How Fauci's Stubborness Costs Lives
Dr. Anthony Fauci, between magazine photo shoots and throwing the first pitch at baseball games, seems to have forgotten the cardinal rule of medicine – first, do no harm. By downplaying the effectiveness and highlighting the alleged dangers of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), it can be argued he has cost American lives, and will cost more, coming as he has between real doctors and real patients and real world experience with a drug that has been safely used to treat conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis for six decades without any serious side effects.
Fauci is in love with clinical studies, which are fine to determine effectiveness and risk of vaccines, but pale in comparison to the results of actual use.
One can understand the opposition of Big Pharma and Democrats in Congress to HCQ use against the Wuhan Chinese virus. There’s no money in a commonly available drug that costs something like 50 cents a pill. And if its widespread use were as effective here as it has been worldwide, it destroys a key rationale for the lockdowns which give liberals unconstitutional power to control every aspect of our lives Worse yet, for some people, it might indeed save a great many American lives and that would improve public perception of President Donald J. Trump’s handling of the crisis and boost Trump’s reelection chances. Can’t have that, even if it costs American lives.
Dr. Fauci, who has not wasted this crisis and parlayed it into a media career, recently opined on one of the main HCQ opponents, telling the doctors at MSNBC:
White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that all the “valid” scientific data shows malaria drug hydroxychloroquine isn’t effective in treating the coronavirus, contradicting President Donald Trump’s opinion of the drug.
“You look at the scientific data and the evidence. And the scientific data... on trials that are valid, that were randomized and controlled in the proper way, all of those trials show consistently that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of coronavirus disease or Covid-19,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said during an interview on MSNBC.
Notice the weasel word “valid.” President Trump has taken HCQ, as has the entire subcontinent of India and much of the Third World that uses it widely against malaria. If Fauci wants an empirical study, the mother of all empirical studies is an analysis of Third-World COVID-19 mortality rates prepared by Bruce E Dale, PhD, University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University and Mark A Howard, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine:
The average death rate in the five countries (India, Costa Rica, Australia, South Korea and Brazil) that have made early and prophylactic use of HCQ is about 6.0 per million inhabitants. In contrast, the US death rate is 167.0 per million inhabitants, almost 30 times as many deaths per million citizens.
The US has almost exclusively used HCQ on hospitalized patients, late in the course of infection. These late-stage treatments have largely failed. We (the authors) have the strong impression that acceptance of HCQ has become politicized. We cite below some of the evidence that, in our minds, HCQ has become closely associated with Trump. This unfortunate association has made an objective, scientific evaluation of the risk/benefit ratio for this medication much more difficult…and we believe this has cost and will cost lives.
…If the US does not make better use of this safe, cheap and effective drug HCQ to treat COVID-19, we can expect to suffer tens of thousands more deaths than would otherwise occur. What a (completely preventable) tragedy!...
If we used HCQ the way the rest of the world does, tens of thousands of lives could be saved. As Jim Hoft over at Gateway Pundit opines:
The latest international testing of hydroxychloroquine treatment of coronavirus shows countries that had early use of the drug had a 79% lower mortality rate than countries that banned the use of the safe malaria drug.
This means that Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, the CDC, the liberal fake news media and the tech giants have been pushing a lie that has had deadly consequences!
Even developing nations Ukraine, Greece, Cuba, Morocco, Indonesia and Algeria fared better than the US under Dr. Fauci! Over 100,000 US deaths could have been prevented!
A has been table prepared by the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons to compare the deaths per million citizens for countries that have taken different approaches to using HCQ in the treatment of COVID-19. The truth it presents is staggering and damning to Dr. Fauci’s opposition. The AAPS states:
AAPS concludes that: “the safety of Hydroxychloroquine is well documented. When the safe use of this drug is projected against its apparent effect of decreasing the progression of early cases to ventilator use, it is difficult to understand the reluctance of the authorities in charge of U.S. pandemic management to recommend its use in early COVID-19 cases.”
In a Newsweek piece, Dr. Harvey A. Risch of Yale's School of Public Health asserts that HCQ "has shown to be highly effective" and speaks to the war of hostility against hydroxychloroquine. Risch notes he is not alone in his conclusions about hydroxychloroquine:
On May 27, I published an article in the American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE) entitled, "Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk COVID-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis." That article… analyzed five studies, 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…
Since publication of my May 27 article, seven more studies have demonstrated similar benefit. In a lengthy follow-up letter, also published by AJE, I discuss these seven studies and renew my call for the immediate early use of hydroxychloroquine in high-risk patients. These seven studies include: an additional 400 high-risk patients treated by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, with zero deaths; four studies totaling almost 500 high-risk patients treated in nursing homes and clinics across the U.S., with no deaths; a controlled trial of more than 700 high-risk patients in Brazil, with significantly reduced risk of hospitalization and two deaths among 334 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine; and another study of 398 matched patients in France, also with significantly reduced hospitalization risk.
Hydroxychloroquine is not a cure nor a vaccine, and Dr. Ritsch and the social media censored “Frontline Doctors” do not claim it to be, but the drug which has been safely used over more than five decades has proven in the real world to be safe and useful in lessening the spread and impact of COVID-19. As Fox News reports:
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.
Hydroxychloroquine can save lives -- lots of lives. The question then is how many lives have been lost and will be lost due the words and actions of Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.