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NYT: Trump Derangement Syndrome Getting in the Way of Scientific Progress, But That's Trump's Fault
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From the New York Times news section an article about how Trump is ruining science … by — if you read it very carefully — causing Trump haters to become deranged with fear about a medicine that has been prescribed 5 million times per year in the U.S. for decades for run of the mill ailments like rheumatoid arthritis. I’ve cut out most of the Reader Service parts about how awful Trump is and just left the parts that tell the real story about how Trump Derangement Syndrome is slowing scientific progress.

Amid Hydroxychloroquine Uproar, Real Studies of Drug Are Suffering

The political fights around a malaria drug that President Trump says he takes daily have impeded studies into whether it works to prevent coronavirus infection or treat Covid-19 early.

May 19, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s enthusiastic embrace of a malaria drug that he now says he takes daily — and the resulting uproar in the news media — appears to be interfering with legitimate scientific research into whether the medicine might work to prevent coronavirus infection or treat the disease in its early stages. …

“It’s gotten a bad reputation only because I’m promoting it,” the president added. “If anybody else were promoting it, they would say it’s the best thing ever.”

Last week, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Dr. Fauci leads, announced a 2,000-patient study to determine whether hydroxychloroquine, when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin, “can prevent hospitalization and death from Covid-19,” joining more than 50 other clinical trials involving hydroxychloroquine that are continuing in the United States.

… Other researchers around the country said the controversy was depressing enrollment in their clinical trials.

“People who had already enrolled would say, ‘Now I’m afraid, I want to disenroll,’” said Dr. Deneen Vojta, the executive vice president for research and development at UnitedHealth Group, the insurance giant, which is conducting a smaller study of hydroxychloroquine alone.

In a draft letter to the Journal of the American Medical Association, obtained by The New York Times, members of a research consortium complained that “negative media coverage” of hydroxychloroquine — in particular the studies showing it might have harmed hospitalized patients — “directly correlated” with a drop in enrollment in trials run by institutions including the University of Minnesota, the University of Washington, Columbia University in New York and Henry Ford Hospital.

Inside the White House, the president’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, who is an enthusiast for hydroxychloroquine and has worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to steer 19 million pills from the stockpile to 14 coronavirus hot zones around the country, said “hydroxy hysteria” in the news media — not Mr. Trump — was to blame.

“Has the media’s war of hysteria on hydroxychloroquine killed people?” Mr. Navarro asked in an interview. “If the scientific evidence does indeed prove that the medicine has both prophylactic and therapeutic value, the answer is yes.”

While Mr. Navarro complained that “fake news and bad reporting” had resulted in a “dramatic drop in demand for hydroxy at hospitals,” Dr. Mitchell Katz, the president and chief executive of NYC Health and Hospitals, the nation’s largest municipal health system, said hospitals and doctors became less interested in hydroxychloroquine after the F.D.A. approved another medicine, remdesivir, for treatment of Covid-19.

Hydroxychloroquine is a cheap generic while remdesivir is on patent, and even legitimately costs a lot of money to manufacture. Also, it’s possible the two medicines might have very different uses, such as one being most helpful in severe cases and the other in mild cases or even as a prophylactic.

… When Mr. Trump first began talking up hydroxychloroquine, Dr. Hernandez said, he faced questions about whether his study should be weighted toward giving the drug to more people than were receiving placebo. When he started, he said, two-thirds of more than 12,000 health care workers who have signed up for a coronavirus registry were willing to participate in his study. Now, only half are.

… Dr. Hernandez and others, including Dr. O’Neill, say that no study — even those conducted in hospitalized patients — has produced definitive results about hydroxychloroquine for the coronavirus, though several have suggested it could be harmful especially to patients with underlying heart conditions.

The medical profession has piled up a vast amount of data over the last 55 years on what the side effects of this massively widely prescribed drug can be and who should and should not take it. It’s irresponsible media scaremongering to say that hydroxychloroquine is killing people with specific heart conditions because doctors know exactly which heart conditions to avoid from decades of prescribing it to millions of malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis patients.

… A small study in Brazil was halted after patients taking a high dose of chloroquine — a predecessor to hydroxychloroquine that researchers consider less safe — developed irregular heart rates that increased their risk of a potentially fatal heart arrhythmia.

Dr. Christine Johnston, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington who is hoping to enroll 630 people in a trial examining the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in those recently infected, said many of her patients conflated the Brazil study with her drug. She, too, has seen a dip in enrollment.

