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Coronavirus Drug: French Researcher Reports Successful Trial Using Malaria Medicine

Coronavirus Drug: French Researcher Reports Successful Trial Using Malaria Medicine

Postby smix » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:29 pm

Coronavirus Drug: French Researcher Reports Successful Trial Using Malaria Medicine
International Business Times

URL: https://www.ibtimes.com/coronavirus-dru ... ne-2942699
Category: healthNews
Published: March 19, 2020

Description: A French researcher announced that his COVID-19 drug trial was successful. The French government had consulted Professor Didier Raoult, the head of l'Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Méditerranée Infection, to research on possible treatments for the deadly virus. On Monday, the professor announced that he used drug chloroquine, normally used to treat malaria, to treat 24 patients who volunteered for the process. The drug was administered via the drug Plaquenil for 10 days and the patients were closely monitored. He announced that the trial was successful as the drug helped in speeding up the healing process. The drug also decreased the amount of time the virus remained contagious. “We included everyone who was in agreement [to be treated], which was almost everyone. Two towns in the protocol, Nice and Avignon, gave us [infected] patients who had not yet received treatment,” Professor Raoult said. “We were able to ascertain that patients who had not received Plaquenil were still contagious after six days, but of those that had received Plaquenil, after six days, only 25% were still contagious,” he added. Meanwhile, reports stated that Biopharma company Bayer was preparing a large donation of chloroquine to help fight COVID-19. On the other hand, the World Health Organization on Wednesday announced that it will launch a multinational trial to search for drugs that can treat coronavirus. A total of 10 countries including Spain, Switzerland, Iran and Canada have already signed on for the trial. Ana Maria Henao-Restrepo, the unit head for the WHO’s research and development “blueprint” group, said, “This trial focuses on the key priority questions for the public. Do any of these drugs reduce mortality? Do any of these drugs reduce the time a patient is in hospital and whether or not the patients receiving any of the drugs needed ventilation or intensive care units.”
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Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial

PDF: https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/ ... I_IJAA.pdf
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More encouraging results in preliminary use of Hydroxychloroquine in treatment of coronavirus on 36 COVID-19 patients, French...

Postby smix » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:39 pm

More encouraging results in preliminary use of Hydroxychloroquine in treatment of coronavirus on 36 COVID-19 patients, French researcher Didier Raoult says
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/03/19/enc ... oult-says/
Category: healthNews
Published: March 19, 2020

Description: As researchers and scientists around the world work day and night to find cure for the deadly coronavirus, we reported late yesterday a piece of good news coming out of France. In a new controlled clinical study conducted ​in France, doctors found that Hydroxychloroquine is effective in the fight against coronavirus.

Didier-Raoult.gif

The study, which was conducted by renowned research professor Didier Raoult​ M.D/Ph.D, et. al in Marseille, France, showed that 100% of patients that received a combination of HCQ and Azithromycin tested negative and were virologically cured within 6 days of treatment. Prof. Raoult had been tasked by the French government to research possible treatments of Covid-19. Prof. Raoult is a French biologist. He holds MD and Ph.D. degrees and specializes in infectious diseases. In 1984, he created the Rickettsia Unit at Aix-Marseille University (AMU). He also teaches infectious diseases in the Faculty of Medicine of Aix-Marseille University, and since 1982 has supervised many M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. Prof. Raoult​ is one of the main proponents for using hydroxychloroquine to treat infection with the novel coronavirus. However, the hypothesis Prof. Raoult and others on his team, was dismissed by other eminent infectious disease specialists, who deemed the data to be insufficient and dismissed as fake news recently by the Ministry of Health. Today, however, Prof. Didier Raoult​ released additional encouraging results of a preliminary trial involving a total of 36 COVID-19 patients. In a paper, which is yet to be released to the public, Prof. Didier Raoult​ and his team of scientists and researchers treated 20 of these patients with 600 milligrams of hydroxychloroquine daily in a hospital setting between early and mid-March. Depending on their symptoms, the coronovirus patients received a combination of HCQ and Azithromyci, an antibiotic that fights bacteria and used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, such as respiratory infections, skin infections, ear infections, eye infections, and sexually transmitted diseases. The 16 remaining patients were not given the drug as a control. He said that the first Covid-19 patients he had treated with the drug chloroquine had seen a rapid and effective speeding up of their healing process, and a sharp decrease in the amount of time they remained contagious. Chloroquine – which is normally used mainly to prevent and treat malaria – was administered via the named drug, Plaquenil. The treatment was offered to 24 patients, who were among the first to become infected in the south east of France, and who had voluntarily admitted themselves to hospital for the process. Patients were given 600mcg per day for 10 days. They were closely monitored, as the drug can interact with other medication, and cause severe side effects in some cases. Professor Raoult said: “We included everyone who was in agreement [to be treated], which was almost everyone. Two towns in the protocol, Nice and Avignon, gave us [infected] patients who had not yet received treatment. “We were able to ascertain that patients who had not received Plaquenil (the drug containing hydroxychloroquine) were still contagious after six days, but of those that had received Plaquenil, after six days, only 25% were still contagious.” At the end of the study, the researchers found a “significant” reduction in viral load in the patients treated with hydroxychloroquine. After 6 days, the team also found that the percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 who received hydroxychloroquine fell to 25% versus 90% for those who did not receive the treatment (a group of untreated COVID-19 patients from Nice and Avignon). Their study can be found in the European Union Clinical Trials Register, which shows that the Marseille study was accepted on 5th March by the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM). In addition, comparing untreated patients, those receiving hydroxychloroquine and those given hydroxychloroquine plus the antibiotic azithromycin, the results showed there was “a spectacular reduction in the number of positive cases” with the combination therapy, said Prof. Raoult. After 6 days, the percentage of cases still carrying SRAS-CoV-2 among patients given combination therapy, was no more than 5%. Even with the encouraging news, French government spokesperson Sibeth Ndiaye is still very cautious, according to a report from French news site, The Connexion. Ndiaye said that similar clinical trials would now be extended to more patients, but said that there is currently no definite “scientific proof” that the treatment works. “[New trials] will be completed by a team independent of Professor Raoult,” Ndiaye said. Other French researchers also warned of the dangers of authorizing the use of antiviral too quickly, in the absence of wider studies, and said that the side effects of chloroquine can be severe, especially in the case of overdose. French health minister Olivier Véran has said that new tests will now go ahead in order to evaluate the results by Professor Raoult, in an attempt to independently replicate the trials and ensure the findings are scientifically robust enough, before any possible decision might be made to roll any treatment out to the wider public. He said: “I am aware of the results [by Professor Raoult] and I have now authorized a larger study by other teams to be started as soon as possible, on a larger number of patients.”



Is hydroxychloroquine the secret weapon against coronavirus? Florida man Florida man with COVID-19 says the antimalaria drug saved his life
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/03/23/hyd ... aved-life/
Category: healthNews
Published: March 23, 2020

Description: Everyone is talking about hydroxychloroquine. However, the medical community is skeptical about the popular antimalaria drug that many have said saved their lives. In another piece of good news, a Florida man diagnosed with coronavirus claims he was saved from certain death by an anti-malaria drug touted as a possible treatment by President Trump. Rio Giardinieri, 52, who is vice-president of a company that manufactures cooking equipment at high-end restaurants in LA and around the world, told Los Angeles’ Fox 11 that he struggled with horrendous back pain, headaches, cough and fatigue for five days after catching COVID-19, possibly at a conference in New York. Giardinieri had a fever for five days, horrendous back pain, headache, cough, and tiredness. He was sleeping about 15 hours a day when he’s used to getting five hours a night. Doctors at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in South Florida diagnosed him with the coronavirus and pneumonia and put him on oxygen in the ICU, he told the outlet. After more than a week, doctors told him there was nothing more they could do and, on Friday evening, Giardinieri said goodbye to his wife and three children. “I was at the point where I was barely able to speak and breathing was very challenging. I really thought my end was there. I had been through nine days of solid pain and for me, the end was there. So I made some calls to say in my own way goodbye to my friends and family.” A dear friend immediately sent him a recent article about hydroxychloroquine, an old anti-malaria medicine proven successful to treat COVID-19 patients overseas, and insisted he take the drug. Several studies from France, China and South Koren have found hydroxychloroquine to be promising as a treatment for COVID-19, though it hasn’t been approved by health officials. Giardinieri said he contacted an infectious disease doctor about the drug. “He gave me all the reasons why I would probably not want to try it because there are no trials, there’s no testing, it was not something that was approved,” said Giardinieri. “And I said, ‘Look, I don’t know if I’m going to make it until the morning,’ because at that point I really thought I was coming to the end because I couldn’t breathe anymore,” Giardinieri continued. “He agreed and authorized the use of it and 30 minutes later the nurse gave it to me.” After about an hour on an IV with the medicine, Giardinieri said, it felt like his heart was beating out of his chest and, about two hours later, he had another episode where he couldn’t breathe. He says he was given Benadryl and some other drugs and that when he woke up around 4:45 a.m., it was “like nothing ever happened.” He’s since had no fever or pain and can breathe again. Giardinieri said doctors believe the episodes he experienced were not a reaction to the medicine but his body fighting off the virus. Giardinieri is not alone. Actor Daniel Dae Kim also credited hydroxychloroquine with helping him recover from the deadly virus.



Actor Daniel Dae Kim says anti-malaria drug touted by President Trump saved his life
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/03/23/act ... aved-life/
Category: healthNews
Published: March 23, 2020

Description: Over the weekend, President Trump tweeted about the popular anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a game changer. In his tweet, President Trump said: “HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains – Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents)…..” Immediately after the post, he was greeted with backlash with many saying the President is not a position to advise anyone about medicine. However, many coronavirus patients are now saying the same drug President Trumpt touted, has saved their lives. Among them is a Florida man diagnosed with coronavirus claims he was saved from certain death by an anti-malaria drug touted as a possible treatment by President Trump. Giardinieri is not alone. Lost and Hawaii Five-0’s Daniel Dae Kim claimed that the same antimalarial drug has helped him in his recovery period after testing positive for coronavirus. The actor confirmed that he had contracted the disease by using a coronavirus test kit – which he stated he would not do a retake with the shortage of testing materials. He admitted to feeling sick while filming on the set of the NBC drama New Amsterdam. The actor took to Instagram to share his story on battling the virus on March 21. Below is the original tweet from President Trump.
HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains – Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents) ...
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2020




Doctor Vladimir Zelenko: I treated 350 coronavirus patients with 100% success using Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/03/25/doc ... e-sulfate/
Category: healthNews
Published: March 25, 2020

Description: The deadly Coronavirus pandemic continues to claim thousands of lives around the world. That’s the bad news. The good news is, many doctors from around the world, including the United States are successfully treating coronavirus patients with great success. Studies in France, China, and Australia, found that a combination of two anti-malaria drugs Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin (Z-Pak) have shown to cure coronavirus patients within six days with a 100% success rate. In a video posted on YouTube, Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a board-certified family practitioner in New York, said he saw the symptom of shortness of breath resolved within four to six hours. “I’m seeing a tremendous outbreak in this community,” he said. “My estimate is more than 60% currently have the infection. “That’s based on the percentage of the tests that I’m getting back already,” Zelenko explained. “That’s probably around 20,000 people, probably more.”

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This video has been removed for violating YouTube's Community Guidelines

In the meantime, while we are all talking about anti-malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, Italian doctors said that Tolicizumab, a drug used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, has shown to be more effective than hydroxychloroquine in treating coronavirus patients.



‘Hydroxychloroquine is a game changer and the beginning of the end coronavirus pandemic,’ Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Stephen Smith says
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/04/01/hyd ... mith-says/
Category: healthNews
Published: April 1, 2020

Description: Malaria drug hydroxychloroquine continues to dominate the headlines after many success stories from doctors in the front line. This evening, a renowned infectious disease specialist Dr. Stephen Smith, said he and his team have treated over the 50 patients with hydroxychloroquine. Dr. Smith is the founder of the Smith Center for Infectious Diseases in New Jersey. Tonight, Dr. Smith shared his findings among COVID-19 patients in an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham. He pointed out that not a single COVID-19 patient, that has been under hydroxychloroquine regimen, has had to to be intubated. Dr. Smith said his team had 20 intubations that all occurred within two days. But more importantly, Dr. Smith said no person who received hydroxychloroquine for 5 days or more had been intubated. “The more we see this disease, the more we understand that severe rapid COVID disease is in diabetics or prediabetics … we don’t have anyone in our group over 80 that was not diabetic or pre-diabetic that was intubated,” said the founder of the Smith Center for Infectious Diseases and Urban Health. And of the younger patients that had severe disease, he explained they had very high BMIs. “We haven’t had anyone under 70 who didn’t have a very high BMI, or was pre or diabetic, get seriously ill,” he said. “This is amazing stuff.” When the two discussed treatment options and the use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, Smith said they are treating everyone with it and it has had incredible results. “No person who has received five days or more or the [drug] combination has been intubated,” he said. He added that the chance of intubation happening, based on the stat done by his son, is a ridiculously low number of about 0.000-something. “The chance of that occurring by chance…are .000-something, it’s ridiculously low no matter how you look at it,” he said. Dr. Smith went on to say that his team’s data support the data from French study led by the famous French researcher Dr. Didier Raoult. “[Hydroxychloroquine] is a game changer. I think this is the beginning of the end of the [coronavirus] pandemic,” Dr. Smith concluded. Dr. Stephen Smith is an infectious disease specialist in Roseland, New Jersey and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area. He has been in practice for more than 20 years. Below is a video of his interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.





Hydroxychloroquine only works when used in combination with Zinc, Dr. Anthony Cardillo says on ABC News
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/04/07/hyd ... -abc-news/
Category: healthNews
Published: April 7, 2020

Description: A lot has been said about anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and how it has successfully been used to treat coronavirus patients. However, many doctors are now saying hydroxychloroquine alone does not work. It only works when used in combination with Zinc. Dr. Anthony Cardillo, CEO of Mend Urgent Care, says that “Every patient I’ve prescribed it to has been very, very ill and within 8 to 12 hours, they were basically symptom-free.” In one of his videos, Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a board-certified family practitioner in New York, explained that it is Zinc that actually helps slows or decelerates the viral replication within the cell. But on its own, Zinc cannot penetrate the cell without the help of hydroxychloroquine. So, the work of hydroxychloroquine is to help zinc penetrate the cell. Dr. Cardillo provides the same explanation in his interview with ABC News. He said that combining hydroxychloroquine with zinc has been the key to the success. The hydroxychloroquine, he said, “opens the zinc channel” allowing the zinc to enter the cell, which then “blocks the replication of cellular machinery.” “Intracellular Zinc interferes with coronavirus transcription, which results in the ability of the virus to replicate. However, being a ++ ion, extracellular zinc requires active transport to pass across the cell membrane. It so happens that chloroquine is a zinc ionophore, thus provides zinc++ with the transport mechanism. In this instance, chloroquine has no drug action. It is the zinc that is in play, and I find it concerning that so many news organizations (and governments) are failing to convey this fact..opting, instead, to portray chloroquine as having the key drug action,” Dr. Cardillo. Below is a video of Dr. Cardillo with ABC News.





Dr. Vladimir Zelenko has now treated over 1,450 coronavirus patients (2 deaths) using hydroxychloroquine with 99.99% success rate (latest video interview)
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/04/21/dr- ... interview/
Category: healthNews
Published: April 21, 2020

Description: Over the past month, we’ve been telling you about Dr. Zelenko, a board-certified family practitioner in New York, after he first announced that he had treated 350 coronavirus patients with 100% success using a cocktail of hydroxychloroquine, Zinc Sulfate and Azithromycin. Dr. Zelenko went on to treat 700 coronavirus patients treated with 99.9% success rate using Hydroxychloroquine, with 1 outpatient died after not following protocol. The last time we wrote about Dr. Zelenko was on April 5 after he reported in an interview that he had treated 900 coronavirus patients with 99.99% rate. We checked back to see if Dr. Zelenko is making progress with his COVID-19 patients. In his latest interview with Dr. Dennis of Prague University, Dr. Zelenko said he has now treated over 1,450 coronavirus patients with only two deaths. Calling hydroxychloroquine a potential game-changer, Dr. Zelenko maintained that his approach is to provide treatment to patients before their situation get worse so they don’t have to be admitted into the hospital and so that they don’t have to be put on ventilators. His out-patient treatment regimen, which costs only $12, is as follows:
1. Hydroxychloroquine 200mg twice a day for 5 days
2. Azithromycin 500mg once a day for 5 days
3. Zinc sulfate 220mg once a day for 5 days
Below is a video of his latest interview (April 20)

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This video has been removed for violating YouTube's Community Guidelines




Renowned French Dr. Didier Raoult issued a response to biases in the study critical of hydroxychloroquine
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/04/22/ren ... loroquine/
Category: healthNews
Published: April 22, 2020

Description: As we said countless times in many of our articles, hydroxychloroquine has become the most controversial drug since President Trump touted the malaria drug as a potential game-changer. Ever since, the mainstream media has repeatedly labeled the drug has “unproven.” With anecdotal evidences that the drug has saved many lives, it seems that anti-Trump sentiment is driving the news cycle about hydroxychloroquine. Yesterday, there was a study published on Medrxiv by Maganoli et al that claimed that more evidence now hints that hydroxychloroquine doesn’t help treat COVID-19. In the study, the authors said they found no evidence that the use of hydroxychloroquine, either with or without azithromycin, reduced the risk of mechanical ventilation in patients hospitalized with Covid-19. Now, renowned French Dr. Didier Raoult is responding to the authors, citing biases in the conclusion of the study. “The study published in pre-print on 04/21 on Medrxiv by Maganoli et al has three major biases which invalidate its conclusions, in any case absurd and incompatible with the literature,” Dr. Raoult wrote. In a post on Twitter, Dr. Raoult asked: “Regarding the Mahevas study in Medrxiv. Could the authors explain why 8 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine were counted in the control group? Moreover, could they inform the public about the clinical outcome of these patients?”
Regarding the Mahevas study in Medrxiv. Could the authors explain why 8 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine were counted in the control group? Moreover, could they inform the public about the clinical outcome of these patients?
— Didier Raoult (@raoult_didier) April 22, 2020

In a two-page response paper, Dr. Raoult said the following: “In the current period, it seems that passion dominates rigorous and balanced scientific analysis and may lead to scientific misconduct. The article by Magagnoli et al. (Magagnoli, 2020) is an absolutely spectacular example of this. Indeed, in this work, it is concluded, in the end, that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) would double the mortality in patients with COVID with a fatality rate of 28% (versus 11% in the NoHCQ group), which is extraordinarily hard to believe. The analysis of the data shows two major biases, which show a welling to be convinced before starting the work : The first is that lymphopenia is twice as common in the HCQ groups (25% in the HCQ, 31% in the HCQ+AZ group versus 14% in the no HCQ group, p =.02) and there is an absolute correlation between lymphopenia (<0.5G/L) and fatality rate, which is well known (Tan, 2020) and confirmed here : 28% deaths, 22% and 11% in the HCQ, HCQ+AZ and No HCQ group, respectively. Lymphopenia is the most obvious criterion of patient severity (in our cohort, lymphocytes in dead individuals (n=22, mean ± standard deviation, 0.94 ± 0.45), versus in the living (n=2405, 1.79 ± 0.84, p < .0001)). As the authors acknowledge, the severity of the patients in the different groups was very different, and their analysis can only make sense if there is a selection of patients with the same degree of severity, i.e. the same percentage of lymphopenia. The second major bias is that in an attempt to provide meaningful data, by eliminating the initial severity at the time of treatment, two tables are shown: one table where drugs are prescribed before intubation, and which shows no significant difference in the 3 different groups (9/90 (10%) in the HCQ group, 11/101 (10. 9%) HCQ+AZ, and 15/177 (8.5%) in the group without HCQ, chi-square = 0.47, ddl = 2, p = 0.79), and one table, where it is not clear when the drugs were prescribed, where there are significant differences. These differences are most likely related to the fact that the patients had been intubated for some before receiving hydroxychloroquine in desperation. It is notable that this is unreasonable at the time of the cytokine storm, as it is unlikely that hydrochloroquine alone would be able to control patients at this stage of the disease. Moreover, incomprehensibly, the “untreated” group actually received azithromycin in 30% of cases, without this group being analyzed in any distinct way. Azithromycin is also a proposed treatment for COVID (Gautret, 2020) with in vitro efficacy (Andreani, 2020), and to mix it with patients who are supposedly untreated is something that is closer to scientific fraud than reasonable analysis. Altogether these 3 voluntary biases are all pushing to the idea of dangerosity of hydroxychloroquine safest drug as reported on nearly 1 million people (Lane, 2020). All in all, this is a work that shows that, in this period, it is possible to propose things that do not stand up to any methodological analysis to try to demonstrate that one is right.”



Malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has been working in COVID-19 patients, VA Chief says
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/04/22/mal ... hief-says/
Category: healthNews
Published: April 22, 2020

Description: Yesterday, we told you about a recommendation from NIH panel that recommended against the use of hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19, except in the context of a clinical trial (AIII). We also pointed out that the recommendation was not based on definitive randomized clinical trial, which is month away from now. Today, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie said the opposite is true. In an interview on MSNBC, Robert Wilkie said the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has been working in COVID-19 patients. His comments came after a study looking at the effects of the drug in 368 patients in Veterans Health Administration hospitals found no evidence the drug is effective against coronavirus. During his appearance on MSNBC, Wilkie said in answer to question about the study, “That’s just an observational study. It’s not a clinical study. It was done on a small number of veterans; sadly, those of whom were in the last stages of life, and the drug was given to them.” The drug “has been working on middle-age and younger veterans,” Wilkie added. By that, he meant that it was “stopping the progression of” COVID-19. Wilkie is not alone in talking about the success of hydroxychloroquine. Many other doctors and patients have credited the malaria drug for saving their lives. In addition, the United States has also added millions of hydroxychloroquine pills into its stockpile. Randomized clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine are underway in Minnesota, New York, and Tennessee. Hydroxychloroquine has become the most controversial drug since President Trump touted it as a potential game–changer back in March.



