Malaria cure for coronavirus promoter is a fake claim cryptocurrency hustler from Stanford University
The unproven claim that an anti-malarial drug can cure the coronavirus – dubbed a “ game changer ” and a “ gift from God ” by Donald Trump – has been promoted by a cryptocurrency lawyer who has made a series of false claims, DailyMail.com may reveal.
Gregory Rigano made a series of Fox News and conservative and Christian radio performances to promote the idea that chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine “cures” the conronavirus.
The antimalarial drug is now the subject of a series of clinical trials, including in New York, where the state received 10,000 doses.
It has been repeatedly praised by Trump – but the first time he did, at the White House last Friday, epidemiologist Tony Fauci intervened to warn that it had not been scientifically proven to be effective and safe.
Trump reinforced the case for the drug again on Twitter Monday amid clear public tensions with Fauci.
Now a survey from DailyMail.com shows how:
- Rigano falsely claimed to be an advisor to Stanford University’s School of Medicine;
- He also claimed to have falsely consulted the University of Alabama at Birmingham;
- The Google document he used to promote his claims for the first time was removed by Google after it was formatted to look like a scientific article when it wasn’t;
- Other academics and apparent supporters of the original claims in the Google document said they had nothing to do with it;
- In mid-February he founded an LLC;
- Rigano previously founded a cryptocurrency firm that he said was “designed to cheat death”;
- He has also tried to find funding to “cure aging,” “end Alzheimer’s,” “live forever,” and “cure cancer.”
- Corrected a TV interviewer who repeatedly called him “doctor”;
- Hired a doctor for “trials” who is a serial entrepreneur whose other plans include a “personalized food motor.”
DailyMail.com has repeatedly tried to contact Rigano, a 34-year-old lawyer from Melville, Long Island, who mentions that he is an Eagle Scout on his resume.
He uses his parents’ house as an address on public documents.
Rigano first praised the use of chloroquine on Monday, March 13, and published a document on Google that was presented to look like a scientific article, but it is not and has now been removed by Google for violating its terms of service.
It was written by Rigano and by James Todaro, a former ophthalmologist in Dearborn, Michigan, who became a cryptocurrency investor.
Chloroquine attorney: Gregory Rigano claimed he worked ‘in consultation with Stanford University School of Medicine’ while making a series of Fox News appearances – but he’s not
Looks like a scientific paper: This is the Google document that Rigano has published, but it contains a series of false claims, including the involvement of Stanford and the University of Alabama in Birmingham medical schools
Big boost: Elon Musk tweeted Rigano’s document to his 32.7 million followers, giving it a huge readership – but Musk didn’t know the false claims in the document
Removed: Rigano’s original Google document that he used to push chloroquine has been removed by Google. The terms of service contain provisions about false claims
Game-changer, miracle and gift from God. Donald Trump has repeatedly touted the use of chloroquine in the days after Greg Rigano appeared on a series of Fox New shows to push the drug as a ‘cure’ for coronavirus – backed by false claims that he was a Stanford researcher
It would be “in consultation with Stanford University School of Medicine, UAB [University of Alabama at Birmingham] School of Medicine and National Academy of Science researchers. ‘
Rigano used a Johns Hopkins email address in the document, although his own LinkedIn profile says he’s a student and not a faculty member there. DailyMail.com has contacted the college to verify its enrollment status.
The text was in the format that a scientific article would follow and contained drawings of the structure of the chemical structure of chloroquine.
At the bottom of the text it says: ‘Special thanks to Stanford University School of Medicine, SPARK Translational Research Program, Steve Schow, PhD, The Lab of Louise T. Chow, PhD and Thomas R. Broker, PhD, Bruce Bloom DDS, JD of HealX and Adrian Bye. ‘
However, DailyMail.com may reveal that the paper was not a scientific one – and that all academics and institutions named in it have requested to be disconnected from it.
They included Stanford University, who said it and its SPARK unit asked to be removed from the document.
Rigano has also described himself as an “advisor” to the Stanford School of Medicine.
But Julie Greicius, senior external communications director at Stanford, said, “Stanford Medicine, including SPARK, was not involved in the creation of the Google document, and we asked the author to remove all references to us.
In addition, Gregory Rigano is not an advisor to the Stanford School of Medicine and no one at Stanford was involved in the study.
When asked if Professor Steve Schow, an adjunct Stanford professor of chemical systems biology, who was thanked in the document, had any involvement, Greicuis said no.