“People put these things together in their minds but they are actually very different,” she said.

Hydroxychloroquine was developed in the 1960s in part to get around some of the nasty side effects of chloroquine.

In contrast to the MSM scare stories, here is the beginning of the Wikipedia page on the medicine:

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), sold under the brand name Plaquenil among others, is a medication used to prevent and treat malaria in areas where malaria remains sensitive to chloroquine.[2] Other uses include treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and porphyria cutanea tarda.[2] It is taken by mouth.[2] It is also being studied as a treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), although evidence for its efficacy is lacking.[3][4] A further clinical trial is now under way Hydroxychloroquine and Zinc With Either Azithromycin or Doxycycline for Treatment of COVID-19 in Outpatient Setting.[5]

Common side effects include vomiting, headache, changes in vision, and muscle weakness.[2] Severe side effects may include allergic reactions, vision problems, and heart problems.[2][6] Although all risk cannot be excluded, it remains a treatment for rheumatic disease during pregnancy.[7] Hydroxychloroquine is in the antimalarial and 4-aminoquinoline families of medication.[2]

Hydroxychloroquine was approved for medical use in the United States in 1955.[2] It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system.[8] In 2017, it was the 128th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than five million prescriptions.[9][10]

That doesn’t mean it’s going to work for this novel disease. The odds are much against any single drug already approved for safety happening to also be effective against this new problem But if you were rank ordering existing drugs in terms of likelihood of perhaps having some good effect, the word of mouth out of Wuhan and some other places would put hydroxychloroquine toward the top of the list of drugs to check first.

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  1. Anonymous[739] • Disclaimer says:

    • Replies: @newrouter
    , @Obamahotep
  2. BenKenobi says:

    Trump should just endorse breathing at this point and do us all a lot of good.

  3. • Replies: @Hoyt Thorpe
  4. anon[394] • Disclaimer says:

    Not mentioning zinc and azithromycin is a troll of their own article Steve.

    The treatment was hydroxycholoriquine plus zinc and azithromycin. Without the other two the hydroxychloroquine might not be anywhere near as effective.

    Its hard to believe this is not on purpose. It gives already-dishonest medical entities a green light to do the “studies” with hydroxychloroquine alone, where it will probably fail without the other two indications that Dr. Didier Raoult discovered worked so well -together-.

    Big pharma has a history of rigged studies against natural remedies against medical conditions they wish to pump a new pharmacuetial to treat. One notable one was against thebengign prostatehyperplasia remedy saw palmetto, to give men a break from urinary urgency. The prostate gland enlarges and guys have to get up at night to urinate, because they can’t fully empty their bladder before going to bed or whatever. Some pharma or another got them to study it by giving it to men who were well advanced into the condition, way beyond what saw palmetto might help when symptoms first appear. Some of they guys even had had cancers, where even chemical castration might not have helped (the prostate’s initial growth is an androgen-hormone-driven phenomena, but after a malignancy, all sorts of chemicals in the body might fuel growth, etc.). In other words the study was rigged to fail, because thats the results some pharma was paying for (the researches knew the results that were wanted, and wish to have more studies “funded” in the future of course). Next thing are all the articles about how saw plametto doesn’t help a bit for early benign prostate hyperplasia: all BS of course, printed in respectable places.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Thanks: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @trelane
    , @vhrm
  5. Eded says:

    Are journalists dumb? This is serious question. Steve, what is your assessment of the average journalist from your personal interactions? My suspicion is that journalism just doesn’t attract the same talent it once did because of terrible entry level pay and poor job prospects. The result is the journalists under 40 are really bad. Journalism certainly doesn’t attract people with STEM backgrounds that can provide quality coverage on science related topics like covid. Those people have lucrative career options. Jon Kay being a notable exception. Any thoughts?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  6. Lagertha says:

    Jesus! One of my bfs who has Lupus was frightened that she could not get her prescription filled (March) because American elites and doctors (mutually exclusive) were hoarding it big time – she was given a one month supply, after whining….my God, this woman has also had cancer 2x!.

    India produces HQCN, as does Pakistan. In Mexico, a Hydroxy plant was blown up 2 weeks ago! hmmmm? who blew that shit up?