Italian scientist says she discovered main mechanism behind COVID-19, but top Israeli researcher says the ‘theory lacks backing’
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/05/04/ita ... s-backing/
Category: healthNews
Published: May 4, 2020

Description: Back in April, we wrote about a new research study that revealed that COVID-19 attacks hemoglobin in red blood cells, rendering it incapable of transporting oxygen. The study, which led by Chinese researchers, Dr Wenzhong Liu from Sichuan University and Dr Hualan Li from Yibin University, revealed that the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus attacks hemoglobin in the the red blood cells through a series of cellular actions, that ultimately renders the red blood cells incapable of transporting oxygen. Now, an Italian pharmacology scholar Annalisa Chiusolo has now come up with similar theory. She claimed to have discovered main mechanism behind COVID-19. In a study published by some of the country’s leading newspapers, including the Italian dailies Il Tempo and Il Giornale, Chiusolo explained that COVID-19 damages the hemoglobin, impairing the ability of red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body, compromising the lungs and resulting in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). She is a graduate of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Perugia, Italy. According to a report from Jerusalem Post, Chiusolo said that SARS-CoV-2, the formal name for the novel coronavirus, needs porphyrins for its survival – and probably for its replication – so it attacks hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood, which translates to less oxygen available for the body. The consequence of less oxygen is the accumulation of carbon dioxide. Chiusolo said the deadly coronavirus needs porphyrins for its survival, probably for its replication, therefore it attacks hemogloblin (the protein that carries oxygen in the blood), in particular the OFR10 and OFR3 proteins attack the beta chain and orf1ab subtracts porphyrin. The concepts seem a little abstruse, for a non-expert, but simplifying this translates into a lower availability of oxygen available to our body, with consequent accumulation of carbon dioxide. She went on to explain why the effect of lack of oxygen to the lung. “Thus the lung cells become distressed and become the site of the cytokine cascade – that is, a huge immune response – responsible for the acute inflammation that characterizes Covid-19 pneumonia.” She added: “The hemoglobin value in the blood can be an important parameter for evaluating Sars-Cov2 infection: in men the normal value of Hb (hemoglobin) is higher than in women, which would explain the higher incidence of Covid pneumonia in men than to women, the lower incidence and the better prognosis in children and pregnant women, where the Hb values ​​are lower due to an increased need for iron, which makes the “nourishment” of the virus less available.” “The lung cells become the site of the cytokine cascade, an enormous immune response, which is responsible for the acute lung inflammation that characterizes COVID-19 pneumonia,” she said. “The value of hemoglobin in the blood can be an important parameter to assess the SARS-CoV-2 infection: In men the normal value of hemoglobin (Hb) is higher than in women. This would explain the higher incidence of COVID-19 pneumonia in men compared to women, and the lower incidence and better prognosis in children and pregnant women, where Hb values are lower due to an increased need of iron, which makes less available this ‘nutrition’ for the virus.” Next, Chiusolo evaluated the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat SARS-CoV-2, which in some cases has been found to reduce hospitalizations from the virus. Hydroxychloroquine is currently in use for the treatment of autoimmune diseases worldwide, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and has been used for years to treat malaria. She further explained that: “Once the main mechanism of action of the virus has been revealed, many other things can be understood. For example, the central mechanism of action of hydroxychloroquine, and its effectiveness in countering Covid19, can now be explained and fully understood. What this mechanism consists of is immediately said: the drug by binding permanently with ferriprotoporphyrin (of the Eme group of Hb) removes the substrate from viral proteins and also becomes an important means of prophylaxis.” She said that in addition to the drug’s antiviral and immunomodulatory effect, it binds to the ferriprotoporphyrin of the ecgonine methyl ester (EME), blocking the key enzyme of malaria. “So, I thought this same mechanism could be used against SARS-CoV-2… Indeed, a study by a Chinese university shows that SARS-CoV-2 binds to the beta chain of hemoglobin, inhibiting EME metabolism.” Dr. Giovanni Martinelli, scientific director at the Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRCCS), validated that “much of the effects of oxygen starvation in COVID patients may be due to the displacement of Hbs protoporphyrin.” However, in Italy, top scientists are beginning to take in-depth look at Chiusolo’s theory. Dr. Giuseppe Ippolito, scientific director of the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome, called her hypothesis, “suggestive, but it is necessary to deepen and research.” Dr. Giuseppe Ippolito is not alone. Dr. Amiram Goldblum, head of the Molecular Modeling and Drug Design Institute for Drug Research and the Fraunhofer Project Center for Drug Discovery and Delivery at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, also said that among the nearly 8,500 papers filed on the novel coronavirus in the last three months not one mentions porphyrin or protoporphyrin. “As far as I am aware of the reduction of oxygen pressure in severe cases of the SARS-CoV-2 attack, it is due to blocking lung cells in a somewhat similar manner as emphysema – transforming the cells to be more rigid, fibrous entities,” he told the Post after reviewing Chiusolo’s study. Dr. Goldblum added that the first FDA approved drug, Remdesivir by Gilead Pharmaceutical, is indicated only for those cases in which oxygen pressure was reduced to a more dangerous level. “If the virus ‘eats up’ the porphyrin of hemoglobin, the first effect should be anemia, which affects oxygen intake but also affects substantial weakness and is easily measured,” Goldblum said. “I have not heard of any problems with lower hemoglobin in COVID-19 patients.”



Hydroxychloroquine with Zinc and Azithromycin drug combo shows promising results in COVID-19 patients, NYU Study shows 44 percent less likely to die from the coronavirus
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/05/13/hyd ... ronavirus/
Category: healthNews
Published: May 13, 2020

Description: There have been a lot of debates about the effectiveness and safety of malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine. You can read them here. It has become the most controversial drug since President Trump touted it as a potential game-changer in March. However, we have been following the ongoing research study at New York University (NYU). Now, researchers at NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine found patients given the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine along with zinc sulphate and the antibiotic azithromycin were 44 percent less likely to die from the coronavirus, according to a report from Spectrum News NY. “Certainly we have very limited options as far as what we have seen work for this infection so anything that may work is very exciting,” said Dr. Joseph Rahimian, Infectious Disease Specialist at NYU Langone Health. The study, which was conducted by the State Health Department and the SUNY Albany School of Public Health, involved 1,500 coronavirus patients. 932 of the 1,500 COVID-19 patients were treated at local hospitals with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. According to the report, researchers found that patients given zinc were one and a half times more likely to recover, decreasing their need for intensive care. However, Dr. Rahimian says patients in the more critical stages of infection did not fare as well. The study also confirms the earlier findings from Dr. Vladimir Zelenko’s which showed that “hydroxychloroquine helps zinc to penetrate the cell.” Zinc helps slows or decelerates the viral replication within the cell. But on its own, Zinc cannot penetrate the cell without the help of hydroxychloroquine. So, hydroxychloroquine only helps Zinc penetrate the cell. “It sort of boosts the zinc activity which is one of the reasons we thought to look at zinc here and in this observational study we did see a difference suggesting that maybe that boosting activity of the hydroxychloroquine with the zinc helps the zinc to work better and lead to a benefit,” Dr. Rahimian said. Dr. Rahimian also cautioned that more research is needed, in particular a randomized controlled trial, to prove how and how well the drug combination works. Meanwhile, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Monday found that treating patients only with hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, or both did not reduce hospital deaths.



President Trump says he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/05/18/pre ... infection/
Category: healthNews
Published: May 18, 2020

Description: We’ve been writing about hydroxychloroquine for at least three months. We’ve also received backlash immediately after President Trump touted the drug as a potential game-changer in March. Now for the first time, President Trump announces that he has been taking the hyrdoxychloroquine. President Trump said on Monday that he has been taking anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for over a week to prevent coronavirus infection. “I happen to be taking it,” President Trump said during a roundtable event. “A lot of good things have come out. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers. Before you catch it. The front-line workers, many, many are taking it.” He added: “I’m taking it, hydroxychlororquine. Right now, yeah. Couple of weeks ago, I started taking it. Cause I think it’s good, I’ve heard a lot of good stories.” As we mentioned several times on this site, many doctors and coronavirus patients have credited the malaria drug for saving their lives. Hydroxychloroquine came into limelight after a French study by Prof. Didier Raoult showed the drug to have encouraging results in the treatment of coronavirus on 36 COVID-19 patients.



‘Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread,’ Dr. Fauci’s led NIH said in 2005. What’s changed since then?
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/05/27/chl ... ged-since/
Category: healthNews
Published: May 27, 2020

Description: Hydroxychloroquine and its sister chloroquine drug have been making headlines since March when President Trump touted hydroxychloroquine as a poential game-changer. What’s really interesting about these two drugs is that, neither of drug gained any media attention until President Trump tweeted about them on social media However, before President Trump’s tweet, there were anecdotal evidence that hydroxychloroquine used together with Zinc and azithromycin were used to treat COVID-19 patients. We also told you about several other doctors who credited the malaria drug for saving their patients’ lives. You can read them here. However, many scientists and researchers discredited these claims saying that many randomized clinical studies showed the drug to have the opposite effects. A study published last week even showed hydroxychloroquine to be linked to an increased rate of mortality. Then last week, President Trump opened the floodgates on the use of hydroxychloroquine after he announced that he has been using the malaria drug as a prophylactic to prevent coronavirus infection. Immediately after his announcement, the medical journal Lancet also published a study of nearly 15,000 COVID-19 patients. Lancet found those being treated with the antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are at a higher risk of death and irregular heart rhythms than those not receiving it. While countries like Turkey and Brazil claim success treating COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to warn that the malaria drug could cause severe heart problems or death. This week, WHO went as far as halting hydroxychloroquine trial over safety concerns, according to NPR. Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci also said there’s no evidence that shows the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is effective at treating COVID-19. “Clearly the scientific data is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy for it,” Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, said during a CNN interview. At this point, you may be wondering the science is settled and no one in his or her right mind should be taking hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine. Not so fast. Amid the sensational headlines and uproar, what is rarely discussed are thousands of lupus and arthritis patients currently taking hydroxychloroquine to treat rheumatoid arthritis. As of writing, we couldn’t find any recorded deaths associated with lupus or arthritis patients on hydroxychloroquine. In 2007, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a study titled, “The Effect of hydroxychloroquine on the survival of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: data from LUMINA, a multiethnic US cohort (LUMINA L).” According to NIH’s own conclusion, Hydroxychloroquine, which overall is well tolerated by patients with SLE, has a protective effect on survival which is evident even after taking into consideration the factors associated with treatment decisions. Below is the conclusion of the study, according to NIH.
Hydroxychloroquine, which overall is well tolerated by patients with SLE, has a protective effect on survival which is evident even after taking into consideration the factors associated with treatment decisions. This information is of importance to all clinicians involved in the care of patients with SLE.

So what’s the point of all these, you may ask? Hydroxychloroquine is an old drug first introduced in 1955. The drug was in mass use to treat malarial. During World War II, scientists later discovered it could be used to treat inflammatory arthritis and lupus. Today, millions of people around the world, especially millions of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa, are still taking hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine drug to treat malaria. Even SpaceX CEO Elon Musk credited the sister chloroquine for saving his life. Elon Musk said:
‘Yes, I received chloroquine via central line through my chest & both arms. Had near fatal case of falciparum. Would’ve died for sure if not for chloroquine. Doesn’t mean it works for C19, but maybe better than nothing.’

Finally, now back to hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). As we all know, SARS-CoV-2 is one of the seven coronaviruses identified by CDC. The sixth and the seventh of the coronaviruses are: SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS) and SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19) respectively. According to NIH own study conducted in 2005 titled, “Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread,” chloroquine, a sister drug to hydroxychloroquine, was found to be “effective in preventing the spread of SARS CoV in cell culture.” At the time, there was no mention that chloroquine caused deaths among the SARS CoV patients. So, we still have some open questions that still remain unanswered is, What’s changed since 2005? Is NIH study 2005 still valid? What about thousands of lupus and arthritis patients still taking hydroxychloroquine? Are they at risk? What about millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa taking taking drug for malaria prevention? And what about people in Brazil still taking the drug? In the meantime, below is the the abstract of NIH study on chloroquine as a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread.
--
Abstract
Background
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is caused by a newly discovered coronavirus (SARS-CoV). No effective prophylactic or post-exposure therapy is currently available.
Results
We report, however, that chloroquine has strong antiviral effects on SARS-CoV infection of primate cells. These inhibitory effects are observed when the cells are treated with the drug either before or after exposure to the virus, suggesting both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage. In addition to the well-known functions of chloroquine such as elevations of endosomal pH, the drug appears to interfere with terminal glycosylation of the cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. This may negatively influence the virus-receptor binding and abrogate the infection, with further ramifications by the elevation of vesicular pH, resulting in the inhibition of infection and spread of SARS CoV at clinically admissible concentrations.
Conclusion
Chloroquine is effective in preventing the spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. Favorable inhibition of virus spread was observed when the cells were either treated with chloroquine prior to or after SARS CoV infection. In addition, the indirect immunofluorescence assay described herein represents a simple and rapid method for screening SARS-CoV antiviral compounds.tion.
--
You can read the detailed study at NIH website.



New hydroxychloroquine study: Early outpatient treatment is the most effective for treatment of COVID-19 patients, Dr. Harvey A Risch of Yale University says
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/05/28/out ... sity-says/
Category: healthNews
Published: May 28, 2020

Description: According to a new study published in American Journal of Epidemiology, early outpatient treatment is the most effective for treatment of coronavirus patients. The study, which was led by Dr. Harvey A Risch of Yale University, suggests that late stage studies missed the point about effective usage of hydroxychloroquine. Dr. Risch says immediate and early ramping-up of treatment for high-risk COVID-19 patients is key to controlling the coronavirus pandemic crisis. To date, more than 1.6 million Americans have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and >10 times that number carry antibodies to it. High-risk patients presenting with progressing symptomatic disease have only hospitalization treatment with its high mortality. According to the abstract of the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, Dr. Risch said an outpatient treatment that prevents hospitalization is desperately needed. To date, two candidate medications have been widely discussed: remdesivir, and hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin. “Remdesivir has shown mild effectiveness in hospitalized inpatients, but no trials have been registered in outpatients. Hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin has been widely misrepresented in both clinical reports and public media, and outpatient trials results are not expected until September,” Dr. Harvey A Risch of Yale University, said. In a 29-page report, the study suggests that early outpatient illness is very different than later hospitalized florid disease and the treatments differ. Evidence about use of hydroxychloroquine alone, or of hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin in inpatients, is irrelevant concerning efficacy of the pair in early high-risk outpatient disease. Five studies, including two controlled clinical trials, have demonstrated significant major outpatient treatment efficacy. Hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin has been used as standard-of-care in more than 300,000 older adults with multicomorbidities, with estimated proportion diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmias attributable to the medications 47/100,000 users, of which estimated mortality is <20%, 9/100,000 users, compared to the 10,000
The great majority of infected people are at low risk for progression or will manifest the infection asymptomatically. For the rest, outpatient treatment is required that prevents disease progression and hospitalization. Exposures will occur as isolation policies are lifted and people begin to mix, even with various degrees of public isolation such as mask usage and physical separation still in place. Thus, the key to returning society toward normal functioning and to preventing huge loss of life, especially among older individuals, people with comorbidities, African Americans and Hispanics and Latinos, is a safe, effective and proactive outpatient treatment that prevents ORIGINAL hospitalization in the first place.

In reviewing the current evidence, Dr. Risch said this:
Based on laboratory and other preliminary evidence to-date, among many others, two candidate medication regimens have been widely discussed for outpatient treatment: remdesivir (Gilead Sciences, Inc., Foster City, California), and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) plus azithromycin (AZ). Remdesivir has been studied extensively in laboratory work and in animals (8) and for other viral diseases and has good biological properties, suggesting utility for SARSCoV-2 infection. In a study of remdesivir compassionate use in 53 hospitalized patients with severe disease (9), 13% died, which appears lower than what might have been expected without treatment, though greater than the deaths in the placebo arm of the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (more below).

Dr. Risch went on to talk about hydroxychloroquine and said this:
The other suggestion is the combined regimen of HCQ+AZ (or its variant HCQ+doxycycline). The FDA has recently issued guidance (15) to physicians and the general public advising that the combination HCQ+AZ should not generally be used except by critically ill hospital inpatients or in the context of registered clinical trials. The NIH panel for Covid-19 treatment guidelines say essentially the same (16), and a similar statement has been released by the major cardiology societies (17). Numerous reviews of HCQ efficacy and adverse events have been and continue to be published. To my knowledge, all of these reviews have omitted the two critical aspects of reasoning about these drugs: use of HCQ combined with AZ or with doxycycline, and use in the outpatient setting. For example, the Veterans’ Administration Medical Centers study (18) examined treated hospitalized patients and was fatally flawed (19). The same point about outpatient use of the combined medications has been raised by a panel of distinguished French physicians (20) in petitioning their national government to allow outpatient use of HCQ+AZ. It appears that the FDA, NIH and cardiology society positions have been based upon theoretical calculations about potential adverse events and from measured physiologic changes rather than from current real-world mortality experience with these medications and that their positions should be revised.

In reviewing all available evidence about hydroxychloroquine, Dr. Risch said this:
In reviewing all available evidence, I will show that HCQ+AZ and HCQ+doxycycline are generally safe for short-term use in the early treatment of most symptomatic high-risk outpatients, where not contraindicated, and that they are effective in preventing hospitalization for the overwhelming majority of such patients. If these combined medications become standard-of-care, they are likely to save an enormous number of lives that would otherwise be lost to this endemic disease.

Dr. Risch concluded with the following:
I conclude that HCQ+AZ and HCQ+doxycycline, preferably with zinc (47) can be this outpatient treatment, at least until we find or add something better, whether that could be remdesivir or something else. It is our obligation not to stand by, just “carefully watching,” as the old and infirm and inner city of us are killed by this disease and our economy is destroyed by it and we have nothing to offer except high-mortality hospital treatment. We have a solution, imperfect, to attempt to deal with the disease. We have to let physicians employing good clinical judgement use it and informed patients choose it. There is a small chance that it may not work. But the urgency demands that we at least start to take that risk and evaluate what happens, and if our situation does not improve we can stop it, but we will know that we did everything that we could instead of sitting by and letting hundreds of thousands die because we did not have the courage to act according to our rational calculations.

“Americans now dying each week. These medications need to be widely available and promoted immediately for physicians to prescribe,” the study concludes. The full report can be found at Oxford University Press website



Lancet backs off study trashing hydroxychloroquine and issues ‘expression of concern’ after the journal was caught using falsified data
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/06/03/lan ... -research/
Category: Politics
Published: June 3, 2020

Description: Last week, we told you about Surgisphere Corp, after the company was caught falsifying data on hydroxychloroquine. The revelation came after a group of Australian infectious researchers raised questions about a controversial study published in the medical journal The Lancet. The large observational study analysed data from nearly 15,000 patients with COVID-19 patients. The study found that those being treated with the antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are at a higher risk of death and irregular heart rhythms than those not receiving it. It’s worth noting that this study comes four days after President Trump said he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection. The study was later used the World Health Organization (WHO) to stop global trials of the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. In a rare move, today, Lancet issued an “Expression of Concern” to alert readers to the fact that serious scientific questions have been brought to our attention. Lancet further added that an independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere. The audit is still ongoing. Lancet said the following:
Important scientific questions have been raised about data reported in the paper by Mandeep Mehra et al—Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis1—published in The Lancet on May 22, 2020. Although an independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere and is ongoing, with results expected very shortly, we are issuing an Expression of Concern to alert readers to the fact that serious scientific questions have been brought to our attention. We will update this notice as soon as we have further information.

The concerns about the scientific accuracy of the study and the origin of data used for Lancet study was first questioned by a team of Australian infectious researchers. According to the researchers, the Lancet study, which was led by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Advanced Heart Disease in Boston, examined patients in hospitals around the world, including in Australia. It said researchers gained access to data from five hospitals recording 600 Australian Covid-19 patients and 73 Australian deaths as of 21 April. However, according to Guardian, data from Johns Hopkins University shows only 67 deaths from Covid-19 had been recorded in Australia by 21 April. The number did not rise to 73 until 23 April. The data relied upon by researchers to draw their conclusions in the Lancet is not readily available in Australian clinical databases, leading many to ask where it came from.



BREAKING: Lancet issued an apology and a retraction of its earlier study that raised concerns and risks about hydroxychloroquine
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/06/04/bre ... loroquine/
Category: Politics
Published: June 4, 2020

Description: Just when we think the story of hydroxychloroquine is over, today Lancet issued a retraction of its earlier study that claimed people being treated with the antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are at a higher risk of death and irregular heart rhythms than those not receiving it. The apology and retraction came just a day after the medical journal issued an “Expression of Concern” to alert readers to the fact that serious scientific questions have been brought to our attention. The retraction stems from another story we reported late last month after Surgisphere Corp was caught falsifying data for which the Lancet study was based. The revelation about the flawed data first came to light after a group of Australian infectious researchers raised questions about a controversial study published in the medical journal. In statement, The Lancet said: “Today, three of the authors of the paper, “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis”, have retracted their study.” Below is the full statement.
Today, three of the authors of the paper, “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis”, have retracted their study. They were unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis. As a result, they have concluded that they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.” The Lancet takes issues of scientific integrity extremely seriously, and there are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study. Following guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), institutional reviews of Surgisphere’s research collaborations are urgently needed. The retraction notice is published today, June 4, 2020. The article will be updated to reflect this retraction shortly.

Yesterday, in its “Expression of Concern” message, Lancet added that an independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere. The audit is still ongoing. Lancet said the following:
Important scientific questions have been raised about data reported in the paper by Mandeep Mehra et al—Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis1—published in The Lancet on May 22, 2020. Although an independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere and is ongoing, with results expected very shortly, we are issuing an Expression of Concern to alert readers to the fact that serious scientific questions have been brought to our attention. We will update this notice as soon as we have further information.

The concerns about the scientific accuracy of the study and the origin of data used for Lancet study was first questioned by a team of Australian infectious researchers. According to the researchers, the Lancet study, which was led by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Advanced Heart Disease in Boston, examined patients in hospitals around the world, including in Australia. It said researchers gained access to data from five hospitals recording 600 Australian Covid-19 patients and 73 Australian deaths as of 21 April. However, according to Guardian, data from Johns Hopkins University shows only 67 deaths from Covid-19 had been recorded in Australia by 21 April. The number did not rise to 73 until 23 April. The data relied upon by researchers to draw their conclusions in the Lancet is not readily available in Australian clinical databases, leading many to ask where it came from.



Bombshell Hydroxychloroquine Study: Hydroxychloroquine cut the death rate in half for COVID-19 patients, Henry Ford Health study finds
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/07/02/hyd ... nts-finds/
Category: healthNews
Published: July 2, 2020

Description: If you’ve been following our coverage of hydroxychloroquine over the past three months, there is now doubt that anti-malaria drug has become the most controversial drug in the world. The drug has caused division in the science community. While some doctors credited the drug for saving their patients’ lives, many scientists and other studies from CDC, and NIH that linked the drug to increased rate of mortality. The World Health Organization (WHO) also warned about the potential side effects of hydroxychloroquine. Last month, WHO finally pulled the plug on hydroxychloroquine trials for Covid-19. Now, hydroxychloroquine is back in the news. Now, a new study by Henry Ford Health System confirms what we’ve been telling you for months. The study shows treatment with hydroxychloroquine cut the death rate significantly in sick patients hospitalized with COVID-19 – and without heart-related side-effects, the Detroit-based health system said Thursday. In a large-scale retrospective analysis of 2,541 patients hospitalized among the system’s six hospitals between March 10 and May 2 across the system’s six hospitals, the study found 13% of those treated with hydroxychloroquine alone died compared to 26.4% not treated with hydroxychloroquine. None of the patients had documented serious heart abnormalities; however, patients were monitored for a heart condition routinely pointed to as a reason to avoid the drug as a treatment for COVID-19. The study was published today in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, the peer-reviewed, open-access online publication of the International Society of Infectious Diseases (ISID.org). The study found that patients treated with hydroxychloroquine at Henry Ford met specific protocol criteria as outlined by the hospital system’s Division of Infectious Diseases. The vast majority received the drug soon after admission; 82% within 24 hours and 91% within 48 hours of admission. All patients in the study were 18 or over with a median age of 64 years; 51% were men and 56% African American.
“The findings have been highly analyzed and peer-reviewed,” said Dr. Marcus Zervos, division head of Infectious Disease for Henry Ford Health System, who co-authored the study with Henry Ford epidemiologist Dr. Samia Arshad. “We attribute our findings that differ from other studies to early treatment, and part of a combination of interventions that were done in supportive care of patients, including careful cardiac monitoring. Our dosing also differed from other studies not showing a benefit of the drug. And other studies are either not peer reviewed, have limited numbers of patients, different patient populations or other differences from our patients.”

