Charts compare COVID deaths in countries that used hydroxychloroquine early and those that didn't

Monday, the Family Foundation of Virginia reported that the State health commissioner, Dr. Norman Oliver, intends to use his emergency powers to force every Virginian to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available. 

Virginia's Gov. Northam (survivor of his infamous blackface scandal) has taken no official policy position so far.  However, the Democrat-controlled Legislature has killed at least three Republican bills that would have offered a way for someone with a sincere religious objection to be exempt from any COVID-19 vaccine mandate.  The most recent casualty, H.B. 5082, "would've ensured that Virginia didn't mandate a COVID-19 vaccine if it is derived from human fetal tissue, changes the RNA or DNA of a person, or was not first tested on laboratory animals before being tested on humans."  These actions triggered a "March against Mandates" in Richmond on September 2 by Virginia Freedom Keepers.

But wait — there's more politics brewing.  Yesterday's Richmond Times-Dispatch published a letter from a former FDA medical officer.  He agrees that using convalescent blood plasma from patients who developed antibodies works, and he cited its many successes dating back to the 1918 flu pandemic.  However, he claims that the number of people tested this time was "far out of proportion to the number needed for safety analyses."   He also objects that authorities in the FDA and Donald Trump made overly optimistic claims that it could result in a 35% reduction in mortality and said this type of politics undermines the FDA's credibility. 

Meanwhile, the left's successful war against hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) rages on.  The subject was brought up repeatedly by highly respected Yale epidemiology professor Dr. Harvey Risch, this time when interviewed by Mark Levin on Fox News a couple of Sundays ago.  Dr. Risch is adamant that HCQ can significantly reduce mortality if administered early to prevent the potentially deadly inflammation reaction that is especially common in older patients and those with comorbidities.  Thousands could have been saved.  PragerU posted similar claims by several frontline doctors here.  The left's cancel culture got some of these same doctors fired. 

It has been my personal quest to find some hard proof that compares countries that have widely used HCQ early in the pandemic with those who did not.  Some key data finally emerged from a site devoted to climate change in a 23 August article by Leo Goldstein titled "Hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 Treatment, Actual Usage in the USA."  The needed comparisons were found in one of the author's references, titled Early treatment with hydroxychloroquine: a country-based analysis.

This is not an easy report to read, but it does provide some easy-to-understand visual comparisons between the countries known to have very limited use of HCQ use and those with widespread early HCQ use.  The differences are remarkable, as seen in the below Figure 4.  It shows cumulative daily deaths per million through 31 August.  The countries listed on the left are limited HCQ–users and represented by red lines.  The widespread HCQ–using countries are listed on the right and represented by green lines.

The bottom line is that total deaths to date per million for countries using HCQ averages over 80% lower than in countries with limited use.  So far so good…

The referenced analysis did not chart the moving average of daily deaths for any of these countries to help know when and how high the deaths peaked or how low they fell.  However, by modifying a chart from the Our World in Data website, it was possible to depict a seven-day moving average of COVID-19 daily deaths per million for the same countries shown in the above Figure 4 chart (minus some smaller countries to make it fit).  Note that the scales are different because the previous chart counts the cumulative total deaths per million from the beginning, and the below chart depicts the change in the average daily death rates over the same time period.  The trend lines tell the story.

Note that all countries with limited HCQ use surged initially, but most have decreased to below 1 death per million in recent months!  The U.S. and Mexico are troubling exceptions.  Also, Sweden's deaths spiked higher than the U.S.'s, but the Swedes had only a limited lockdown and post the lowest daily deaths.  Perhaps these other non-HCQ countries achieved herd immunity or started using it or other anti-inflammatory drugs later.  In comparison, virtually all the countries reporting early widespread HCQ use averaged below one death daily per million during the entire pandemic without an initial surge.  Think of the thousands of potential deaths they avoided. 

In conclusion, these charts confirm that countries with early widespread HCQ use have had significantly fewer COVID-19 deaths per million.  The problem now is to get the leftists to end their deadly war on HCQ.  The authorization of widespread use of HCQ could also lessen dependence on a potentially risky vaccine or convalescent blood plasma.  Regardless, HCQ is most effective when administered early in the progression of the disease.  Doing it early necessitates outpatient use.

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