Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 141: COVID-19 The HCQ+ Wars Continue

 

One of the effects of the politicization of disease is the tendency for someone to beclown themselves. When it’s more important to score ideological points than it is to do good science, you end up doing neither. The latest examples involve the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Both respected medical periodicals published studies purporting to demonstrate how wrong President Trump was to offer that Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) might be a useful therapy in the treatment of COVID-19. They didn’t just publish studies, they rushed to do so, betraying how important it was to quickly neutralize the crazed speculations of the President. The World Health Organization listened and suspended ongoing trials of HCQ. The vaunted medical journals wanted to get into the game that the news media was already playing by pushing the story of the Arizona couple who had self-administered fish tank cleaner because one of the ingredients was chloroquine. Of course, it may well have been a poisoning by the wife who, being the only one of the two to survive the dosing, was also the only one left to describe the motives for and manner of ingesting the cleaner. We may yet get to see whether “Trump made me do it” is a valid defense to a murder charge.

The story of the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) truly appears to demonstrate the truth that when you want something in the worst possible way, you usually get it. They appear to have been taken in by a totally bogus outfit, Surgisphere, that seems to be selling whatever the database equivalent of vaporware is, or maybe just milking the investors in the manner of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. If you don’t know the story already here are the basics: Surgisphere purported to provide extensive hospitalization data to three researchers who crunched the numbers embedded in that data. The numbers now crunched, squeezed, spun and rinsed purported to prove that HCQ doesn’t work and creates a great risk of heart problems, including death–in short, taking HCQ for COVID-19 is worse than not taking it at all. How science works is someone publishes their work and methodology and then someone else tries to replicate the same result. The only way the replication can occur (and the results demonstrated to constitute science) is for someone else to have access to the same data. Turns out Surgisphere had an inconvenient problem. The hospitals whose data was supposedly analyzed had never heard of them. Therefore there is no credibility to the dataset that underlies the published study. Lancet and NEJM could have avoided egg on their face by doing a little due diligence about Surgisphere and verified with the hospitals that the data came from them. But, no, when a story is too good to check…well, you know the rest. The study has now been retracted by the three authors who did the number crunching — no word from the owner of Surgisphere.

Oh, and by the way, there is another study involving a potential COVID-19 medication, Ivermectin, that also relied on a Surgisphsere dataset. That study will likely be retracted as well. Ivermectin, an anti-parasite medication, may in fact be a promising therapy for COVID-19, but the study involving Surgisphere data will not be the one demonstrating its efficacy.

Not to be deterred by the Surgisphere fiasco NEJM has put out another critical study of HCQ, this time not alleging it is hazardous to take it for COVID-19, just that it doesn’t perform better than a placebo as a postexposure prophylaxis. That is, people who had actually been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 and then took HCQ or a placebo, got sick at essentially the same rate. So were there any problems or issues with this study? Chris Martenson discusses the pros and cons of the study in the linked video between 7:40 and 35:05.

And, of course, there are a couple of other studies — one from India and one from Lebanon — that are showing good results with HCQ+. Martinson discusses those studies as well from 35:05 to 41:10. Martinson’s (current) bottom line:

The HCQ Wars will continue until there is no value in them for whatever agenda is being pursued.

[Note 1: I will be arbitrarily ending the daily COVID-19 posts on Day 150. It is clear now more than ever that this is not a public health crisis, it is a public policy crisis dressed in whatever garb best suits those that promote government control over our lives. That will be the constant battle of the remainder of my life. But it has nothing to do with the disease we labeled COVID-19.]

[Note 2: Links to all my COVID-19 posts can be found here.]

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  1. Richard Fulmer Member

    Science doesn’t matter. What matters is “owning” the other tribe.

    • #1
    • June 9, 2020, at 7:24 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. Mark Camp Member

    Dear right- and left-wingers, and your respective hustlers, who politicize drugs like hydrochloroquine, each making his own false claims and only attacking those of the other,

    A pox on both your houses.

