Report: Fort Detrick Biodefense Lab Researching Oleander as Potential Coronavirus Therapy

Report: Fort Detrick Biodefense Lab Researching Oleander as Potential Coronavirus Therapy

Report: Fort Detrick Biodefense Lab Researching Oleander as Potential Coronavirus Therapy

Oleander is toxic to cats, but may be effective in treating cancer, and just may be a much-needed treatment for combating the novel coronavirus. And while our do-nothings in Congress are busy bickering about how to best waste our tax dollars and burying us in further debt—with some of them doing their darnedest to help tank our economy and shove us into socialism—our military is reportedly hard at work researching, as a treatment for the novel coronavirus, the readily-available plant at its Fort Detrick biodefense lab:

From reporter John Solomon, formerly of The Hill:

Dr. John Dye, chief of viral immunology at the USAMRIID lab at Fort Detrick, confirmed to Just the News that his team began testing the extract known as oleandrin a few years ago and found it was effective in fighting the Ebola and Marburg viruses. The Army lab is now ramping up a rapid plan to test oleandrin against COVID-19.”

” ” ‘We found that at non-toxic concentrations, oleandrin was efficacious at slowing and halting viral growth in tissue culture assays for the Ebola and Marburg viruses,’ ” Dye said in emailed answers to questions.”

“‘Because those viruses are enveloped, just like COVID-19, the lab is pressing ahead to do similar tests on the theory that the extract may have similar effects on the coronavirus at the center of today’s pandemic,’ he said.”

More from Mr. Solomon:

Now, mind you, this is the same lab that ChiCom propagandists on Twitter are right now attempting to blame for “leaking” the coronavirus into the world. And this is their pretext.

Exhibit A:

Four followers. That’s how many “people” follow “Wendy Wang’s” account. And its message is tweeted nearly word-for-word from many other accounts. Ahem: Is that you, President Xi?

But back to oleander.

The reasons for military research of the potential medicinal properties of plants like oleander are obvious: our troops often find themselves deployed to continents known for such deadly viruses like Ebola and other nasty pathogens and need quick and available remedies. So it’s not surprising that they’re researching potential treatments for coronavirus, and of course, in light of the possibility that our foes will exploit it as a bioweapon against us (some of us—cough me—believe the ChiComs released COVID-19 into the world intentionally to tank our economies in an attempt to become the world’s superpower).

…the intelligence community has also begun gaming out the potential for bad actors to weaponize the virus, particularly against high-level targets, and the Defense Department has recently shifted its focus toward monitoring the possibility more closely, said three people familiar with the matter.”

And Nerium oleander extract is reportedly looking promising as a tool against coronavirus:

Andrew Whitney, executive chairman of Phoenix Biotechnology, told Just the News he is excited that Dye’s lab is beginning testing against the coronavirus and said a separate lab has already done extensive testing in recent weeks and preliminarily found oleandrin is effective against COVID-19.”

” ‘One leading U.S. institution has already reported remarkable efficacy of our compound against COVID-19, having completed multiple lab studies over the past month. We will soon make the details of that public,’ he said.”

As a breast cancer survivor who in early 2011 underwent a double mastectomy and then four rounds of chemo to kick my tiny tumor’s ass—if you haven’t experienced the C Word or don’t know someone who has, I can tell you firsthand, it’s brutal—I’m unfamiliar with oleander as a possible cancer treatment, so anything that’s an unconventional therapy piques my curiosity. So, of course, I searched the interwebz for further info, and this is what I found. From WebMd:

“Oleander is a plant. Its use as a poison is well known. Some of the deaths from oleander are accidental but others are due to suicide. In parts of Asia it is commonly used as a suicide agent.’

“Despite the danger, oleander seeds and leaves are used to make medicine. Oleander is used for heart conditions, asthma, epilepsy, cancer, painful menstrual periods, leprosy, malaria, ringworm, indigestion, and venereal disease.”

“Oleander is sometimes applied to the skin to treat skin problems and warts.”

So how does it work?

Oleander contains chemicals called glycosides, which can affect the heart. These chemicals can slow the heart rate down. Some of these chemicals might also kill cancer cells.”

And from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center:

Brand Name Anvirzel™”

“Oleandrin may inhibit the growth of some cancer cells in the lab, but it has not yet been shown to be an effective cancer treatment.”

“Oleandrin is an extract from the plant, Nerium oleander. This shrub is native to northern Africa, the eastern Mediterranean basin, and Southeast Asia and although it looks appealing, is considered toxic. It contains substances that are similar to the active chemical found in the heart medication, digoxin. In the laboratory, Anvirzel™, a brand of oleandrin, is able to suppress growth and cause cell death in certain cancer cell lines. It has also increased sensitivity of prostate cancer cell lines to radiation therapy. However, it is unclear whether these effects can occur in the human body.”

You can read a bit more about Anvirzel here, here, and here.

