Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) revisited

Hydroxychloroquine was given a bad name back in March when US President Donald Trump used a press conference to promote the use of this common anti-malaria drug to treat Covid-19, saying: “I sure as hell think we ought to give it a try.” He followed this with a tweet that claimed the use of the drug in combination with azithromycin, an antibiotic, could be “one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine”. His misleading claims sparked hoarding of HCQ and a number of overdoses.

In late May, Trump confounded reporters at the White House when he told them he had been taking hydroxychloroquine for a “couple of weeks”.. “You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it. The frontline workers, many, many are taking it,” Trump said. Owing to Trump’s propensity to lie, it is not clear whether he has in fact been taking HCQ or not.

Also, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil tested positive for coronavirus in early July and spent 20 days in isolation, later complaining about feeling weak and having ‘mold’ in his lungs. He attributed his recovery to his prowess as an athlete in his youth, and taking hydroxychloroquine. He had famously referred to coronavirus as “the sniffles” and the “little flu” before he was infected with the virus, as were four members of his family.

President Jair Bolsonaro shows off a pill of  hydroxychloroquine which he credits with helping him battle his coronavirus infection in July
President Jair Bolsonaro shows off a pill of  hydroxychloroquine which he credits with helping him battle his coronavirus infection in July

So, what are we to make of the actions of these two maverick leaders propounding HCQ as a cure for covid-19, when their irresponsible behaviours and policies have led to their countries accounting for over 35% of deaths worldwide ? Did they have a point ?

Not according a recent article in yesterday’s Independent, which reported that a combination of drugs touted by Trump as an “extremely successful” Covid-19 treatment increases the chances of death among patients by 27 per cent, a study has found.

Hydoxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug also promoted by Brazilian president Jair Bolsanaro, has no impact on coronavirus mortality rates, concluded French scientists. But when patients were treated with the drug as well as with the antibiotic azithromycin, which Mr Trump had also recommended, rate of death rose by more than a quarter, the study found. Click full article

However, in recent weeks, several more prospective and retrospective studies have confirmed the effectiveness of malaria drug HCQ against covid-19, both in primary care and in hospitals, and both in the general population and in nursing homes. The studies typically found risk reductions between 30% and 50% (e.g. reduced hospitalizations, disease duration or mortality).

At this point it is rather obvious that Western health authorities falsely discarded HCQ based on the fraudulent Surgisphere “study” (using fake data) and the misdesigned WHO trials (using lethal doses in late-stage disease), while pushing much more expensive and risky drugs. As a former French health minister explained in May, where some see disease, others see dollars.

Given what we now know about severe covid, but also about widespread post-acute “long covid” in younger and previously healthy people, health authorities should seriously consider large-scale prophylactic and early treatment based on simple, safe and effective means.

Stages of covid disease (EVMS)

Swiss Policy Research | 26th Aug 2020 at 1:30 pm | Categories: Allgemein | URL: https://wp.me/p8ZNuI-8WS

I have to say I don’t really understand the graph, and I cant determine what is misinformation, disinformation or what is true reporting of the facts. I think the studies with a high death rate (27%) relate to treating patients with severe illness with HCQ, whereas the Swiss Policy research relates to prophylactic and very early treatment, rather than treating patients with advanced disease.. Perhaps Trump taking HCQ as a prophylactic treatment was effective ? True or false, we shall never know.

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