Friday, July 24, 2020

Do Yourself A Favor--Read This Covid Article

Yesterday we mentioned Dr. Harvey Risch, a very eminent professor of epidemiology at Yale, in the context of an interview with Laura Ingraham: Good Covid News Is Suppressed. Risch has been maintaining not only that the supposed "case" against HCQ is scientifically unfounded but that, in reality, is motivated by politics. HCQ is, he says, the target of a "propaganda war" that has also targeted heroic physicians who try to do their best for their patients.

Later in the day an article to the same effect by Risch appeared--in all places--at Newsweek: The Key to Defeating COVID-19 Already Exists. We Need to Start Using It. I'm providing some highlights, but I urge everyone to read the whole article. In addition to my excerpts, Risch also discusses other issues, including the experience of Brazil and Switzerland as well as other recent studies:

As professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, I have authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications and currently hold senior positions on the editorial boards of several leading journals. I am usually accustomed to advocating for positions within the mainstream of medicine, so have been flummoxed to find that, in the midst of a crisis, I am fighting for a treatment that the data fully support but which, for reasons having nothing to do with a correct understanding of the science, has been pushed to the sidelines. As a result, tens of thousands of patients with COVID-19 are dying unnecessarily. 

Think about that--tens of thousands are the victim of a political hoax, a political propaganda war masquerading as science. Only liberals could get away with this! I'm quite sure Risch understands exactly what he's suggesting.

On May 27, I published an article ... in the world's leading epidemiology journal, ..., demonstrating clear-cut and significant benefits to treated patients, plus other very large studies that showed the medication safety. 
Physicians who have been using these medications in the face of widespread skepticism have been truly heroic. They have done what the science shows is best for their patients, often at great personal risk. I myself know of two doctors who have saved the lives of hundreds of patients with these medications, but are now fighting state medical boards to save their licenses and reputations. The cases against them are completely without scientific merit. 
Since publication of my May 27 article, seven more studies have demonstrated similar benefit. ... 
Why has hydroxychloroquine been disregarded? 
First, as all know, the medication has become highly politicized. ... 
Second, the drug has not been used properly in many studies. 
Hydroxychloroquine has shown major success when used early in high-risk people but, as one would expect for an antiviral, much less success when used late in the disease course. ... 
... The combination [hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin or doxycycline, and zinc] should be prescribed in high-risk patients immediately upon clinical suspicion of COVID-19 disease, without waiting for results of testing. ... 
Third, concerns have been raised by the FDA and others about risks of cardiac arrhythmia, ... 
But what the FDA did not announce is that these adverse events were generated from tens of millions of patient uses of hydroxychloroquine for long periods of time, often for the chronic treatment of lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Even if the true rates of arrhythmia are ten-fold higher than those reported, the harms would be minuscule compared to the mortality occurring right now in inadequately treated high-risk COVID-19 patients. ...
In the future, I believe this misbegotten episode regarding hydroxychloroquine will be studied by sociologists of medicine as a classic example of how extra-scientific factors overrode clear-cut medical evidence. ...


  1. We got covid19 in late march, but had come back from a trip to africa, so were already on a wind-down period of taking HCQ. So i cant say it prevented covid, but, as our symptoms were quite mild and we are well over 60 (but no co-morbidities), it would certainly suggest that it helped. More to the point, people going to/in africa have been taking HCQ for many years to combat malaria, with few problems (did not know it was also prescribed for lupus, etc.) so when the media began calling it a dangerous drug, that was laughably false (there are always exceptions with any drug, but this is one drug that has very limited case exception history). It was clear to many that the HCQ controversy was political. But to what point (other than orange man bad)? Is all of this (media nonsense) really just about Trump, or is there a more ominous agenda here (read Fallout by John Solomon get a sense)? Sorry to be a somewhat conspiracy theorist, but you cant help not be reading this blog and others to see the same cast of characters in government (or recently in government, or just about to go back to government, or in a well funded think tank or law firm, and on and on) reappearing over a ten to twenty year period always obfuscating, denying, lying, hyperbolating and bloviating, and generally benefitting from well funded “rentiers”! Is it a surprise that they all get rich and Washington has become the Beverly Hills of the US? Mark, is there a way, a path, to put the spine into some politicians (presumably Republicans, as the Democrats seem reflexively protective of this status quo) to begin to dismantle this political-industrial-NGO complex?

  2. COVID-19 is a virus twice weaponized -- first by the Chinese and then by the Democrats. Both want to see Trump gone, and they may get their wish.

  3. I also have had a prescription of HCQ for a trip to the Dominican Republic in 2015. No warnings and a very tolerated drug with no side effects.
    Fast-forward to today and they are claiming "heart arrythmia" problems when almost every drug has some small effect on your heart rate.
    What's pathetic was how no one objected or pointed out that the bogus test at the VA was done by two optometrists ?
    Why has Trump allowed his FDA to be so political ? Heads would roll at the FDA if I was running it.