Oleander also comes with a strict warning about its toxicity to humans:

Adverse Reactions

” * Common (Raw botanical) Consumption of even one Nerium oleander leaf can be fatal. Onset of toxicity occurs several hours following consumption. Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, cyanosis, hypotension, hypothermia, vertigo, respiratory paralysis and death. These symptoms can occur at a serum oleandrin levels between 1.0 and 2.0 ng/mL.”

” * With Anvirzel™, pain at injection site, fatigue, transient erythema, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea”

In other words: DO NOT traipse out into your yard, pluck an oleander leaf from your shrub, and ingest it. As with any other potential treatment for illness, you should never, never, not EVER…take anything that’s not been prescribed or distributed to you by, and under the strict supervision of, your doctor. Don’t be the self-medicating, fish tank cleaner-ingesting guy.

While results of its potential effectiveness against coronavirus will take time, Fort Detrick’s research into oleander’s medicinal qualities is a welcome development in a country growing increasingly intolerant of overreaching politicians. And that includes here in my home state of Idaho, where the county where I live has had less than a half-dozen cases, and zero deaths. Yet our downtown businesses—already reeling after the umpteenth road destruction/reconstruction blocking our storefronts—remain mostly-shuttered anyway, with the threat of losing them forever growing more and more likely by the day.

The country needs positive news. It needs hope. It needs and wants to get back to work, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And with the unfortunate news breaking yesterday about remdesivir and a (highly questionable?) Veteran’s Affairs study that showed hydroxychloroquine ineffective—of course breathlessly reported by a giddy liberal media that wants more than anything to destroy our president and install senile old Joe Biden—the promising treatments for coronavirus have taken a hit. While you won’t hear the media report much of anything encouraging (yes, it’s enjoying watching the country in distress and wants the crisis extended as far as possible into the fall), nevertheless, our best minds are working hard on our behalf to help bring us much-needed potential virus treatments while we await a vaccine that may or may not come. And, breaking last evening, bringing us much-needed research on the detrimental effects of increased temperature, humidity, and sunlight on the coronavirus itself (relevant bits start at approximately 1:15):

Grabs sun lamp and an isopropyl alcohol spritzer: Die, you SOB!


It’s all encouraging news as some states begin loosening their oft overly heavy-handed lock-downs—and Draconian edicts on things like buying seeds and paint—and as their citizens demand that their jobs resume, with some opening up their businesses regardless of the draconian stay-at-home orders imposed by their governors. Hint: one of those states is mine, because Idahoans, especially those of us up north, dislike being told what we can and cannot do. Period.

We are a resilient people, and no matter what our statist politicians try to force upon us, we will overcome. And hopefully with the help of extracts from plants that may be adorning your garden right now.


Feature Image Credit: The “Dan Crozier Building”, US Army Medical Department; Wikimedia; public domain; image cropped.

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1 Comment
  • GWB says:

    Oleander is toxic to cats
    So, no downside?

    Ahem: Is that you, President Xi?
    Ask them to tweet that it’s “Winnie The Flu”. Those who refuse are Chinese propagandists.

    some of us … believe
    Nah. It would take a staggering level of incompetence to screw it up this way. A level of incompetence higher than that required to simply drag the virus out of the lab and into a market accidentally. Or to sell leftover bats to said market because it will pad your paycheck.

    potential for bad actors to weaponize the virus, particularly against high-level targets
    Nah. You’re going to give the target a bad flu that might ultimately reduce their lung function? No, if you’re going to go after “high-level targets” you want something that kills, and kills quickly, and is NOT treatable by a general anti-viral.
    Now, if you want to hit a general population, you could (maybe) tweak this virus to be much more inconveniencing than it already is. Especially if you could make it multi-stage. Hold on, there’s some men in uniform knocking on my door….

    Of course, the real weaponization was of our media. They turned that against us in a heartbeat. (OK, that didn’t take any real “turning”….)

    As a breast cancer survivor
    Did you miss a blockquote closing tag? I think that’s you writing there.

    However, it is unclear whether these effects can occur in the human body.
    This is always the issue. Lots of things work in a test tube/petri dish that don’t work in the more complicated universe of our bodies.

    Don’t be the self spouse-medicating, fish tank cleaner-ingesting guy gal.

    the unfortunate news breaking yesterday about remdesivir
    A clinical trial conducted in China
    Don’t trust China. China are asshoes.

    bring us much-needed potential virus treatments
    The thing is, all of this research on so many different fronts could give us a whole bunch of ways to treat viruses and such. Then a doctor can look at his options and decide on which of 100 ways is best to treat his patient. THAT is very good.

    bringing us much-needed research on the detrimental effects of increased temperature, humidity, and sunlight
    Ummmm…. we knew this already? And we knew that bleach and alcohol and soap will kill the virus. This is like the research that comes out showing if you’re ugly you won’t get as many dates. OMG! Glad we had a scientist to explain that one! *eyeroll*

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