    Cheers,

    An American Conservative

    • #2
    • June 9, 2020, at 7:31 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Bob Thompson Member

    I have two questions:

    What happens to so-called scientists or medical researchers who publish results that must be retracted because of shoddy techniques?

    What are thoughts about medical professionals using drugs off-label approvals when to all appearances (without available test results) the treatment appears to work with no adverse results when used in a certain set of conditions? This would fit many of the reported successful situations for Covid-19 patients treated in out-patient environments.

    • #3
    • June 9, 2020, at 7:53 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. Unsk Member

    Dear right- and left-wingers, and your respective hustlers, who politicize drugs like hydrochloroquine, each making his own false claims and only attacking those of the other,

    Mark, Great equating the criminally insane Leftist “studies” that allegedly show the dire consequences of HCQ which have been decimated widely with the effect of killing tens of thousands with exactly what politicized studies on the right? Be specific. What studies promoting the use of HCQ approached the rank lying of those on the Left? Talk about absurd politicization! You’re as bad as all those insane Lefties responsible for thousands of deaths. 

    • #4
    • June 9, 2020, at 8:14 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Richard Fulmer Member

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Dear right- and left-wingers, and your respective hustlers, who politicize drugs like hydrochloroquine, each making his own false claims and only attacking those of the other,

    Mark, Great equating the criminally insane Leftist “studies” that allegedly show the dire consequences of HCQ which have been decimated widely with the effect of killing tens of thousands with exactly what politicized studies on the right? Be specific. What studies promoting the use of HCQ approached the rank lying of those on the Left? Talk about absurd politicization! You’re as bad as all those insane Lefties responsible for thousands of deaths.

    What was Trump’s scientific basis for pushing HCQ?

    • #5
    • June 9, 2020, at 8:16 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I have two questions:

    What happens to so-called scientists or medical researchers who publish results that must be retracted because of shoddy techniques?

    It depends. The key is funding. If you engage in fraud you may be required to pay back the funding for the research. If just shoddy, then the consequence is reputational which affects future funding. Of course, if shoddy supports a particular agenda that a money-source wanted, the funds will be there for future results unless you are burned so badly that you are no longer useful.

    What are thoughts about medical professionals using drugs off-label approvals when to all appearances (without available test results) the treatment appears to work with no adverse results when used in a certain set of conditions? This would fit many of the reported successful situations for Covid-19 patients treated in out-patient environments.

    Happens all the time. “Off-label” doesn’t mean uncommon. It just means that it has not (yet) been tested in a sufficiently rigorous manner to obtain FDA approval for marketing the drug for that purpose.

     

    • #6
    • June 9, 2020, at 8:22 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  7. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Dear right- and left-wingers, and your respective hustlers, who politicize drugs like hydrochloroquine, each making his own false claims and only attacking those of the other,

    Mark, Great equating the criminally insane Leftist “studies” that allegedly show the dire consequences of HCQ which have been decimated widely with the effect of killing tens of thousands with exactly what politicized studies on the right? Be specific. What studies promoting the use of HCQ approached the rank lying of those on the Left? Talk about absurd politicization! You’re as bad as all those insane Lefties responsible for thousands of deaths.

    What was Trump’s scientific basis for pushing HCQ?

    There were clinical reports of success that were anecdotal. He merely said “may” or “might”. He was publicizing hope. As yet there is not definitive scientific proof for many of the therapies that are being employed against COVID-19.

    • #7
    • June 9, 2020, at 8:27 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  8. Hugh Member

    I have a questions about the YouTube channel “Peak Prosperity” and Chris Martensen: I started following the site back in March and I guess they were doing reasonable analysis but the tone was “hair on fire” bad. Things like growing your own food, the destruction of the supply chain and general doomsaying got to the point where I just couldn’t listen to it anymore since it was causing me trouble sleeping.

    My question: what do the rest of you think of the Peak Prosperity channel? 