Among all patients in the study, there was an overall in-hospital mortality rate of 18%, and many who died had underlying conditions that put them at greater risk, according to Henry Ford Health System. Globally, the mortality rate for hospitalized patients is between 10% and 30%, and it’s 58% among those in the intensive care unit or on a ventilator.



Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, the Jewish doctor who treated coronavirus patients with 99% success rate using hydroxychloroquine, published a new HCQ study
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/07/09/dr- ... hcq-study/
Category: healthNews
Published: July 9, 2020

Description: It’s been while since we wrote about Dr. Vladimir “Zev” Zelenko. We first wrote about Dr. Zelenko in March after he rose to national fame as the doctor who successfully treated 350 coronavirus patients with 100% success using Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate. Since then, hydroxychloroquine has become the most divisive and controversial drug in America. Dr. Zelenko is a Hasidic Jewish doctor and a board-certified family practitioner in New York. He claimed to have been treating coronavirus patients since the beginning of March using a combination of three drug regimen: hydroxychloroquine (an anti-malaria drug), azithromycin, and zinc sulfate. Since then, Dr. Zelenko has become a popular figure among people looking for cure for the virus. He has also been featured in the New York Times. Dr. Zelenko has also given advice to seven countries, including Israel, Brazil, and Russia are already following Dr. Zelenko drug regimen. As we reported earlier today, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, is also taking hydroxychloroquine. Since early March, Dr. Zelenko has treated over 1,500 people with coronaviruslike symptoms. It all started after Dr. Zelenko developed an experimental treatment using a cocktail of three drug regimen: hydroxychloroquine (an anti-malaria drug), azithromycin, and zinc sulfate. His out-patient treatment regimen, which he said costs only $12, includes:
1. Hydroxychloroquine 200mg twice a day for 5 days
2. Azithromycin 500mg once a day for 5 days
3. Zinc sulfate 220mg once a day for 5 days
In a March 21 video, which was addressed to President Donald Trump and eventually posted to YouTube and Facebook, Dr. Zelenko said: “I’m seeing tremendous positive results.”
“What bothers me most is the fact HCQ worked this whole time. The media said it would literally kill you if you took it simply because POTUS promoted it…If only we could set politics aside…thousands of lives likely would have been saved.”

Now, Dr. Zelenko has published a new study on hydroxychloroquine. The study, which is submitted for peer review, describes outcomes of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the outpatient setting after early treatment with zinc, low dose hydroxychloroquine, and azithromycin (the triple therapy) dependent on risk stratification. Dr. Zelenko claimed to have 99 percent success rate with his hydroxychloroquine treatment regimen. “Facts, not fear. COVID is very real. But if we treat it early and the right way, it’s nothing to fear. I saw early use of zinc, hydroxychloroquine, and azithromycin result in an over 99% survival rate in my COVID patients. Don’t let professional scaremongers dictate the narrative,” Dr. Zelenko said. Dr. Zelenko also shares the result of study in a new video with Dr. Drew. He went on to answer questions about school reopening, and the need for the country to focus on the truth of medical information and not inject politics into science. Below is video of his interview with Dr. Drew.





Media hostility to hydroxychloroquine fuels hysteria about supposed dangers: Misinformation may be preventing effective treatment to end coronavirus crisis, Israel’s Arutz Sheva reports
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/07/13/med ... a-reports/
Category: Politics
Published: July 13, 2020

Description: We’ve written extensively about malaria drug hydroxychloroquine since March of this year. The sudden rise in hydroxychloroquine popularity came after President Trump touted the drug as a potential “game-changer.” Hydroxychloroquine spiked by 367% from March 9 to March 19, but since then they have leveled out. Then on July 2, a bombshell hydroxychloroquine study conducted by Henry Ford Health System found that the drug cut the death rate in half for COVID-19 patients, and without heart-related side-effects. The study found that patients treated with hydroxychloroquine at Henry Ford met specific protocol criteria as outlined by the hospital system’s Division of Infectious Diseases. The vast majority received the drug soon after admission; 82% within 24 hours and 91% within 48 hours of admission. All patients in the study were 18 or over with a median age of 64 years; 51% were men and 56% African American. Now, Israel’s Arutz Sheva is reporting that media misinformation may be subverting effective treatment to end the coronavirus crisis. Citing analysis by Jeremy Gordon in The Duran. Arutz Sheva went on to say that:
Examining the evidence for and against the treatment regimen championed by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, MD, Gordon examines whether hydroxychloroquine works or not, if it is safe or dangerous, and whether it should be used as a treatment for the virus.

Concluding the article, Arutz Sheva said.
Gordon concludes that “the media hostile to hydroxychloroquine downplayed or cast doubt on the many successful studies and trials with hydroxychloroquine and made the most of the faulty trials as proof that the drug Trump had touted didn’t work. “For the media it seems to have been more about scoring political points and increasing their audience ratings rather than investigative reporting which uncovers the truth. For those who are dying and their families and friends as a result of this treatment not being used because of media misinformation it is lives tragically lost, and for the rest of us it is our economies sinking, businesses failing, and unemployment, poverty and suffering rising. “Hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved, and loss ruin, suffering and devastation to our economies and societies avoided if we simply started using this safe, cheap and readily available treatment. It is a ludicrous and tragic farce that because of the massive misinformation on behalf of corporate greed and political point scoring that we are not.”

Meanwhile, last week Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, the Jewish doctor who treated coronavirus patients with 99% success rate using hydroxychloroquine, published a new HCQ study, which has been submitted for peer review. In the study, Dr. Zelenko and two other doctors, Dr. Martin Scholz and Dr. Roland Derwand, describe the outcomes of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the outpatient setting after early treatment with zinc, low dose hydroxychloroquine, and azithromycin (the triple therapy) dependent on risk stratification. Dr. Zelenko claimed to have 99 percent success rate with his hydroxychloroquine treatment regimen. Arutz Sheva (Channel 7), also known in English as Israel National News, is an Israeli media network identifying with Religious Zionism. It offers online news in Hebrew, English, and Russian, including 24-hour updated text news, live streaming radio, video, and free podcasts.



Renowned epidemiologist and Yale professor Dr. Harvey Risch says there’s a ‘massive disinformation campaign’ against hydroxychloroquine
Tech Startups

URL: https://techstartups.com/2020/08/28/ren ... loroquine/
Category: Politics
Published: August 28, 2020

Description: In May, Dr. Risch, a renowned epidemiologist and Yale professor, wrote an opinion study titled: “Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk Covid-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis.” The study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that early outpatient treatment is the most effective for the treatment of coronavirus patients. In a 29-page report, the study suggests that early outpatient illness is very different than later hospitalized florid disease and the treatments differ. It also shows that late-stage studies missed the point about the effective usage of hydroxychloroquine. Instead, the author recommends that immediate and early ramping-up of treatment for high-risk COVID-19 patients is key to controlling the coronavirus pandemic crisis. Almost three months after the study was conducted, the FDA and WHO declared that hydroxychloroquine is “unlikely to be effective” and withdrew its emergency use authorization due to safety concerns. But Dr. Risch is pushing back. Last weekend, he accused Dr. Fauci and the FDA that they have caused the ‘deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans’ that could have been saved by hydroxychloroquine. During the interview, Dr. Risch explained that science is so one-sided in supporting the result that hydroxychloroquine is stronger than anything else he has ever studied in his entire career.
“And there’s been a massive disinformation campaign that stretches from the government to the media that’s either suppressing this message, or it is countering it with a false message, and I’m not an expert in the reasons why that’s happening other than just observing it, but I am an expert in the science and I can tell you the science is all one-sided. In fact, science is so one-sided in supporting this result that it’s stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied in my entire career. The evidence in favor of hydroxychloroquine benefit in high-risk patients treated early as outpatients is stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied.”

When asked if people with heart disease or asthma are likely to die or have a certain type of critical reaction to hydroxychloroquine, Dr. Risch replied:
No. The evidence is that healthy people with heart disease generally do fine on this medication. But like any medications, they should be prescribed by a doctor who is actually following the patient, knows the patient, knows what to expect, and is able to monitor them. All medications should be used that way and this is no different.

Dr. Risch concludes that the evidence about hydroxychloroquine is overwhelming. He went on to say that there’s no question that the people who need to be treated and are treated early, it has a very substantial benefit in reducing the risk of hospitalization or mortality. Below is a video of the interview.



Below is the transcript of the interview.
Professor Risch, how are you, sir?
DR. HARVEY RISCH, PROFESSOR, YALE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH EPIDEMIOLOGY: I’m good. Nice to be here.
LEVIN: The question, the question is, you’ve looked I take it at all these studies and what do you conclude?
RISCH: I conclude the evidence is overwhelming. There’s no question that the people who need to be treated and are treated early, it has a very substantial benefit in reducing risk of hospitalization or mortality. And there’s been a massive disinformation campaign that stretches from government to the media that’s either suppressing this message, or it is countering it with a false message, and I’m not an expert in the reasons why that’s happening other than just observing it, but I am an expert in the science and I can tell you the science is all one sided. In fact, the science is so one sided in supporting this result that it’s stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied in my entire career. The evidence in favor of hydroxychloroquine benefit in high risk patients treated early as outpatients is stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied. So scientifically, there’s no question whatsoever.
LEVIN: And most of the studies that are cited by the government scientists and the media are studies that do not treat patients early in the virus, is that correct?
RISCH: It’s either that they cite studies that are hospitalized patients, or they cite studies such as the Boulware studies from Minnesota that treat low risk patients. These are people under age 60 with no chronic conditions and so on, people who will survive the virus just on their own without treatment almost entirely. And those people, nobody — virtually nobody is hospitalized, so there’s no room to do better when the people who don’t get the medication are already doing as best as one could hope. So those are low risk people and we’re not talking about treating low risk people. We’re talking about treating people over 60, or with chronic conditions or obesity, diabetes and so on. Those are the people who are at risk of being hospitalized and dying from this illness. Those are the people who have to be treated. And all the studies, every one of the studies that looks at that group of people has shown benefit. There are no studies in those people that show lack of benefit,
LEVIN: Dr. Anthony Fauci, he has been in the government 52 years. He heads the Infectious Office in the Federal government for a very, very long time, really over three decades. And when he is asked about this during testimony, he absolutely blows off hydroxychloroquine. He says the science is the science. You tell us the science says yes. He says no. Has Dr. Fauci ever called you and asked you your opinion and why you have the opinion that you do.
RISCH: No. Dr. Fauci has —
LEVIN: And you’re renowned. I’ve done research on your background. You’re a renowned expert. You’re one of the top schools in America. Let me ask you this. Has the head of the Food and Drug Administration, the F.D.A. ever contacted you and asked you about your review of these various studies.
RISCH: He has not contacted me for that purpose. During the time when the F.D.A. was considering a petition for early use authorization in outpatients of hydroxychloroquine that was submitted by the Henry Ford hospital doctors, during that time, I filed a brief with the F.D.A. demonstrating both the evidence that supports usage and the complete lack of harm, the complete lack of any systematic data that the F.D.A. has said on their website that they don’t have. Just reading what they say on their website shows that they have no data about adverse events in use in outpatients. He responded, I’ve sent him this by e-mail as well as FedEx and he was responded thanking me for that. That is the only contact I’ve had with him.
LEVIN: So none of the heads of these various government entities have bothered to consult with you. And basically, when you go on these various media programs, particularly on CNN, they spend most of the time reclaiming their time and interrupting you and making it impossible for you to explain why you have the position that you have. And when we come back, I want to spend a little bit more time looking at these studies. We’ll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEVIN: Welcome back. Dr. Harvey Risch is an expert, epidemiologist from Yale, a PhD, a doctor. Doctor, I want to ask you this question, people with heart disease or asthma, are they likely to die or have a certain type of critical reaction to this drug?
RISCH: No. The evidence is that healthy people with heart disease generally do fine on this medication. But like any medications, they should be prescribed by a doctor who is actually following the patient, knows the patient, knows what to expect, and is able to monitor them. All medications should be used that way and this is no different. But in general, this is a very safe medication. The medication itself has, in some people, perhaps 10 percent of normal people can change the pacing of the heart muscle contractions, called the heart rhythm. That change has only measurement value. In other words, if you measure it on electrocardiogram, you can see it. It has essentially no bearing for almost everyone who has that as to any risks for real arrhythmia that has potentially life threatening consequences. It is very, very, very low risk.
LEVIN: It’s interesting you should say that. On May 15th, The Washington Post, “Drug promoted by Trump as coronavirus game changer increasingly linked to deaths.” That was the headline that was blared. Is that true? It’s increasingly linked to deaths and what’s their data for this?
RISCH: First of all, it doesn’t say in which patients. If you’re talking about very sick hospitalized patients who get it as a last ditch effort, because nothing else is working, then there might be some relationship like that. If you’re talking about healthy outpatients who are getting it among for example, the 10 billion people who have gotten this over the last 65 years, there’s no relationship at all. And so you have to be very specific about who you’re talking about when you make statements like that.
LEVIN: You know, again, as a pedestrian, I am no expert, but I read the various reports. I read what you write and I draw my own conclusions from this. It is incredible to me that in the middle of this pandemic, that a drug that has been used for over half a century, where the testing has been so thorough and it’s been ubiquitous, and it’s so cheap, each pill is very, very cheap, that there is this effort to fight it and fight it and to destroy the doctors and the experts who dare to suggest that in the early stages, even maybe as a prophylactic, you might want to use this if it’s prescribed by a doctor. Now pharmacists are afraid to provide it and now doctors are concerned to prescribe it and hospitals — some hospitals won’t prescribe it, and this has been politicized in an incredible, incredible way. And you right here, wait a minute, this drug can save thousands and thousands of lives. Have you ever seen anything like this?
RISCH: Never. Never. No. That somehow we’ve let politics overrule science, and it’s an absurd situation that people have compared this to 1984 and the Ministry of Truth and so on that’s limiting what people can say on objective facts. It’s beyond belief.
LEVIN: And I watch when you do interviews when other networks, the so- called news hosts are literally angry at you. They’re shouting you down. They’re interrupting you. They won’t even let you make your case. That seems a little odd, too, doesn’t it?
RISCH: Well, here’s the thing. I think they know that the treatment works. I think that basically, they’re afraid to even let it be tried, because letting it be tried would show that it works. So the message has to be shut at all costs because anything will leak out and in fact, it is leaking out, and you see across the country, people who started to speak up, who’ve become almost deathly ill and have been turned around in three days or sooner even, and these are now public figures who are speaking up, who’ve said that the medicine saved their life. And it’s very difficult to, you know, close all the leaks in that dike that are being suppressed by the media that are trying to do that.
LEVIN: But it’s also being suppressed by individuals in these various scientific and medical communities and the Federal government who have been around a very long time, the bureaucrats, if you will, who are claiming that they’re the ones following the science and you and people like you are not following the science. And when we come back, I want to ask you about that as a professional, as an expert, a man who has been in this field for decades, what can be done when the bureaucrats in the Federal government who are backed up by the media because, you know, from a political perspective, this is this is how they approach it — what can be done in the private sector when you have experts, when you have people, professors at universities, doctors who have been practicing who say, hey, wait a minute, we need access to this drug. Our patients need access to this drug. We’ll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEVIN: Dr. Harvey Risch, let’s focus in on the F.D.A. The F.D.A. is a huge bureaucracy. It’s almost a dinosaur. Things are slowed down, they’re chewed up. The President has made efforts to speed up certain types of lifesaving drugs for people who are in extremis. I feel like that’s what’s happening to this drug. It’s being chewed up by the F.D.A. What do you make of this?
RISCH: So the F.D.A. is a very strange organization that has a history of not making science based rational based decisions about its approvals. This was started, and most noticeably in 1987, when people with AIDS in New York City were dying of what is called pneumocystis pneumonia, PCP, and the clinical experience then had been amassed. A large number of cases who were prevented from dying by use of the antibiotic, Bactrim. This is even then was a generic medication and cheap. And activists obtained a meeting with Dr. Fauci and 15 of his selected scientists at F.D.A., at N.I.H. and asked Dr. Fauci just to make guidelines to physicians that they consider using Bactrim to treat preventively AIDS people so that they wouldn’t die of this pneumonia. Dr. Fauci refused. He said, I want randomized, controlled, blinded, controlled trial evidence. That’s my gold standard. That or nothing. The activists left. The N.I.H. did not fund any randomized trials. They raised money themselves from their own AIDS patients to collect the data to do a randomized trial. It took them two years. They came back to Dr. Fauci. During those two years, the F.D.A. approved AZT as a treatment for AIDS, AZT works, but not completely. It needs other medications as well. And during the two years that it took them to get this data to come back to Dr. Fauci to support using Bactrim, 17,000 people with AIDS died because of Dr. Fauci’s insistence on not allowing even a statement supporting consideration of the use. This has gone on before. Now, we have Dr. Fauci denying that any evidence exists of benefit, and that’s pervaded the F.D.A. The F.D.A. has relied on Dr. Fauci and his N.I.H. advisory groups to make a statement saying that there is no benefit of using hydroxychloroquine in outpatients. And this is counter to the facts of the case. The evidence is overwhelming. The F.D.A. has also said that there is the harm of using these medications in outpatients overweighs the benefit; and in fact, they’ve said this with no information, no evidence whatsoever of any harm in outpatient use, and this is provable both by the fact that the F.D.A.’s webpage says as a warning against outpatient use, but says it relies on inpatient hospital data, which means they don’t have any outpatient data. As well as the fact that 90 percent of the cases of COVID this year have occurred since the time that the F.D.A. restricted usage to inpatients only. So the F.D.A. knows that it has no data for outpatients and no data on harm and yet, it denied the Henry Ford petition for outpatient usage. Dr. Fauci and the F.D.A. are doing the same thing that was done in 1987 and that’s led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans who could have been saved by usage of this drug. And this is the same thing that the F.D.A. has done. It’s outrageous. People need to be writing or calling their congressmen and senators and complaining that this is not the way the country should work. That a bureaucracy that’s in bed with other forces that are causing them to make decisions that are not based on the science that is killing Americans is not acceptable.
LEVIN: Well, at a minimum, they ought to be reaching out to experts like you and experts all over the country who have something to contribute to this. I mean, after all, it’s a pandemic, and constantly going on TV and telling everybody to wear a mask over and over and over again, and social distancing that doesn’t sound very scientific to me. I want to thank you, Dr. Risch, for your courage, for your insight for publishing what you’re publishing. I know that it can’t be easy, and — but it’s a very, very important public service. God bless you.
RISCH: Thank you.
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Novartis CEO: Malaria drug is biggest hope against coronavirus - SonntagsZeitung

Postby smix » Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:16 pm

Novartis CEO: Malaria drug is biggest hope against coronavirus - SonntagsZeitung
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/health- ... SL8N2BM02W
Category: healthNews
Published: March 29, 2020

Description: ZURICH, March 29 (Reuters) - Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said his Sandoz generics unit’s malaria, lupus and arthritis drug hydroxychloroquine is the company’s biggest hope against the coronavirus, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported on Sunday. Novartis has pledged to donate 130 million doses and is supporting clinical trials needed before the medicine, which U.S. President Donald Trump also has been promoting, can be approved for use against the coronavirus. Other companies including Bayer and Teva have also agreed to donate hydroxychloroquine or similar drugs, while Gilead Sciences is testing its experimental drug remdesivir against coronavirus. “Pre-clinical studies in animals as well as the first data from clinical studies show that hydroxychloroquine kills the coronavirus,” Narasimhan told the newspaper. “We’re working with Swiss hospitals on possible treatment protocols for the clinical use of the drug, but it’s too early to say anything definitively.” He said the company is currently looking for additional active drug ingredients to make more hydroxychloroquine, should clinical trials be successful. Narasimhan said three other Novartis drugs - Jakavi for cancer, multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya and fever drug Ilaris - are being studied for their effect on complications related to COVID-19, the newspaper reported. This follows separate efforts to re-purpose drugs made by companies including Roche and Sanofi to treat complications related to the disease.



Factbox: U.S. hospitals differ on best use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN21O2VW
Category: healthNews
Published: April 6, 2020

Description: (Reuters) - Major hospitals in New York, Louisiana and other areas hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak are routinely using hydroxychloroquine on patients hospitalized with COVID-19, though robust evidence on whether it works is weeks, if not months, away.Hydroxychloroquine is a treatment for malaria and autoimmune diseases in use since the 1950’s. The related drug chloroquine has been in use even longer, but is considered to be less safe. The drugs can have serious side effects, including vision loss, heart problems or even death, if used incorrectly. Below are examples of how some hospitals are using the therapy:
NORTHWELL HEALTH, NEW YORK
The 23-hospital healthcare system began in late March to use hydroxychloroquine routinely in patients admitted with the sometimes deadly respiratory illness caused by the virus, according to Dr. Kevin Tracey, chief executive of Northwell’s research arm. This was based on preliminary data that “it may be beneficial,” said Chief Pharmacy Officer Onisis Stefas. Hydroxychloroquine is given to patients who have “really no other options,” and have not qualified for clinical trials of other potential coronavirus treatments, he said. Northwell also allows doctors to prescribe it in conjunction with the antibiotic azithromycin on a case by case basis, but that is not standard of care.
NYU LANGONE HEALTH, NEW YORK
NYU has been giving the drug to patients since early March, according to Dr. Michael Belmont, a rheumatologist. Some doctors at NYU are also prescribing azithromycin in combination with hydroxychloroquine, although Belmont said the medical literature he has seen is “insufficient to draw an inference that the combination is especially effective.”
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES MEDICAL CENTERUCLA has been advising doctors since mid-March to consider hydroxychloroquine for seriously ill COVID-19 patients. “Our recommendation is based on limiting usage, allowing it as a Hail Mary-type treatment for patients who are very sick,” said Dr. Otto Yang, an infectious disease specialist.
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON MEDICINE
The hospital system advises that severely ill patients should be prescribed hydroxychloroquine if they are not eligible for trials of remdesivir, an experimental antiviral therapy being developed by Gilead Sciences Inc. Gilead earlier this month put compassionate use access to remdesivir on hold due to overwhelming demand. The health system’s treatment guidelines warn that the combination of azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine “has not been rigorously studied; it is unknown if it provides additional benefit. The combination may cause significant cardiac toxicity.”
OCHSNER MEDICAL CENTER, LOUISIANALouisiana’s largest hospital system is prescribing hydroxychloroquine widely, according to its chief medical officer, Dr Robert Hart. “We have been using this from pretty early in the outbreak to see if this helps,” he said.
LAHEY HOSPITAL & MEDICAL CENTER, MASSACHUSETTS
The hospital system started using hydroxychloroquine around March 27 for inpatient treatment of COVID-19 patients whose oxygen levels drop below a certain level and who have risk factors for severe disease. The system’s protocols take into account patients’ cardiac history and do not advise combining hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin due to the increased risk of heart problems.