    Hydroxy (patented in 1955) costs 50 cents a pill. Gilead (Remdisivir: $1000/pill) has shareholders of many of the same unsavory millionaires: Gates, Soros, SV moguls, all the most sinister people you can think of! SO, Gilead’s Ivy Leaguers are at war with Modi’s middle class Indians and their Hydroxy!

    I would want Hydroxy (why do I think about Oreo cookie competitor!) to continue to be produced in Mexico, India and Pakistan. I believe these countries do have the world’s health in their best interests. Not all manufacturing must come back to the USA. In fact, some manufacturing in China should be brought/continue in, to Central America and South Asia. And, no, I am not high on drugs, tonight, ;D

    • LOL: YetAnotherAnon
  7. Anon[312] • Disclaimer says:


    It just occurred to me that there is a mirror image of the left-wing “masks are bad, no good” fiasco: Until recently right-wing websites for survivialists and anti-government types were saying, and still say in many cases, “because of government facial recognition databases, masks are good,” (along with other countermeasures that are more expensive and conspicuous). But now masks are a government intrusion that apparently is worse than facial recognition databases. (Admittedly, there are also pockets of the left opposed to facial recognition, so this isn’t exclusively a right-wing thing.)

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  8. newrouter says:

    The news is fake the leaks are real.

  9. Reposting with Mr. Sailer’s implicit nod.

    Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is moving on to phase II clinical trials on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin in treating Covid-19. The trial is one of several listed by the NIH-NIAID.

    Evaluating the Efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin to Prevent Hospitalization or Death in Persons With COVID-19

    This Phase IIB study will evaluate the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and azithromycin (Azithro) to prevent hospitalization or death in symptomatic adult outpatients with COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection.

    Participants will be randomized 1:1 to receive active/placebo study treatment as follows: HCQ/Placebo 400 mg orally twice a day on Day 0 followed by 200 mg orally twice a day for 6 days, and Azithro/Placebo 500 mg once on Day 0, followed by 250 mg daily for 4 days.

    Stratification will be by “high” versus “low” risk of progression to severe COVID-19, where “high risk” is defined as a person age ≥60 years or having at least one of several specified comorbidities.

    Participants will receive study treatment for 7 days and will be followed for an additional 23 weeks. Assessments on a subset of 200 participants will include blood collection, self-collected nasal swabs, and nasopharyngeal swabs.

    PS:Here’s a list of all the Covid-19 clinical trials listed at

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  10. trelane says:

    Lupus erythematosus. How many patients with this condition also suffer from covid19? Not very many.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  11. HA says:

    OT: Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov hospitalized with “lung damage and a suspected Covid-19 infection”

    Chechen Leader…Ramzan Kadyrov [age 43] has been hospitalized in Moscow with a suspected coronavirus…Chechen doctors recommended that Kadyrov seek treatment there after his “condition began deteriorating rapidly,” Baza said…Kadyrov has been diagnosed with lung damage and a suspected Covid-19 infection…

    While he initially dismissed the coronavirus, Kadyrov has since imposed one of Russia’s harshest coronavirus lockdowns, sealing off the region’s internal borders, enacting a curfew and promising severe punishments for violating quarantine.

    If confirmed, his infection would make him one of Russia’s highest-profile figures to contract the virus, following Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Russia’s culture, construction and education ministers.

    Given his age, I would guess he’ll be fine, though even a hospital stay seems like an unlucky break. Maybe he caught it from his pet tiger? And how different — from a coronavirus perspective — are Chechnya and Belarus (i.e., corona-truther central)?

  12. @Eded

    Perhaps the cost of living in New York has gotten so high that heterosexual males who want to earn enough for a wife and kids feel like they need to go into finance, leaving media kind of a ghetto for young ladies with wealthy dads?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  13. @trelane

    It would be nice to have a count from a big database like Kaiser Permanente’s.

  14. Anonymous[344] • Disclaimer says:

    Here in Canada, about a month ago someone I’d never heard of began appearing everywhere in the prestige media talking about the side effects of hydroxychloroquine: one Eden Robinson. What were her qualifications? MD, Phd?

    Actually, she’s a novelist(and member of both the Haisla and Heiltsuk First nations, which may actually be the more important credential as far as Canadian editors are concerned).

    In April, Canada’s version of the NYT published and op-ed piece from Robinson(link here) outlining the side-effects she experienced while taking it for a rheumatic condition, which included:

    But in his endorsement for hydroxychloroquine, Donald Trump has asked, hypothetically: “What do you have to lose?”