    • #8
    • June 9, 2020, at 8:27 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Bob Thompson Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Dear right- and left-wingers, and your respective hustlers, who politicize drugs like hydrochloroquine, each making his own false claims and only attacking those of the other,

    Mark, Great equating the criminally insane Leftist “studies” that allegedly show the dire consequences of HCQ which have been decimated widely with the effect of killing tens of thousands with exactly what politicized studies on the right? Be specific. What studies promoting the use of HCQ approached the rank lying of those on the Left? Talk about absurd politicization! You’re as bad as all those insane Lefties responsible for thousands of deaths.

    What was Trump’s scientific basis for pushing HCQ?

    There were clinical reports of success that were anecdotal. He merely said “may” or “might”. He was publicizing hope. As yet there is not definitive scientific proof for many of the therapies that are being employed against COVID-19.

    And those who thought Trump’s ideas were based on weak anecdotal evidence argued that, including Fauci, but the politicos went for the fake news instead and now they got burned.

    • #9
    • June 9, 2020, at 8:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    Hugh (View Comment):

    I have a questions about the YouTube channel “Peak Prosperity” and Chris Martensen: I started following the site back in March and I guess they were doing reasonable analysis but the tone was “hair on fire” bad. Things like growing your own food, the destruction of the supply chain and general doomsaying got to the point where I just couldn’t listen to it anymore since it was causing me trouble sleeping.

    My question: what do the rest of you think of the Peak Prosperity channel?

    My impression is the same. I thought that Martenson’s credentials were such that his early commentary on the virus was useful information to me. He was one of only a few people talking about it in January/February. Once it became a topic where many sources were talking, I stopped spending time watching his videos, but I went back to the one I linked because I thought he had a useful discussion of the studies.

    He is on the “prepper” end of the spectrum. He will be right about financial collapse one of these days — we just don’t know when. Like any complex phenomena its hard to control all the variables you need for good prediction. Unexpected things happen that move things off the projected path, favorably or unfavorably. There is a “belief” element to commerce and credit that sustains what would otherwise be unsustainable. If enough people are invested in “belief” (as we all are today) and we can avoid having that belief destroyed, things can go on for some time. See Scott Adams’ whiteboard:

    • #10
    • June 9, 2020, at 8:38 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  11. Mark Camp Member

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Dear right- and left-wingers, and your respective hustlers, who politicize drugs like hydrochloroquine, each making his own false claims and only attacking those of the other,

    Talk about absurd politicization! You’re as bad as all those insane Lefties responsible for thousands of deaths.

    Unsk,

    I didn’t politicize this medicine, and I’m not in any way responsible for thousands of deaths.

    I am opposed to politicizing medicine. Your question implies that I was acting as a referee in the game that right-wingers and left-wingers play, “who is worst?”.

    I was not. That game is part of the very politicization that I am condemning. The safety, effectiveness, and clinical usefulness of a treatment are technical questions, for applied scientists and clinical practitioners to try to gain knowledge about.

    I deliberately mention “clinical usefulness” in addition to the more objective questions of safety and effectiveness.

    Every experienced physician knows that a good doctor sometimes just gives Mrs. Jones a blue pill because

    • Mrs. Jones is certain that a blue pill is what she needs
    • Mrs. Jones is certain that it is a scientific fact, because she heard about people who got the blue pill and got better
    • Mrs. Jones is certain that Big Pharma and the insane Left, who are responsible for thousands of deaths, are determined to keep good people like her from getting the blue pill
    • Mrs. Jones is certain that it follows that that if the doctor does not give her a blue pill, he is part of the conspiracy, or at least a feckless tool of it.
    • There are other patients in the waiting room, and Mrs. Jones will go away and let him take care of them if he just gives her a blue pill.
    • #11
    • June 9, 2020, at 8:49 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  12. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    There was more than just a little anecdotal evidence. Doctors who actually treat infected patients regularly are using Hydroxy with success. Trump was the President who passed the “Right to try” legislation…remember? The drug was already approved and had been used with high safety results for 6 decades. This was off-label but not experimental for long-term effects. I believe Trump used the words. “What have you got to lose?” We were in the middle of a seeming catastrophe. In the meantime, let’s not forget the amazingly poor record of the “experts”.