Prescriptions for two malaria drugs surged after Trump's praise as COVID-19 treatment: NYT
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKCN2270UE
Category: healthNews
Published: April 6, 2020

Description: (Reuters) - Prescriptions for two malaria drugs surged by more than 46 times on the day that U.S. President Donald Trump touted his opinion about their effectiveness in the coronavirus fight during a March briefing, the New York Times reported on Saturday. “I think it could be something really incredible,” Trump said on March 19, adding that the two drugs had shown “very, very encouraging results” in treating the virus but that more study was needed, the report quoted Trump as saying. By that evening, first-time prescriptions of the drugs — chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — flooded into retail pharmacies at more than 46 times the rate of the average weekday, according to a New York Times analysis of prescription data, the report said. The 32,000 prescriptions came from a broad range of doctors, including rheumatologists, cardiologists, dermatologists, psychiatrists and podiatrists, according to the report. COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has no approved treatment or vaccine. But hydroxychloroquine has been widely used in an attempt to alter the course of COVID-19 based on anecdotal reports that it may provide some benefit. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday cautioned against the use of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients even as Trump, who has touted it as a “game changer,” advocated for an additional review. The FDA has allowed healthcare providers to use the drugs for COVID-19 through its emergency use authorization, but has not approved them to treat the disease.



India exports 50 million hydroxychloroquine tablets to U.S. for COVID-19 fight: source
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN22C2LN
Category: Business
Published: April 30, 2020

Description: NEW DELHI/AHMEDABAD (Reuters) - India has shipped 50 million tablets of hydroxychloroquine to the United States, an Indian source with direct knowledge of the exports said, although U.S. regulators warned the anti-malarial drug may have harmful side effects in the treatment of COVID-19. The trade, India’s biggest export of the drug to any country, follows a request by U.S. President Donald Trump for New Delhi to release supplies of hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for the respiratory disease. “It amounts to 50 million tablets... Commercial companies are pursuing. It’s ongoing,” said the source, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of discussions with the United States. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Union’s drug regulator and the Canadian health department have cautioned against the use of hydroxychloroquine, citing side effects such as abnormal heart rhythms and a dangerously rapid heart rate. However, the health warnings have done little to deter the drug’s imports to the United States, where some doctors are continuing to prescribe the drug for the treatment of COVID-19. “There is high demand for hydroxychloroquine in the international market including U.S.,” Viranchi Shah, senior vice-president, Indian Drug Manufacturers Association (IDMA), told Reuters. This month India said it would allow some exports of hydroxychloroquine after Trump touted it as a “game changer” and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to send supplies. In Modi’s home state of Gujarat, 68 new licences have been issued to drugmakers to manufacture hydroxychloroquine formulations, H.G. Koshia, commissioner, Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA), Gujarat, told Reuters. “Majority of these licences are for exports,” he said. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, IPCA Laboratories and Cadila Healthcare are among India’s leading suppliers of hydroxychloroquine. Cadila Healthcare recently said it was ramping up production tenfold to 30 metric tonnes per month. Sales of the decades-old treatment had soared overnight after Trump’s advocacy of the drug, raising questions whether political pressure had overridden scientific criteria in the crisis. As the U.S. coronavirus death toll topped 60,000 on Wednesday - the highest in the world - doctors in the United States are desperate for anything that might alter the course of the disease, which attacks the lungs and can shut down other organs in severe cases. “Pharma companies in Gujarat are continuing to produce and export hydroxychloroquine in large quantities,” IDMA’s Shah said. The foreign ministry said India was continuing to supply hydroxychloroquine, and other essential medicines produced in India, to other countries. These supplies were taking place both on a humanitarian and a commercial basis.



Trump says he is taking hydroxychloroquine despite FDA warning
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN22U2Y5
Category: healthNews
Published: May 18, 2020

Description: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump, in a surprise announcement, said on Monday he is taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medicine against the coronavirus despite medical warnings about the use of the malaria drug. “I’m taking hydroxychloroquine,” Trump told reporters. “I’ve been taking it for the last week and a half. A pill every day.” Trump volunteered the disclosure during a question-and-answer session with reporters as he met restaurant executives whose businesses are reeling from the impact of the virus. Weeks ago Trump had promoted the drug as a potential treatment based on a positive report about its use against the virus, but subsequent studies found that it was not helpful. The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about its use. In an April 24 statement, the FDA said it is “aware of reports of serious heart rhythm problems” in patients with COVID-19 treated with hydroxychloroquine or an older drug, chloroquine. Trump, 73, who is tested daily for the virus, said he had asked the White House physician if it was OK to take the drug, and the doctor told him, “well, if you’d like it.”



The president, a well-known germaphobe, has nonetheless refused to wear a protective mask in the West Wing. The disclosure came as Moderna Inc reported progress in a potential vaccine for the virus. The only drug that has emerged so far as a potential treatment is Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir. Fox News Channel, immediately after Trump’s remarks, interviewed Dr. Bob Lahita, a professor of medicine at Rutgers University, who cautioned people not to take hydroxychloroquine. “There’s no effect that we have seen and we have treated multiple patients with it,” he said. Trump said he also took a single dose of azithromycin, an antibiotic which is meant prevent infection. In conjunction with hydroxychloroquine, Trump said he was taking zinc. “All I can tell you is so far I seem to be OK,” Trump said.



WHO pauses trial of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN2311PG
Category: Politics
Published: May 25, 2020

Description: GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization has suspended testing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday. Hydroxycholoroquine has been touted by Donald Trump and others as a possible treatment for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The U.S. President has said he was taking the drug to help prevent infection. “The executive group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity trial while the safety data is reviewed by the data safety monitoring board,” Tedros told an online briefing.

gates-tedros.jpg

He said the other arms of the trial - a major international initiative to hold clinical tests of potential treatments for the virus - were continuing. The WHO has previously recommended against using hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent coronavirus infections, except as part of clinical trials.
Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO emergencies programme, said the decision to suspend trials of hydroxychloroquine had been taken out of “an abundance of caution”.



France bans hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 amid safety concerns
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN233197
Category: Politics
Published: May 27, 2020

Description: PARIS (Reuters) - The French government on Wednesday cancelled a decree allowing hospital doctors to administer hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to patients suffering severe forms of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

gates-macron.jpg

The move, which takes immediate effect, is the first by a country since the World Health Organization said on Monday it was pausing a large trial of the malaria drug on COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns. The cancellation of the decree, which in effect means the drug is now banned for such use, was announced in the government’s official bulletin and confirmed by a statement by the health ministry. It did not refer to the WHO suspension.

macron-throne.jpg

France decided at the end of March to allow the use of hydroxychloroquine, which in addition to malaria is approved for treating lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, in specific situations and in hospitals only for treating COVID-19 patients. British medical journal The Lancet has reported that patients getting hydroxychloroquine had increased death rates and irregular heartbeats, adding to a series of other disappointing results for the drug as a way to treat COVID-19. U.S. President Donald Trump and others have pushed hydroxychloroquine in recent months as a possible coronavirus treatment. No vaccine or treatment has yet been approved to treat COVID-19, which has killed more than 350,000 people globally.


SCANDALE de l’étude anti-Raoult du Lancet : VÉRAN DÉMISSION !







Indonesia to keep prescribing two malaria drugs for COVID-19 despite bans in Europe
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN2341XG
Category: Politics
Published: May 28, 2020

Description: JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia will continue to prescribe two anti-malaria drugs for coronavirus patients but monitor their use closely, a spokesman for Indonesia COVID-19 taskforce said on Thursday, after some European nations banned the drug over safety concerns. The world’s fourth-most populous nation has since late March recommended that chloroquine and its derivative, hydroxychloroquine, be widely administered, including to coronavirus patients with moderate to severe symptoms, according to Food and Drug Monitoring Agency guidelines. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced this week it was temporarily halting its global Solidarity trial, which was trialling hydroxychloroquine in more than 30 countries, including Indonesia.

tedros-no-see.jpg

In an advisory sent by the WHO to Indonesia’s health ministry and pulmonologists’ association, which was reviewed by Reuters, the global health body said use of the drugs should be suspended “for treating any COVID-19 patients outside the trial”. Wiku Adismasmito, from Indonesia’s COVID-19 national taskforce, said Indonesia would comply with the advice in relation to the trial, but continue general use under strict monitoring. “According to the Ministry of Health, patient care guidelines published by the five medical professions are continuously assessing the usage of this drug, with smaller doses and shorter duration of administration,” he said. Indonesia, he said, would wait for further advice from the WHO in regard to the safety of the drugs, expected in mid-June. After some initial optimism around the unproven drugs, Indonesia ramped up local production of the antimalarials. U.S. President Donald Trump was a particularly strong supporter of hydroxychloroquine, describing it as a “game changer”. He later announced he was taking it to prevent infection. In recent months clinical trials in France, Brazil and the United States have indicated the drugs carry an increased risk of heart rhythm disturbances and death. Governments in France, Belgium and Italy moved to ban the drugs on Wednesday, after a second global clinical trial led by the University of Oxford, set to involve 40,000 healthcare workers, was also put on hold.



Exclusive: Sanofi stops enrolling COVID-19 patients in hydroxychloroquine trials
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN2352IH
Category: Politics
Published: May 29, 2020

Description: PARIS (Reuters) - Sanofi has temporarily stopped recruiting new COVID-19 patients for two clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine and will no longer supply the anti-malaria drug to treat COVID-19 until concerns about safety are cleared up, it said on Friday.

macon-non.jpg

The moves come after the World Health Organization paused its large trial of hydroxychloroquine, prompting several European governments to ban the use of the drug, also used in rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. That dealt a major blow to hopes for a treatment, touted by U.S. President Donald Trump, as drugmakers and governments race to find ways to treat patients and control the novel coronavirus. Sanofi has been conducting two randomised, controlled clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19. The first was expected to test 210 patients in United States, France, Belgium and the Netherlands who were not in hospital and suffering from the early stage of the disease while the second focused on hospitalised patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 in Europe. It was planned to include around 300 patients. The WHO’s concerns centred on a report published by British journal The Lancet that patients getting the drug had increased death rates and irregular heartbeats. Sanofi and rival Novartis have pledged donations of tens of millions of doses of the drug for COVID-19. Last month, the French company said it had already doubled production capacity at eight sites and was poised to increase further.



Trump and Bolsonaro discussed research effort on using hydroxychloroquine to fight coronavirus, White House says
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN2392OW
Category: Politics
Published: June 2, 2020

Description: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro discussed a joint research effort on using the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as both a prophylaxis and treatment for the coronavirus, the White House said on Tuesday.

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Trump and Bolsonaro “expressed their mutual appreciation for the longstanding collaboration on health issues between the two countries,” the White House said, discussing the U.S. delivery of 2 million doses of the controversial drug to Brazil and “a joint research effort to help further evaluate the safety and efficacy of hydroxychloroquine for both prophylaxis and the early treatment of the coronavirus.”



WHO set to resume hydroxychloroquine trial in battle against COVID-19
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN23A2LT
Category: Politics
Published: June 3, 2020

Description: GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization will resume its trial of hydroxychloroquine for potential use against the coronavirus, its chief said on Wednesday, after those running the study briefly stopped giving it to new patients over health concerns. The U.N. agency last month paused the part of its large study of treatments against COVID-19 in which newly enrolled patients were getting the anti-malarial drug to treat COVID-19 due to fears it increased death rates and irregular heartbeats.

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The study continued with other medicines. But the WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said its experts had advised the continuation of all trials including hydroxychloroquine, whose highest-profile backer for use against the coronavirus is U.S. President Donald Trump. “The executive group will communicate with the principal investigators in the trial about resuming the hydroxychloroquine arm of the trial,” Tedros told an online media briefing, referring to WHO’s initiative to hold clinical tests of potential COVID-19 treatments on some 3,500 patients in 35 countries. The WHO’s decision to suspend its trial prompted others to follow suit, including Sanofi, which said on May 29 it was suspending recruitment for its trials. A Sanofi spokesman said the company would review available information and run consultations in the coming days to reassess its position following the WHO’s latest decision on Wednesday. The WHO’s chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, called for other trials of the drug to proceed. “We owe it to patients to have a definitive answer on whether or not a drug works,” she said, adding that safety monitoring should also continue. Swaminathan said the WHO would be keen to see more results of clinical trials of Avifavir, a drug she said would be used to treat COVID-19 in Russian hospitals “very soon”. In the same virtual briefing, WHO officials said they were especially worried about outbreaks in Latin America and in Haiti, one of the world’s poorest nations, where infections have been spreading rapidly. The coronavirus has infected almost 3 million people in the Americas and more than 6.43 million worldwide.



Sanofi to run consultations over restart of hydroxychloroquine trials
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN23A2RU
Category: Politics
Published: June 3, 2020

Description: PARIS (Reuters) - Sanofi said on Wednesday it would review available information and run consultations before deciding whether to enroll patients again for its COVID-19-related hydroxychloroquine trials.

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The French drugmaker said on May 29 it had stopped recruiting new COVID-19 subjects for two clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine until concerns about safety are cleared up following a decision by the World Health Organization to pause a large trial. The WHO said earlier in the day the trial would resume. “We will review available information and run consultations in the coming days to reassess our position,” a spokesman with Sanofi said.



Trump without side effects after two-week course of anti-malaria drug, White House doctor says
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKBN23A355
Category: Politics
Published: June 3, 2020

Description: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump had no side effects from a two-week course of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that can cause heart problems, after using it as a preventive measure against the coronavirus, his White House physician said on Wednesday.

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The results of Trump’s annual physical found that the 73-year-old president remains healthy but picked up a pound and now weighs 244 pounds (110.68 kg) compared to 243 pounds (110.22 kg)last year. His weight puts him further into the obese range for adults of his height. Trump, who turns 74 on June 14, is regularly tested for the virus and has been negative each time, according to a summary of results by his physician, Sean Conley. Trump last month began taking hydroxychloroquine, despite questions about its effectiveness, after two White House aides tested positive for the virus. He told reporters at the time he was taking it just in case it helped fend off the virus. Conley said no changes were noticed in Trump’s electrocardiogram test as a result of the drug. “The president completed the regimen safely and without side effects,” Conley said. “He continues to receive regular COVID-19 testing, and to date all results have been negative.” Trump’s cholesterol was at 167, well in the normal range, as he benefits from taking a cholesterol drug.



Does drug touted by Trump work on COVID-19? After data debacle, we still don't know
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN23B1Y4
Category: Politics
Published: June 4, 2020

Description: LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists are resuming COVID-19 trials of the now world-famous drug hydroxychloroquine, as confusion continues to reign about the anti-malarial hailed by U.S. President Donald Trump as a potential “game-changer” in fighting the pandemic. The renewed research push follows widespread criticism of the quality of data in a study published by The Lancet, an influential medical journal, which found high risks associated with the treatment. The World Health Organization, which had last week paused trials when The Lancet study showed the drug was tied to an increased risk of death in hospitalized patients, said on Wednesday it was ready to resume trials. The WHO’s change of mind is “a wise decision”, according to Martin Landray, co-lead scientist on the Recovery trial, the world’s largest research project into existing drugs that might be repurposed to treat COVID-19 patients. “What all this episode really reflects is that without randomised trials, there is huge uncertainty,” said Landray, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Oxford university. Randomised studies are the gold standard in research, randomly assigning a treatment to one group of people and a dummy to another group so that the two can be compared. The Lancet study was a “retrospective observational” study, using a data set from an analytics firm, to see what effects the drug had had on some COVID-19 patients, compared to those who did not get it. The WHO’s about-face came after nearly 150 doctors signed a letter to the Lancet outlining concerns about the study’s conclusions. The journal itself published an expression of concern about the research this week, saying “serious scientific questions have been brought to our attention”. Some scientists said the episode had set back efforts to determine whether hydroxychloroquine was an effective or risky treatment for COVID-19, as some other trials around the world had also halted following the WHO’s initial decision to pause. “It’s really impacted quite negatively the sort of studies that would be able to say if there is a benefit or harm,” Will Schilling told Reuters. He is co-lead on the UK COPCOV study which was paused last week, just days after its launch. “At the moment, we don’t really know. That’s why these studies are needed, and now they’ve been slightly waylaid by all of this.” Scientists acknowledge, though, that studies are being conducted at break-neck speed while garnering unprecedented levels of attention that could give findings unwarranted weight.
THE PRESIDENT’S TAKING IT
The drug has hit global headlines in large part because of its promotion by Trump, who said in March it could be a game-changer and last month revealed he was taking it himself, even after his own Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had advised that its efficacy and safety were unproven. In the absence of clear scientific evidence, some authorities and consumers are buying up stocks of the drug in case it turns out to be effective. Britain, for example, is spending millions of pounds bulk-buying tablets. Hydroxychloroquine has been shown in laboratory experiments earlier this year to be able to block the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, but this effect has not been replicated in rigorous trials in people. A separate study by University of Minnesota scientists of the potential preventative effect of hydroxychloroquine against the new coronavirus found it did not protect patients who had been given it prior to being exposed to COVID-19. Here again, though, the waters have been muddied. The New England Journal of Medicine, which published the research on Wednesday, noted in an editorial, however, that there were limits to the scope of the study. The University of Minnesota study also was limited in the scenario it tested, said Richard Chaisson, a Johns Hopkins researcher who is running a separate trial of the drug to determine whether it is effective in treating patients with moderate to severe versions of COVID-19. There is still a need for robust studies looking at whether it might work in low doses before or after exposure, as well as against mild cases, moderate cases, hospitalized patients and seriously ill ones, he added.
WHO’S KNOCK-ON EFFECTS
The WHO decision to halt its trials last week had knock-on effects across the drug industry and medical profession. French drugmaker Sanofi temporarily stopped enrolling recruits to its own study and pulled supplies of the drug for treatment. The UK COPCOV trial, aimed at establishing if hydroxychloroquine can prevent healthcare workers from contracting COVID-19, hit pause just a week after its launch. Those studies are yet to resume. Several European countries also have stopped using the drug for treating some COVID-19 patients. Some trials have, however, continued despite the WHO’s move. Novartis has not changed course with its study and the UK Recovery trial paused only briefly before moving ahead after safety checks. It is still enrolling patients and has signed up 4,500 recruits so far - 1,500 patients who are on the drug and around 3,000 who aren’t. In short, the jury’s still out on hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, according to Landray at Recovery. “People can quote data, people can quote experts, but there is continuing huge uncertainty,” he said.



Study authors retract influential Lancet hydroxychloroquine article
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/health- ... SL1N2DH1TN
Category: Politics
Published: June 4, 2020

Description: NEW YORK, June 4 (Reuters) - Three of the authors of an influential article that found hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in COVID-19 patients retracted the study on concerns about the quality of the data in the study.

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They said that Surgisphere, the company that provided the data, would not transfer the full dataset for an independent review and they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.” The study was published in British medical journal the Lancet last month.



'Truly sorry': Scientists pull panned Lancet study of Trump-touted drug
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN23B31W
Category: Politics
Published: June 4, 2020

Description: NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - An influential study that found hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in COVID-19 patients has been withdrawn a week after it led to major trials being halted, adding to confusion about a malaria drug championed by U.S. President Donald Trump. The Lancet medical journal pulled the study after three of its authors retracted it, citing concerns about the quality and veracity of data in it. The World Health Organization (WHO) will resume its hydroxychloroquine trials after pausing them in the wake of the study. Dozens of other trials have resumed or are in process. The three authors said Surgisphere, the company that provided the data, would not transfer the dataset for an independent review and they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.” The fourth author of the study, Dr. Sapan Desai, chief executive of Surgisphere, declined to comment on the retraction. The Lancet said it “takes issues of scientific integrity extremely seriously” adding: “There are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study”. Another study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that used Surgisphere data and shared the same lead author, Harvard Medical School Professor Mandeep Mehra, was retracted for the same reason. The Lancet said reviews of Surgisphere’s research collaborations were urgently needed.

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The race to understand and treat the new coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of research and peer-reviewed scientific journals are go-to sources of information for doctors, policymakers and lay people alike. Chris Chambers, a professor of psychology and an expert at the UK Center for Open Science, said The Lancet and the NEJM - which he described as “ostensibly two of the world’s most prestigious medical journals” - should investigate how the studies got through peer review and editorial checks. “The failure to resolve such basic concerns about the data” raises “serious questions about the standard of editing” and about the process of peer review, he said. The Lancet did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The NEJM could not immediately be reached for comment.
UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
The observational study published in The Lancet on May 22 said it looked at 96,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, some treated with the decades-old malaria drug. It claimed that those treated with hydroxychloroquine or the related chloroquine had higher risk of death and heart rhythm problems than patients who were not given the medicines. “I did not do enough to ensure that the data source was appropriate for this use,” the study’s lead author, Professor Mehra, said in a statement. “For that, and for all the disruptions – both directly and indirectly – I am truly sorry.” Many scientists voiced concern about the study, which had already been corrected last week because some location data was wrong. Nearly 150 doctors signed an open letter to The Lancet calling the article’s conclusions into question and asking to make public the peer review comments that preceded publication. Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said the retraction decision was “correct” but still left unanswered the question about whether hydroxychloroquine is effective in COVID-19. “It remains the case that the results from randomised trials are necessary to draw reliable conclusions,” he said.



Bolsonaro calls WHO 'political,' threatens Brazil exit
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN23C353
Category: Politics
Published: June 5, 2020

Description: RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - President Jair Bolsonaro threatened to pull Brazil out of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday unless it stops being a “partisan political organization.” In comments to journalists broadcast on CNN Brasil, Bolsonaro also said hydroxychloroquine “is back” after “sham” studies regarding its efficacy were retracted. Bolsonaro has touted the drug as a treatment for the novel coronavirus despite a lack of scientific evidence about its effectiveness.



Trump critical of FDA decision to revoke emergency use of drug he has promoted for COVID-19
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN23M283
Category: Politics
Published: June 15, 2020

Description: (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday revoked its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, but quickly came under fire from President Donald Trump, who said only U.S. agencies have failed to grasp its benefit in fighting the coronavirus. Based on new evidence, the FDA said it was no longer reasonable to believe that hydroxychloroquine and the related drug chloroquine may be effective in treating the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. The FDA also warned that the drugs have been shown in lab studies to interfere with Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral drug remdesivir - the only medicine so far to show a benefit against COVID-19 in formal clinical trials.

