told the executive branch is currently run by a Soviet shitpile mobster manbaby. I see. Maybe that was a bad idea, you non-voting selfish shitstains who just had to tell Hillary to get fucked.
Oleander tree very pretty and the Oleander flower is sweet,
But the fruit of the poor Oleander is impossible to eat.
Honestly but sarcastically wondering if it’s time to cut out the middleman (and Big Pharma too!) and tell the Trumpsters to go harvest and chew some oleander. It’s an all-natural cure, amirite?
But I saw an orange manbaby bellow that the cure can’t be worse than the disease!
(I’m not even sure if that’s mocking. It gets more difficult as this garbage gets dumber.)
It’s part of Orange’s latest get rich scheme to sell it by mail….
@Hermann Fegelein: Nom nom DEAD! (Worst Duck Duck Goose variation ever!)
Also Goya products. Or was he touting those as a cure too?
@Roger Moore: At this point, I’m not sure I’d trust the FDA if they approved a vaccine in October or early November. I’d wait to see what the EU or Canada did.
Practically speaking, it wouldn’t make a difference to me, since I wouldn’t be anywhere near the top of the list for getting one (not an essential worker, not high risk due to age/underlying conditions/etc., not a major Trump donor) and I’d have months before needing to actually make that call.
Remember when we used to make jokes along the lines of, “Obama should give a speech telling people that drinking anthrax milkshakes is bad” and we’d laugh at the idea of wingnuts going right out and doing it?
@zhena gogolia: I was just going to post that!
Listen GOP – you first, you first. I’ll hold your beer for you.
Sometime in the 60’s, in Jacksonville Fl, the Parks Dept. decided to clear the oleander from our local park. They cut down huge oleander bushes, piled them up and set them on fire. The smoke damned near killed the whole neighborhood. Jacksonville is populated by Florida Man and Woman.
Oleander is the Official California Interstate Median Hedge.
(I am being informed by the director that may not be completely true, but close enough.)
Nothing kills them short of a chainsaw and shovel, but there’s an aphid that loves them, making a sticky mess. Nevertheless they’re one of the few reliable flowers from spring through fall with unlimited heat tolerance. We had one that had been allowed to reach roughly 1.5 house heights. Battled that sucker for years before a remodel sent it to the landfill. Crepe myrtles can somewhat emulate midsummer blooms and are rather less messy and invasive.
Do not miss. Do not wish to ingest. Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to humanity.
I’m not ?sure, but I think I see a flaw here.
O. Felix Culpa
@Roger Moore: I would definitely avoid an October surprise vaccine. There is no way it would be scientifically or medically sound.
How long before he says he took it? Also he didn’t question Harris’ eligibility to run for VP, and he told the post office that we have a very important election, and to speed up the mail.
lol I’m not teasing btw
The Thin Black Duke
I’m sorry, but anybody who doesn’t know by now that listening to Trump is hazardous to your health deserves what they get.
Trump is showing leadership in a way that Obama never did when it came to drinking bleach.
There are plenty of FDA medical watchdog organizations. They can tell you if the science is legit if a vaccine is approved under Trump.
Mingobat (f/k/a Karen in GA)
@Icedfire: No need to tell them. I’m sure they’ll do it on their own soon enough.
And of course they’ll call everyone else sheep for refusing to join them.
(Hannibal Lecter voice) Not for long…
Relax, the pills will probably be counterfeit. Something like powdered mycotoxins with traces of lead and arsenic.
@trollhattan: Now we have a disease that kills it quite effectively: oleander leaf scorch (caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa). The oleanders are now mostly gone in my neighborhood. The trumpists may have to look elsewhere for their magic cures.
Oleander as poison makes an appearance in the TV show Monk, “Mr. Monk and the Genius” (S7 E2), where David Strathairn makes an effective guest appearance as a chess grandmaster surrounded by a cloud of suspicion.
Considering the sort of halfwit that would take “medical” advice from Trump and the My Pillow jerkweed, this is actually the sort of problem that solves itself pretty quickly. These are people who would have been playing in traffic or pulling vending machines on themselves anyway.
One drawback to civilization is that stupid people are much more insulated from the natural consequences of them being stupid, than they would have been a hundred or five hundred years ago.
