When Donald Trump mentioned that there was some interest in the use of hydroxychlorquine in the treatment of COVID-19, many on the left, and especially the progressive media, laughed at him. In fact, as is often done these days, many people misquoted Trump, likely purposely, to further their own political agendas.
Some even claimed that Trump was encouraging people to take anti-malarial drugs. Of course, Trump never said that, and he did not encourage people to take hydroxychlorquine at all. At the time, when COVID-19 was a fairly “new” thing, he indicated that there was apparently some hope for the use of hydroxychlorquine in the treatment of COVID-19.
What Donald Trump actually said about the drug was that, “it could be a game changer.” That is what he said, and indeed, he was truthful. There was zero, nothing, tipota, about “encouraging Americans to take anti-malarial drugs,” as his words have been so often misconstrued.
Indeed, Trump was not alone. There had been many comments coming out of China that it had been used and appeared to be successful with many cases.
Now, one of the many ways that people with their own political agendas will do is to mis-characterize things. You’ll often hear that hydroxychlorquine is an “anti-malarial” drug, which indeed, was its original use.
However, it has also been further used to treat lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and some skin diseases.
In fact, it is so well known as a drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis, that the CDC describes it, “Hydroxychloroquine (also known as hydroxychloroquine sulfate) is an arthritis medicine that also can be used to prevent malaria.” (Link – PDF)
That’s really important to think about. The CDC refers to hydroxychloroquine as a drug to treat arthritis, first and foremost.
While many people are using its use in the past as an “anti-malarial” drug to provoke criticism of Donald Trump, they are actually also ignoring the fact that this drug is now seen, at least by the CDC, as mainly an arthritis medicine. Yet, when was the last time you read that in the press, or heard that part, when people are discussing Trump?
People who do this kind of thing are disgraceful, in my opinion. I certainly am no “Trump Supporter,” and take issues with many things he says and does, but by the same token, it is also wrong to misquote and mischaracterize what drugs are used for.
How many of you know that hydroxychlorquine was the 128th most prescribed drug in 2017? It’s been approved in the USA since 1955; to say we don’t know much about it is utterly ridiculous. Also, to keep calling it an “anti-malaria” drug, consider that there are only about 2,000 cases per year of malaria in the USA (usually brought into the country by travelers) – vs the 5,666,999 times the drug was prescribed in 2017.
There has actually, been strong evidence that when used with zinc and/or azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine is a useful treatment for COVID-19 (or should we call it the CCP Virus?).
Greece was very successful at managing COVID-19, considering it has a population of approximately 10.72 Million people. As of today, May 21, 2020, the official COVID-19 numbers include a total of 2,850 cases, with 166 deaths. This is remarkable! The country did go under a “lockdown” as of March 24th, and Greeks were generally pretty good at abiding by the regulations – especially for a people that often rebel against Government regulations.
The lockdown partially ended on May 4th, and fully ended a week later.
Consider that Athens is one of the most densely populated cities in Europe, with a population density of 44,140 people per square mile (17,040/square kilometer) (Source).
Is there anything else that could be part of reasons why Greece experienced such a low death rate from COVID-19? Well, let’s have a quick look at a recent paper in the Frontiers In Medicine Journal from the University Of Athens and entitled, “The Role of Hydroxychloroquine in Coronavirus Disease 2019. A Versatile Tool at the Service of Humanity.”
In the article, the authors write:
Our approach in Greece is to administer hydroxychloroquine in all hospitalized patients including those intubated in ICU, in combination with azithromycin as well as anti-viral agents depending on disease severity.
Hydroxychloroquine represents a cheap, relatively safe and potentially effective therapeutic option for COVID-19 respiratory tract infections. Its synergistic effect with azithromycin, another potent immunomodulatory agent which has shown effectiveness in Zika and Ebola viruses, requires further investigation.
Why do so many progressives seemingly take delight in misquoting Donald Trump, and actually try to use political agendas in discussions about a combination of drugs that actually might work? I realize there was a study done (pre-print available here) which indicated that a trial involving US veterans and the use of hydroxychloroquine failed to show any benefits.
However, this study (the paper has not even been peer-reviewed) has many flaws and should not be used to make the outright claim that hydroxychloroquine caused more deaths than it saved. It’s also worth noting that its been reported that one of the authors of this VA study is receiving money from a drug manufacturer that is working on a competitor drug to hydroxychloroquine.
But there is far more than that, and when I have time, I’ll go through the some of the reasons I’ve discovered why it is flawed – but you could read many of the comment on the paper itself at the link I’ve provided.
Also, ask why the media in North America don’t report much about the doctors that ARE finding success with hydroxychloroquine used in conjunction with zinc or in the case of Greece, azithromycin?
Kind of bizarre, really if what they’re trying to do is simply go for ammunition consisting of very noisy blanks to fire at Donald Trump.