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The move comes after several studies of the decades-old malaria pills suggested they were not effective either as a treatment for or to prevent COVID-19. British scientists earlier this month halted a large trial after deciding that hydroxychloroquine was “useless” at treating COVID-19 patients. Hydroxychloroquine’s anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties suggested it might help COVID-19 patients, and the FDA authorized its emergency use in March at the height of a pandemic for which there were no approved treatments. The early enthusiasm was partly based on laboratory experiments in which the drug appeared to neutralize the virus. Chloroquine, which is not approved for any use in the United States and has more side effects, has not fared any better in human clinical trials. In March, Trump said hydroxychloroquine in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin had “a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine,” with little evidence to back up that claim. He later said he took the drugs preventively after two people who worked at the White House were diagnosed with COVID-19, and he urged others to try it. “I took it and I felt good about taking it. I don’t know if it had an impact, but it certainly didn’t hurt me,” Trump said on Monday. Trump said there had been “great reports” out of France, Spain and other places, without offering any evidence or further explanation. France is one of the countries that has already stopped using the drug for COVID-19 patients. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said the drug is still being studied for possible use at an earlier stage of the disease. “A lot of the data that has come out that was more negative was people who were quite ill in the hospital,” he said. The drug can still be used with a doctor’s prescription, Azar noted. Any drug with U.S. approval can be used in any way a doctor sees fit regardless of what it has been approved for.
DRUG’S USE ALREADY IN DECLINE
Doctors in recent weeks had already pulled back on the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, after several studies suggested it is not effective and may pose heart risks for certain patients. The Infectious Diseases Society of America on Monday backed the FDA decision “to revoke emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.” Half of hospitals responding to a mid-May survey conducted by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) reported excess supplies of hydroxychloroquine that they expected to return to wholesalers. Current U.S. government treatment guidelines do not recommend its use for COVID-19 patients outside of a clinical trial. France, Italy and Belgium late last month halted use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 patients. But the United States last month sent 2 million doses to Brazil, which has emerged as the pandemic’s latest epicenter. Hundreds of trials testing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine as interventions for COVID-19 are still underway, including a U.S. study designed to show whether hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin can prevent hospitalization and death from COVID-19.



Special Report: Bolsonaro bets 'miraculous cure' for COVID-19 can save Brazil - and his life
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN249396
Category: Politics
Published: July 8, 2020

Description: RIO DE JANEIRO/BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has gone all in on hydroxychloroquine to help his coronavirus-ravaged country beat COVID-19. He has pushed his government to make the malaria drug widely available and encouraged Brazilians to take it, both to prevent the disease and to treat it. Now the far-right populist is putting his convictions to the ultimate test: Bolsonaro on Tuesday announced that he had tested positive for the disease and was taking hydroxychloroquine. Bolsonaro said in a televised interview that he had taken an initial two doses, in conjunction with the antibiotic azithromycin, and felt better almost immediately. His only regret, he said, was not using it sooner. “If I had taken hydroxychloroquine preventively, I would still be working” instead of heading into quarantine, Bolsonaro said. Later, in a separate video, he gulped down a third pill. He said he was aware of other treatments, but noted none of them had been proven to work. “I trust in hydroxychloroquine,” he said. “And you?” Bolsonaro’s illness is a potent symbol of his government’s botched response to the outbreak. More than 1.7 million people in Brazil have tested positive for coronavirus and nearly 68,000 have died. Only the United States has performed worse. A forceful critic of stay-at-home measures, Bolsonaro, 65, has largely shunned masks and derided the coronavirus as a “little flu.” Instead, he has placed his faith in hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, turning them into the centerpiece of his government’s virus-beating playbook. The two medications are often used against malaria, while hydroxychloroquine is also used to treat certain automimmune diseases. Some countries authorized the drugs to be tried on COVID-19 patients, and some doctors anecdotally have reported encouraging results. Still, evidence is mounting that these drugs have no benefit for hospitalized patients. The U.S. Food and Drug administration in June, for example, revoked its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, saying it was no longer likely that the medications were effective at treating COVID-19 in these patients. Bolsonaro has been undeterred by such pronouncements. He has pushed his Health Ministry to expand access to the drugs and dispensed with two Health Ministers - Luiz Henrique Mandetta and Nelson Teich - who had urged a more cautious approach. Eduardo Pazuello - an active-duty Army general, who took over on an interim basis on May 15, and remains in the job to this day - has proven more obedient. Under his watch, the ministry has broadened access to the drugs, and public sector doctors are now allowed to prescribe them for almost anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus, not just the sickest patients. They can even be used by pregnant women and children with certain health conditions. The president’s office declined to comment for this article, directing questions to the Health Ministry. The Health Ministry did not respond. To understand how Bolsonaro’s administration embraced this unconventional strategy, Reuters interviewed more than two dozen people, including current and former health officials involved in the federal response, as well as physicians, scientists and public health experts. What emerged was a picture of a leader worried about the crippling effects of lockdowns imposed by governors and mayors across Brazil, and eager for a quick fix to re-open the economy. Bolsonaro was initially inspired by his political idol, U.S. President Donald Trump, who was an early advocate of hydroxychloroquine, a dozen sources said. But Bolsonaro has gone much further than his U.S. counterpart. At his command, the Army has drastically ramped up production of chloroquine. His new-look Health Ministry, now led by soldiers and Bolsonaro loyalists, has eagerly promoted the antimalarials as the best hope against COVID-19. And Brazilian public entities, such as state governments and federal ministries, have snapped up the drugs on the open market. So far this year, they have spent a total of 2.3 million reais ($429,706) on hydroxychloroquine - up 6,592% compared with the total amount spent in 2019, according to a Reuters review of government data. These bodies have also spent 1.51 million reais on chloroquine so far in 2020, compared with 626,472 reais in 2019. At the center of all this stands Bolsonaro. Mandetta, the Health Minister fired by Bolsonaro in April, said the president’s drumbeat of support for the drugs had hampered efforts to impose stay-at-home measures and slow the spread of the virus in Brazil. “That made many people believe that the cure was ready, that it already existed, that you didn’t need to worry, that you could just take this medicine, that would solve the problem,” Mandetta told Reuters. Teich, Mandetta’s replacement who resigned after less than a month on the job, did not respond to requests for comment. Since leaving, he has said publicly that he resigned due to disagreements with Bolsonaro, who was pressuring him to broaden access to hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. Exclusive Reuters reporting reveals that Teich hoped to persuade Bolsonaro to wait for results from a fast-tracked hydroxychloroquine trial, but was unable to convince the president, according to four people familiar with the situation. Marcia Castro, a native Brazilian and professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said it was a “totally absurd” strategy to prioritize unproven drugs over reliable tools such as testing, tracing and social distancing. “It’s a profoundly lamentable situation, and it’s no coincidence that we now have more than 60,000 deaths,” she said.
‘MIRACULOUS CURE’
Bolsonaro’s interest in hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine has its roots in early reports from China and France about the drugs’ potential to help COVID-19 victims, according to six people who spoke with Reuters. In mid-February, Chinese state-run media reported that health experts there had “confirmed” chloroquine “has a certain curative effect.” Around that time, a French microbiologist, Didier Raoult, also began to laud the drugs. Raoult’s advocacy of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine was picked up by right-wing bloggers and libertarian thinkers. Then, on March 19, Trump waded into the debate. “I think it could be a game changer,” said Trump, who claims to have briefly taken hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic. Bolsonaro was particularly swayed by Trump’s comments, six people said. Bolsonaro had met with the U.S. leader earlier that month at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, and several members of the Brazilian entourage returned sick to Brazil. “It’s the idea of a miraculous cure,” said one recently departed cabinet minister, speaking on condition of anonymity. “(Bolsonaro) believes in those magic solutions. And I also think, in part, it is to copy Trump.” The White House pointed Reuters to a statement on May 31, when it announced it had sent 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to Brazil “as a demonstration of ... solidarity” between two countries which share a “longstanding collaboration on health issues.” On March 21, two days after Trump’s comments, Bolsonaro announced he was ordering the Army Chemical and Pharmaceutical Laboratory to ramp up chloroquine production in Brazil for use as a COVID-19 treatment. Following that directive, the lab, located in Rio de Janeiro, has manufactured 2.25 million 150-milligram chloroquine pills, the Army told Reuters. By comparison, the lab produced a total of 265,000 tablets in the previous three years combined, according to production data obtained through a freedom of information request filed by opposition lawmaker Ivan Valente and viewed by Reuters. Brazil’s armed forces have used chloroquine to ward off malaria in the nation’s jungles for decades, and Bolsonaro, a former Army captain, has put military men in key positions. At least 27 current or former soldiers have recently joined the Health Ministry, replacing experienced public health officials, according to a Reuters tally. Meanwhile, current or former soldiers make up nearly half of Bolsonaro’s 23-seat cabinet. Five sources told Reuters that the longstanding usage of the drugs by members of the armed forces helped allay safety fears among Bolsonaro’s military advisors. “The majority of them served in the Amazon,” said Osmar Terra, Bolsonaro’s former Citizenship Minister, who has informally advised the government during the crisis. “All of them have used hydroxychloroquine for a long time.” Brazil’s Army did not respond to a request for comment. The Health Ministry said it has distributed 4.4 million chloroquine tablets to the states. It is unclear how widely they are being administered, as Brazil’s physicians are free to prescribe the drugs as they see fit. But a huge number of Brazilians probably have access to them, officials, physicians and public health experts said. Thaysa Drummond, an infectologist treating COVID-19 patients at the Eduardo de Menezes Hospital in Belo Horizonte, said a lot of patients arriving - either from primary care clinics, or other hospitals - had previously been given the drugs. “In practice, lots of doctors are prescribing it,” she said. Her hospital was not, she added, “because there is no robust, quality scientific evidence that supports their use.” Potential side effects of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine include vision loss and heart rhythm problems.
NEW VOICES
Health Ministry officials initially expressed caution about the drugs, wanting to wait for credible clinical trial data, according to a dozen people familiar with the situation. So Bolsonaro turned to outside medical professionals who shared his enthusiasm. They included a São Paulo-based oncologist named Nise Yamaguchi. Virtually unknown in epidemiology and public-health circles, Yamaguchi said she took an early interest in hydroxychloroquine due to Raoult’s work and the Chinese studies. She had appeared on Brazilian radio and television touting the potential promise of these treatments. Bolsonaro took notice, and on April 3 he dispatched an Air Force plane to bring her to the capital for a chat, Yamaguchi told Reuters. The president’s office declined to comment on Yamaguchi’s account. At their meeting, Yamaguchi told Reuters that Bolsonaro showed her press reports about Raoult’s hydroxychloroquine study. He wanted to know “why it couldn’t be used more widely” in Brazil, she said. Yamaguchi said she told the president she was concerned about a lack of supply, in part because India, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of generic medicine, had imposed a March export ban on hydroxychloroquine to meet its own domestic demand. The following day, Bolsonaro announced publicly he had asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to loosen restrictions. Three days later, amid growing international pressure, India relaxed its export ban. Modi’s office did not respond to a request for comment. In India, which now has the world’s third-worst coronavirus outbreak after Brazil, doctors have also widely prescribed hydroxychloroquine. Bolsonaro soon tasked Yamaguchi with designing guidelines to steer Brazilian doctors on how to use the antimalarials, a task usually reserved for government health officials, three former Health Ministry sources said. On April 16, Bolsonaro fired Mandetta, the health minister. The two had been sparring publicly for weeks over Bolsonaro’s aversion to stay-at-home measures and support of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. That same day, Brazil’s Federal Medical Council (CFM), which is in charge of medical licensing and ethics, agreed on guidelines for how and when doctors could prescribe the drugs. Bolsonaro replaced Mandetta with Teich, an oncologist with no public health experience. By mid-May, Bolsonaro was publicly pushing Teich to deliver a new protocol to allow doctors to prescribe hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for early-stage patients. Teich was reluctant to do so without more evidence that the drug was effective and safe for this use, according to four people familiar with the situation. So his team crafted a plan to win over the president - a domestic hydroxychloroquine study that would provide partial results within weeks, according to the people. They reached out to Álvaro Avezum, a São Paulo cardiologist who was part of a coalition conducting robust clinical trials into possible COVID-19 treatments, the people said. One of those studies was investigating whether patients with less severe symptoms could use hydroxychloroquine to prevent hospitalization. Teich’s team thought research that could potentially confirm the benefits of such early intervention might appeal to Bolsonaro, who has sought to make Brazilians less fearful of contracting COVID-19 so they can get back to work, the people said. On the condition of Health Ministry support, Avezum agreed to fast-track the study, two sources said. Avezum declined to comment on those talks, but said the aim was to be as efficient as possible. In public, Bolsonaro was ratcheting up the pressure on his health minister to sign off on the new protocol. “It’s not whether Teich likes it or not, ok? It’s what’s happening,” Bolsonaro said to reporters on May 13. “We’ve got hundreds of deaths a day. If there’s a possibility to lower that number with chloroquine, why not use it?” The following day, Teich met with Bolsonaro to discuss the hydroxychloroquine clinical trial. The encounter did not go well. Bolsonaro told Teich he wanted the drug approved for wider use, and he wanted it now. “I’m the one who makes decisions,” the president said, according to two sources with knowledge of that meeting. Teich resigned the following day.
VIRULENT TIMES
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are now flashpoints in Brazil’s polarized politics. People’s views of the drugs have become something of a referendum on their president, much like masks in the United States. Brazilian physician Marcus Lacerda got caught in the turmoil. In late March, he began a randomized trial in the northern rainforest city of Manaus to investigate the safety and efficacy of two different doses of chloroquine - one high, and one low - on hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19. When the trial’s monitoring group noticed an increased lethality in the high-dosage group, it halted the study. Sixteen people taking higher chloroquine doses died, compared with six in the low-dosage group. The results were quickly rejected by the drug’s supporters. Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo, a federal lawmaker, tweeted that the study had been designed to “disqualify chloroquine,” and he accused the investigators of being leftist partisans. Lacerda said his life became a nightmare. Bolsonaro fans, angered by results from a study which appeared to portray the president’s favored drug as lethal, sent a deluge of messages to his Facebook account. They called him an “assassin,” a “monster” and a “pseudo-scientist.” “Your time will come,” one Facebook user warned. Because of death threats, Lacerda required armed guards for a few weeks. Life has gradually returned to normal, but he remains shaken by the online hate. “It has an incalculable effect on people’s lives,” he told Reuters. Bolsonaro’s age places him at risk from COVID-19. Still, given the fact that Brazil’s current mortality rate is less than 5%, and Bolsonaro, as president, will have access to high-quality medical care, he stands a good chance of recovering. If he does, many expect him to credit hydroxychloroquine for his survival. Wildo Araujo, a former Health Ministry official who co-authored one of Brazil’s first major COVID-19 studies, said such a claim would further politicize the drug. It would also be baseless, he added, as the efficacy of drugs can only be proved with large, randomized, placebo-controlled trials. “The statement of one individual doesn’t prove anything,” he said. “(Bolsonaro) will use ... that narrative. But from a scientific point of view, it doesn’t have any value at all.”



Brazil's Bolsonaro says new COVID-19 test came back negative
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKCN24Q0IT
Category: Politics
Published: July 25, 2020

Description: SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday that he has tested negative for the novel coronavirus after weeks quarantined in his residence due to an infection. In a photo posted to social media, Bolsonaro appeared with a box of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug he credited for his recovery despite a lack of scientific evidence about its effectiveness. In an accompanying text, he said his RT-PCR test for Sars-Cov 2 was negative.

bolsonaro-bom-dia.jpg
Bom dia a todos

He did not say when he took the test nor did he provide any further details. Bolsonaro reported testing positive three times this month, including an initial diagnosis on July 7 for COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. Since then he has been in partial isolation at the presidential residence, filling his official agenda with videoconferences. He was spotted outdoors occasionally, including at a rally where he greeted supporters, removing his mask occasionally when at a distance of a few meters. Bolsonaro’s coronavírus infection was one of more than 2.3 million cases in Brazil, second only to the United States. The pandemic has killed more than 85,000 people in Brazil. Bolsonaro has played down the risks of the virus he called “a little flu” and defied public health experts and fought against governors and mayors imposing lockdowns to fight the pandemic. The right-wing populist has warned such policies are worse than the virus itself and urged businesses to reopen quickly. Bolsonaro has said he would start traveling around the country after recovering from his illness.



Trump says many doctors think hydroxychloroquine is extremely successful in treating coronavirus
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-tru ... SW1N2DN02H
Category: Politics
Published: July 28, 2020

Description: WASHINGTON, July 28 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump doubled down on Tuesday on his support for the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine, describing it as extremely successful in treating the deadly coronavirus.

thescream.jpg

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month revoked its emergency-use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 after several studies cast doubt on its effectiveness.



Twitter temporarily restricts Donald Trump Jr.'s account over COVID-19 video
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-twit ... SKCN24T22F
Category: Politics
Published: July 28, 2020

Description: (Reuters) - Twitter Inc said on Tuesday it had restricted Donald Trump Jr.’s ability to tweet from his account for 12 hours, after it required him to delete a post that violated the social media site’s policy on coronavirus misinformation. The eldest son of U.S. President Donald Trump posted a since-deleted tweet on Monday with a viral video of doctors talking about the drug hydroxychloroquine.

censored-doctors.jpg

The video was posted by others on Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc-owned YouTube and taken down for breaking those sites’ rules on COVID-19 misinformation after racking up tens of millions of views. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month revoked its emergency-use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 after several studies cast doubt on its effectiveness. The president regularly promoted the drug and said he had used it himself. “They’re censoring my account. They’re censoring others,” Donald Trump Jr. said in an interview with Fox News Channel later on Tuesday. “This never happens to someone saying something that benefits the left. It only hurts conservatives,” he said, adding that he had posted the video because it seemed “very contrary to the narrative that they’ve been force-feeding us.” President Trump retweeted to his 84 million followers a post on Monday containing a link to the misleading video, which was also deleted as part of Twitter’s enforcement actions. The White House did not respond to a Reuters request for comment. The president also retweeted a post accusing Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, of suppressing the use of hydroxychloroquine. Fauci, who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Tuesday he has “not been misleading the American public under any circumstances.” In the misleading video, doctors touted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for COVID-19 and discounted the need for face masks against the pandemic. The right-wing news site Breitbart News, which posted the video, also showed a screenshot of its 17 million video views on Facebook before it was taken down. “It took us several hours to enforce against the video and we’re doing a review to understand why this took longer than it should have,” said a Facebook spokesman.
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Tonic water compounds prevent allergic asthma in mice

Postby smix » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:49 pm

Tonic water compounds prevent allergic asthma in mice
Medical News Today

URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317213.php
Category: healthNews
Published: April 28, 2017

Description: Asthma affects around 1 in 12 people in the United States, and this number is on the rise. A new study, however, finds that two compounds added to tonic water may be an effective treatment for the disease. Researchers from the U.S. and Australia reveal how chloroquine and quinine prevented the development of allergic asthma in mice by activating the rodents’ bitter taste receptors. Chloroquine and quinine are compounds that are used to treat malaria, and they are also added to tonic water in order to give the beverage its distinctive, bitter taste. Dr. Pawan Sharma, of the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and School of Life Sciences at the University of Technology in Australia, and colleagues recently published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports. Asthma is estimated to affect around 26 million children and adults in the U.S. The most common form of asthma is allergic asthma, which is triggered by exposure to dust mites, pollen, pet dander, mold, and other substances. Inhaling such substances can lead to inflammation of the airways, causing symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest pain. While there are medications that can help patients to manage their asthma symptoms – such as corticosteroids and beta2 agonists – Dr. Sharma notes that there are currently no asthma medications that target disease progression. “Our current research on taste receptors is crucial in identifying new classes of drugs that can be an effective asthma treatment option in future,” he adds.
Chloroquine and quinine prevented airway inflammation in mice
According to Dr. Sharma and colleagues, previous research found that activating bitter taste receptors on the tongue, called TAS2Rs, led to the relaxation of smooth muscle in the airways of asthma mouse models. The new study aimed to build on those findings by assessing whether TAS2R agonists – that is, compounds that stimulate the bitter taste receptors – have the potential to reduce some of the key features of asthma. To reach their findings, the researchers gave mouse models of allergic asthma intranasal doses of either chloroquine or quinine. Twenty-four hours after administration, the lung function, airway inflammation, and airway structure of the mice were assessed upon exposure to two allergens. Not only did chloroquine and quinine prevent airway inflammation in the mice, but the bitter compounds also prevented other key characteristics of allergic asthma, including mucus accumulation and structural changes to the airway. The researchers also tested chloroquine and quinine on human airway cells. They found that the compounds block the chemotaxis, or movement, of immune cells in the airway in response to allergens, which helps to prevent airway inflammation. Dr. Sharma and team note that further studies are needed in order to identify TAS2R agonists with higher efficacy for the treatment of asthma. “Alternately, existing drugs could be repurposed for asthma therapy,” say the researchers, adding that:
“Advances in medicinal chemistry and computational modeling should catalyze the drug discovery process in exploiting TAS2Rs as novel anti-asthma therapeutic target.”
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Correspondence from Dr Vladimir Zelenko on Treatment of COVID-19 in New York

Postby smix » Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:37 pm

Correspondence from Dr Vladimir Zelenko on Treatment of COVID-19 in New York
Dr. Vladimir Zelenko

URL: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ses ... VFj48/edit
Category: healthNews
Published: March 23, 2020

Description:
Dr. Vladimir (Zev) Zelenko
Board Certified Family Practitioner
501 Rt 208, Monroe, NY 10950
845-238-0000

To all medical professionals around the world:

My name is Dr. Zev Zelenko and I practice medicine in Monroe, NY. For the last 16 years, I have cared for approximately 75% of the adult population of Kiryas Joel, which is a very close knit community of approximately 35,000 people in which the infection spread rapidly and unchecked prior to the imposition of social distancing.

As of today my team has tested approximately 200 people from this community for Covid-19, and 65% of the results have been positive. If extrapolated to the entire community, that means more than 20,000 people are infected at the present time. Of this group, I estimate that there are 1500 patients who are in the high-risk category (i.e. >60, immunocompromised, comorbidities, etc).

Given the urgency of the situation, I developed the following treatment protocol in the pre-hospital setting and have seen only positive results:

1. Any patient with shortness of breath regardless of age is treated.
2. Any patient in the high-risk category even with just mild symptoms is treated.
3. Young, healthy and low risk patients even with symptoms are not treated (unless their circumstances change and they fall into category 1 or 2).

My out-patient treatment regimen is as follows:

1. Hydroxychloroquine 200mg twice a day for 5 days
2. Azithromycin 500mg once a day for 5 days
3. Zinc sulfate 220mg once a day for 5 days

The rationale for my treatment plan is as follows. I combined the data available from China and South Korea with the recent study published from France (sites available on request). We know that hydroxychloroquine helps Zinc enter the cell. We know that Zinc slows viral replication within the cell. Regarding the use of azithromycin, I postulate it prevents secondary bacterial infections. These three drugs are well known and usually well tolerated, hence the risk to the patient is low.

Since last Thursday, my team has treated approximately 350 patients in Kiryas Joel and another 150 patients in other areas of New York with the above regimen.

Of this group and the information provided to me by affiliated medical teams, we have had ZERO deaths, ZERO hospitalizations, and ZERO intubations. In addition, I have not heard of any negative side effects other than approximately 10% of patients with temporary nausea and diarrhea.

In sum, my urgent recommendation is to initiate treatment in the outpatient setting as soon as possible in accordance with the above. Based on my direct experience, it prevents acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), prevents the need for hospitalization and saves lives.