    • #12
    • June 9, 2020, at 8:50 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  13. Mark Camp Member

    cdor (View Comment):
    There was more than just a little anecdotal evidence.

    Anecdotal evidence means a doctor tried something on a bunch patients under uncontrolled, very incompletely reported conditions and some people got better. It seemed to work.

    But we don’t always have much confidence that it did. And we don’t always know exactly what “it” was, and or know with much confidence or detail just what “it” worked, or exactly whom it worked on if it worked, or under what diagnosis.

    The public has very strong tendency to over-estimate the reliability of anecdotal evidence. It is a tendency that we have from infancy. Even the animals have it. Our brains are wired to infer causal connections from sequences of two events.

    We need to educate ourselves to counter that.

    We have a very strong tendency to misinterpret clinical research and other scientific data as well, and that is just as bad. But it is less unidirectional. We are as likely to disregard good research as we are to simplistically and naively accept “research”, and we are extremely prone to being blind to bad science when it’s staring us in the face.

    Doctors who actually treat infected patients regularly are using Hydroxy with success.

    It seems that they are. Maybe they are. Maybe they are not. We have only anecdotal evidence of that. It’s knowledge, but its relatively unreliable knowledge.

    Trump was the President who passed the “Right to try” legislation…remember?

    That is good. We American conservatives generally support allowing doctors to decide, instead of bureaucrats.

    The drug was already approved and had been used with high safety results for 6 decades.

    A drug isn’t “approved”, yes or no. It is approved as safe and effective for a certain set of indications. These drugs were never approved as effective for COVID-19.

    This was off-label but not experimental for long-term effects.

    A drug isn’t “off-label, yes or no”. It is off-label for all indications, and only those, that it was not specifically found safe and effective for.

    I believe Trump used the words. “What have you got to lose?” We were in the middle of a seeming catastrophe.

    “What have you got to lose?” is an example of Trump’s childlike simplistic thinking and aggressive ignorance about everything outside of his very narrow area of expertise. It is why he needs grownups minding him when he in situations where he is a threat to himself and others.

    In the meantime, let’s not forget the amazingly poor record of the “experts”.

    Modern medicine is the creation of a lot of factors. Expertise is one of the critical ones. It is hypocritical to cast aspersions on all experts, while enjoying the fruits of their labors.

     

    • #13
    • June 9, 2020, at 11:40 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Weeping Member

    Rodin: If you don’t know the story already here are the basics: Surgisphere purported to provide extensive hospitalization data to three researchers who crunched the numbers embedded in that data. The numbers now crunched, squeezed, spun and rinsed purported to prove that HCQ doesn’t work and creates great risk of heart problems, including death–in short, taking HCQ for COVID-19 is worse than not taking it at all. How science works is someone publishes their work and methodology and then someone else tries to replicate the same result. The only way the replication can occur (and the results demonstrated to constitute science) is for someone else to have access to the same data. Turns out Surgisphere had an inconvenient problem. The hospitals whose data was supposedly analyzed had never heard of them. Therefore there is no credibility to the dataset that underlies the published study.

    Two things have always bothered me about the HCQ hullabaloo. First, it’s not an over-the-counter drug so no one is going to be taking it without a doctor’s prescription – no matter how much they may want to. Secondly, the drug isn’t a new creation. It’s been around for decades and used off-label for lupus and other conditions for years. In other words, doctors have known about it and its possible side effects for forever (medically speaking). So why all the need to get in a tizzy about it? 

    • #14
    • June 9, 2020, at 11:58 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  15. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

     

     

    One reason we only have limited knowledge of HCQ is because there has been a resistance to testing it. It became public knowledge in early March that a number of front-line doctors were having success using the drug as a treatment. Then Trump, who was looking for anything at that point, saw those reports and responded positively. That’s when the media went nuts. The drug might as well have been poison. Instead of setting up serious and honest “warp speed” tests, months were spent decrying Trump for having the nerve to mention anything positive in public. Trump says “good”–must be “bad”. The experts proceeded to set up false tests at the VA and for the prestigious Lancet. They have wasted time purposely trying to make Hydroxy out to be not just useless but dangerous. In the meantime, none of the docs that were using it have stopped, to my knowledge. They still say it works, anecdotal or not. And we still do not have a definitive test.

