Ben Rhodes shills up a glowing 'narrative' for Castrocare

Having slid into irrelevance, President Obama's "Mind Meld" Ben Rhodes has gotten busy touting the virtues of President Obama's one-way U.S. rapprochement with communist Cuba, which Rhodes was largely behind.  On Twitter, Rhodes has started a series of tweets endorsing Castroite propaganda about the wonders of Cuba's medical care system and how amazingly advanced it supposedly is, citing a new Miami Herald piece that repeats hoary propaganda claims about an over-touted lung cancer vaccine called CIMAvax which had been praised as a panacea previously in 2015 and 2016 during Rhodes's narrative blitz at the time and still hasn't gotten much traction.

We are only able to support clinical trials of this cancer vaccine by engaging with the Cuban government:

— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) June 9, 2017

That's right: he's talking about Cuba, that famous innovator in medical treatment, somehow sought by all, according to the Castroite propaganda line.  Rhodes would have you think telling Castro and his goon tyranny to go to hell, as President Trump is likely to do next Friday, will mean cruelly depriving Americans of life-saving medical treatment they would never get otherwise.

Obviously, ol' Ben's inner creative writing major has cranked into overdrive on that one.

Here's a reality check: Cuba is not the end-all and be-all of cancer cures on a worldwide scale.  They often overstate their capacity for cures, according to former top Cuban surgeon Dr. Hilda Molina.  The country's medical patent count is a lowly 1,200, compared to the 147,000 found in the U.S. for devices alone and the far greater count for drugs and vaccines.  For drugs, 57% of all drug patents are issued to U.S. entities, with the balance going to European industry leaders.  Cuba doesn't even make the charts, and note that a much tinier nation, Israel, does.

Here in the U.S., there are world-class cancer treatment facilities and thousands of ordinary facilities that top anything found in the Castrocare world.  Name one doctor, any of those top-notch doctors here, who would exchange what he has for a career in Cuba.  And note that thousands of Cuban doctors flee to our shores regularly to get away from the nightmare of Cuban medical care.  In Miami, doctors here who recertify fleeing doctors from Cuba report significant defects in medical knowledge and long periods of retraining, given that most of these "doctors" were selected for medical schools based on political criteria and never properly trained in medicine in the first place.

The reality is, Cuba's vaunted medical system is so bad that even the Castro brothers won't use it.  For years, when Fidel Castro was on his last legs, he called in a Spanish doctor to see to his basic needs on as common a problem as diverticulosis.

Even more significantly, Castro's doctors pretty well killed their country's goose that laid the golden eggs for the regime: one Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.  Castro's quacks gave Chávez the wrong treatment and then were unable to reverse course when they realized the damage done.  Net effect: dead dictator, and all the more pitiful because both the U.S. and Brazil had offered to make their world-class cancer care available to the Venezuelan leader. 

Chávez actually believed the propaganda about Cuban medical care being superior to other care, despite having other options that really would have cured him.  He was literally done in by Castrocare.

Castro dumps his country's elderly onto the U.S. to make the gringo pay their health costs – because the Cuban system is so inadequate.

Now, in a bid to salvage President  Obama's collapsing legacy, Ben Rhodes tweets like Michael Moore about how great Castrocare and all its research is.  And not just great, he assures, but necessary for the health and well-being of citizens in the U.S.

So let's briefly look at all the vaunted claims about CIMEvax, the panacea Cuba's medical boosters have been touting since 2008 with no significant progress or changes.

According to the New York Times, it doesn't seem to be working all that well per one patient:

In the five months since Ms. Malik began taking Cimavax, her experience has been mixed. Initially, the fluid in her lungs diminished significantly, giving her renewed energy and allowing her to get around without her walker. But recently, fluid has begun to build up in her right lung, and she has grown weak and short of breath. Her son says she is likely to switch to a new medication soon and stop taking Cimavax.

"It's not panning out as we'd hoped," he said. "It's really like the Wild West trying to know what is best to do."

Others note that the trials are tiny – too tiny for anyone to make any sort of useful judgment on – and note that in the U.S., they have been going on for years with nothing reported.

This research is promising but it's a small trial and we'll need more trial results before we know exactly how well the vaccine works for people with lung cancer. A  trial is currently in progress in the United States.

Doctors are skeptical, too:

"The data is intriguing, but we need to do more definitive studies to evaluate the benefits," said Justin F. Gainor, a thoracic oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who works on the design of clinical trials for novel therapeutics. "Right now, the body of evidence does not support using it outside the clinical trial process."

Doesn't sound like much of an endorsement to us.  Here's another thing: the U.S. is developing two other vaccines for lung cancer quite outside the Castrocare system.  Care to take one of those or the Castro version?

The vaccine is in a trial at Roswell Park Medical Center right now, taken with a buttressing combination therapy developed in the U.S. 

The vaccine supposedly costs $1 to produce, but Castroites are charging tourists $12,000 for the privilege of using it, suggesting a monetary interest at work.  Runaway profits, anyone?

All of the articles state that the vaccine has been administered to 1,000 Cuban patients – a figure that hasn't changed in the reporting since 2015, which is a bit suspicious, as are the unpublished Cuban trial results with a small sample of 450 patients.  That 1,000 may sound impressive until you see that some 21,000 Cubans die from cancer each year, a large portion of them lung cancer patients.  It sounds as if this $1 vaccine isn't getting around much, even with the influx of gringo dollars.

What are we looking at here?  A Ben Rhodes "narrative" in emergence to scare Americans into thinking only Castrocare can save them and Cuban medicine is a panacea.  That's linked to Rhodes's disastrous effort to create a one-way rapprochement with Cuba and save that rapprochement as part of the Obama legacy.  Touting quack medicine of unproven value is a pretty cynical and disgusting way to play on people's fears in the name of succoring an odious dictator.

Is there anything Rhodes does that isn't cynical?

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