Friday, Oct 15, 2021

The Amazing Comeback of Hydroxychloroquine

 

HCQ Found To Dramatically Increase Survival Rates of Covid Patients

Remember how HCQ was maligned as a deadly drug, even though its 80-year safety record in the treatment of malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis was well-documented?

Strangely enough, it was said to be dangerous only when used for the treatment for corona virus, or for its prevention.

“Let me be very clear—this drug can kill you!” exhorted Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto in March 2020, addressing claims that hydroxychloroquine could help patients survive Covid-19.  Cavuto was quoting the mainstream medical establishment.

As the pandemic raged and pleas for HCQ mounted, authoritative pronouncements vilifying HCQ (but only when used for corona virus!) became the norm. As irrational as that dogma was, anyone who disputed it was regarded as hopelessly naïve, a denier of “science.”

But like so many other Covid-related articles of faith that have lately been overturned, the repudiation of HCQ has now been confirmed as unfounded—a twisted ploy that had tragic consequences.

A new study, published by MedRxIV and cited by cited by the Washington Examiner, Yahoo.com and other outlets, shows that this much-maligned drug increased the survival rate of severely ill Covid-19 patients to an extraordinary degree—more than 200 per cent.

Conducted by Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey on 255 intubated patients early in the pandemic, the study found that raising hydroxychloroquine dosages to correspond to the patient’s body weight had lifesaving benefits.

“We found that when the cumulative doses of two drugs, HCQ and AZM (azythromycin), were above a certain level, patients had a survival rate 2.9 times better than the other patients,” the study noted. When zinc was added, survival rates rose even higher.

Not surprisingly, the news (which is not really news) was greeted with silence by the liberal media who for over a year have trashed HCQ, dismissing its advocates as quacks and liars.

Yet the studies vindicated leading doctors such as Dr. Zev Zelenko of NY, Dr. Brian Tyson and Dr. George Fareed of CA., Dr. Pierre Kory of NY, Dr. Stephen Smith of N.J., Dr. Peter McCullough of TX, and other courageous voices who publicly endorsed HCQ (with azythromycin and zinc) as lifesaving treatments for high-risk Covid patients since the early days of the pandemic.

They did so in the face of harsh public ridicule, threats of having their licenses revoked, being dismissed from their jobs, and other means of retaliation.

Dating back to last spring, then-president Trump’s championship of HCQ triggered ferocious pushback from medical “experts,” including White House corona virus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, and media personalities who mocked Trump’s endorsement of the drug.

Last summer, Twitter restricted the account of Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., after he posted a video of doctors praising the effectiveness of HCQ. The social media platform accused him of “spreading misleading and potentially harmful misinformation” related to Covid-19.

In March of this year, the World Health Organization warned against using the drug to prevent coronavirus, citing data that it was ineffective and urging caution due to its dire side effects.

Dr. Fauci: ‘Science and Truth Are Being Attacked!’

In the wake of the new studies from New Jersey proving the drug’s efficacy, Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, called out Fauci for refusing to release the national stockpiles of HCQ to save American lives.

“How many people died because Dr. Fauci said “trust the science” and hydroxychloroquine isn’t effective?” Greene tweeted, calling for Fauci’s firing. “New study shows: Hydroxychloroquine + Azithromycin therapy at a higher dose improved survival by nearly 200% in ventilated Covid patients. Trump was right.”

Smarting from humiliating disclosures in his leaked emails that, despite his denials to the contrary, he had supported gain-of-function experiments in the Chinese Wuhan lab that may have sparked the pandemic, Fauci erupted in a burst of wounded pride and self-importance.

“If you are trying to get at me, as a public health official and a scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you’re attacking science,” he lashed out at his critics in a MSNBC interview. “That is what’s going on. Science and the truth are being attacked!”

In view of Fauci’s massive loss of credibility in recent days, his protest that he embodies “science and truth” struck many as pathetic.