    • #15
    • June 9, 2020, at 2:24 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  16. Saint Augustine Member

    Rodin:

    The HCQ Wars will continue until there is no value in them for whatever agenda is being pursued.

    Unfortunately, science, like “the hearts of men” in Tolkien, is easily corrupted.

    (Some of us been thinking this for a long time.)

    • #16
    • June 9, 2020, at 2:26 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  17. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Rodin: the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) … appear to have been taken in

    I think they were more than willing. They were enthusiastic purveyors of this. Are they corrupted by Leftism or Pharma dollars? Don’t know, because either way they should not be trusted.

    • #17
    • June 9, 2020, at 2:56 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Flicker Coolidge

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Dear right- and left-wingers, and your respective hustlers, who politicize drugs like hydrochloroquine, each making his own false claims and only attacking those of the other,

    Mark, Great equating the criminally insane Leftist “studies” that allegedly show the dire consequences of HCQ which have been decimated widely with the effect of killing tens of thousands with exactly what politicized studies on the right? Be specific. What studies promoting the use of HCQ approached the rank lying of those on the Left? Talk about absurd politicization! You’re as bad as all those insane Lefties responsible for thousands of deaths.

    What was Trump’s scientific basis for pushing HCQ?

    Anecdotal reports. Anecdotes are data points.

    • #18
    • June 9, 2020, at 3:24 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Saint Augustine Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Dear right- and left-wingers, and your respective hustlers, who politicize drugs like hydrochloroquine, each making his own false claims and only attacking those of the other,

    Mark, Great equating the criminally insane Leftist “studies” that allegedly show the dire consequences of HCQ which have been decimated widely with the effect of killing tens of thousands with exactly what politicized studies on the right? Be specific. What studies promoting the use of HCQ approached the rank lying of those on the Left? Talk about absurd politicization! You’re as bad as all those insane Lefties responsible for thousands of deaths.

    What was Trump’s scientific basis for pushing HCQ?

    Anecdotal reports. Anecdotes are data points.

    The great thing about HCQ wasn’t that we had the best science supporting it. We had some empirical evidence that was pretty good for this early in the game, but that’s all it was; it was nice, but not great.

    The great thing about HCQ is that it was a well-known drug, whose safety is well established and whose risks are very well known.

    • #19
    • June 9, 2020, at 3:34 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  20. Flicker Coolidge

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    Every experienced physician knows that a good doctor sometimes just gives Mrs. Jones a blue pill because

    I disagree with a lot of what you wrote, but I have to object openly to this. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics for colds because the patient will complain and go somewhere else to get it, but they don’t prescribe just any medicine arbitrarily. Some might, but this is extraordinarily rare.

    • #20
    • June 9, 2020, at 3:37 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  21. Mark Camp Member

    cdor (View Comment):
    One reason we only have limited knowledge of HCQ is because there has been a resistance to testing it.

    cdor,

    One reason, yes, but not a reason of any significance, in my understanding.

    I think you are misinformed if you believe that even without any political bias in the scientific establishment or the politicians and bureaucrats funding it, we would have anything more than limited knowledge of the effectiveness of all the proposed combinations and doses of HCQ in a range of combinations for a range of indications other drugs. 

    This is a “novel” virus (new to the species) that started a little over 6 months ago, and most material epidemiological facts and needed lab data were deliberately suppressed or falsified by a Communist government at the beginning. It often takes years or even decades before science and medicine get a good handle on this kind of thing.

     

    • #21
    • June 9, 2020, at 4:49 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Flicker Coolidge

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):
    One reason we only have limited knowledge of HCQ is because there has been a resistance to testing it.

    cdor,

    One reason, yes, but not a reason of any significance, in my understanding.