Brings back memories of trimming my Oleander bushes years ago. The sap numbed my arms in no time. Should have worn gloves and long sleeves.
@Icedfire: “If you double the dosage, it’s twice as effective!” Something like that.
Why is Big Pharma suppressing laetrile? I bet it could cure Covid19. Has anyone proved that it can’t? Where is the colloidal silver coalition?
You live in Colorado. Don’t refer to Bud Light as beer. ?
Interesting. Plant enough of something and nature will eventually figure out how to defeat it. Except bermuda grass, the cockroach of the plant world.
@Faithful Lurker: Oh man! Whale of a fail to tell ya lads!
I was wondering if it was what Diana Rigg used to kill people with in Mother Love, but that was laburnum. Love that show.
@mrmoshpotato: I’m pretty sure the locals know better than to touch that swill. Besides Kokanee is cheaper and actually tastes vaguely like beer.
I was once in a bar in KCMO in the middle of the day (don’t ask). A burly biker type at the bar was crunching peach stones and shouting, “It’s la-tril! I’ll never get cancer!” He would have been a great trumpanzee.
Keep off those calories! Sweeten your coffee with lead, not sugar!
“Is the FDA really necessary?”
–Every libertarian and most Republicans
We’re lucky they’re not bringing back tapeworm eggs as “surefire weight loss pills.” I probably shouldn’t say that out loud.
@zhena gogolia: If he crunches enough peach seeds, he definitely won’t get cancer.
@trollhattan: Don’t forget the Helgrammite Method for curing alcoholism.
Boris Rasputin (the evil twin)
@different-church-lady: Good times.
My office manager is taking some kind of silver orally. Bet she is now considering this. I can’t with the stupid anymore.
The drumf dipshits might be able to mess with the approval process, but I would say it is impossible to do that with out anyone knowing. The normal approval process involves advisory groups and lots of data. If there is no public data and no advisory group, there will be plenty of people screaming. Francis Collins, the NIH director has already publicly said he would not be silent if the process is corrupted. I seriously doubt any company would want to be part of drumf’s bullshit, the data they would be using for an FDA approval is highly likely to be the data they would be using for approval around the world and I can’t see that they would screw up their chances of selling their vaccine world wide.
Trump sure loves his cardiotoxic drugs.
Next thing he’ll recommend that people inject potassium chloride.
@wenchacha: Everyone knows the REAL secret cure is Apple Cider Vinegar!!!!!!
@prufrock: Remdesivir is a nucleoside analog that can mess up normal transcription (it is more selective to viral RNA-driven RNA polymerases though)
LOL I almost spit out my water.
@TaMara (HFG): Yeah, I’m not buying it until 45 proves the point of the LD (50) dose test personally.
I looked it up and oleandrin is a cardiac glycoside. Basic chemical data is here In-vitro anti-cancer activity is graphed here
The stuff is really toxic, 50% cell kill around 10 nanomolar. Cardiac glycosides as a class can show gangbuster anti-cancer activity in rodent models (I think it is because rodents are quite resistant to the class) and when I was at NCI we finally made a rule that any compound or natural product extract that showed a cardiac gylcoside pattern of activity was dropped. The animal data could look so good that people found it hard to give up on finding some structural modification that could bring the great rodent activity into the clinic. I think it was 20-30 years and lots of money before at least our program gave up.
@MomSense: Has she turned blue yet?
“Colloidial silver with an oleander chaser” sounds more like a supervillain origin story than a cure for, well, anything. Other than having a pulse.
I don’t know how old I was before I heard someone refer to oleander without the word poison in front of it. I thought poison was a part of the plant’s name. We had a lot in our city, until a couple of kids got sick (hospital sick) from it, and the city encouraged everyone to replace it with something less toxic.
Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]
@MomSense: I guess she wants to end up looking like a smurf. Too much silver in your diet turns your skin permanently blue-gray.
@PAM Dirac: Second time today I’ve posted XKCD’s note on in-vitro activity.
Yes, very much so, although in this case you can extend that that to include rodent models as well. I would say that less than 5% of compounds that should great petri dish activity show any animal model activity at all, but unfortunately only a small fraction of the compounds that show animal activity show useful clinical activity. Good rule of thumb, pay no attention to any report of anti-cancer activity unless it is a clinical trial or you are interested in the science.
