Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Covid-19 Treatment Protocols FAR From Established Or "Agreed Upon"


wattsupwiththat |  I reviewed the scientific literature on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), azithromycin (AZ), and their use for COVID-19. My conclusions:
  • HCQ-based treatments are effective in treating COVID-19, unless started too late.
  • Studies, cited in opposition, have been misinterpreted, invalid, or worse.
  • HCQ and AZ are some of the most tested and safest prescription drugs.
  • Severe COVID-19 frequently causes cardiac effects, including heart arrhythmia. QTc prolonging drugs might amplify this tendency. Millions of people regularly take drugs having strong QTc prolongation effect, and neither FDA nor CDC bother to warn them. HCQ+AZ combination, probably has a mild QTc prolongation effect. Concerns over its negative effects, however minor, can be addressed by respecting contra-indications.
  • Effectiveness of HCQ-based treatment for COVID-19 is hampered by conditions that are presented as precautions, delaying the onset of treatment. For examples, some states require that COVID-19 patients be treated with HCQ exclusively in hospital settings.
  • The COVID-19 Treatment Panel of NIH evaded disclosure of the massive financial links of its members to Gilead Sciences, the manufacturer of a competing drug remdesivir. Among those who failed to disclose such links are 2 out of 3 of its co-chairs.
  • Despite all the attempts by certain authorities to prevent COVID-19 treatment with HCQ and HCQ+AZ, both components are approved by FDA, and doctors can prescribe them for COVID-19.
Intro
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was accepted as a COVID-19 treatment by the medical community in the US and worldwide by early April. 67% of the US physicians said they would prescribe HCQ or chloroquine CQ for COVID-19 to a family member (Town Hall, 2020-04-08). An international poll of doctors rated HCQ the most effective coronavirus treatment (NY Post, 2020-04-02). On April 6, Peter Navarro told CNN that “Virtually Every COVID-19 Patient In New York Is Given Hydroxychloroquine.” This might explain decrease in COVID-19 deaths in the New York state after April 15. The time lag is because COVID-19 deaths happen on average 14 days after showing symptoms.

But on April 21, several perfectly coordinated events took place, attacking HCQ’s use for COVID-19 patients.
  1. The COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel of the National Institute of Health issued recommendations with negative-ambivalent stance regarding the use of HCQ as a COVID-19 treatment.  This surprising stance was taken contrary to the ample evidence of the efficacy and safety of HCQ and despite absence evidence of its harm. The panel also strongly recommended against the use of hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin (AZ), the combination of choice among practitioners.
  2. On the same day, a paper (Magagnoli, 2020) was posted on a pre-print server medRxiv, insinuating that HCQ is not only ineffective, but even harmful. This not-yet peer reviewed paper, by unqualified authors with conflicts of interest, received wall-to-wall media coverage, as it if were a cancer cure. It used data from Veterans Administration hospitals, spicing its effects. The paper has shown to be somewhere between junk science and fraud.
  3. Rick Bright, a government official who was probably more responsible for the low level of preparedness to the epidemic than most others, and had been re-assigned to a lower position earlier, emerged as a “whistleblower.” He claimed he had been demoted for opposing hydroxychloroquine, the claim to be soon debunked by documents bearing his signature. The media also gave him a wall-to-wall coverage.
On April 24, the FDA struck its own blow, issuing a stern warning against use of HCQ for COVID-19 treatment.