Earlier Studies Support Newest Findings
Several other studies released since last year arrived at the same conclusion as that reached by St. Barnabas Hospital, including a December study from the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, showing 84 percent fewer hospitalizations among patients treated with HCQ.

Another study, conducted by Hackensack Meridian Health, found favorable results in patients with mild symptoms who were treated with the drug.

The Hackensack study stated that from March to mid-May, 2020, physicians used HCQ to treat outpatients whose symptoms were not yet severe, with the majority recovering and only a small percentage ending up in the hospital.

“The drug also appeared to be safe, with no reports of cardiac arrhythmia” or other side effects, the report said.

“This doesn’t come as a surprise to me, but it is troubling that we had to wait almost a year to get to this point,” said New Jersey Senator Joe Pennacchio to New Jersey Insider. As early as March, Pennachhio and hundreds of doctors and medical experts had urged the federal and State governments to authorize doctors to use HCQ, to help control the spread of Covid.

“In the desperation of the early days of the pandemic, with Covid spreading like wildfire in areas of North Jersey and New York, hydroxychloroquine was the only treatment showing promise,” Pennacchio said. “HCQ got a bad rap because of politics, and its off-label use as a Covid treatment was blocked.”

In April, while the effectiveness of HCQ was playing out at Meridian’s hospitals, Pennacchio issued another plea to the Administration, with a long list of top 350 doctors from across the nation pleading for doctors to be allowed to use the drug to treat patients.

“How many thousands of lives, including those tragically lost in our veterans and nursing homes, may have been saved by the responsible use of hydroxychloroquine?” asked Pennacchio. “So many lives lost. So heartbreaking,” the senator said.

 

Social Media Continue Censorship of HCQ

Despite mounting evidence of HCQ’s benefits, and hints of a changing climate toward the drug in some circles, it has continued to be shunned by the mainstream medical establishment.

Social media continues its censorship of any favorable news about HCQ to the present day.

Google-owned YouTube suspended the account of Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., because he posted a video that contained newly released information about hydroxychloroquine based on the St. Barnabus study.

In an appearance on Fox News, Sen. Johnson said he had simply repeated medical findings cited by renowned New Jersey infectious diseases expert Dr. Stephen Smith, that HCQ would have worked well as an interim treatment for coronavirus infection while Americans were waiting for vaccines to be developed.

Johnson said that early in the pandemic, the second “pillar” of pandemic response – early treatment – was ignored by the so-called experts.

“I’m not sure why, but the fact of the matter is because we didn’t have early treatment, tens of thousands of lives were lost that didn’t need to be lost. It is a tragedy and blunder on the part of the health agencies,” he said.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham noted that the leader of one of those agencies, Dr. Anthony Fauci, had long pushed remdesivir, an exponentially more expensive medication than HCQ, which therefore reaps a much higher profit margin for the pharmaceutical industry and its investors.

Johnson was asked whether such vested interests may have had an effect on the medical establishment’s early and continued condemnation of hydroxychloroquine. The senator responded in the affirmative.

“Hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin treatments cost less than $50 per patient and remdesivir costs $3,000,” he explained, adding that he has heard reports of liver toxicity side effects from remsdesivir.

Johnson noted that if effective, easily-accessible medications for Covid had been available, it would have made the granting of emergency use authorization [EAU] for vaccines far more difficult.

Many are not aware are that vaccines have not yet received formal approval by the FDA and are still classified under emergency use authorization, while waiting for their long-term safety to be assured.  That emergency authorization would probably be suspended if other effective, already-approved drugs were available to treat the virus.

“I’ve been beating my head against the wall for a year and labeled as the ‘snake oil salesman of the Senate’,” said Johnson, referring to the sustained mockery he’s endured over his advocacy of early treatment for Covid with repurposed drugs such as HCQ and ivermectin.