With much respect,

Dr. Zev Zelenko

cc: President Donald J. Trump; Mr. Mark Meadows, Chief of Staff
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Dr. Oz discusses hydroxychloroquine and coronavirus

Postby smix » Fri Apr 10, 2020 4:27 pm

Dr. Oz discusses hydroxychloroquine and coronavirus
Fox News

URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/dr-oz-on- ... at-reality
Category: healthNews
Published: March 24, 2020

Description: Cardiac surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz appeared "Hannity" Tuesday where he once again highlighted hydroxychloroquine to treat against the coronavirus saying he spoke to the lead doctor in France whose study showed benefits of the drug.

OZ.jpg

"I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Raoult. I was very impressed by him. And I told the vice president today that what he told me at the end of the interview stunned me," Oz said. "He said that he thought it was unethical to withhold this treatment based on what he knew. Again, this is not a fly by night fella, he's very well respected." The study from doctors in Marseille, France, including lead author Didier Raoult, treated 26 patients with hydroxychloroquine, and six patients were given both that and a drug called azithromycin. The authors reported dramatic recoveries. But researchers warn that the study has serious limitations. Out of the 26 patients originally given the treatment, the paper says that six were “lost in follow-up” and discontinued treatment early. The reasons are not encouraging: one patient being treated died on day three of the study, three went to critical care centers outside of the researchers’ hospital, one stopped due to getting nauseated as a side effect, and one got better and left the hospital early. Oz told host Sean Hannity that he was happy to hear from Vice President Mike Pence about the "off-label" use of the drug. "I was thrilled when Vice President Pence today told me that he was pleased that the FDA was OK with off-label use," Oz said. "Basically, what I'm hearing, I'm hoping getting it right is that although we don't want people using off-label products, if physicians need to take care of their patients. The U.S. government respects that reality." Oz also warned against taking medicine into your own hands, bringing up a tragedy where a man died after experimenting with what he thought was hydroxychloroquine. "So we don't want people using this stuff willy nilly. You must talk to your physician," Oz said. "But a lot of doctors here in New York and around the country are getting comfortable with the idea of using this earlier in the course of the treatment of their patients."



Coronavirus patient says hydroxychloroquine saved his life
Fox News

URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/coronavir ... d-his-life
Category: healthNews
Published: March 24, 2020

Description: Coronavirus patient Rio Giardinieri joined "The Ingraham Angle" and spoke about how he believes hydroxychloroquine changed his fight against the virus. "I'm not a scientist. I'm not a doctor. But I know when I'm sitting here in pain and they've tried all kinds of antibiotics sorting through me and I continue to get worse. My breathing became worse. Speaking became difficult," Giardinieri said Monday night.

rio-giardinieri.jpg

"And a friend of mine from a prayer line reached out, a friend of 43 years and says, 'Hey, I saw this on Laura Ingraham's show. You need to take this medicine and you need to ask your doctor to give it to you now.'" "My feeling at that particular time was I thought I was at the end of my rope and I didn't see any other options," Giardinieri said, asking his nurse and doctor about the experimental drug. "For me, it was a risk worth taking." The patient told Ingraham that, after he began treatment with the hydroxychloroquine, he felt better. "I feel fantastic. And I have since I woke up on Saturday morning. I know it sounds unbelievable. People are questioning me about it, but I know what I feel," Giardinieri said. "I woke up at 4:45 in the morning and it felt like I had nothing. And I had to catch myself for a second, say, wait, I'm breathing... This is not normal. And I realized I didn't have a fever anymore." "So I hit the nurse call button at 4:45 and I said, 'I'm fine. Can you send a nurse? And I feel a little hungry.' The nurse came and took my vitals. Sure enough, my fever was gone," Giardinieri said. "It was not broken for nine days. And then it was gone." During a news conference on Sunday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state has acquired 70,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 doses of zithromax and 750,000 doses of chloroquine, with trials set to start Tuesday. "My only thing I had was I had a headache. And that lasted a couple days. But all the other symptoms were completely gone," Giardinieri added.



Dr. Stephen Smith on effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine: 'I think this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic'
Fox News

URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/dr-stephe ... e-pandemic
Category: healthNews
Published: April 2, 2020

Description: Dr. Stephen Smith, founder of The Smith Center for Infectious Diseases and Urban Health, said on “The Ingraham Angle” on Wednesday night that he is optimistic about the use of antimalarial medications and antibiotics to treat COVID-19 patients, calling it “a game-changer.” “I think this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic. I’m very serious,” Smith, an infectious disease specialist, told host Laura Ingraham. Currently there is no known cure for the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the globe. Smith, who is treating 72 COVID-19 patients, said that he has been treating "everybody with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin [an antibiotic]. We’ve been doing so for a while.” He pointed out that not a single COVID-19 patient of his that has been on the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin regimen for five days or more has had to be intubated. “The chance of that occurring by chance, according to my sons Leon and Hunter who did some stats for me, are .000-something,” he said, adding that “it’s ridiculously low." Smith explained that “intubation means actually putting a tube down into your trachea and then you’re placed on the ventilator for respiratory support.” The Food and Drug Administration recently announced an emergency-use authorization for several drugs, including hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, despite a lack of clear evidence of their effectiveness. A study published earlier this month by French researchers suggested that COVID-19 patients could be treated with antimalarial medication and antibiotics in the battle against the novel coronavirus. Smith noted on Wednesday that he thinks his data supports the French study. “Now you actually have an intra-cohort comparison saying that this regimen works,” he told Ingraham. Speaking on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, Dr. Mehmet Oz brought up an “important randomized study still unpublished from Wuhan, China.” He said that his team spoke to the medical leadership in China and vetted the study. “We think it's real,” Dr. Oz said on Thursday. He then went on to explain what the study, which looked at 62 patients, showed. He noted that half of the patients got the traditional therapy being offered in China and the other half got the traditional therapy plus hydroxychloroquine. “In terms of symptoms, their temperatures, their fevers broke instead of three days, which is the norm over there on this treatment, they got two days,” Dr. Oz said. He added that “in terms of coughing, the other big symptom you have, again it takes a little over three days oftentimes for that to go away and that was dropped at two days.” Dr. Oz then pointed out the part that “really caught my attention.” “They did CT scans of the chest in all the patients. All the patients had pneumonia when they started. Over the course of the five-day treatment with the hydroxychloroquine and 55 percent of the control population where they just got the normal therapy there was resolve and resolution of the pneumonia in 81 percent of the patients on the hydroxychloroquine, there was improvement in the lung's images,” he pointed out. Dr. Oz noted that these results are “statistically significant.” He went on to say that even though the study only monitored a small group of people, “they still got the measures that we like to see.” Dr. Oz acknowledged that a bigger clinical trial is still needed, adding that the Chinese study “is an early effort to try to show a lot of people whether this is the right way or the wrong way to go.” “I should point out in the 31 patients that were the control group, four patients had bad outcomes, they got significantly worse. None of the patients in the hydroxychloroquine group got significantly worse,” he said. “So the Chinese are using this as part of their routine treatment. They have a national protocol for measuring COVID-19. I think we ought to consider something like that in this country, but at least physicians and patients should be able to discuss this a bit more comfortably until we have the bigger randomized data from studies done in this country.” A new study in the United States, which will be conducted by the University of Washington in conjunction with New York University, looks to enroll 2,000 people who are "close contacts of persons with confirmed or pending COVID-19 diagnoses," according to a statement announcing the study. New York State recently said it would start coronavirus drug trials in an attempt to control the pandemic's impact on the state, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who announced the state had acquired 70,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 doses of the antibiotic Zithromax and 750,000 doses of chloroquine, another antimalarial drug. Recently President Trump has spoken out about the potential promise of hydroxychloroquine to help treat COVID-19 patients. A New York Times article published on Wednesday also referenced the Chinese study Dr. Oz had referred to on “Fox and Friends.” The article, which cited doctors in China, titled “Malaria Drug Helps Virus Patients Improve, in Small Study,” highlighted the fact that hydroxychloroquine “helped to speed the recovery of a small number of patients who were mildly ill from the coronavirus.” “Cough, fever and pneumonia went away faster, and the disease seemed less likely to turn severe in people who received hydroxychloroquine than in a comparison group not given the drug,” the article said. “The authors of the report said that the medication was promising, but that more research was needed to clarify how it might work in treating coronavirus disease and to determine the best way to use it.” Speaking on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday Dr. Oz also noted another observation the Chinese made in their study, saying they noticed that people who were already taking hydroxychloroquine, like the people who suffer from the autoimmune disease lupus and are prescribed the drug for that condition, didn’t contract COVID-19. “So we ought to think about looking at it for doctors and nurses and loved ones of people who get ill,” Dr. Oz said on Thursday.



South Dakota gov on statewide hydroxychloroquine trial: 'I am a lot better being on offense'
Fox News

URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/south-dak ... -statewide
Category: healthNews
Published: April 14, 2020

Description: Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem appeared on "Your World with Neil Cavuto" Monday to discuss the implementation of astatewide clinical trial for the experimental antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine. "I'm a lot better being on offense than I am on defense, and when COVID-19 started to hit our country and our state, I started to think of ways that we could work together to be aggressive to fight this," Noem told Cavuto Monday. "Today we announced that we are partnering with all three of our major health care systems in the state for the first statewide, state backed clinical trial, using [hydroxychloroquine] to be able to make sure that we're protecting our citizens and treating them. Those that are at high risk, our health care providers and then also other patients in the state." South Dakota is the first state in the country to institute a program exploring the potential effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating and preventing coronavirus. "So we're set up right now to treat up to 100,000 people in the state of South Dakota, and we'll be the first statewide and state-backed and endorsed clinical trial using hydroxy in this form," Noem said. Noem also addressed the recent closure of a Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls due to the coronavirus outbreak, saying the food supply chain is a matter of national security. "The plant is taking a pause, allowing its employees time to heal and to get back up and running, using some mitigation efforts to protect their employees," Noem said. " ... There's still a big part of our national security, that's providing a safe and effective food supply for this country." The plant was forced to close Sunday after hundreds of its approximately 3,700 employees tested positive for COVID-19. According to Smithfield, the Sioux Falls plant accounted for “4 to 5 percent” of the entirety of U.S. pork production.



Kayleigh McEnany slams CNN's Chris Cuomo's use of 'less safe' drug to fight coronavirus
Fox News

URL: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/kaylei ... oronavirus
Category: Politics
Published: May 21. 2020

Description: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday called out CNN’s Chris Cuomo for taking a “less safe version" of hydroxychloroquine during his recent bout with the coronavirus. "You had Chris Cuomo saying, ‘The president knows that hydroxychloroquine is not supported by science. He knows it has been flagged by his own people and he has been using it.’ Well, Cuomo mocked the president for this,” McEnany said. She then compared hydroxychloroquine -- which President Trump recently said he is taking to prevent catching the virus -- to the one that Cuomo claims to be using. “Hydroxychloroquine, of course, is an FDA-approved medication with a long-proven track record for safety," she continued, "and it turns out that Chris Cuomo took a less safe version of it called quinine which the FDA removed from the market in 2006 because of its serious side effects, including death. So, really interesting to have that criticism of the president." Cuomo’s wife, Cristina Cuomo, recently addressed her husband's coronavirus recovery, explaining on her website he’s taking “potenized quinine,” which she called a “natural antibiotic.” On Monday, President Trump told reporters he has been using hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic against the coronavirus for a little more than a week. Trump has been extolling the potential benefits of hydroxychloroquine since the beginning of the crisis, but medical experts and health officials have debated how effective the anti-malaria drug is for either preventing or treating the coronavirus. The Food and Drug Administration approved use of the drug in March as an emergency treatment for the virus but warned it can cause “life threatening” heart problems. McEnany agreed the drug should be used only as prescribed. Trump said he had requested the drug from his doctor and McEnany confirmed it had been prescribed to the president.



FDA revokes emergency use authorization for chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine
Fox News

URL: https://www.foxnews.com/health/fda-revo ... hloroquine
Category: Politics
Published: June 14, 2020

Description: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine donated to the Strategic National Stockpile to treat certain hospitalized coronavirus patients, according to a new statement. The FDA decided the legal criteria for issuing an EUA were “no longer met.”

bright-fauci.jpg

Further, the FDA determined, based on ongoing analysis of the EUA and emerging scientific data, that the two drugs are unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses in the EUA. While the drugs are deemed generally safe when prescribed for patients with malaria or an autoimmune disease, little was otherwise known about the potential effects they had in COVID-19 patients. “In light of ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other potential serious side effects, the known and potential benefits of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine no longer outweigh the known and potential risks for the authorized use,” according to an FDA press release issued on Monday. The FDA had granted the EUA on March 28 based on available science and data at the time. On Monday, June 15, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), in consultation with the FDA, sent a letter to the FDA requesting revocation of the EUA based on current information.

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“We’ve made clear throughout the public health emergency that our actions will be guided by science and that our decisions may evolve as we learn more about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, review the latest data, and consider the balance of risks versus benefits of treatments for COVID-19,” Dr. Anand Shah, FDA deputy commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs, wrote in the statement. “The FDA always underpins its decision-making with the most trustworthy, high-quality, up-to-date evidence available. We will continue to examine all of the emergency use authorizations the FDA has issued and make changes, as appropriate, based on emerging evidence,” Shah said. “The totality of scientific evidence currently available indicate a lack of benefit,” according to the FDA statement.



Moderna Announces Award from U.S. Government Agency BARDA for up to $483 Million to Accelerate Development of mRNA Vaccine (mRNA-1273) Against Novel Coronavirus
Moderna

URL: https://investors.modernatx.com/news-re ... 83-million
Category: Press Release
Published: April 16, 2020

Description: CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 16, 2020-- Moderna, Inc., (Nasdaq: MRNA) a clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients, today announced an agreement for a commitment of up to $483 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to accelerate development of the Company’s mRNA vaccine candidate (mRNA-1273) against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).Under the terms of the agreement, BARDA will fund the advancement of mRNA-1273 to FDA licensure. A Phase 1 study of mRNA-1273 is being conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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Moderna Wins Initial $20M Grant from Gates Foundation
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

URL: https://www.genengnews.com/topics/omics ... oundation/
Category: Business
Published: January 12, 2016

Description: Moderna Therapeutics said today it received an initial $20 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a new affordable combination of messenger RNA–based antibody therapeutics geared toward preventing HIV infection. The grant is intended for use in the antibody combination's preclinical study and a Phase I clinical trial. Gates Foundation’s $20 million funding could potentially grow into a total $100 million commitment—including the HIV antibody project—toward development of additional mRNA-based treatments for various infectious diseases, Moderna said. “The foundation’s mission to help all people lead healthy and productive lives is well aligned with Moderna’s mission to deliver on the promise of transformative mRNA science to bring new medicines to patients,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement. Moderna said the development effort would be led by its infectious disease–focused venture company, Valera. Launched in January 2015, Valera has focused exclusively on using Moderna’s platform to advance vaccines and therapeutics for prevention and treatment of viral, bacterial, and parasitic infectious diseases. Valera’s efforts have resulted in the demonstration of preclinical efficacy of Moderna’s mRNA-based vaccines in multiple viral disease models, Moderna said. In the partnership with the Gates Foundation, Valera will apply its mRNA vaccine platform as well as Moderna’s drug platform Messenger RNA Therapeutics™. Designed to produces human proteins, antibodies, and entirely novel protein constructs inside patient cells, the therapeutics are secreted or active intracellularly. Just yesterday, Moderna said one Valera-developed infectious disease vaccine, mRNA 1440, is the subject of a Phase I study that has begun in Europe. Another, mRNA 1850, is the subject of an IND filed with the FDA, with a Phase I study expected to begin later in the first quarter. Moderna has not disclosed the targets and indications for either vaccine, nor for a third vaccine candidate, mRNA 1566, which the company has licensed to Merck & Co. Moderna last year completed the largest funding event among privately held early-stage drug and diagnostic developers last year, raising $450 million in a private investment round.




Hydroxychloroquine could save up to 100,000 lives if used for COVID-19: Yale epidemiology professor
Fox News

URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/hydroxych ... -professor
Category: healthNews
Published: July 21, 2020

Description: One study found that early administration of hydroxychloroquine makes hospitalized patients substantially less likely to die
Dr. Harvey Risch, an epidemiology professor at Yale School of Public Health, said on Tuesday that he thinks hydroxychloroquine could save 75,000 to 100,000 lives if the drug is widely used to treat coronavirus. “There are many doctors that I’ve gotten hostile remarks about saying that all the evidence is bad for it and, in fact, that is not true at all,” Risch told “Ingraham Angle," adding that he believes the drug can be used as a "prophylactic" for front-line workers, as other countries like India have done. Risch lamented that a "propaganda war" is being waged against the use of the drug for political purposes, not based on "medical facts." Researchers at the Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan have found that early administration of hydroxychloroquine makes hospitalized patients substantially less likely to die. The study, published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, determined that hydroxychloroquine provided a "66 percent hazard ratio reduction," and hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin a 71 percent reduction, compared with neither treatment. In-hospital mortality was 18.1 percent overall; 13.5 percent with just hydroxychloroquine, 22.4 percent with azithromycin alone, and 26.4 percent with neither drug. "Prospective trials are needed" for further review, the researchers note, even as they concluded: "In this multi-hospital assessment, when controlling for COVID-19 risk factors, treatment with hydroxychloroquine alone and in combination with azithromycin was associated with reduction in COVID-19 associated mortality." "Our results do differ from some other studies," Dr. Marcus Zervos, who heads the hospital's infectious diseases unit, said at a news conference. "What we think was important in ours ... is that patients were treated early. For hydroxychloroquine to have a benefit, it needs to begin before the patients begin to suffer some of the severe immune reactions that patients can have with COVID." A statement from the Trump campaign hailed the study as "fantastic news." Risch said that most in the mainstream are not allowing people to speak about the evidence on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine. Risch also said discussions about the drug became “political” as opposed to “medical.” “All the evidence is actually good for it when it is used in outpatient uses. Nevertheless, the only people who actually say that are a whole pile of doctors who are on the front lines treating those patients across the country and they are the ones who are at risk being forced not to do it,” Risch said, arguing that the mainstream media is not covering the benefits of hydroxychloroquine.



Twitter deletes video promoted by Trump on hydroxychloroquine use for coronavirus
Fox News

URL: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/twitte ... oronavirus
Category: Politics
Published: July 28, 2020

Description: The video appeared to include about a dozen doctors standing in front of the Supreme Court

white-coat-summit.jpg

Twitter removed a video that was promoted on President Trump's account late Monday showing what appeared to be doctors in Washington praising the benefits of using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients. The video, which was widely shared on social media, appeared to include about a dozen doctors standing in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington. It was unclear when the video was shot. A Twitter representative told CNN that the action was taken “in line with” their coronavirus misinformation policy. One of the doctors, who was identified in reports as Dr. Stella Immanuel, claimed that she treated more than 350 coronavirus patients — some with diabetes and high blood pressure — and not a single one died after being administered hydroxychloroquine, zinc and Zithromax. She claimed that she even administers the drug in prophylactic measures. The New York Times pointed to recent studies that have questioned the effectiveness of the treatment and called the video "the most recent example of misinformation that has spread" concerning the virus. Breitbart reported that a group called America’s Frontline Doctors held a press conference that was “organized and sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots.” The event included the doctors and an appearance by Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., the report said. The video makes spectacular claims about the treatment that essentially calls it all but a cure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. The Breitbart report states that the video was later removed by social media platforms. Twitter did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News and a spokesman from Facebook told Breitbart that the video was removed because it shared false information “about cures and treatments for COVID-19." The debate about the antimalarial drug has been raging for weeks and critics of Trump have accused him of overselling an unproven treatment. Trump's backers have accused social media companies of silencing what are considered fringe views on the disease. In April, YouTube was criticized for removing a viral video of two California doctors questioning the threat level of the coronavirus. The New England Journal of Medicine reported in June that a study showed that hydroxychloroquine was no better than placebo pills at preventing illness from the coronavirus. The drug did not seem to cause serious harm, though -- about 40% of people administered the drug had side effects, mostly mild stomach problems. “We were disappointed. We would have liked for this to work,” said the study leader, Dr. David Boulware, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Minnesota. “But our objective was to answer the question and to conduct a high-quality study,” because the evidence on the drug so far has been inconclusive, he said. The Lancet published a study that found coronavirus patients were more likely to develop serious heart arrhythmias if treated with the drug, but that study was later retracted. Dr. Harvey Risch, an epidemiology professor at Yale School of Public Health, told Fox News last week that he believes hydroxychloroquine could save 75,000 to 100,000 lives if the drug is widely used to treat coronavirus. “There are many doctors that I’ve gotten hostile remarks about saying that all the evidence is bad for it and, in fact, that is not true at all,” Risch told “Ingraham Angle," adding that he believes the drug can be used as a "prophylactic" for front-line workers, as other countries like India have done. Risch lamented that a "propaganda war" is being waged against the use of the drug for political purposes, not based on "medical facts."
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Physician Poll: Treating COVID-19 Patients with Antimalarial Drugs

Postby smix » Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:36 pm

Physician Poll: Treating COVID-19 Patients with Antimalarial Drugs
Jason & Coker

URL: https://jacksoncoker.com/about/in-the-n ... loroquine/
Category: healthNews
Published: April 8, 2020

Description: 65 Percent of Physicians in New Survey Would Give Anti-Malaria Drugs to Their Own Family to Treat COVID-19
ATLANTA, April 8, 2020 -- Sixty-five percent of physicians across the United States said they would prescribe the anti-malaria drugs chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent COVID-19 in a family member, according to a new survey released today by Jackson & Coker, one of the country's largest physician staffing firms. Only 11 percent said they would not use the drug at all. Meanwhile, 30 percent of the surveyed doctors said they would prescribe the medications to a family member prior to the onset of symptoms if they had been exposed to the novel coronavirus, a highly contagious virus that causes a pneumonia-like infection of the lungs. "Working in healthcare, we've learned the best way to get a candid perspective on treatment options from a physician is to ask: 'Would you give this to your family?'" said Tim Fischer, President of Jackson & Coker. "Families across the U.S. – and the world really – want to know what they can do to protect and save their loved ones." Jackson & Coker conducted the survey of 1,271 physicians from 50 states from April 4 to April 7. It conducted the survey not to influence the debate in treating patients with anti-malarials but to make sure the voice of physicians is represented. It has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent with a 95 percent confidence level of the doctors surveyed. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been on the market for many years and treat several different forms of malaria. Hydroxychloroquine, however, is also used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The two anti-malaria drugs were given emergency approval for off-label usage by the Food and Drug Administration last week to treat COVID-19. Assuming there were no clinical contraindictions, physicians were asked if they would prescribe or have another doctor prescribe either chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine off label if a family member developed symptoms of COVID-19. While 54 percent responded yes, another 11 percent said they would if the disease became serious. Twenty-four percent said they would need more data to decide; another 11 percent said they would not prescribe it. Among the specialties most willing to utilize the anti-malarials were anesthesiologists, surgery subspecialists, physicians in diagnositic medicine, women's medicine, internal medicine and hospital-based medicine. Physicians who were more cautious and wanted more data about using the anti-malarials to treat COVID-19 tended to be doctors under the age of 45, academics and those who practice medicine in a healthcare system. Among hotspot states where there are the highest per-capita cases of COVID-19, physicians in New Jersey, Louisiana, Washington and Michigan showed the greatest support for usage of the medication for a family member or themselves. In New Jersey, for example, 77 percent of doctors said they would prescribe for a family member early in an illness. In New York, 53 percent of doctors said they would prescribe for a family member. In Louisiana, 69 percent said they would prescribe for a family member, and 60 percent of doctors in Michigan said they would prescribe for a family member. Jackson & Coker also found that 67 percent of surveyed physicians said they would take the medications themselves to treat COVID-19. Fifty-six percent said they would take the anti-malarial if they displayed symptoms, and another 11 percent said they would take the medications if they got very sick from the virus. "When a medical crisis like this emerges, the voice of physicians needs to be heard. Their insight is powerful for families faced with uncertainty," Fischer said. To learn more about the Jackson & Coker survey, view additional statistic charts here.
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LA doctor seeing success with hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19

Postby smix » Fri Apr 10, 2020 8:26 pm

LA doctor seeing success with hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19
ABC 7 News - KABC Los Angeles

URL: https://abc7.com/coronavirus-drug-covid ... e/6079864/
Category: healthNews
Published: April 7, 2020

URL: LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Los Angeles doctor said he is seeing significant success in prescribing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in combination with zinc to treat patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine has been touted as a possible treatment for COVID-19 by President Trump among others, but it remains controversial as some experts believe it is unproven and may not be effective. The drug has long been used for treatment of malaria and conditions such as lupus and arthritis but is not technically approved by the FDA for COVID-19. The agency, however, is encouraging trials and has provided limited emergency authorization for its use to treat COVID-19 patients. Dr. Anthony Cardillo said he has seen very promising results when prescribing hydroxychloroquine in combination with zinc for the most severely-ill COVID-19 patients. "Every patient I've prescribed it to has been very, very ill and within 8 to 12 hours, they were basically symptom-free," Cardillo told Eyewitness News. "So clinically I am seeing a resolution." Cardillo is the CEO of Mend Urgent Care, which has locations in Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys and Burbank. He said he has found it only works if combined with zinc. The drug, he said, opens a channel for the zinc to enter the cell and block virus replication. He added that the drug should not be prescribed for those who are presenting only mild symptoms, as there are concerns about shortages for patients with other conditions who need to take the drug on a regular basis. "We have to be cautious and mindful that we don't prescribe it for patients who have COVID who are well," Cardillo said. "It should be reserved for people who are really sick, in the hospital or at home very sick, who need that medication. Otherwise we're going to blow through our supply for patients that take it regularly for other disease processes."