    Here’s an answer for the president: Your vision. You could lose your vision.

    To its credit, five days later the paper published the following response, though I doubt many read it:

    Re What Do You Have To Lose By Taking Hydroxychloroquine? Too Much (April 13): Hydroxychloroquine is a very effective drug for many patients with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Since the 1970s, I’ve had the opportunity to examine thousands of patients who have taken it, through my referrals from Ontario rheumatologists.

    In my experience, floaters, haloes, eye pain and retinal detachment are not caused by hydroxychloroquine. I am unaware of any patient who has developed eye damage in less than two years of use, so long as they are taking their rheumatologist’s recommended dose.

    The real concern is the hoarding of hydroxychloroquine, which may result in inadequate supply of the drug for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

    Michael Easterbrook MD, FRCS(C), FACS, professor of ophthalmology, University of Toronto

    But is it traditional knowledge?

    • LOL: Unladen Swallow
  15. Warner says:

    The “Look What You Made Me Do!” unbeatable logic.

    • Agree: R.G. Camara
  16. If you are interested in the side effects of hydroxychloroquine then Dr. Oz’s interview with Dr. Daniel Wallace, a rheumatologist at Cedars-Sinai, is a must see. Please don’t think that just because Dr. Oz is involved that this is somehow a lightweight interview. In fact, Dr. Wallace is an expert in his field and he decisively settles the controversy over the safety of hydroxychloroquine. Spoiler, it is safe for the heart, unless you take doses that exceed the recommended dosage (as in the recent Brazilian Coronavirus study); it is safe for the eyes unless you take it for more than 5 years.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  17. “That doesn’t mean it’s going to work for this novel disease. The odds are much against any single drug already approved for safety happening to also be effective against this new problem But if you were rank ordering existing drugs in terms of likelihood of perhaps having some good effect, the word of mouth out of Wuhan and some other places would put hydroxychloroquine toward the top of the list of drugs to check first.”

    Was stated before, and granting that it is a single case, former NFL QB Terry Hanratty had COVID-19 in March and April. He publicly stated that he relied upon hydroxychloroquine as part of his recovery. As of late April, early May, he is now fully recovered. He is also in his early 70’s. Not saying that he didn’t take other medication, but he publicly gave credit to hydroxychloroquine.

    Bottom line: In the case of Hanratty, hydroxchloroquine didn’t hurt him and, according to him, assisted in his full recovery.

    Be a devil of a time if the MSM as well as some in the medical community were to find out that over time, President Trump’s instincts regarding hydroxchloroquine as an effective aid vs COVID-19 would turn out to be for the most part, largely correct and accurate. In other words, though logic and reason would tend to suggest that there is no direct link to total recovery from COVID-19 and hydroxcholoquine, there must be a reason why the President of the United States would be taking it (supposedly he isn’t suffering from malaria nor rheumatoid arthritis).

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  18. vhrm says:

    Not mentioning zinc and azithromycin is a troll of their own article Steve.

    Some of the studies and article mentions are with azithromycin (aka z-pak) and some not (1), but RARELY do i see the zinc mentioned. If you’re going to run a study, how hard is it to include that?

    Yes, testing without it is ok too as one arm perhaps, but if you’re testing a cocktail… test the cocktail!

    OTOH, in the article announcing Trump’s confession he mentions that _he_ takes the zinc.

    1) personally i would not take an antibiotic as a preventative unless i was REALLY high risk on ground of both creating resistance and upsetting my “microbiome”

    • Replies: @danand
  19. epebble says:

    Assuming politics is throwing a wrench/spanner into testing HCQ here in U.S., shouldn’t it be easier to test it outside of U.S.? After all, two thirds of the cases are outside U.S. and the drug is universally available at 50 cents a pill. A 2000 person study can be done anywhere in Europe or Asia at a fraction of the cost of doing a new drug like remdesivir (or any one of the dozens of vaccine candidates that have to be tested on a large populace).

  20. JimDandy says:

    “The odds are much against any single drug already approved for safety happening to also be effective against this new problem”

    Yeah, but the real arguments for this drug are specifically with with zinc, etc.

