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The Petro-Dollar’s Shaky Future: How The Biden Admin Has Alienated One Of Our Crucial Allies

The Petro-Dollar’s Shaky Future: How The Biden Admin Has Alienated One Of Our Crucial Allies

Authored by Christopher LaBorde via,




The Petro-Dollar's Shaky Future: How The Biden Admin Has Alienated One Of Our Crucial Allies

Authored by Christopher LaBorde via,

In late 1973 a deal was struck between the US and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that changed the future of both nations and the U.S. dollar for the next 50 years.

The importance of the deal has been downplayed, and the Biden administration’s near destruction of this deal has almost been outright ignored.

However, I have had a front row seat to the sentiment changes I am writing about, and I recommend that the reader consider this political game a concerning matter for the long-term stability of the U.S. dollar. 

In summary, it appears that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is open for new alliances outside of the US that would have never been considered before this time.

The History

In October of 1973, the US, UK, Netherlands, Canada and Japan were the targets of an OPEC oil embargo that increased the price of oil from $3 a barrel to $12 a barrel in a matter of months after they chose to support the Israelis in the Yom Kippur War. In the four years prior, Nixon price ceiling policies had doubled our dependency on foreign oil and 83% of that oil came from the Middle East. To make matters worse, in the three prior decades, US industry and consumers had become drunk on stable cheap energy, built an entire infrastructure and prosperous economy that was dependent on prices remaining low, and had firmly closed the door on any form of alternative energy options (nuclear). The sudden 4-X spike in oil prices over a 3-month period from this embargo created a real shock to the US way of life and threatened to cripple the US economy. OPEC had our attention and its un-official leader, Saudi Arabia, was in a good position to listen to proposals from the US.

In late 1973, A deal was made to end the embargo in early 1974 and pull the United States out of the Oil Crisis. Despite the US being in a tight spot, the negotiations created a deal that benefited both countries unimaginably over the following 5 decades that was described in a May 2016 Bloomberg article.

The gist of this deal can be summarized in the following two reciprocal agreements:

  • Agreement 1.
    • The Al Saud family, the ruling family of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, agreed to sell the US oil at a price that we could live with if we agreed to become their defender and supplier of military equipment - This helped ensure the family and the kingdom’s position in the region and provided a great customer for the US military industrial complex over the next 50 years.
  • Agreement 2.
    • The Al Saud family also agreed to buy an unfathomable amount of U.S. treasuries with some of the proceeds from the annual oil purchases - This helped back the Saudi Arabian currency with dollars while providing the U.S. economy with a very healthy and regular dose of liquidity.

This two-part mutually beneficial deal allowed the US to continue to spend money and have the stability of OPEC’s energy reserves behind it, while providing support for the kingdom and its ruling family. This deal has been active for multiple administrations up until this very day despite some rough waters, but as you will read, it appears to be changing.

Recent History

In 2015, a freedom of information act was filed in the 9-11 investigations that sought reparations from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia based on the participation of some of its citizens’ roles in the bringing down of the twin towers. During the following years the Obama administration maintained the position that the KSA government could not be held responsible for the action of a few of its people, and the treasury / petrol dollar deal maintained its mutually beneficial terms. The PR troubles of the deal were then inherited by the Trump administration, who quickly realized the value of maintaining the trade relationship and worked hard at continuing to have the kingdom recognized as a pro-US ally and one of our primary supporters in the region against the backdrop of an unstable nuclear Iran. Officials from the Kingdom suggested that the US get its political house in order rather than bring the 1973 deal to light for the full scrutiny of the general public to digest; and the Trump administration saw an opportunity to ask the kingdom to be the fulcrum for a “Peace in the Middle East” deal.

In 2017, the then 32-year-old Mohammed Bin Salmon “MBS”, the emerging leader of the kingdom, was in the process of both fully securing his leadership position and managing a country-wide corruption clean-up campaign. In many discussions with Saudi nationals the prince’s cleanup exercise was seen as a god-sent action that put the country back on track. However, in the U.S. the press chose to cover the event from the point of view of an old-school coup playing out on live television, which served the press well and renewed U.S. / K.S.A. tensions. Despite another round of disturbances in the optics between the countries, the deal survived and continued on. 