    I think you are misinformed if you believe that even without any political bias in the scientific establishment or the politicians and bureaucrats funding it, we would have anything more than limited knowledge of the effectiveness of all the proposed combinations and doses of HCQ in a range of combinations for a range of indications other drugs.

    This is a “novel” virus (new to the species) that started a little over 6 months ago, and most material epidemiological facts and needed lab data were deliberately suppressed or falsified by a Communist government at the beginning. It often takes years or even decades before science and medicine get a good handle on this kind of thing.

    What’s your beef with HCQ? I have not read of a single account of anyone with the Wuhan SARS dying as a result of HCQ therapy. It has been around in one form or another longer than most of us have been alive. It’s a known quantity. The “anecdotal” reports include millions of patients from several countries. (And though non-scientific, the people who are poo-pooing it include the same scientists that helped fund the development of the Virus in the first place.)

    • #22
    • June 9, 2020, at 5:10 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Mark Camp Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    Every experienced physician knows that a good doctor sometimes just gives Mrs. Jones a blue pill because

    I disagree with a lot of what you wrote, but I have to object openly to this. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics for colds because the patient will complain and go somewhere else to get it, but they don’t prescribe just any medicine arbitrarily. Some might, but this is extraordinarily rare.

    Even the one case you gave is not at all rare. It’s a Day in the Life of a pediatrician.

    From what I have learned about doctoring since childhood, it’s always been a complicated, very misunderstood job that involved dealing with (a) people and their loved ones, and (b) the professional wisdom of medical science at whatever time one was born into, just as they are: utterly marvelous and frustratingly flawed.

    Neither of us could ever convince the other.

    If I’d lived your life I’d agree with you.

    If you’d lived mine–had been there with my Dad for all those long drives and long conversations and long visits with patients–you’d agree with me. If you read the Aubrey/Maturin novels, you recognize the reference to the “blue pill”. The other pill doctors gave in Maturin’s day was the “red pill”. Yes, I agree that that deceptive, unscientific aspect of the profession is dramatically less important today. But it still is of importance in the workaday world of medicine. Indeed other unscientific, deceptive, and much more perverse factors today influence medical decisions, taking the place of the old.

    • #23
    • June 9, 2020, at 5:13 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Unsk Member

    Mark : “I didn’t politicize this medicine, and I’m not in any way responsible for thousands of deaths.”

    Ya but you totally bought the effort to politicize the use of HCQ hook, line and sinker and thus became one of the political lynch mob of anyone advocating the use of HCQ. You have joined with all the rest of the holier than thou sanctimonious Never Trumpers who along with the Left ridicule anything Trump does or says. There was no reason to politicize the use of HCQ except that Trump suggested it’s use might help. At that time, the only double blind test was the WHO’s of 2017 where it tested 194,000 patients and could not find one death attributable to HCQ.

    Cdor: “One reason we only have limited knowledge of HCQ is because there has been a resistance to testing it.”

    The NIH, the FDA and the CDC knew that HCQ was beneficial in the treatment of SARS like diseases way back in 2005 and did nothing to research it’s use in the proper setting – still haven’t. 

    There were reports from Wuhan in late January that HCQ was effective against COVID. South Korea Health Officials including the Korean Society of Infectious Diseases , the Korean Society of Anitmicrobial Therapy, and the Korean Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases issued a report on February 13th recommending the use of HCQ in combination with anti-HIV medication. That is almost four months ago. I guess those South Korea health care officials must be incredibly incompetent or something. We still have not seen a serious HCQ test combined with Zinc from our health care officials. There has been more than ample time to do one, but there still has been no double blind test. Mark, can you tell why there is such a delay?

    Cdor: There was more than just a little anecdotal evidence.

     Mark: “Anecdotal evidence means a doctor tried something on a bunch patients under uncontrolled, very incompletely reported conditions and some people got better. It seemed to work.”

    Gee, anecdotal evidence? Well yes there have been many doctors who have had great success with HCQ. But then there are that must be crazy bunch in South Korea, who recommended the use of HCQ way back in February. Well just how did that work out? Gee since April 21st when our celebrated panel at NIH recommended against the use of HCQ we have had only roughly 300 times the number of deaths due to COVID-19 per capita than South Korea. I would think a reasonable man would think South Korea is doing something really right and we are doing something terribly wrong.