  21. anon[710] • Disclaimer says:

    earlier this year i was going to ask my doctor about chloroquine because some studies of cells on plates showed that it has anti-myeloma properties. at the time, i figured that, while the benefit is probably small, the risk is ALSO small; if you stack enough small effects together, though, you can get somewhere.

    that’s off the table for now. but hey, at least i got my monthly biologic infusions that are beaucoup buxx per dose!

  22. @EddieSpaghetti2

    “Has the media’s war of hysteria on hydroxychloroquine killed people?” Mr. Navarro asked in an interview. “If the scientific evidence does indeed prove that the medicine has both prophylactic and therapeutic value, the answer is yes.”

    The New York Times lied, and people died.

    Will people remember that the NYT spread disinformation to suppress the one treatment that could have saved lives early on? Will people remember that Big Tech was systematically censoring and removing videos of factual information supporting it?

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    , @Travis
  23. J.Ross says:

    >that doesn’t mean it’s going to work

    It has already worked for a huge number of people, and Dr Oz (of TV’s “Oprah” fame) is famously actively looking for a case of a person already on it for other reasons who came down with Xi Jinping Cough, and not finding one (this is an absence of evidence rather than evidence of absence, but it’s good enough for emergency circumstances, and much better tham a hysterical misreading of FDA guidelines. If the CNN standard were applied seriously, many other unrelated drugs now on the market would have to be pulled — everything “fast-tracked” plus everything not better than placebo, which is plenty of drugs according to leaked documents. The doctors of several nations officially, and some of our own doctors unofficially, take it prophylatically, and prescribe it. The Trump-maddened absolutely have blood on their hands — the extreme language is justified here — in keeping this drug from patients who could benefit from it.

  24. Hydroxychloroquine was shown to be effective against SARS almost 20 years ago. Researchers were using HCQ and chloroquine against viruses for decades because it is a proven antiviral drug. This is the reason Chinese doctors used it against this Coronavirus. Multiple studies had already been done in the previous decades which demonstrated HCQ worked against Corona viruses. The Wahu doctors did not discover its antiviral properties , this was known for decades.

    Yet when news if its success against COVID19 emerged back in February , everyone seemed surprised that an antiviral drug was could be used against a virus. Even if the Chinese doctors had never used HCQ , American doctors would have been using it against this Coronavirus based on its effectiveness against SARS and HIV. The NIH has published hundreds of articles on the antiviral properties of hydroxychloroquine over the last 15 years alone.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  25. @Anon

    NO, it’s not a reversal by the Libertarian right. There’s a difference between saying that the right to wear masks is good (to defeat FR), than saying they should be required.

    i.e., if laws that prohibit mask wearing (of any kind of masks) were rescinded due to the Kung Flu Panic-Fest and then stayed in place, these folks, myself included, would be happy about it. That’d most certainly not be the case if laws REQUIRING mask wearing were introduced.

    Actually, anyone could go Moslem lickety-split in this age of PC and never get questioned about his or her facial coverings or wearing of dish-towels on and about the head, Kung Flu or no Kung Flu.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  26. @Steve Sailer

    Nah, the answer to Eded is simple. YES, journalists are dumb.

  27. Rename it oreochloroquine and sales should pick up.

  28. Trump needs to start preaching the exact opposite of what he really wants.

  29. Karl Rove for Steve Bannon is not a good swap. Looks as if Trump has been dragged into the very Swamp he was going to drain.

  30. @Hypnotoad666

    And don’t forget, the NYT doesn’t consider the founding of the country to be legitimate. Therefore they don’t really have 1st Amendment protection…..
    Let the trials for manslaughter begin!

  31. @Hernan Pizzaro del Blanco

    Hern, what part of “We’re dealing with reporters here” don’t you understand?

  32. danand says:

    “RARELY do i see the zinc mentioned. If you’re going to run a study, how hard is it to include that?“

    Vhrm, in the few articles I have read concerning the subject, zinc tends to stand out as the “active ingredient” in the “Trump” cocktail. Here’s a little info from Suzanne Adams.

    “21st May, 2020
    Suzanne Adams
    American Society of Clinical Pathologists

    Zinc is an antiviral, and once inside the cell it is thought to neutralize the virus. Chloroquine softens the cell membrane and acts as a zinc ionophore, binding to zinc ions and carrying them into the cell where it then stops viral replication via RNA polymerase. Below are a few articles that may give more understanding to this. The last report is regarding HIV and how zinc added to therapy improved outcomes greatly with suppression of the opportunistic organism, pneumocystis carinii, particularly noted.