The Assault on Early Treatment

A landmark presentation by five prominent physicians before a congressional hearing arranged by Sen. Johnson in Nov. 2020, detailed the need for early treatment of Covid-19 while it is still relatively innocuous and has not yet transitioned to the lungs and other organs.

The physicians called on FDA and its sister agencies to urgently investigate the latest clinical trials and “mountains of evidence” that prove that early home-treatment of Covid-19 with ivermectin and HCQ can knock out the virus.

One of the presenters, Dr. Peter McCullough, vice chief of medicine at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, told the Senate panel that early outpatient treatment should consist of “a multi-drug regimen including HCQ and ivermectin-based regimens aimed at disrupting viral replication. This would reduce the risk of escalation to “cytokine storm” and blood-clotting.

Rather than embracing early treatment, which is how most illnesses are managed, the nation’s medical establishment has ignored and even actively suppressed the evidence for early outpatient treatment of Covid-19 illness, they noted.

The doctors’ dynamic presentation, posted on You Tube, drew 8 million viewers before being abruptly deleted by the You Tube censors for “spreading misinformation.”

Other public information videos they posted discussing early treatment of Covid-19 illness were similarly censored and labeled as “misinformation” by YouTube, Facebook and Twitter without an explanation of what content was not true.

Despite the progress in many states in unshackling doctors and allowing them to treat patients as they deem proper, it is still impossible to legally obtain HCQ in the United States as a prophylaxis (which is how doctors say it works best).

In stark contrast, in some areas of Central America, officials go from door to door to distribute HCQ. In some third world countries, the drug is sold over the counter.

In many places in the United States, where almost two million doses of HCQ lay unused in federal warehouses until they spoiled in the summer heat, people have to be infected with the virus, test positive, show symptoms and in most states be hospitalized before they can be treated with HCQ.

In spite of these obstacles, thousands of frontline doctors across the nation, often using “tele-health” services, continue to prescribe HCQ to Covid patients, who sometimes have to cross state lines to find a pharmacy willing to fill the prescription.

How A Lifesaving Drug Was Repudiated  

To better understand the dynamics behind the bizarre repudiation of a very safe drug, “it’s best to follow the money,” writes a Washington Times op-ed.

To start with, the article notes, HCQ is cheap and can be taken orally. Yet Dr. Anthony Fauci and others at the National Health Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases preferred expensively-priced remdesivir, an hospital intravenous drug manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences.

A World Health Organization study of remdesivir had shown there was no statistically significant clinical benefits in using the drug on Covid-19 patients, and that it had severe side effects. Yet “Fauci and his cohorts did everything possible to promote remdesivir and downplay HCQ, possibly costing millions of lives around the globe,” the article attested.

In February 2020, NIH started enrolling patients for a remdesivir Covid-19 trial, with Dr. Fauci overseeing its progress.

On April 29, the NIH enthusiastically rolled out its results. During a televised appearance in the Oval Office, Dr. Fauci said the study had achieved its primary goal, which was to improve the time to Covid recovery, which was shortened by four days for patients on remdesivir.

Bait-and-Switch

In a striking bait and switch, Fauci failed to mention an extraordinary fact about the remdesivir study. On April 16, mid-way through the clinical trial, its “endpoints” (stated goals) had been quietly changed. Instead of evaluating remdesivir’s ability to prevent death from Covid-19 as originally stipulated, the study was redesigned to evaluate how fast a patient recovered while taking remdesivir.

This means the study no longer looked at the issue of mortality; at how many in the trial survived or died while taking the drug. It only studied those who survived, and the amount of time it took for them to recover. The finding that remdesivir shortened this timeframe was hailed as a big victory, even though in terms of lives saved, the drug proved to be of little value.

With these misleading findings, “the media tour was started, with Dr. Fauci at the lead, praising remdesivir and simultaneously bashing HCQ for its lack of a similar clinical trial. Gilead’s stock soared,” the article reported.

On May 1, 2020, the NIH’s Covid-19 Treatment Guidelines panel members granted emergency use of remdesivir, while stating that HCQ could only be used in hospitals or clinical trials.