    Oh then there is that “doctor tried something” bit. That doctor would be I guess the acclaimed Didier Raoult, who released a study of 1061 patients April 9th that found:

    •No cardiac toxicity was observed.

    •A good clinical outcome and virological cure was obtained in 973 patients within 10 days (91.7%).

     

    • #24
    • June 9, 2020, at 5:42 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Mark Camp Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

    What’s your beef with HCQ?

    Flicker,

    I don’t have any beef with HCQ. I meant nothing more than what I wrote.

    I have not read of a single account of anyone with the Wuhan SARS dying as a result of HCQ therapy.

    I haven’t either. It has side effects like any drug, and I’m sure that, like any other widely used, powerful drug including aspirin, it has contributed to or caused a lot of deaths (you seem to think otherwise and I won’t try to convince you).

    But reading about them would not cause me to have a beef with HCQ. It’s just how medicine is. Everything that is powerful enough to help also hurts.

    It has been around in one form or another longer than most of us have been alive.

    Yes, I knew that and wasn’t suggesting otherwise.

    It’s a known quantity.

    With respect to indications related to COVID-19, it is not a well-known quantity at all. That is the issue we are talking about here, not the use of CHQ for other conditions.

    The “anecdotal” reports include millions of patients from several countries.

    I don’t know how many but I knew that there were a lot of anecdotal (scare quotes are not appropriate: professionals understand what the word means) reports*. (I suppose that there has been a lot of anecdotal evidence involving large numbers of people that did not find much evidence that the drug helped. It’s not proof, either)

    I didn’t write, and don’t think, anything to the contrary.

    *That is, reports that

    • some combination of drugs including HCQ
    • in some dosages
    • given to patients presenting with some symptoms and
    • some history
    • who were not randomly selected,
    • over some period of time
    • under uncontrolled conditions
    • with some frequency have been followed by
    • some good or bad results
    • in the opinion of a personally involved and thus necessarily somewhat biased doctor who knew that he had given the drug
    • based partly on the report of the patient who also knew what drug had been given and was even more personally involved and thus necessarily even more subject to bias

     

    (And though non-scientific, the people who are poo-pooing it include the same scientists that helped fund the development of the Virus in the first place.)

    This is a red herring argument to me.

     

    • #25
    • June 9, 2020, at 5:58 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Bob Thompson Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):
    One reason we only have limited knowledge of HCQ is because there has been a resistance to testing it.

    cdor,

    One reason, yes, but not a reason of any significance, in my understanding.

    I think you are misinformed if you believe that even without any political bias in the scientific establishment or the politicians and bureaucrats funding it, we would have anything more than limited knowledge of the effectiveness of all the proposed combinations and doses of HCQ in a range of combinations for a range of indications other drugs.

    This is a “novel” virus (new to the species) that started a little over 6 months ago, and most material epidemiological facts and needed lab data were deliberately suppressed or falsified by a Communist government at the beginning. It often takes years or even decades before science and medicine get a good handle on this kind of thing.

    What’s your beef with HCQ? I have not read of a single account of anyone with the Wuhan SARS dying as a result of HCQ therapy. It has been around in one form or another longer than most of us have been alive. It’s a known quantity. The “anecdotal” reports include millions of patients from several countries. (And though non-scientific, the people who are poo-pooing it include the same scientists that helped fund the development of the Virus in the first place.)

    Mark, @markcamp I think there may be some collateral anecdotal data you are not mentioning that lends a little more support for the use of HCQ in treating early stage Covid-19. In vitro studies have shown chloroquine to be an ionophore of zinc. The studies have shown that zinc inhibits the viral cell replication. Used together the HCQ ionophore enables the zinc to cross the RNA cell membrane and thus inhibit the viral replication. This at least tells us there is some rationale for why it might be effective.