    There are also some excellent molecular biology videos regarding zinc and Covid-19 at #34 is a really good one:

    Chloroquine Is a Zinc Ionophore:

    Extreme genomic CpG deficiency in SARS-CoV-2 and evasion of host antiviral defense:

    Zn2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitroand Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture:

    Virucidal Activities of Zinc-Finger Antiviral Proteins and Zinc-Binding Domains for Virus Entry, DNA/RNA Replication and Spread:

    Unrevealing Sequence and Structural Features of Novel Coronavirus Using in silico Approaches:The Main Protease as Molecular Target:

    Therapeutic Application of Zinc in Human Immunodeficiency Virus against Opportunistic Infections:

    • Thanks: The Wild Geese Howard
    • Replies: @vhrm
  33. J.Ross says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Anecdotal and rumor but hard to believe it isn’t true: per Michigan radio host John McCollough, robberies taking advantage of the mandatory masking season are up.

  34. I’m hoping a regime of tonic water and sucking on some galvanized nails will do the trick.

    • Agree: Coemgen
    • Replies: @Coemgen
  35. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Be a devil of a time if the MSM as well as some in the medical community were to find out that over time, President Trump’s instincts regarding hydroxchloroquine as an effective aid vs COVID-19 would turn out to be for the most part, largely correct and accurate.

    And for that reason I suspect it will never Officially be found to be safe and effective in the US and much of the West. Just submitting for publication a study claiming that is likely to be a career ending move.

  36. The fact we do not already have data on HCQ+zinc vs placebo in mild disease with progression to ICU as the endpoint,and HCQ+zinc vs placebo for prophylaxis in high risk populations is so unbelievable I am now willing to believe anything.

  37. countenance says: • Website

    Hydroxychloroquine is a cheap generic while remdesivir is on patent, and even legitimately costs a lot of money to manufacture. Also, it’s possible the two medicines might have very different uses, such as one being most helpful in severe cases and the other in mild cases or even as a prophylactic.


    The root of the noise machine against Hydroxychloroquine. It’s generic, off-patent. American pharmas are able to buy politicians and, through advertising accounts for prescription drugs on TV, influence the news gathering and reporting outfits under those same media conglomerate roofs. The pharma industry would much prefer a widespread drug treatment that is on-patent, which is why we’re hearing a lot about Remdesivir.

  38. Redman says:

    Hold the phone Steve. CNN “breaking news report” this morning delivered with the urgency of a nuclear bomb launch.

    “Hydroxychloroquine shown to cause death!!”

    Not many details given by the talking heads, but it sounds like a compilation of case reports from a bunch of hospitals around the world. Definitely not a controlled study, and no mention of zinc.

    Seems like the word went out to ratchet up the Orange Man Bad routine. They even showed clips of Trump in early April touting it to highlight how wonderful this moment is for everyone. To wit, sure a hopeful treatment for a once in a lifetime virus has been proven harmful and actually deadly But evil Trump was and is still wrong! Praise Jesus.

    Any news on this new meta study?

  39. Coemgen says:

    Hm, what would be a good recipe for a “Galvanized Nail Cocktail?” (cf

    Tonic water (of course)
    Gin (probably)
    Something with zinc that will not poison the customer

    • Replies: @Coemgen
  40. Coemgen says:

    Maybe EverClear would be better than Gin. Hand-sanitizer is pretty much EverClear with some gel added.

  41. ic1000 says:

    Journalist Mary Beth Pfeiffer broke the story of Didier Raoult’s first preprint on promising HCQ findings in Marseilles, AFAIK. Here is her feed on Twitter, her tweets are probably the best compilation of clinical reports of HCQ use to treat Covid-19. She remains convinced of its efficacy when combined with zinc and azithromycin.

  42. Bernard says:

    The drug cocktail has some moderately significant effectiveness in treating the virus. Though not a silver bullet, if used prior to very serious symptoms, it will help many people. The media in this country are an absolute disgrace.

  43. ic1000 says:

    The early deployment of HCQ-based strategies in New York turned out to be another squandered opportunity.

    Following Trump’s promotion of the idea, on March 23rd, Gov. Cuomo announced that

    [New York’s Department of Health would] move forward with a combination drug therapy of hydroxychloroquine and zithromax to treat extremely ill COVID-19 patients. On [3/23], the governor said that the state has purchased “70,000 doses of Hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 doses of Zithromax and 750,000 doses of Chloroquine,” in anticipation of drug trials that will begin on [3/25].