In 2018, after the “house cleaning exercise” was cooling down the young millennial prince emerged as the clear leader for the kingdom and the Trump administration vowed its support for him and the continued U.S. / Saudi alliances. The idea was to bring things back on track as quickly as possible and start working with the new normal. Unfortunately, it was later determined that someone in the young prince’s afterguard was not in favor of how he was being spoken about after the house-cleaning exercise and independently took matters into their own hands to quiet down the opposition.

On October 2nd, 2018, the unfortunate result was a journalist and son of a powerful family that had been promised a diplomatic position in the pre-housecleaning KSA regime, entered into the KSA Embassy in Turkey and would never exit. As a result of the rogue actions of a staff member, the young prince became embroiled in a freedom of the press / human rights scandal with the apparent assassination of a reporter and outspoken critic of his administration. The PR situation only became worse in the US press as MBS appeared to not fully realize the crimes he was being accused of. The problem was that with each stab from the press, MBS felt as though he was being personally wronged, and with each response from the prince, the U.S. social media public gained a deeper split with the Kingdom. As the Kingdom was gaining new foreign eastward facing ties, this was quickly becoming a bigger problem for the US than it was for the Kingdom.

In late 2019, a very exposed relationship between the Kingdom and the U.S. became a campaign topic for Trump opposition. There was no shortage of Western judgment for the Kingdom, and it became an important point for critics to associate Trump with, but the deal and its steady flow of cash that made the U.S. way of life possible was never up for discussion. This was clearly a challenging time to keep the full nature of how much the U.S. needed the kingdom under control and away from the press and the U.S. public. A win from the Arab region was needed and it was needed fast to cool down growing negative sentiments from the U.S. towards the kingdom if the deal was to remain intact. 

In Q1 of 2020 the Abraham Accords campaign went into full force. With a renewed desire from both parties to refresh their relationship and get back on the “right foot” the idea of “Peace in the Middle East” was hatched as a new goal to focus on. The strategy was that such a grand goal could wipe clean the slate between the U.S. public opinion and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the two countries could find themselves looking at a new deal for new hope in the region. In short, the Abraham Accords aimed to reconcile centuries old tensions between Middle Eastern nations sharing Abrahamic religious ties. This deal had been discussed since the beginning of the Trump campaign, but its timing was needed and looked like it could possibly bring together the Arab world with Israel. For years the Arab world had not acknowledged Israel and Israel had not acknowledged Palestine. The deal was designed to slow tensions between the warring neighbors and to start to bring trade between Israel and all of the Middle East.

On August 13th, 2020, the Abraham Accords were signed and Israel was free to trade technology with the Arab world and “the greatest peace deal” of all time was signed. However, in order for this concession to be made, the KSA prince would have to show weakness on some level with the people of the Arab world because it is widely understood that the Palestinians have long suffered at the hands of the Israelis. As a fierce young leader this was not a concession that would easily be made, so the concession deal that was struck was a deal for access to restricted US defense technologies. The U.S. would have to agree to sell full capability F35’s to the K.S.A. and the U.A.E. militaries, something that had never been allowed.

On January 20th 2021, President Joe Biden took office and the “catch” to the deal was discovered. In this case the catch was that the deal was signed with the Trump administration, not the Biden administration, and after the administration change, no full capability F35’s would be allowed to be delivered to the K.S.A. or U.A.E. military. The Biden administration decided to not honor that part of the deal and then decided not to acknowledge MBS as the current leader of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The administration then decided to double down on declaring MBS personally to be a very unpleasant person and an enemy of human rights, despite the incredible changes taking place for women’s equality within his Kingdom at that very moment. As you may imagine this was not the prince’s G-20 membership welcome that he felt he was due, nor one that made much sense for what was at stake for the U.S. and its economy. Unfortunately, Biden’s political posturing also watered down the goodwill of the accords and prolonged the tensions in the relationship triangle between the Kingdom, Israel and Palestine, but Biden’s tone towards KSA was about to shift. 