According to the Washington Times op-ed, investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson found 11 members of that panel had financial ties to Gilead. Two were on Gilead’s advisory board, others were paid consultants or received research support and honoraria.

Nail In The Coffin

On May 22, a fraudulent paper published by the Lancet claiming to show HCQ was ineffective and dangerous put the nail in HCQ’s coffin. The lead author of the now-debunked and retracted study was Dr. Mandeep Mehra, a Harvard professor who is thought to have links to Gilead, according to the article.

Did Gilead or someone linked to this pharmaceutical giant ghostwrite the anti-HCQ study? Rumors and speculation notwithstanding, little is known about how an obviously fake study was sneaked into the prestigious Lancet, where rigorous peer-review typically screens out all but the most scientifically airtight papers.

However the fraud was carried out, the damage was done. The WHO immediately cancelled ongoing clinical trials of HCQ. Many countries, including Israel, followed WHO’s lead and banned the drug as a treatment for Covid.

On June 11, 2020, the FDA, following NIH’s cue, revoked emergency use of HCQ, with remdesivir being the only officially U.S. endorsed drug to treat Covid-19.

Down the line, monoclonal antibodies and some steroids were also approved for Covid treatment by the NIH and FDA. But in stark contrast to the publicity campaigns orchestrated by government agencies to promote the Covid vaccine, no effort even remotely similar was made to inform Americans of interim treatment options until the vaccine was  available.

In view of this failure, the scandal of the Wuhan lab-leak is compounded by an even greater travesty; the global loss of life precipitated by leaders entrusted with the public’s welfare who ensured, by their actions or inaction, that effective treatments were not made available to the masses.

“The truth [about early treatment options] has been hiding in plain sight since the beginning of the pandemic,” Sen. Johnson said in a Fox News appearance. “It’s difficult to explain the collusion, the corruption of media and social media in suppressing that.”

Johnson criticized Dr. Fauci in particular. “He ignored early treatment; he probably helped sabotage the use of some of these things,” the senator said, referring to ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

“Dr. Fauci, people in the health agencies, the media, the social media, they will never admit they were wrong,” Johnson said. “Because if they do, they’re going to have to admit that literally hundreds of thousands of people didn’t have to lose their lives but for their censorship, their arrogance and Dr. Fauci’s mismanagement.”

 

*****

The Daring HCQ Plan That Was Foiled

What the public did not know until recently was that pleas by doctors to the Trump Administration to release HCQ did not go unheeded. In early April 2020, Trump ordered the distribution of 23 million HCQ tablets from the National Stockpile to a dozen states—enough pills for 1.4 million Covid-19 patients.

In response, he was castigated by the media for bypassing the FDA’s March 28 “emergency use authorization” of the tablets that restricted the use of “dangerous” HCQ to hospitals and clinical drug trials.

Trump wanted the medicine to be available to the American people.

The White House ordered more than a third of the tablets sent to the three major drug distributors in the United States, with instructions to deliver them not only to hospitals but also retail pharmacies in U.S. cities hard hit by the virus, including NYC, Detroit, Chicago, and New Orleans,” reported the Washington Post.

The Department of Health, which oversees the stockpile, “confirmed in an email to The Post that the pills were supposed to go to retail pharmacies, but that the agency does not know where the pills ultimately ended up,” the article said.

The FDA withdrew its emergency authorization in June 2020, claiming HCQ “had led to hundreds of deaths in Covid patients.” Just two months later, “health officials told holders of the pills in a general notice they could destroy them,” the Post article stated.

Thus was a humanitarian plan to make a life-saving drug swiftly available to as many Americans as possible tragically sabotaged.

“Trump’s entire tenure in office was plagued by ‘deep state’ bureaucrats trying to stymie and push back on [his] agenda,” observed Sen. Johnson in a Fox News appearance earlier this month.  

 

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