    Here is a long (paywalled) WaPo article from 3/26, explaining that the state and city planning was focused on something something, and “ground-level hospital administrators are scrambling to set up the reporting programs so outcome data from patients treated with the drugs can be reported back to the state and federal authorities.” Also HCQ dangerous and Orange Man Bad.

    Two months later, what usable data has emerged from this “massive” effort? All I see is a welter of anecdotal reports. “It works.” “It doesn’t work.”

    For reference, assume a perfectly-designed random controlled trial to ask “Does early intervention with the HCQ/az/Zn combination cut the IFR in half, when added to the standard of care?” How big should such a trial be?

    I used the online Sample Size Calculator at to ballpark some answers. Input equal-sized experimental and control groups, the standard Type I error rate of 5% (P<0.05), and 80% power to detect a real difference.

    Assume the SoC's IFR is 5% for the high-risk sub-population that is to be studied. Then 900 people would need to be enrolled for each group, for an 80% chance of detecting that 50% decline in mortality.

    To look at the entire population, (IFR assumed to be 0.5%): 9,400 people would need to be enrolled for each group. (Of course matching experimental and control groups would be challenging, in practice.)

    The point is that it would have taken competent and motivated leadership to have designed and executed studies like this. Something that's in shorter supply than chloroquine tablets.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  44. epebble says:

    Large scale data analysis:

    Findings seem to indicate no significant benefit.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  45. Travis says:

    The elites who read the NY times know full well that the media, Google , YouTube , and Facebook are intentionally deceiving the pubic and censoring useful information…etc…..this is the whole purpose of our media industrial complex today, it works to keep them in power and keeps the deplorables weak, sick and going to an early grave. I almost don’t blame them. If I had this power it would be tempting to use it against my enemies. But they may have gone too far by blacklisting doctors and spreading disinformation which result in thousands of deaths this year.

    for example, Cuomo and his wife were taking Quinine to fight COVID19 , while simultaneously using the media to attack Trump for promoting it. Sen. Amy Klobuchar mocked President Trump for taking HCQ , the same drug her husband took to fight Coronavirus. But the media and our political leaders will never be held accountable, because they control the media.

    The elites and media big shots all know that HCQ will help fight this viral infection. They suppress this knowledge for several reasons. One reason is to reduce shortages and the second reason is to keep the panic and lockdowns going , in the hope this will help defeat Trump in November. I would wager that Most of our elderly Senators are already taking HCQ. Anyone over the age of 60 would be taking this if they could obtain it. It is safer than Tylenol , can be taken in smaller doses as a prophylactic and is cheap. HCQ lowers cholesterol and blood sugar and makes blood less sticky, which is good for reducing blood clots and heart attack risk by almost 20%.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  46. @Dave Pinsen

    Yes, good tweet, Dave. It’s your pal 2CB. Twitter banned me for criticizing the hysteria about the use of quinolines as antivirals (well-known for a long time). There are many factors involved in their effectiveness, chief of which are patient acidity and bioavailability. Respirators acidify the lungs, rendering hydroxy almost completely useless.

  47. Yet another hysterical anti-HCQ hatchet job just led the 1 pm national radio news — “increases risk of death!!” But now Cuomo apparently is fine with legal weed, can’t imagine any health problems that might raise.

  48. I’ve started on Chris Caldwell’s latest book–which Steve’s already discussed.

    The media/establishment hydroxchloroquine nonsense, and the underlying TDS, just stems from the sheer affront it was to these folks to have deplorables electing Trump. Not just resisting their glorious progressive rule, going slow, quibbling and caviling, but basically saying “no, you guys are full of shit”.

    Caldwell’s final paragraphs in the first chapter really hone in on the issue–which although Caldwell doesn’t really use the term, is the conflict of the minoritarian elite-diktat with republicanism and traditional Anglo-American liberties.

    In retrospect, the changes begun in the 1960s, with civil rights at their core, were not just a major new element in the Constitution. They were a rival constitution, with which the pre-1964 one would frequently prove incompatible — and the incompatibility would worsen as the civil-rights regime was built out.

