Is HCQ a Safe and Effective Treatment for Covid-19?

Treating COVID-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine  (HCQ) shortly after they were hospitalized significantly reduced the death rate in treated patients compared with patients who did not receive the drug. That’s the remarkable conclusion of a large observational study conducted in six Detroit-area hospitals, published July 2 in “The International Journal of Infectious Diseases”.

That study would seem to contradict two earlier medical journal reports  (one has since been discredited and withdrawn because of questionable data)  that concluded that the drug was  neither safe nor effective in treating the virus. On the other hand, it does support results reported by many practicing physicians both here and abroad who claim that they are treating virus patients with HCQ and achieving favorable symptomatic relief.

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This apparent contradiction in outcomes can be resolved by noticing that the earlier studies were based entirely on older COVID-19 patients who were already severely ill and hospitalized, while physicians in the field have generally been administering HCQ to younger patients with only mild to moderate symptoms. In short, the patient cohort and medical protocols in these instances have been entirely different. Yet this absolutely crucial distinction has been omitted in most of the previous media coverage of HCQ.

Indeed, almost from the moment that President Donald Trump speculated that the drug could be used against the virus,  the MSM has repeatedly alleged  that HCQ “kills people” and that there are dangerous heart irregularities associated with its use. It should be noted that  the  Detroit study cited above closely monitored cardiac health and found no increase in heart problems associated with HCQ. But the MSM should already have been skeptical about any significant health dangers since  HCQ has been an FDA approved drug for decades (malaria treatment) and has had a spectacular safety profile. How Not To Die With Tr... Henriques, Tiago Best Price: $18.23 Buy New $17.97 (as of 08:00 EST - Details)

Yet the MSM is not the only culprit in this  heavy-handed and sloppy scientific coverage of HCQ.  In several instances, State regulatory boards have legally threatened several pharmacies about filling HCQ prescriptions.  The FDA  itself has been intimidating physicians for months about using the drug (off label) to treat COVID-19. And even as late as May 27, Dr. Anthony Fauci claimed that the drug was simply not effective against the disease.

 But now it turns out that these government warnings and outlandish media allegations were entirely wrong-headed. And the cost? A reasonable guess is that all of this likely created a strong “chilling effect” for many doctors  in prescribing what may well be a remarkably cheap, safe and effective drug for Covid-19 symptom relief.  What a shame.  But don’t hold your breath waiting for any apologies.