First appearance: Gregory Rigano’s first Fox News publicity was on the Laura Ingraham show, hours after Elon Musk tweeted his claims
Bogus: When Greg Rigano appeared on Fox Business Network, he presented himself as part of Stanford University’s School of Medicine – which he isn’t – and didn’t correct anchor Stuart Varney who called him “ doctor ” three times
Again: Rigano appeared on Fox News with Tucker Carlson and was once again presented as an ‘advisor’ to Stanford, which he is not
Count us in: Professor Thomas Broker, who was mentioned in the white paper before it was removed from Google, asked to distance his name from it, while the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he works said a statement that Nobel laureate Dr. . Louise Chow’s lab was also involved
The University of Alabama at Birmingham also said it was not involved in the Google document.
Prof Broker, after whom the document was named, asked to have his name removed, while university public relations manager Bob Shepard added that Dr. Chow, a Nobel laureate named in the recognitions, was not part of the study.
“No one at UAB has any connection with this newspaper,” said Shepard.
Shepard said that Broker had “previously researched chloroquine as a possible therapy for human papillomavirus,” known as HPV.
Shepard said, “He was in some contact with one of the authors of that article at the time. He was not involved in the work on the coronavirus and is in no way affiliated with that study. ‘
THE OTHER PROJECTS RIGANO SEEKS CASH
On his cryptocurrency company’s website, Rigano has also sought funding for:
End Alzheimer’s Disease, Stop Neurodegeneration: Demand Less Than $ 1 Million
Reused pancreatic cancer drug combination: less than $ 1 million
Cannabis cancer: less than $ 1 million
New antibacterial compound: less than $ 1 million
Cure Aging: less than $ 25 million
It’s time to live forever: over $ 100 million
Gene therapy for x: less than $ 10 million
Cure to Diabetes: Over $ 100 Million
Nootropics + ALS Cognitive enhancement: less than $ 100 million
Treatment for MS: unknown
Treatment for cancer: unknown
But the removal of the document was long after it was tweeted by Elon Musk on Monday, March 16.
Later that day, he started a week as a serial guest on Fox News polls and on Fox Business Network.
He appeared on Laura Ingraham’s The Ingraham Angle on Monday 16, just hours after Musk tweeted it was ‘perhaps worth considering’. He was presented as a co-author of the “study” of the drug.
He claimed that a “30-patient controlled study” had removed patients taking hydroxychloroquine and claimed that “we have good reason to believe that a preventative dose” would completely remove the virus.
Ingraham called it a “ game changer, ” a phrase used by Trump later in the week.
On Wednesday 17 the following morning he appeared on Christian Outlook with Kevin McCulloch. It was turned into a podcast version called ‘The Cure for COVID-19 Has Been Found’ and saw Rigano bragging that he had been tweeted by Musk.
Rigano said in the interview that it took 12 hours for the first “controlled” study of chloroquine and claimed to have a “team” ready. He also claimed that medical personnel would take it as a preventative measure as part of a trial.
In his interview with Carlson, Rigano praised Trump for reducing “bureaucracy with the FDA.”
Rigano said, “I am here to report that as of this morning, a well-controlled peer-reviewed study conducted by the world’s leading infectious disease specialist,” he said, claimed “showed a 100 percent cure rate against coronavirus. ‘
Carlson said, “It is very unusual for any study of anything to yield 100 percent results. That’s remarkable or am I missing something?”
In response, Rigano compared the effect of chloroquine with a breakthrough that allows Hepatitis C to be ‘cured’ by anti-virals.
“Being able to cure a virus was mathematically impossible, and the first company to do so was a small biotech … in the treatment of hepatitis C,” said Rigano.
“What we want to announce here is the second cure of a virus of all time.”
The following morning, March 19, he appeared in The Conservative Host’s syndicated show The Glenn Beck Program to reaffirm his claim about a “well-controlled, peer-reviewed clinical trial,” with a “100 percent cure rate”. to praise.
When asked “are you talking to the White House,” he contradicted, “We have a direct line to them and wait for them to get in touch.”
“We know that President Trump received our white paper within 24 hours of its publication. Dr. Fauci is doing an excellent job and we know they will make the right decision, “he said.
Profile: Gregory Rigano used his Twitter account to promote his claims about chloroquine
Profile: Gregory Rigano is a lawyer – and boasts Eagle Scout on LinkedIn
Family business: Gregory Rigano (left) is a lawyer in his family’s law firm, along with brother Nicholas (right)
Rigano appeared in Varney & Co of Fox Business Network later that morning and was once again presented as an ‘advisor’ to Stanford, which he is not.
He told Stuart Varney that Trump “has the power to immediately authorize the use of hydoxychloroquine against coronavirus.”
Grigano claimed that “100 percent of patients had healed within six days,” which led Varney to call it a “cure.”
Varney called him “doctor” three times – which he is not, and Rigano did not correct him.