    Our present political impasse is the legacy of that clash of systems. Much of what we today call polarization” or “incivility” is something more grave. It is the disagreement over which of the two constitutions shall prevail: the pre-1964 constitution, with all the traditional forms of jurisprudential legitimacy and centuries of American culture behind it; or the de facto constitution of 1964, which lacks this traditional kind of legitimacy but commands the near-unanimous endorsement of judicial elites and civic educators, and the passionate allegiance of those who received it as a liberation.

    As i’ve said here many times: Separate nations.

    There is no American nation anymore. Minoritarianism is not compatible with republicanism. It’s not actually compatible with having an actual nation.

    Our visions are just fully and completely incompatible and it’s time to separate … and move on!

  49. Why doesn’t anybody mention corticosteroids? Steroids are the logical treatment for an immune reaction, and the general consensus is the deadly part of the virus is the immune response. Not a word. Just hydrowhateverquinine all de liblong day-oh day-oh.

    As usual, the really effective treatment is repressed. Probably because it’s generic and cheap and, get this, non-exotic, and therefore non-sexy.

  50. Anonymous[334] • Disclaimer says:

    data analysis

    Now that is one way to put it. You should write for the NYT!

    • Replies: @epebble
  51. vhrm says:


    And here is today’s Lancet article about a meta-analysis of HCQ effectiveness in Covid-19 patients that you’ve probably seen mentioned everywhere because it shows higher mortality in hcq groups.

    Note that “zinc” doesn’t appear in the article.

    My point is that the vast majority (though not all) of the articles and studies that I’ve read about of using HCQ in Covid-19 omit the zinc and i find that curious.

    • Replies: @epebble
  52. Anonymous[249] • Disclaimer says:

    Tony Fauxi’s National Institute of Artificial and Invented Diseases (NIAID) is …


  53. Anonymous[249] • Disclaimer says:

    [New York’s Department of Health would] move forward with a combination drug therapy of hydroxychloroquine and zithromax to treat extremely ill COVID-19 patients

    The HCQ cocktail must be administered as EARLY AS POSSIBLE and even as a prophylactic to be effective by suppressing the build-up of viral load which in turn engenders serious secondary effects.

    Cuomo’s instructions were intentionally crafted to ensure bad results for HCQ, so as to extend the governor’s delicious emergency powers for a few more months (at least until Novemter). At the same time, a failed HCQ study helps clear the way for lucrative sales of Gilad’s remdesivir ($1,000 a pill instead of $0.50 a pill for HCQ. BTW $0.50 for one pill sounds way too high for a generic drug manufactured in India using 1950s technology.)

    • Agree: Manfred Arcane
  54. epebble says:

    The paper is a collation of 28 clinical reports of usage. By doing that, they get a very large population and even out any systemic biases and errors. That is why it is data analysis rather than a trial.

  55. The Lancet study involved 96,000 coronavirus patients, nearly 15,000 of whom were given hydroxychloroquine – or a related form chloroquine – either alone or with an antibiotic.

    The study found that the patients were more likely to die in hospital and develop heart rhythm complications than other Covid patients in a comparison group.

    The death rates of the treated groups were: hydroxychloroquine 18%; chloroquine 16.4%; control group 9%. Those treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in combination with antibiotics had an even higher death rate.

    The researchers warned that hydroxychloroquine should not be used outside of clinical trials.

    Hold your horses. Haven’t they just reported that their own clinical trial hastened the deaths of hundreds of patients? Did the patients sign up for this?

  56. @Travis

    HCQ lowers cholesterol and blood sugar and makes blood less sticky, which is good for reducing blood clots and heart attack risk by almost 20%.

    That is a very interesting study, published in 2019 before HCQ became politicized. One of the cool things about HCQ is that so many people have been taking it daily for decades that there is a ready-made, long-term dataset that can be studies retrospectively. The more you learn about it, the more it seems that everyone should be taking it all the time.

    HCQ use was categorized by the most recent date covered by a prescription and divided into those currently using the medication (within last month), those who recently stopped using it (used within 30 to 365 days), those who stopped using HCQ more than a year previously, and those who had never taken it.

    After controlling for such other factors as kidney disease and the use of glucocorticoids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, and heart disease medication, lupus and RA patients currently using HCQ were 17 percent less likely to have a heart, stroke, or blood clot.

    In contrast, those who had discontinued HCQ within the last year were 8 percent more likely to have one of the cardiovascular events.

    When people stopped using HCQ more than a year ago, the risk of cardiovascular events was no different than those who had never been prescribed HCQ.

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