Full interview: Dr. Anthony Cardillo of Mend Urgent Care in Los Angeles


Chloroquine, or hydroxychloroquine, has been approved to treat and prevent malaria since 1944. Because the drug is on the market, doctors can use it for off-label purposes. President Trump has touted it as a possible cure, but the government's top coronavirus expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has been much more cautious, saying there is only "anecdotal evidence" demonstrating its effectiveness. Experts are also concerned about potential misuse. A man in Arizona died after taking what he thought was a similar substance, chloroquine phosphate, in an apparent attempt to self-medicate. The man did not take the pharmaceutical version of the drug, but a substance used at aquariums to clean fish tanks. The FDA advises against taking any form of chloroquine unless prescribed by a doctor and obtained from a legitimate source. Another drug that has shown some potential for treating COVID-19 is remdesivir, a drug that was initially developed as a potential treatment for Ebola. A Palo Alto woman was accepted into a clinical trial for remdesivir and said it was effective in improving her condition.

Doctor calls Trump’s comments on zinc ‘mystifying’ after MSNBC host is forced to break in for a fact-check
Raw Story

URL: https://www.rawstory.com/2020/04/doctor ... act-check/
Category: Politics
Published: April 8, 2020

Description: President Donald Trump has been peddling hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus cure and his Wednesday press conference is no different. However, his latest claim is now that zinc is “good,” too. “And zinc, they say zinc. You should add zinc,” Trump said. It’s unclear who “they” is. He also claimed that people should ask their doctors for the zinc, which is available as a vitamin at the local pharmacy. MSNBC’s Chuck Todd was forced to break into the Trump press conference to clarify and fact-check Trump. “There are two things the president has said in the last 15 minutes that we think is worth trying to explain our fact check here,” Todd said, breaking in on Trump’s press conference. “One was on a medical recommendation that the president was making about the use of zinc.” Todd asked Dr. Vin Gupta what Trump was talking about. “I don’t know,” he confessed. “I was actually really happy to hear the president talk about clinical trials and messaging on that, but then he followed it up with a discussion of the representative from Michigan and what might have been a really successful use of hydroxychloroquine. We just don’t know if that was the actual cause of her improvement. It may have been. We just don’t know, which is why he was doing great talking about clinical trials upfront. The comments about zinc were mystifying. There is no evidence I’ve seen in the literature suggesting zinc in addition to hydroxychloroquine, would be helpful. So I think this is another one of those unknowns that should temper his enthusiasm.”
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The French doctor behind Trump's favorite coronavirus treatment

Postby smix » Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:18 pm

'Some people have gone crazy': Eccentric French doctor trialing experimental coronavirus treatment championed by Trump hits back at experts who say it has fatal side effects and claims to get astonishing results
Daily Mail

URL: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... tment.html
Category: healthNews
Published: April 11, 2020

Description: An eccentric French doctor has become a YouTube sensation and been approached by the French president for advice after he claims he has gotten astonishing results using Trump's favorite coronavirus treatment on sick patients. Didier Raoult, a 68-year-old French infectious-disease specialist, has been using controversial antimalarial drug hydroxycholoroquine to treat COVID-19 patients. The doctor has a history of defying conventional medicine practices, including blaming the pharmaceutical industry for the state of research, dismissing climate change predictions as 'absurd' and, more baffling still, touting the growing fears in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic 'crazy'. But Raoult has now become an unlikely hero amid the pandemic, after he said he has given the experimental drug to more than 2,400 patients, with highly positive results. His stance has divided opinion in France and overseas after many conservative medics warned of the dangers of using the drug to treat the virus, typically used to treat malaria and some autoimmune diseases, due to a lack of evidence over its effectiveness. But panicked members of the public view him as a hero in the pandemic, with his each of his YouTube videos getting at least one million views and people urging their doctors to let them try the medication. Raoult is not the most conventional of doctors, often sporting a long white beard and a skull ring on his finger in his online videos and being known for challenging conventional medicine throughout his career. The doctor has spoken out on Twitter and YouTube urging healthcare professionals and governments to not delay their use of hydroxychloroquine until after clinical trials. Trials could take several months by which point thousands more lives could be lost to the killer virus. 'Some people have gone crazy with methodology,' Raoult argues in a video posted this week. 'Our objective as doctors is to make people better.' Emmanuel Macron met Raoult this week at his research institute in Marseille, where the doctor presented his research on coronavirus to the French President.



French authorities have now permitted the drug to be used in 'the most severe cases.' However, Raoult's approach has come under fire from many in the medical world. Several experts have argued that further clinical trials are needed to determine its effectiveness in treating coronavirus. Concerns have also been raised that it can have fatal side effects, especially in people with pre-existing heart conditions. More than 50 cases have been reported where coronavirus patients have developed serious heart problems after taking hydroxychloroquine, according to a doctor at France's drug-safety monitoring center. Raoult said that 10 of the 2,400 patients he has treated using the drug have died, and recommends it be administered at an early stage of the virus. Jean-Paul Stahl, a French doctor of infectious diseases, told the Wall Street Journal that he was turning patients away after they have seen Raoult's campaign and are now asking for the drug. 'We have to say no,' Stahl said. 'It's a matter of patient safety.' The controversial drug is a favorite of Donald Trump's. During his daily coronavirus press briefings, the president has repeatedly plugged the use of hydroxychloroquine as a miracle cure for the deadly virus. He has even said he'd consider taking hydroxychloroquine himself. The president announced Sunday the government has purchased and stockpiled 29 million doses of the hydroxychloroquine to send to hot spot areas of the country battling the virus. 'I want people to live and I'm seeing people dying,' he explained Sunday about why he continually touts the drug, which scientists say has not gone under enough testing in regards to the coronavirus. 'I've seen people that are going to die without it, and you know the expression, when that's happening, they should do it. What really do we have to lose? We also have this medicine's been tested for many years for malaria and for lupus, so it's been out there. It is a very strong powerful medicine, but it doesn't kill people,' the president said. 'But what do I know? I’m not a doctor,' Trump conceded. 'I'm not acting as a doctor. I'm saying, do what you want.' The president has also argued there isn't time to conduct in-depth studies on hydroxychloroquine's effect on the coronavirus. 'I would love to go to a laboratory and spend a couple of years testing something. We don't have time. We don't have two hours because there are people dying right now,' he said. But his claims have often contradicted his own advisers, who say studies of its effectiveness are still too small to prove it is safe. Dr Tony Fauci has previously warned against seeing the malaria medication as a wonder drug, saying Americans should not consider it a 'knock out' drug when it comes to treating the coronavirus. 'We’ve got to be careful that we don’t make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug. We still need to do the kinds of studies that definitely prove whether any intervention is truly safe and effective,' he told 'Fox & Friends' last week. Some doctors in the US have already started treating patients with the drug but there have been reports of at least one death connected to the medication. Lack of availability is also sparking a worrying trend for people self-medicating with hydroxychloroquine. Demand for a cure is ramping up as the US death toll topped 20,000. The US has now become the deadliest nation in the world for the pandemic, surpassing Italy.



US doctors claim that Trump's controversial hydroxychloroquine drug DOES help 91% of coronavirus patients and argue we should not wait for 'controlled trials'
Daily Mail

URL: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/arti ... ients.html
Category: healthNews
Published: April 29. 2020

Description: The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has improved the survival and recovery odds for about 90 percent of patients treated with the controversial medication, a physicians group claims. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) presented data on 2,333 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine - including two supervised by Dr Oz - across the globe that shows 91.6 percent of those who got the drug fared better after treatment. In a letter to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, the group urged that doctors should not wait for results of gold standard tests of the drug to start using it in coronavirus patients and should instead base their use of it on reasonable interpretations of limited available data. AAPS's endorsement of the drug comes after a Veteran Affairs study of hydroxychloroquine found that those who took the drug were more likely to die, casting doubt over the potential treatment that President Trump has hailed a 'game changer.' The group of doctors dismissed those preliminary results, claiming that the 52 people who died were very sick, meaning their outcomes are 'not indicative' of hydroxychloroquine's effects and that the drug would work better if used in patients with less critical illness. AAPS, which opposes what it refers to as healthcare 'reform,' including Medicare for All proposals, presents 'information from some larger patient groups, alongside reports on single patients. 'Waiting for fixed randomized controlled trials during a pandemic when time is of the essence, a Bayesian approach to the assessment of diagnostic and therapeutic probabilities is wise and efficient and will save time, money and lives if the physicians are given a chance to retain their autonomy and practice medicine to the best of their abilities,' the group writes. The Bayesian method, referred to multiple times throughout their letter is a statistical approach in which probabilities are assessed on a rolling basis, and a reasonable expectation is inferred based on the data at-hand. In other words, the group says doctors shouldn't wait for a large body of data to draw conclusions about whether or not hydroxychloroquine works and is safe, but assume that it is based on databases like theirs, which it says is regularly updated. It echoes sentiments expressed by the president: 'What do you have to lose?' he asked of coronavirus patients while extolling the promise of hydroxychloroquine during a recent press briefing. 'I'm not looking at it one way or another. But we want to get out of this. If it does work, it would be a shame if we didn't do it early. 'What do I know? I'm not a doctor, but I have common sense. The FDA feels good about it, as you know they approved it.' The FDA gave emergency use authorization for doctors to prescribe hydroxychloroquine to some coronavirus patients, as much as a way to facilitate data collection on how people with the virus tolerate the drug as because it showed promise for helping them. Regulators did not approve the drug for treating coronavirus, a point that Dr Anthony Fauci, a leading US expert on infectious diseases and coronavirus task force member jumped to underscore. When asked if there was evidence that hydroxychloroquine works to treat coronavirus, Dr Fauci said: 'No. The answer is no,' citing the absence of clinical trials for the drug, and reminding viewers that reports of its use for coronavirus patients were merely anecdotal. Much of the 'clinical information' cited in the AAPS letter falls definitively into the anecdotal category. Their table includes reports from China, France, South Korea, Algeria, and the US, as well as references to the prophylactic use of hydroxychloroquine to protect health care workers in countries like Turkey and India. Some of the reports in the table are relatively large trials, such as Dr Vladmir Zelenko's treatment of 405 out of 1,345 coronavirus patients in New York with hydroxychloroquine, and even the Veteran Affairs study of more than 200 patients. But most of the data comes from small or one-off uses of the drug. Several rows in the table report no information beyond the name of the doctor involved, a number involve just one patient. Dr Oz reported that 100 percent of the patients he treated with hydroxychloroquine improved and survived. There were two patients. One of the people included in the table of data is Mark Campbell, a former tight end for the Buffalo Bills who was hospitalized for coronavirus. There is no treating physician listed for Campbell, but the success rate of the one-person trial of hydroxychloroquine in him is listed as 100 percent. Campbell has spoken openly about his experience with coronavirus, including receiving several days of treatment with Plaquenil, the brandname form of hydroxychloroquine, while at the hospital under doctor supervision. Where or by whom he was treated is unclear and not noted in the AAPS database, and the FDA warned on Monday against the use of hydroxychloroquine outside of hospital settings or without physician supervision. The database also does not include fields for reporting adverse events, or side effects of the treatment, disclosing only the names of the person or institution reporting the data and when, the number of COVID-19 patients seen, the number treated with hydroxychloroquine, with or without azithromycin or zinc, how many improved, how many died, and the resulting probability of success. At least one trial of hydroxychloroquine, done in Brazil, was stopped short after a number of patients developed heart arrythmias, a known and potentially life-threatening side effect of hydroxychloroquine. AAPS's collection of reports has a net success rate of 91.6 precent for patients treated with hydroxychloroquine, and a 2.7 percent death rate. It compares this to Johns Hopkins survival data for patients who were put on mechanical ventilators, about 85 percent of whom died. Nearly seven percent of patients overall had died worldwide. 'At this time, the data from 9 observational reports and one controlled trial suggest that hydroxychloroquine is dramatically more effective at preventing death from CoVID-19 than mechanical ventilation,' the AAPS writes. 'It is encouraging to note that ventilated patients treated with hydroxychloroquine have been able to undergo successful extubation and transfer out of the intensive care unit onto the floor. Moreover, CoVID-19 viral loads have been reduced to low or undetectable levels after 5-15 days of treatment with hydroxychloroquine.' Lab studies have suggested that hydroxychloroquine may have antiviral effects, although it is not an antiviral by design. It also appeared to combat the effects of the cytokine storm. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and many groups are conducting clinical trials on it, but full results are not yet in. AAPS argues that doctors should continue trying the drug, despite a lack of final data. The group is not alone in its support for ways to expedite and streamline tests of various potential treatments for coronavirus. Dr Janet Woodcock of the FDA has argued for 'adaptive' studies that test multiple treatments against one control arm in an effort to save time and resources - especially human ones. Bioethicists including New York University's Dr Arthur Kaplan have said that potential coronavirus vaccines should be tried in healthy volunteers sooner than later, because the benefits outweigh the risks. And the FDA's relaxation of approval processes for testing signal its own agenda of urgency. A Bayseian approach like AAPS supports is not without its uses, but the data from which the group draws its conclusions and makes its recommendations is not comparable to controlled, thorough studies of hydroxychloroquine or other potential coronavirus treatments. In fact, when the West African Ebola crisis began, researchers rushed to create treatments and conduct quick compassionate studies without placebo arms because it seemed cruel to deny some patients of potential treatments. But many of those early tests ultimately failed, and as a result it took years for an effective treatment for the devastating hemorrhagic fever to be found.

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The Beginning of the End — In Spite of Governors Gretchen Whitmer and Andrew Cuomo

Postby smix » Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:56 pm

The Beginning of the End — In Spite of Governors Gretchen Whitmer and Andrew Cuomo
The American Spectator

URL: https://spectator.org/the-beginning-of- ... rew-cuomo/
Category: Politics
Published: April 7, 2020

Description: A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.
— General George S. Patton Jr. on the wisdom of taking prompt action based on limited information.

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Jim Santilli of Macomb County, Michigan, became seriously ill with severe cardiac and respiratory symptoms. He went to Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, where he was admitted and immediately tested for COVID-19. While he waited four days for the test results, his condition deteriorated “by the hour” to the point where he thought he was going to die. In an interview with radio host Steve Gruber, the 38-year-old Santilli said that he was slowly drowning and, by Saturday, was convinced that he “would not live until midnight.” Then, on Saturday evening, after all other treatment options had been exhausted, an infectious disease physician administered a combination of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and the antibiotic azithromycin. Within a few hours he experienced a dramatic improvement in his condition and began to believe that he could survive. After four days of medication, he was discharged to go home. “I am living proof that this worked!” Santilli exclaimed. He added that unquestionably the HCQ and azithromycin had saved his life, and he praised President Trump for having brought public attention to the protocol. Though he had no way of knowing, Santilli had been lucky in more ways than one. For, on March 24, 2020, the same day that Santilli returned home, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs issued a “Reminder of Appropriate Prescribing and Dispensing” to “Licensed Prescribers” (physicians) and “Dispensers” (pharmacists).” Here are the opening paragraphs:
The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has received multiple allegations of Michigan physicians inappropriately prescribing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine to themselves, family, friends, and/or coworkers without a legitimate medical purpose. Prescribing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine without further proof of efficacy for treating COVID-19 or with the intent to stockpile the drug may create a shortage for patients with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or other ailments for which chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are proven treatments. Reports of this conduct will be evaluated and may be further investigated for administrative action. Prescribing any kind of prescription must also be associated with medical documentation showing proof of the medical necessity and medical condition for which the patient is being treated. Again, these are drugs that have not been proven scientifically or medically to treat COVID-19.

The “reminder” went on to threaten the licenses of physicians who prescribed or pharmacists who dispensed HCQ or chloroquine for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 infections. And, taking a page from the Third Reich’s playbook, it also threatened the licenses of health-care professionals who failed to report such “inappropriate prescribing practices.” At the time Michigan issued this threat, clinical trials in China, South Korea, and France had already demonstrated the efficacy of treating and likely preventing COVID-19 infections with HCQ alone or in combination with azithromycin. Moreover, Michigan’s Henry Ford Hospital System (where HCQ was used to save Santilli’s life) and the University of Michigan Hospital had already adopted COVID-19 treatment protocols that included the use of HCQ. And, as you will see below, it was being widely used by Michigan health-care professionals to successfully treat COVID-19 during the 23 days leading up to Michigan’s ominous “reminder.” This ban prompted Santilli to grant an interview to Alicia Maria Rowe of Gateway Pundit in which he criticized Michigan’s Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for banning the use of HCQ to treat COVID-19. He attributed Whitmer’s actions to the fact that President Trump had expressed optimism about HCQ’s potential. He again stressed that, within two or three hours of receiving his first dose of HCQ with azithromycin, he had a “180-degree” improvement in his condition.

You can watch Santilli’s interview below:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esO--kBng6E

Santilli was not alone in criticizing Whitmer. The Detroit News featured an opinion piece titled “Michigan’s doctors fight coronavirus, governor’s office,” in which the author criticized Whitmer’s actions and ended with this stinging conclusion:
The implications of Whitmer and her administration’s knee-jerk scare tactics should terrify all Michigan residents. Not only is our state’s top leader threatening the selfless health care workers who are on the frontline trying to save lives, but she’s denying possible life-saving medications to actual COVID-19 victims.

Finally, on March 31, 2020, Michigan’s Bridge Magazine reported that, in an apparent policy shift, the Whitmer administration was “pursuing a request” for HCQ from the Strategic National Stockpile. The article included this revealing passage:
Hydroxychloroquine may not be a “miracle cure,” but there is enough evidence to “justify its use” at this point, said Dr. Marcus Zervos, head of the infectious diseases division at Henry Ford Health System. The Detroit-based hospital system is using hydroxychloroquine in combination with other therapies in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of complications, Zervos said Tuesday in a video chat with reporters. About 800 patients — half in Detroit — have been treated with the drug since March 1 at various Henry Ford hospitals, according to a spokeswoman. “We have had a number of success stories — patients that have been severely ill, we’ve gotten them off the ventilator and out of the hospital,” Zervos said. But hydroxychloroquine appears to have greater benefits “if we’re able to start the therapy earlier,” he added.

So it is that many of the patient “success stories” referenced by Dr. Zervos undoubtedly came about during the 23-day period preceding Michigan’s March 24, 2020, threat to take disciplinary action against health-care providers who thereafter used HCQ to treat COVID-19. Was Gov. Whitmer aware of these successful patient outcomes? If so, then what was her motive for threatening the professional licenses of Michigan health-care providers who used HCQ to treat COVID-19? Was it because, as her critics have claimed, she was in a political snit with President Trump? In short, during the week that Michigan’s ominous “reminder” was in effect (a lethal eternity for COVID-19 patients), did Michigan physicians have to take into account the risk of losing their licenses if they used HCQ to save their patients because the governor wanted to demonstrate her opposition to all things Trump? Which brings us to New York’s COVID-19 crisis. On March 23, 2020, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.10, which, among other things, decreed the following:
No pharmacist shall dispense hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine except when written as prescribed for an FDA-approved indication; or as part of a state approved clinical trial related to COVID-19 for a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19, with such test result documented as part of the prescription. No other experimental or prophylactic use shall be permitted, and any permitted prescription is limited to one fourteen day prescription with no refills.

This order was purportedly calculated to preserve the available supply of HCQ and chloroquine, which was running low after President Trump had expressed optimism about it possibly being a “game changer” in the fight against the pandemic. On March 28, 2020, the FDA authorized “emergency use” of HCQ to treat adult and adolescent patients “hospitalized with COVID-19 for whom a clinical trial is not available, or participation is not feasible.” The net effect of the interplay between Cuomo’s order and the FDA’s authorization has been to limit the use of HCQ to treating patients who are either hospitalized or participating in a “state approved” clinical trial. In other words, New York physicians are forbidden by law to use HCQ to treat COVID-19 on an outpatient basis as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms. On the same day that Cuomo issued his executive order, Dr. Vladimir (Zev) Zelenko, a New York physician, wrote a letter to the Israel Ministry of Health concerning his HCQ-based protocol for treating COVID-19. His letter stated that he and his team had used a combination of HCQ, azithromycin, and zinc sulfate to successfully treat 500 high-risk COVID-19 patients and had “ZERO deaths, ZERO hospitalizations, and ZERO intubations [ventilator uses]” and “no serious negative side effects.” He concluded his letter as follows:
In sum, my urgent recommendation is to initiate treatment in the outpatient setting as soon as possible in accordance with the above. Based on my direct experience, it prevents acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), prevents the need for hospitalization and saves lives.