On February 24th, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. In the months following, Europe had to find a new energy supplier as Putin shifted Russia’s supplies East and the price of all energy climbed steeply. President Biden then made a plea to OPEC to increase its supply to help ease the price of oil that the U.S. was starting to experience because of the shortage, but as you can imagine, the plea fell on deaf ears and the execution of one of the fastest full Karma circles recorded in international history took place. 

On March 3rd, 2022, in an Atlantic Article, MBS suggests that President Biden should be concerned about the cares of the United States as it is not something that he himself is worried about any longer. MBS also clearly communicated that he was no longer concerned about the U.S.’s view of him or his kingdom’s actions. He stated that he will still do business with the US as well as many other countries, but that the US should probably pay more attention to their own country than to his. The article also mentions that MBS felt snubbed by the U.S. for assuming he was responsible for the death of the reporter and that that Biden refused to acknowledge his position as leader of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the clear text of this article, it can be read just how much damage had been done by the president to the relationship between the two countries in the 14-months since he took office. 

On March 15th, 2022, The Wall Street Journal announced in a headline, “Saudi Arabia Considers Accepting Yuan Instead of Dollars for Chinese Oil Sales”, which proved that MBS was remaining true to his statements that he was exploring trade relationships outside of the US and the petro-dollar. The article explains that there are many difficulties in a move like this but that some of these difficulties can be mitigated and will likely be considered. This act seemed to suggest that the Kingdom was actually willing to make moves away from the petro-dollar deal and that the Biden administration’s political posturing had consequences beyond the OPEC request being denied.

On May 31st, 2022, the U.S. had imposed the final SWIFT sanctions on Russia and opened the door for Russia to negotiate oil deals with China – Also Not In Dollars. Had this been done at any time before the sanctions were initiated, this act would have been considered an act of aggression to the United States and a possible act of war against the United States of America and the “Petro-Dollar.” However, in this instance it became a basic chess move in response to the weaponization of the SWIFT system and the sanctions placed against Russia, a move that the US encouraged and opened the door for. As business dealings appeared to be moving more East, this weaponization of the SWIFT system forced the hands of OPEC members to also consider the possibility that the timing of a dollar exit may not be here, but an alternative may be wise to consider, and the news outlets started to report that many other countries were feeling the same.

In July of 2022 the Arab news media started to cover stories of talks of the Kingdom moving into the BRICS alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). In May of 2023 the story had progressed to a Bloomberg article with the title, “The BRICS Bank Wants New Members as Saudi Arabia Looks to Join”. Besides Saudi Arabia, it was also reported that eight other OPEC member nations have been reported to have applied for membership to the BRICS alliance, including: Algeria, Angola, Congo, Gabon, Nigeria, Iran, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. When you include the existing BRICS countries, the OPEC countries that have applied and other oil producing countries that have applied to the BRICS alliance (such as Iraq, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Indonesia and Argentina) the list includes 19 of the top 25 oil producing countries in the world. These countries also represent up to 78% of the world’s oil reserves and possibly 36% of the global GDP, at a time when the US GDP only represents 25% of the Global GDP. I don’t suffer from the idea that these vastly different cultures will suddenly be able to get along and sing in harmony, but it should be understood that the US led weaponization of the SWIFT system clearly signaled something to these countries. That message intended, or not, might have been that the US is willing to default on their promise to accept dollars your country holds in reserve for trade if they do not like your politics. If that was the understood message, you can see how this may be very upsetting to countries who hold large sums of dollars in reserve.

On August 9th 2023 it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that the Biden administration had finally switched on to the gravity of the situation and was now working to repair relations with the kingdom, and that they had started trying to negotiate around the very topics that have been covered in this article. Ironically, 31-Months after the Abraham accords deal was damaged by the current administration; the administration is now trying to use this very deal as a vehicle to repair US KSA relations and move forward. On the cover of this updating of the Abraham Accords, it is being actioned to bring Palestine and Israel to more peaceful terms. However, the meat of this deal for the US may have more to do with Saudi Arabia’s growing Eastern relationships, possibly with the BRICS, and assurances that KSA will not include Chinese military bases within the kingdom or the pricing of Oil outside of the dollar. The Kingdom has clearly stated that they are not ready to fully agree to a deal with the US at this time, but that if they move forward, they will be requesting additional security guarantees and access to civilian nuclear technologies. The US has always refused sharing US nuclear technology with the region, but the Kingdom understands their current leverage with Biden’s prior actions towards the Kingdom.