And at 11:30 a.m. that day, Rigano’s initiative received its biggest public reward, when Trump first used a White House briefing to claim that its use was “approved.”
That was dropped by the FDA administrator during the same briefing, but on Friday it became the subject of heated back and forth with reporters when Trump was asked about “false hope.”
Asked by a reporter about research into the drug’s use, Fauci said, “The information you’re referring to is anecdotal, it hasn’t been done in a controlled study, so you can’t make a definitive statement about it.”
At this point, Trump intervened, “I’m probably more of a fan [of chloroquine] than anyone, but let’s see what happens.
“We understand what the doctor said, it’s 100 percent correct, it’s early, but I’ve seen impressive things, we’ll know soon, including safety.
“This has been prescribed for years to fight malaria, it is a strong tool.”
In a Tweet on Saturday, he went on to say, ‘HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance of being one of the greatest game changers in the history of medicine …
Hopefully BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents) will be put into use IMMEDIATELY. PEOPLE DIE, MOVE FAST, and GOD BLESS EVERYONE! ‘
And on Monday, Trump tweeted another link to a video of Rigano’s interview with Carlson.
Rigano has repeatedly referred to a study conducted in Marseille, in the south of France, by Didier Raoult, an infectious disease specialist at l’Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Méditerranée Infection.
But the French study touted by Rigano was inconsistent with his claims.
Raoult used both hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, the antibiotic that Rigano did not mention.
The anecdotal study said 95 percent of patients showed no signs of COVID-19 after six days of taking the combination of the drugs, not 100 percent.
Professor Gilles Pialoux, an infectious disease specialist at Tenon Hospital in France, told it Medscape, the medical news site: “The idea is interesting, but we need large, randomized, controlled trials.”
In fact, it showed that out of 26 in the trial, 20 finished it, one left the hospital before it ended, one was intolerant to the drug, and three moved from general care to intensive care – and one died.
Rates of death and transfer to ICU are higher than for normal coronavirus patients, CNN is Dr. Sanjay Gupta be on it.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s former FDA administrator, CBS told Face the Nation that the trial was far too small to be useful and that the presence of the virus was traced in the upper nasal passages, not the clinical outcome.
Rigano’s involvement is surprising because the background works as a lawyer at the family-owned Rigano LLC in Melville on Long Island, New York.
The 34-year-old appears in public records in the same house as his father James, 67, who runs the law firm, and his mother Dorothy, 65.
Researcher: Rigano has repeatedly referred to a study conducted in Marseille, in the south of France, by Didier Raoult, an infectious disease specialist at l’Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Méditerranée Infection.
Skepticism: When Donald Trump spoke of chloroquine at a White House press conference, Tony Fauci warned, “The information you are referring to is anecdotal, it was not done in a controlled process, so you cannot make a final statement about it. ‘
When DailyMail.com called the family home, an elderly woman said, “He’s not here right now,” and took a message.
In his biography, repeated on a series of websites, Rigano claims to have “advised over $ 1 billion in global transaction volume.”
On his LinkedIn page, he says he invented IKU, a blockchain platform for funding pharmaceutical research. IKU’s Facebook page says it’s set up to “cheat death.”
And a separate website for IKU has a list of very ambitious projects like ‘End Alzheimer’s, Stop Neurodegeneration’ for which he is seeking funding of less than $ 1 million.
Another is called ‘It’s Time to Live Forever’ and it costs less than $ 100 million – the website says it is ‘on the way’.
On February 11 of this year, just as the coronavirus outbreak was becoming a crisis, he set up a company called Jonas Research LLC in Albany, New York.
Rigano has appeared as a speaker at technical conferences where he has been described as a ‘corporate tech lawyer with a deep interest in cryptocurrencies and intellectual property’.
He has lectured on blockchain technology and hosted meetings on the inclusion of one who said in the description, “Big Pharma has given up the quest to cure Alzheimer’s. But we don’t have to! ‘
Rigano and Raoult are now looking for their own clinical trial and have enlisted the help of Dr. Chandra Duggirala.
He is a California-based series entrepreneur whose previous projects have included tryfuel.com, which he describes as a “ personalized food motor. ”
In another curious twist, Adrian Bye, one of the other people thanked in the Google document, runs a network company in China.
On his website, he says he grew up in Australia and currently lives on a ‘sacred Daoist mountain known as Wudang Mountain’ in central China.
His personal website doesn’t mention medical or scientific qualifications anywhere, but he did a YouTube interview with Canadian commentator Jean-François Gariépy, whose previous guests included white supremacist David Duke.
DailyMail.com contacted Rigano for comment via various email accounts, social media and by phone, but heard nothing back.
Raoult did not respond to e-mail questions, nor did Fox News.