In a subsequent appearance on Rudy Giuliani’s televised podcast Common Sense, Dr. Zelenko pointed out that HCQ and azithromycin are being used in combination in many New York ICUs with only “mild to moderate success.” The reason for this is that, by the time patients reach the ICU, many have already had their lung tissues “napalmed” by COVID-19 and are suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Even with HCQ and azithromycin, 40 to 50 percent of ICU patients suffering from ARDS will die. In short, he believes that it is important to treat patients as soon as COVID-19 is confirmed and well before they reach the hospital or ICU. As he put it, “Hit the infection hard and early.” But to do that now would be a violation of Gov. Cuomo’s executive order. As you can see, Dr. Zelenko and Dr. Zervos of the Henry Ford Medical System agree that HCQ provides greater benefit if it is used before the patient becomes severely ill. And they are not alone. Dr. Stephen Smith, a preeminent infectious disease expert, recently appeared on the Laura Ingraham Show. Dr. Smith is a 1989 graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine who did postdoctoral training at, among other medical establishments, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAI) in Bethesda, Maryland, which was then and remains under the directorship of Dr. Anthony Fauci. From 1992 to 1995, Dr. Smith was a Medical Staff Fellow in Infectious Diseases at the NIAI. From 1995 to 1996 he was a “Post-Doc” in the Molecular Virology Section, Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, at the NIAI. He and his colleagues at the Smith Center for Infectious Diseases in East Orange, New Jersey, have been treating COVID-19 patients. In his interview, he said that none of their patients who have been treated with HCQ and azithromycin has had to be put on a ventilator. He pronounced the combination of HCQ and azithromycin to be an “absolute game changer” and added that “this regimen works.” He then closed with this stunning declaration:
I think this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic. I’m very serious.

You can watch Dr. Smith’s remarkable interview below:



In his daily pandemic media briefings, Gov. Cuomo has acknowledged that HCQ is being used in New York’s hospitals with good results. But he has characterized those successful patient outcomes as mere “anecdotal evidence.” He has expressed hope that clinical trials will confirm the “anecdotal evidence” but stated that the result of those trials are weeks, if not months, away. In fact, according to ClinicalTrials.gov, with but one exception, the estimated study completion dates for the 53 scheduled clinical trials of HCQ are years away. But, as he daily reiterates the need for more ventilators, ICU facilities, and hospital beds, hitting the infection “hard and early” before the patient requires hospitalization remains forbidden thanks to his executive order. Given the clinical trials in China, South Korea, and France as well as the favorable treatment outcomes that he himself has noted and as reported by Drs. Zelenko, Zervos, and Smith, Cuomo should immediately allow physicians to use HCQ on an outpatient basis as soon as COVID-19 is diagnosed. This would not only enhance HCQ’s therapeutic benefit to patients but it would also alleviate New York’s need for ever more hospital beds, ICU facilities, and ventilators. So why isn’t he allowing that to happen? This question leads us back to President Trump. Ever since he publicly expressed optimism about the potential effectiveness of HCQ in treating COVID-19, he has been flayed in the mainstream media as a snake oil doctor and conman selling false hope to a fearful public. The latest installment in this media campaign was at Sunday’s White House task force briefing (here is a heavily redacted and somewhat misleading video posted by the Washington Post) when an apparently exasperated CNN correspondent demanded of the president, “Why not let the science speak for itself? Why are you promoting this drug [HCQ]? You come out here every day talking about the benefit of this drug … ” Despite his frustratingly tangled syntax, the president got off a good answer. After stating that he was only expressing hope that HCQ would work and that, given its known safety profile, it should be used, he said, “We don’t have time to go and say, ‘Gee, let’s take a couple of years and test it out. Let’s go and test with the test tubes and the laboratories.’ We don’t have time. I’d love to do that. But we have people dying today, as we speak there are people who are dying.” Throw in a few expletives and references to fornicating barnyard animals, and that could have been General Patton speaking. Even without the benefit of meticulous clinical trials, immediate action is needed today — not next week, next month, or next year — to save lives. Under these dire circumstances, when patients are suffering, their lives are at stake, and we have a demonstrably effective treatment with a known safety profile, to delay HCQ’s use until clinical trials are completed would make the search for a perfect remedy the enemy of patient welfare. Anecdotal or not, the proof on the medical front lines is that HCQ is every day saving the lives of COVID-19 patients. But rather than celebrate that blessed news, disgruntled progressive politicos and their media adjunct continue to portray the president as a scheming con man who must be exposed and stopped. So it is that, to advance their political agenda, they seek to discourage and restrict the use of HCQ even at the risk of patients suffering and dying. Or, as Robespierre is purported to have said, “On ne fait pas d’omelette sans casser des oeufs.” Translation: You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. Eggs and patients suffering agonizing deaths. They’re all the same to the angry Left in its obsessive and unrelenting quest to turn this COVID-19 pandemic to its political advantage.



The $20 Solution to Coronavirus: ‘Anecdotal Evidence’ Is a Life-Saver
The American Spectator

URL: https://spectator.org/the-20-solution-t ... ife-saver/
Category: Politics
Published: March 31, 2020

Description: ver the weekend, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency authorization for the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine (CQ) to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Simultaneously, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Sandoz has donated 30 million doses of HCQ and Bayer one million doses of CQ to the Strategic National Stockpile. According to HHS, these drugs will be “distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available.” The effect of the FDA’s emergency authorization is unclear. The FDA regulates the manner in which manufacturers of pharmaceuticals may advertise and sell their products. If, after testing and clinical trials, the FDA approves a drug for a particular use, then the manufacturer may market it for that purpose and no other. The FDA, however, does not set the standard of care for physicians and does not regulate the practice of medicine. That is why, even before the FDA’s “emergency authorization,” physicians have been free to make “off-label” (non–FDA approved) use of HCQ and CQ to treat COVID-19 patients. Following clinical trials in China, South Korea, and France that demonstrated the efficacy of treating and likely preventing COVID-19 infections with HCQ alone or in combination with azithromycin, President Trump expressed to the media optimism about HCQ being a potential “game changer” in the fight to defeat the pandemic. But, at that same press briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci seemed to throw cold water on Trump’s enthusiasm. In answer to a reporter’s question, Fauci stated that although there was “anecdotal evidence” that HCQ was effective in treating and preventing COVID-19 infections, controlled clinical trials of the drug were still necessary before any definite conclusions could be reached. Since then, “anecdotal evidence” has become the mantra of the mainstream media, who, in their eagerness to portray Trump as a snake oil salesman offering false hope to a panicked nation, have dismissed the use of HCQ and CQ as an unproven, speculative proposition. But to the undoubted dismay of the media and all those who hope the pandemic will destroy Trump’s presidency, that pesky “anecdotal evidence” supporting the use of HCQ and CQ to successfully treat and possibly prevent COVID-19 infections continues to grow at an exponential rate. For example, in a follow-up of its previously reported study recommending the use of HCQ and azithromycin to treat COVID-19 cases, researchers in France and Vietnam under the leadership of world-renowned infectious disease expert Professor Didier Raoult, the head of the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire (IHU) Méditerranée Infection in Marseille, have reported another clinical trial in which that drug combination cured 79 out of 80 patients. Noting that “adverse events were rare and minor,” the researchers summarized their findings as follows:
In conclusion, we confirm the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine associated with azithromycin in the treatment of COVID-19 and its potential effectiveness in the early impairment of contagiousness. Given the urgent therapeutic need to manage this disease with effective and safe drugs and given the negligible cost of both hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, we believe that other teams should urgently evaluate this therapeutic strategy both to avoid the spread of the disease and to treat patients before severe irreversible respiratory complications take hold.

As this report was issued, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued a directive declaring that
Whereas, the Central Government is satisfied that the drug ‘Hydroxychloroquine’ is essential to meet the requirements of emergency arising due to pandemic COVID-19 and in the public interest, it is necessary and expedient to regulate and restrict the sale and distribution of the drug “Hydroxychloroquine” … (Emphasis added.)

Based on this finding, India has banned the export of HCQ and is recommending that health-care workers take HCQ prophylactically to avoid becoming infected while treating COVID-19 patients. Similarly, Belgium and Bahrain are reporting that their hospitals are using HCQ to successfully treat COVID-19 patients. According to the Bahrain News Agency, the head of Bahrain’s National Taskforce for Combatting COVID-19 reports that HCQ has had a “profound impact” when used to treat COVID-19 patients. And Belgium has established a “strategic reserve” of HCQ to treat as many as 22,000 COVID-19 patients on an “off-label” basis. But far and away the widespread off-label use by physicians in the United States of HCQ alone or in combination with other FDA-approved drugs to successfully treat COVID-19 cases has produced the most stunning and powerful “anecdotal evidence.” This has resulted in major hospitals such as Michigan’s Henry Ford Hospital and the University of Michigan Hospital publishing COVID-19 treatment protocols that include the use of HCQ. This is happening across the nation, and physicians are using HCQ either alone or in combination with azithromycin to successfully treat COVID-19 patients. Consider, for instance, the overwhelmingly positive patient outcomes that have been achieved by Dr. Vladmir (Zev) Zelenko, a New York physician. By letter dated March 23, 2020, Dr. Zelenko reported to the Israel Ministry of Health that he and his team had used a combination of HCQ, azithromycin, and zinc to successfully treat 500 high-risk COVID-19 patients. He reported “ZERO deaths, ZERO hospitalizations, and ZERO intubations [ventilator uses]” and “no serious negative side effects” caused by the drug protocol. In his letter, Dr. Zelenko wrote, “I would like to thank President Trump for approving Hydroxychloroquine for use against this virus.” Here is Dr. Zelenko’s letter:

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Subsequently, Dr. Zelenko appeared on Rudy Giuliani’s televised podcast “Common Sense” to report that, as of March 29, 2020, he and his team had treated hundreds of high-risk COVID-19 patients with no deaths, no intubations, and only three hospitalizations. (According to a tweet by Giuliani, the actual number of patients by that date was 699.) In the podcast, Giuliani conducted a lawyerly but friendly deposition of Dr. Zelenko, whose answers were astounding. He stated that, by using a “cocktail” of HCQ, azithromycin, and zinc in an outpatient setting “as soon as possible,” none of his patients have died, been intubated, or treated in an ICU. Three patients have been hospitalized with pneumonia without intubation or ICU care and are doing well. Dr. Zelenko said that, compared to the seasonal flu, COVID-19 is three times more contagious and, for those with risk factors, 10 times more deadly. He estimates that by the end of the year, one-half of all Americans will have COVID-19. He said, however, that it is a “well-established fact” that otherwise healthy COVID-19 patients who are 60 years or younger will be “fine” since their immune systems will be strong enough to deal with the infection. But any of his COVID-19 patients who are 60 or older or with a chronic medical condition or who are immunocompromised, he treats immediately with the “cocktail.” He derived the mixture of drugs by reviewing a South Korean clinical study in which HCQ was used with zinc to achieve “somewhat successful” but “not too impressive” patient outcomes. He also studied the clinical trial in France in which HCQ and azithromycin were used to achieve “100 % resolution in the lab.” He noted, however, that HCQ and azithromycin are being used in combination in many New York ICUs with “mild to moderate success.” The reason for this is that, by the time patients reach the ICU, many are already suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) caused by COVID-19’s destruction of their lung tissue. Even with HCQ and azithromycin, 40 to 50 percent of ICU patients suffering from ARDS will die. In short, he believes that it is important to treat COVID-19 patients with risk factors as soon as they are diagnosed and well before they reach the ICU. Drawing on the studies from South Korea and France, he combined HCQ with azithromycin and zinc. Why zinc? Because it interferes with the replication of viruses. Under ordinary circumstances, only a very small percentage of a zinc dose can enter cells. But the HCQ acts as a “canal” by which the zinc enters the cells. Both the HCQ and zinc reduce the amount of virus by interfering with its growth and, accordingly, give the immune system time to overcome the virus before it destroys the lungs. As far as he knows, azithromycin has no impact on the viral load but is effective in suppressing any non-viral pneumonia that may be present. He stressed that the key to effective treatment is to administer the “cocktail” as soon as COVID-19 is confirmed. As he put it, “Hit the infection hard and early.” Dr. Zelenko noted that “many doctors” are using his “cocktail” and having similarly positive patient outcomes. Then he added these remarks:
I want to thank the president for approving the use of this drug [HCQ]. He said he had a good feeling about it. And truth is he’s very intuitive, and I have the same intuition. I really feel that this is the answer. If you scale this nationally, the economy will rebound much quicker. The country will open again. And let me tell you a very important point. This treatment costs about $20. That’s very important because you can scale that nationally. If every treatment costs $20,000, that’s not so good. All I’m doing is repurposing old, available drugs which we know their safety profiles, and using them in a unique combination in an outpatient setting.

You can watch the video podcast below. I urge you to watch it from beginning to end:



Now, keep in mind that, according to the mainstream media, all of what you have just read is merely “anecdotal evidence” and that, until further clinical trials have been completed to the satisfaction of the FDA, the off-label use of HCQ alone or in combination with other drugs is simply a medically unproven technique touted by a dishonest President Trump. But, while the media keep tut-tutting and poo-pooing HCQ as so much Trumpian snake oil, physicians like Dr. Zelenko are using it every day across this nation to save lives. Moreover, the anecdotal evidence demonstrates that the majority of high risk COVID-19 patients can be saved by early dosing with HCQ and without tying up hospital and ICU beds or the use of ventilators. As the nation braces for its medical facilities to be swamped and goes on a wartime footing to erect additional hospital facilities and manufacture personal protective equipment and ventilators in vast, unprecedented numbers, the anecdotal evidence strongly supports the proposition that there is a quicker, far less expensive, and more effective alternative. How about a wartime crash program to increase the production and distribution of the inexpensive and demonstrably safe HCQ so that it may be used here and now to save lives on an outpatient basis and to, at the very least, be used prophylactically by our health-care providers and first responders to prevent their contracting COVID-19? Not only would this eliminate the need for building more hospitals and manufacturing massive numbers of ventilators but it would also reduce the exposure of our health-care providers and first responders to COVID-19 and quite likely provide them prophylactic protection from infection. Oh, did I mention that there is also “anecdotal evidence” that lupus patients who are being treated with HCQ have an almost nonexistent incidence of COVID-19 infections, as do people living in Africa where HCQ tablets are handed out like Pez to prevent malaria? Let me catch my breath, and we’ll talk about that later. But in the meantime, ask yourselves if there is any good reason why we should delay for one second a nationwide crash program to ramp up production of HCQ and deploy Dr. Zelenko’s $20 solution and similar effective protocols to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.



Hydroxychloroquine and This Guy Bright
The American Spectator

URL: https://spectator.org/hydroxychloroquin ... testimony/
Category: Politics
Published: May 19, 2020

Description: There’s a lot more to Rick Bright’s testimony before a Democrat committee and appearance on “60 Minutes” than his “whistleblower” posture would suggest.
Last week a big deal was made, in some of the Usual Suspect media outlets, of congressional testimony by a Dr. Rick Bright, who until not too long ago headed something called the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Bright, who has been recently reassigned to another position within the National Institutes of Health, thundered away Thursday at the Trump administration in a fashion that has already landed him a 60 Minutes segment and will almost assuredly result in a book deal and later a movie, perhaps starring someone like Mark Ruffalo as Bright, with the usual tired plot. You’ve seen the movie before, and Bright’s story is nothing new. There is some external threat, and there is a lone good guy amid an entire government full of crooks, buffoons, and sycophants who raises the alarm about the external threat, but the lone good guy is punished and excluded for telling the truth because some evil, usually conservative, power — in this case President Trump — has his thumb on the scale. Bright was demoted but didn’t lose his job, and it seems a bit more likely that his demise as the head of BARDA, which is an office in charge of the country’s medical stockpile and vaccine supply, had more to do with personality conflicts and office politics than any of the black-helicopter stuff that played out on C-SPAN last week. That doesn’t make him entirely a nut case. There’s always some middle ground where reality lies. What’s the truth about Bright’s accusations? Essentially, he says that the federal government had opportunities to contain the spread of the Wuhan ChiCom virus but dithered, played politics, and made mistakes. Those statements are at least partially true. The federal government is too big, too politicized, and too incompetent to effectively handle much of anything that doesn’t involve killing people and breaking things, and even in those respects it spends more money than it needs to. To ask it to move quickly enough to effectively protect the American people from something like the Wuhan virus is to assume that all possible conditions are favorable. And in the case of the Wuhan virus, all possible conditions were not favorable, starting with the fact that the Chinese government repeatedly and maliciously lied to the world about the virus’s spread from that lab in Hubei province, putting not just the United States but everybody else in a position of scrambling after the fact. We can point all the fingers we want at each other, but at the end of the day this virus and how it was spread functioned very much like one would expect of a bioweapon. In other words, this is a war. And in a war lots of mistakes get made. Apply today’s journalistic and editorial standards to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s prosecution of World War II and we might well have sued for peace by the end of May 1942, with Roosevelt resigning in disgrace well before then. Not much of that made it into Bright’s presentation. A lot more “Orange Man Bad” did. Including the one thing this column actually did find somewhat interesting — namely, Bright’s involvement in the question of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a treatment for COVID-19 sufferers. Our readers know that issue came to a head Monday when President Trump, who has been an advocate of HCQ, revealed he’s taking the drug, together with zinc as is its common protocol courtesy of doctors who treat actual patients, as a prophylactic against contracting the Wuhan virus. That sent the Left into paroxysms of irritation, though one wonders, if they’re so unconvinced that HCQ has positive properties as a defense against the virus, why they wouldn’t welcome Trump putting his money where his mouth is. From an interminably long Politico piece on Bright’s whistleblowing after he was demoted, the vaccine boss was for HCQ before he was against it — and you’ll notice something else in this excerpt:
By mid-March, Trump was promoting the use of malaria drugs as a possible “game changer” in the coronavirus fight, despite scant evidence that the drugs could rein in Covid-19 and over the increasingly deep concerns of career health officials who wanted the administration to pursue the standard process of clinical trials. The drugs had been promoted on Fox News and by some of Trump’s political allies. “At my direction, the federal government is working to help obtain large quantities of chloroquine,” Trump said at a March 23 press briefing, which HHS officials say understated the frantic efforts to meet the president’s demands. Bright alleges that the department’s top lawyer, Charrow, applied pressure to rush the malaria drugs and was personally involved in writing aspects of the plan — a point backed up by several emails included in his complaint — even as career health officials worried about the lack of evidence that the drugs could help treat Covid-19 and the potential risk to patients. According to Bright’s lawyers, it was the first time that he recalls the department’s top lawyer calling him directly to discuss a drug donation. Two current officials confirmed Bright’s claims that Charrow directly drove the project after Trump spent days in March publicly stumping for his health officials to expand access to the drug. The move radically subverted how FDA was supposed to operate, independent of political influence. Studies have increasingly found that the malaria drugs have no positive effect for Covid-19 and may in fact have negative consequences. As a result, Bright acknowledged in his whistleblower complaint that he was a source behind a Reuters story about Trump administration officials’ pursuit of the drug. But the email chain that Bright leaked to Reuters was just a partial snapshot of the discussions, and Bright himself entertained the idea of using hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 patients in other emails, according to three people who have seen those messages and described them to POLITICO. Bright’s defenders have acknowledged that he tried to compromise with his bosses over hydroxychloroquine. Katz, his lawyer, emphasized that the scientist only supported the use of the drugs in a controlled, rigorous environment — not the broad plan pursued by the Trump administration. “He did not support the distribution of these drugs without appropriate controls in place,” said Katz. “And given the latest studies on these drugs, he has been proven right,” she added, an allusion to recent findings that hydroxychloroquine shows no benefit against Covid-19. Some officials in the division and elsewhere in HHS said that Bright was trying to raise appropriate concerns about the rush to allow an unproven drug — although he wasn’t yet ready to make a public stand and put his future employment at risk. “He was definitely tapping on the brakes, if you read the emails,” said a senior administration official. “He may not have slammed them.”

A bit of editorializing in there about hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness, wouldn’t you say? Somewhat conspicuous given that HCQ, together with azithromycin and/or zinc, remains the single most prescribed remedy by doctors for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and is widely recognized by doctors in the field as effective. Bright is now being given the pre-Ruffalo treatment, and one reasonable interpretation for why — beyond the obvious reason that trotting him out onto the public stage is an opportunity to trash the president or because he hired the same lawyer who represented Christine Blasey Ford — is the hydroxychloroquine controversy. You’ve surely noticed by now that the mainstream media in this country is engaged in an all-out propaganda campaign to trash HCQ as a treatment for COVID-19. It is literally ceaseless at this point, and it has been more or less since a deranged leftist woman in Arizona poisoned her husband to death with fish-tank cleaner and attempted to cover the crime by suggesting it was an error brought on by Trump’s advocacy of the drug as a virus cure. There has been nonstop reporting that HCQ is ineffective against COVID-19 and in fact highly dangerous, which hardly rings true given that the drug is commonly prescribed to people not just with malaria but also with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and has been for decades. The studies that claim HCQ has no positive effect on COVID-19 recovery were preceded by one taking place within the Veterans Affairs hospital system, and the media narrative built on that. But the VA study was not peer-reviewed, and flaws in it have been uncovered — namely, that it focused on end-stage patients with severe comorbidities that placed many of them in the category of hopeless, or near-hopeless, causes. What was worse, one of the authors of the study, Scott Sutton, has received three research grants in recent years from Gilead Sciences, Inc., including a $247,000 grant in 2018. Why is that last item important? Gilead is the maker of Remdesivir, the brand-new, not-yet-FDA-approved wonder drug that is being touted as a COVID-19 cure. Remdesivir is said to cost as much as $1,000 per dose when it hits the market, which means it will make Gilead, and those companies purchasing a license for co-marketing and co-manufacturing Remdesivir, untold amounts of money. We already know there are enough connections between pharmaceutical companies and public health bureaucrats to warrant reasonable suspicion of many of these studies, and we also already know that nobody will make much of a profit on hydroxychloroquine. An awful lot of the use of the drug to date has come due to donations from drug companies to hospitals and public health systems; they’re giving it away because it’s so cheap to manufacture. Add to that Trump’s prospective optimism about HCQ as a “potential game-changer,” and you can see plenty enough reason for all of these not-so-scientific studies and even more breathless media reports denouncing a treatment that, in its best protocol, has shown itself to be better than 90 percent effective in beating the virus. So much so that last month, more than 700 doctors joined Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) in writing a letter to Trump asking him to broaden the availability of the drug beyond late-stage hospital patients. By most accounts, HCQ’s best use, and one which doctors are commonly prescribing in an off-label fashion, is as soon after symptoms manifest as possible or even as a prophylactic for people at a high risk of exposure to or rapid decline from COVID-19. Yet there is so much resistance and what look like planted media accounts of its ineffectiveness to warrant a healthy suspicion of what’s going on here. Somehow Rick Bright’s whistleblowing plays into all of this. It’s a thread that deserves pulling. It’s likely you’ll see more on the subject. Sharyl Attkisson has already begun, with a story everyone should see.
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