On August 22, His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, The Kingdom’s foreign minister and senior diplomat, announced that he would be attending the BRICS summit in South Africa on behalf of MBS. Now that this meeting has concluded, one can only wonder what was discussed in the hallways and side-venues…

*  *  *

Hopefully next time you are at the pumps you can reflect on our relationship with the Kingdom and how it has been part of a delicate balance that has helped facilitate the U.S. way of life for the last 50 years. Kings and presidents have come and gone but the support that these nations have had for each other have been part of the fabric that have made the existence and growth of both nations possible. However, it is under these very different times that these arrangements are changing, and these changes are not small changes. Many of you will read this and think that the U.S. needs to make itself more independent, and I would agree with you that there is great value in that; we just need to carefully consider the timing, the price of those actions, how this will shift the political landscape and where this will leave the US dollar.

What to do in the meantime?

In no way am I writing to say good or bad things about the United States or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I am writing to say that part of the bedrock that the US dollar has been built on over the last 50 years may be changing. I suggest that readers keep a keen eye on the headlines that involve OPEC and Eastern powers, as subtle headlines buried far off the front page may be the headlines that harken the news of a new trajectory for the dollar over the coming decade.

As discussed in the last article, the US dollar has other pillars underneath it, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the bridge footings.

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/07/2023 - 23:40

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Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Authored by Michael Barone via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The headlines coming out of the Super…



Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Authored by Michael Barone via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The headlines coming out of the Super Tuesday primaries have got it right. Barring cataclysmic changes, Donald Trump and Joe Biden will be the Republican and Democratic nominees for president in 2024.

(Left) President Joe Biden delivers remarks on canceling student debt at Culver City Julian Dixon Library in Culver City, Calif., on Feb. 21, 2024. (Right) Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump stands on stage during a campaign event at Big League Dreams Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nev., on Jan. 27, 2024. (Mario Tama/Getty Images; David Becker/Getty Images)

With Nikki Haley’s withdrawal, there will be no more significantly contested primaries or caucuses—the earliest both parties’ races have been over since something like the current primary-dominated system was put in place in 1972.

The primary results have spotlighted some of both nominees’ weaknesses.

Donald Trump lost high-income, high-educated constituencies, including the entire metro area—aka the Swamp. Many but by no means all Haley votes there were cast by Biden Democrats. Mr. Trump can’t afford to lose too many of the others in target states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Majorities and large minorities of voters in overwhelmingly Latino counties in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley and some in Houston voted against Joe Biden, and even more against Senate nominee Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas).

Returns from Hispanic precincts in New Hampshire and Massachusetts show the same thing. Mr. Biden can’t afford to lose too many Latino votes in target states like Arizona and Georgia.

When Mr. Trump rode down that escalator in 2015, commentators assumed he’d repel Latinos. Instead, Latino voters nationally, and especially the closest eyewitnesses of Biden’s open-border policy, have been trending heavily Republican.

High-income liberal Democrats may sport lawn signs proclaiming, “In this house, we believe ... no human is illegal.” The logical consequence of that belief is an open border. But modest-income folks in border counties know that flows of illegal immigrants result in disorder, disease, and crime.

There is plenty of impatience with increased disorder in election returns below the presidential level. Consider Los Angeles County, America’s largest county, with nearly 10 million people, more people than 40 of the 50 states. It voted 71 percent for Mr. Biden in 2020.

Current returns show county District Attorney George Gascon winning only 21 percent of the vote in the nonpartisan primary. He’ll apparently face Republican Nathan Hochman, a critic of his liberal policies, in November.

Gascon, elected after the May 2020 death of counterfeit-passing suspect George Floyd in Minneapolis, is one of many county prosecutors supported by billionaire George Soros. His policies include not charging juveniles as adults, not seeking higher penalties for gang membership or use of firearms, and bringing fewer misdemeanor cases.

The predictable result has been increased car thefts, burglaries, and personal robberies. Some 120 assistant district attorneys have left the office, and there’s a backlog of 10,000 unprosecuted cases.

