Political Furor over Drugs that Might Help Fight against COVID-19

Here's what we're dealing with:

"No U.S. city will be spared"
Fauci: Up to 200,000 Americans could die
NYC: Dead bodies being loaded on refrigerated trucks
Nurses die, doctors fall sick as panic rises on front lines
Trump extends social distancing through end of April

Why would anyone mock a drug that shows promise?  Chloroquine and its less toxic derivative, hydroxychloroquine, are existing antimalarial drugs thought to be effective in treating coronavirus.

Dr. Steve Kassapidis is a COVID-19 critical care physician in New York City.  During a recent interview on Fox News, Dr. Kassapidis told Tucker Carlson that he's taking Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) as a prophylaxis.  Many other doctors in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere are taking the antimalarial drugs in hopes of protecting themselves from COVID-19 and are prescribing the off-label medications to patients infected with the disease.

In a March 21 interview on Philadelphia's AM 990, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, "Of course, I would try chloroquine on coronavirus patients."  But despite the potential of antimalarial drugs to mitigate COVID-19, politically driven journalists are pooh-poohing them as ineffective treatments touted by a recklessly incompetent president.  Desperately hoping hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine will be a flop, mainstream journalists are ridiculing President Trump over his advocacy of their potential in the fight against the coronavirus.

Related — March 29 Wall Street Journal: Hydroxychloroquine continues to show positive results

Related — Business sector steps to the plate: Big Pharma donates massive quantity of chloroquine

An encouraging observational study recently released will come as bad news to those who pray that hydroxychloroquine will fail, as long as the failure can be used to drive a stake in the heart of Trump's re-election prospects.  Of 80 coronavirus patients in the study treated with hydroxychloroquine, clinical improvements were observed in all but two, and that study is not the only one pointing to the upside potential of the drug.

Observational studies are far less meaningful than clinical trials, but there's a growing body of anecdotal evidence that selected antimalarial drugs could be effective against COVID-19.  The Food and Drug Administration just issued an emergency authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to be used on coronavirus patients, and New York's anti-Trump Democrat governor, Andrew Cuomo, is optimistic enough about their potential that he recently announced that the state is conducting fast-track clinical trials.

Since scientific studies are difficult for most people to understand, here's the more digestible abstract of the study referred to above:

Abstract: We need an effective treatment to cure COVID-19 patients and to decrease the virus carriage duration.  In 80 in-patients receiving a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin we noted a clinical improvement in all but one 86 year old patient who died, and one 74 year old patient still in intensive care.  A rapid fall of nasopharyngeal viral load tested by qPCR was noted, with 83% negative at Day7, and 93% at Day 8.  Virus cultures from patient respiratory samples were negative in 97.5% patients at Day 5.  This allowed patients to rapidly discharge from highly contagious wards with a mean length of stay of five days.  We believe other teams should urgently evaluate this cost-effective therapeutic strategy, to both avoid the spread of the disease and treat patients as soon as possible before severe respiratory irreversible complications take hold.

After making sure it mentioned that Trump had touted chloroquine as a potential game-changer, CNN reported that an Arizona man had died after self-medicating with chloroquine.  The Trump-hating cable network intentionally omitted telling viewers that the man did not take medicinal chloroquine — he ingested a lethal amount of toxic fish tank–cleaner, which contains chloroquine as an ingredient.  To see that shameful report, and more about how the politicized mainstream media are attempting to damage Trump with fake news propaganda about chloroquine, click here.

Times a-wastin'

Far too many uninformed or apathetic Americans still think the coronavirus pandemic is overblown, that COVID-19 is no worse than the flu.  At the risk of sounding judgmental, they are dead wrong, and here's an example of the kind of senseless behavior that threatens us all.  Celebrating the announcement that Georgia schools will remain closed through the end of April, a caravan of cars packed with cheering high school students, each a potential carrier of coronavirus, drove down the main street in my community with horns blaring. 

Consider this warning by Dr. Duc Yuong, a 47-year-old general surgeon in Albuquerque: "COVID-19 may not peak until mid-May."  Between now and then, the number of coronavirus infections will continue to escalate exponentially.  In a compelling video presentation, Dr. Yuong describes the absolutely nightmarish death the disease causes and gives a dire assessment of what lies ahead unless every American joins the national effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.  Please consider sharing his video with anyone who doubts the seriousness of this biblical pandemic.

There's another video worth sharing.  Dr. David Price is an intensive care pulmonologist at one of New York's premier hospitals.  His job is to decide when COVID-19 patients are put on ventilators.  A video he produced explains the best chance you have to avoid getting infected: with religious fervor, keep your hands away from your face!  Dr. Price appears haggard in the video, and there's a reason: like other doctors at the tip of the spear, he's been working 100 hours a week.  A seven-minute Fox News segment gives the highlights of Dr. Price's advice about how to protect your family from COVID-19.

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