    • #26
    • June 9, 2020, at 6:06 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  27. Mark Camp Member

    Unsk (View Comment):
    Ya but you totally bought the effort to politicize the use of HCQ hook, line and sinker and thus became one of the political lynch mob of anyone advocating the use of HCQ.

    Unks,

    I never wrote, nor do I think, anything negative about anyone advocating the use of HCQ. You didn’t read my Comment.

    • #27
    • June 9, 2020, at 6:21 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. Flicker Coolidge

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    Every experienced physician knows that a good doctor sometimes just gives Mrs. Jones a blue pill because

    I disagree with a lot of what you wrote, but I have to object openly to this. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics for colds because the patient will complain and go somewhere else to get it, but they don’t prescribe just any medicine arbitrarily. Some might, but this is extraordinarily rare.

    Even the one case you gave is not at all rare. It’s a Day in the Life of a pediatrician.

    From what I have learned about doctoring since childhood, it’s always been a complicated, very misunderstood job that involved dealing with (a) people and their loved ones, and (b) the professional wisdom of medical science at whatever time one was born into, just as they are: utterly marvelous and frustratingly flawed.

    Neither of us could ever convince the other.

    If I’d lived your life I’d agree with you.

    If you’d lived mine–had been there with my Dad for all those long drives and long conversations and long visits with patients–you’d agree with me. If you read the Aubrey/Maturin novels, you recognize the reference to the “blue pill”. The other pill doctors gave in Maturin’s day was the “red pill”. Yes, I agree that that deceptive, unscientific aspect of the profession is dramatically less important today. But it still is of importance in the workaday world of medicine. Indeed other unscientific, deceptive, and much more perverse factors today influence medical decisions, taking the place of the old.

    I’ve read all twenty of the Master and Commander novels at least six times. And Maturin even gave patients antimony balls to swallow, and afterwards he reused them on the next patient. :)

    About medicine in your youth, that was a different time. Medicine was as much art as science. Bedside manor was important. GPs made house calls. And there were not nearly as many medicines around. And people were not as litigious as they are today.

    HCQ isn’t being prescribed today for hypochondriacs, it’s being given for (as I understand it) its long-established ability to fight coronavirus. It’s not being prescribed (or properly tested) because it works, it has virtually no side effects, it’s cheap, and it doesn’t fit the purposes of those who want to shut down the economy.

    • #28
    • June 9, 2020, at 6:34 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  29. Unsk Member

    Mark: I never wrote, nor do I think, anything negative about anyone advocating the use of HCQ. You didn’t read my Comment.

    Then what about this Mark:

    “Dear right- and left-wingers, and your respective hustlers, who politicize drugs like hydrochloroquine, each making his own false claims and only attacking those of the other,

    A pox on both your houses.”

    Isn’t that a negative criticism of those advocating HCQ? I asked for the specific “right wing” false claims and got only generalities and no specifics from you. I repeat what are the”false claims”. People the world over have been cured of COVID-19 through the use of HCQ. That is a fact. It is not a false claim. The record of countries that extensively use HCQ to cure COVID-19 speak for themselves. It is a record that is so much better than that of our health officials it makes our guys look like total hacks and quacks, beyond any doubt. If only our health care officials had recommended the use of HCQ under the proper care, tens of thousands of Americans might be alive today.

    • #29
    • June 9, 2020, at 7:08 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. TreeRat Member

    I want to see if the testing for a proclaimed vaccine is as rigorous and skeptical as it seems everyone wants HCQ to be tested. If the vaccine is patented and expensive, might it be worthwhile rushing it into widespread distribution (by govt direction)? Is one of the problems of HCQ that it is relatively cheap?

    Not me, of course, but I have heard that argument made (by parties I believe to be antagonistic toward Bill Gates, reason enough in normal times to discard as conspiratorial). It just occurs to me that there might be an opportunity for mild verification. I actually hope the virus diminishes to the extent that no vaccine is worth developing anymore, like with the last few pandemic viruses.

     

    • #30
    • June 9, 2020, at 8:40 PM PDT
    • 6 likes