More than a dozen other Soros-backed and similarly liberal prosecutors have faced strong opposition or have left office.

St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner resigned last May amid lawsuits seeking her removal, Milwaukee’s John Chisholm retired in January, and Baltimore’s Marilyn Mosby was defeated in July 2022 and convicted of perjury in September 2023. Last November, Loudoun County, Virginia, voters (62 percent Biden) ousted liberal Buta Biberaj, who declined to prosecute a transgender student for assault, and in June 2022 voters in San Francisco (85 percent Biden) recalled famed radical Chesa Boudin.

Similarly, this Tuesday, voters in San Francisco passed ballot measures strengthening police powers and requiring treatment of drug-addicted welfare recipients.

In retrospect, it appears the Floyd video, appearing after three months of COVID-19 confinement, sparked a frenzied, even crazed reaction, especially among the highly educated and articulate. One fatal incident was seen as proof that America’s “systemic racism” was worse than ever and that police forces should be defunded and perhaps abolished.

2020 was “the year America went crazy,” I wrote in January 2021, a year in which police funding was actually cut by Democrats in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver. A year in which young New York Times (NYT) staffers claimed they were endangered by the publication of Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) opinion article advocating calling in military forces if necessary to stop rioting, as had been done in Detroit in 1967 and Los Angeles in 1992. A craven NYT publisher even fired the editorial page editor for running the article.

Evidence of visible and tangible discontent with increasing violence and its consequences—barren and locked shelves in Manhattan chain drugstores, skyrocketing carjackings in Washington, D.C.—is as unmistakable in polls and election results as it is in daily life in large metropolitan areas. Maybe 2024 will turn out to be the year even liberal America stopped acting crazy.

Chaos and disorder work against incumbents, as they did in 1968 when Democrats saw their party’s popular vote fall from 61 percent to 43 percent.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times or ZeroHedge.

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 23:20

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Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),




Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reviewed no data when deciding in 2023 to keep its COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place.

Doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in Washington in a file image. (Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

VA Secretary Denis McDonough said on May 1, 2023, that the end of many other federal mandates “will not impact current policies at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

He said the mandate was remaining for VA health care personnel “to ensure the safety of veterans and our colleagues.”

Mr. McDonough did not cite any studies or other data. A VA spokesperson declined to provide any data that was reviewed when deciding not to rescind the mandate. The Epoch Times submitted a Freedom of Information Act for “all documents outlining which data was relied upon when establishing the mandate when deciding to keep the mandate in place.”

The agency searched for such data and did not find any.

The VA does not even attempt to justify its policies with science, because it can’t,” Leslie Manookian, president and founder of the Health Freedom Defense Fund, told The Epoch Times.

“The VA just trusts that the process and cost of challenging its unfounded policies is so onerous, most people are dissuaded from even trying,” she added.

The VA’s mandate remains in place to this day.

The VA’s website claims that vaccines “help protect you from getting severe illness” and “offer good protection against most COVID-19 variants,” pointing in part to observational data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that estimate the vaccines provide poor protection against symptomatic infection and transient shielding against hospitalization.

There have also been increasing concerns among outside scientists about confirmed side effects like heart inflammation—the VA hid a safety signal it detected for the inflammation—and possible side effects such as tinnitus, which shift the benefit-risk calculus.

President Joe Biden imposed a slate of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in 2021. The VA was the first federal agency to implement a mandate.

President Biden rescinded the mandates in May 2023, citing a drop in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. His administration maintains the choice to require vaccines was the right one and saved lives.

“Our administration’s vaccination requirements helped ensure the safety of workers in critical workforces including those in the healthcare and education sectors, protecting themselves and the populations they serve, and strengthening their ability to provide services without disruptions to operations,” the White House said.

Some experts said requiring vaccination meant many younger people were forced to get a vaccine despite the risks potentially outweighing the benefits, leaving fewer doses for older adults.

By mandating the vaccines to younger people and those with natural immunity from having had COVID, older people in the U.S. and other countries did not have access to them, and many people might have died because of that,” Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine on leave from Harvard Medical School, told The Epoch Times previously.