I utterly adored Mother Love — Diana Rigg was just remarkable, and horrifying, in that role — and it kills me that no one has ever seen fit to release it on DVD or other home video/streaming. I’d give a lot to see it again.
next you are going to tell me that botulin is poisonous. But my forehead and brows are so clear and unfurrowed.
so has there been a covid19 followup on the Sturgis biker rally?
I was able to watch it on YouTube not long ago, but of course the quality wasn’t great. It has a fabulous cast — James Grout, James Wilby, David McCallum, etc. The first time I saw it I found it spine-chilling.
Unfurrowed? You are no Susan Collins, good sir or madam.
Hmm, you know, if we swap the ‘m’ in your nym with the letters ‘ol’ … it spells ‘oleander’.
COINCIDENCE? (Cue Law & Order Chirp.)
@germy: Is it possible for Ben Carson to be more ridiculous than this? One hopes it cost him bigly, but who knows?
I can’t help but wonder what tRump’s brother died from? They are not saying, as far as I have seen, and many things can kill a person unexpectedly, but could it have been COVID?
Am I a monster? My mind went right there when I saw he had died.
The Axios article is classic risk attenuation and a reminder that media companies very much are actors in how health risks are communicated and perceived. Here, some 2,000 words are expended on a message that should have some very simple themes: bioactive glycosides from oleanders being investigated for pharmaceutical use have not yet been comprehensively tested for safety; don’t eat them. The parties promoting them for CoViD-19 treatment are riddled with conflicts of interest or have a propensity for lying; don’t trust them. So, “. . . it cast doubts over the scientific rigor of the drug development process”, is best they could come up with for the punchline? I didn’t need to read this to have doubts about the scientific rigor of the drug development process, I got that from reading Ben Goldacre.
@TaMara (HFG): or your hoops! That’s what I have called future VP Kamala Harris since the Kavanaugh hearings! ( Senator Hoops)
I’d be proud to hold her hoops for her while she kicks Pence’s butt!
The most likely theory I’ve seen is that it was frontotemporal dementia, which Trump also has.
@jlowe: The more I think about it, the angrier I am about that Axios article. It’s dangerously misleading. A number of people have urged the media to hand COVID coverage to their science reporting team, not the politics team. This article is a good illustration of why.
Oleandrin is much more dangerous than hydroxychloroquine. It’s more toxic, and oleander bushes are much more available in the southern part of the US.
@zhena gogolia: Nah. He actually thinks that because he’s a neurosurgeon it puts him above ordinarily humans. It’s pretty much ego. I mean, who dares to question the brilliance of a neurosurgeon?
Oh, I was referring to Robert Trump, not Carson.
So you’re ruling out the wetsuit-and-two-d*ldos theory?
Doesn’t sound as if he was in that kind of shape.
@zhena gogolia: Oh. This is what I get for sipping my coffee ☕ too slow.
It really is depressing how far they are pushing the batshit crazy. It has a feeling of some sociopathic frat boys torturing small animals. It is even more depressing that the media are almost completely incapable of calling the sociopaths out, even when it is obvious.
When I had brain surgery, the neurosurgeon came and talked to me before the surgery. Then his PA came by, checked all the paperwork and drew marks on my head showing where the surgery should be done. There was also another neurosurgeon assisting with the surgery.
Sister Golden Bear
Years ago when I reporter, I actually covered a case where the suspect was accused of using oleander to poison a business rival.
My next door neighbor has oleander bushes that she’s left unmaintained all along the property. I always suit up with protective gear whenever I need to trim it myself. It’s nasty stuff, and in addition to all the things mentioned above, it also poisons the soil around it to prevent rival plants from growing.
This smells like grift, though so obvious the grifters might also be believers. The website of the company is http, not https, not a good sign, and the front page was totally revised recently as shown by the web archive. (It used to focus on cancer treatment.) If one can get the ear of Trump, they can sell him a make-Trump-look-good narrative quite easily.
There’s a legit political story here but the Axios piece should, as you and Cheryl said, have been extremely clear and bold and red at the top of the article (and the bottom) about the dangers.
@germy: Did the myPillow guy ever manufacture ANY masks or ventilators?