The VA was one of just a handful of agencies to keep its mandate in place following the removal of many federal mandates.

“At this time, the vaccine requirement will remain in effect for VA health care personnel, including VA psychologists, pharmacists, social workers, nursing assistants, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, peer specialists, medical support assistants, engineers, housekeepers, and other clinical, administrative, and infrastructure support employees,” Mr. McDonough wrote to VA employees at the time.

This also includes VA volunteers and contractors. Effectively, this means that any Veterans Health Administration (VHA) employee, volunteer, or contractor who works in VHA facilities, visits VHA facilities, or provides direct care to those we serve will still be subject to the vaccine requirement at this time,” he said. “We continue to monitor and discuss this requirement, and we will provide more information about the vaccination requirements for VA health care employees soon. As always, we will process requests for vaccination exceptions in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies.”

The version of the shots cleared in the fall of 2022, and available through the fall of 2023, did not have any clinical trial data supporting them.

A new version was approved in the fall of 2023 because there were indications that the shots not only offered temporary protection but also that the level of protection was lower than what was observed during earlier stages of the pandemic.

Ms. Manookian, whose group has challenged several of the federal mandates, said that the mandate “illustrates the dangers of the administrative state and how these federal agencies have become a law unto themselves.”

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 22:10

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Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Authored by Amie Dahnke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

People with inadequate…



Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Authored by Amie Dahnke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

People with inadequate iron levels in their blood due to a COVID-19 infection could be at greater risk of long COVID.


A new study indicates that problems with iron levels in the bloodstream likely trigger chronic inflammation and other conditions associated with the post-COVID phenomenon. The findings, published on March 1 in Nature Immunology, could offer new ways to treat or prevent the condition.

Long COVID Patients Have Low Iron Levels

Researchers at the University of Cambridge pinpointed low iron as a potential link to long-COVID symptoms thanks to a study they initiated shortly after the start of the pandemic. They recruited people who tested positive for the virus to provide blood samples for analysis over a year, which allowed the researchers to look for post-infection changes in the blood. The researchers looked at 214 samples and found that 45 percent of patients reported symptoms of long COVID that lasted between three and 10 months.

In analyzing the blood samples, the research team noticed that people experiencing long COVID had low iron levels, contributing to anemia and low red blood cell production, just two weeks after they were diagnosed with COVID-19. This was true for patients regardless of age, sex, or the initial severity of their infection.

According to one of the study co-authors, the removal of iron from the bloodstream is a natural process and defense mechanism of the body.

But it can jeopardize a person’s recovery.

When the body has an infection, it responds by removing iron from the bloodstream. This protects us from potentially lethal bacteria that capture the iron in the bloodstream and grow rapidly. It’s an evolutionary response that redistributes iron in the body, and the blood plasma becomes an iron desert,” University of Oxford professor Hal Drakesmith said in a press release. “However, if this goes on for a long time, there is less iron for red blood cells, so oxygen is transported less efficiently affecting metabolism and energy production, and for white blood cells, which need iron to work properly. The protective mechanism ends up becoming a problem.”

The research team believes that consistently low iron levels could explain why individuals with long COVID continue to experience fatigue and difficulty exercising. As such, the researchers suggested iron supplementation to help regulate and prevent the often debilitating symptoms associated with long COVID.

It isn’t necessarily the case that individuals don’t have enough iron in their body, it’s just that it’s trapped in the wrong place,” Aimee Hanson, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge who worked on the study, said in the press release. “What we need is a way to remobilize the iron and pull it back into the bloodstream, where it becomes more useful to the red blood cells.”

The research team pointed out that iron supplementation isn’t always straightforward. Achieving the right level of iron varies from person to person. Too much iron can cause stomach issues, ranging from constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain to gastritis and gastric lesions.

1 in 5 Still Affected by Long COVID

COVID-19 has affected nearly 40 percent of Americans, with one in five of those still suffering from symptoms of long COVID, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Long COVID is marked by health issues that continue at least four weeks after an individual was initially diagnosed with COVID-19. Symptoms can last for days, weeks, months, or years and may include fatigue, cough or chest pain, headache, brain fog, depression or anxiety, digestive issues, and joint or muscle pain.

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 12:50

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