• Okay, Amazing Evidence for Coronavirus Treatment Is Anecdotal … So What?

    Surge Summary: The evidence supporting the effectiveness of one increasingly prescribed treatment for the coronavirus is anecdotal, true enough — but who says that automatically disqualifies it? Around the world, hospitals and doctors are recurring to hydroxychloroquine  to address the COVID-19 problem; and it’s working. Is the media not promoting this story because Donald Trump has spoken favorably about it? 

    Freud reputedly once said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

    Might these straitened times demand we add: sometimes “anecdotal evidence” is just evidence? Particularly when it involves what looks to be a significantly effective weapon against the physically debilitating, economically ravaging and psychologically exhausting coronavirus pandemic?

    Writing for the American Spectator, Georgy Parry brings this riveting — and heartening — update:

    Over the weekend, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency authorization for the use of  hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine (CQ) to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients. …

    The FDA, however, does not set the standard of care for physicians and does not regulate the practice of medicine. That is why, even before the FDA’s “emergency authorization,” physicians have been free to make “off-label” (non–FDA approved) use of HCQ and CQ to treat COVID-19 patients.

    Following clinical trials in China, South Korea, and France that demonstrated the efficacy of treating and likely preventing COVID-19 infections with HCQ alone or in combination with azithromycin, President Trump expressed to the media optimism about HCQ being a potential “game changer” in the fight to defeat the pandemic. But, at that same press briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci seemed to throw cold water on Trump’s enthusiasm. …

    Since then, “anecdotal evidence” has become the mantra of the mainstream media, who, in their eagerness to portray Trump as a snake oil salesman offering false hope to a panicked nation, have dismissed the use of HCQ and CQ as an unproven, speculative proposition.

    But to the undoubted dismay of the media … that pesky “anecdotal evidence” supporting the use of HCQ and CQ to successfully treat and possibly prevent COVID-19 infections continues to grow at an exponential rate.

    For example, in a follow-up of its previously reported study recommending the use of HCQ and azithromycin to treat COVID-19 cases, researchers in France and Vietnam … have reported another clinical trial in which that drug combination cured 79 out of 80 patients. … “[A]dverse events were rare and minor”. …

    India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued a directive declaring that

    “… the Central Government is satisfied that the drug ‘Hydroxychloroquine’ is essential to meet the requirements of emergency arising due to pandemic COVID-19 and in the public interest”. …

    Similarly, Belgium and Bahrain are reporting that their hospitals are using HCQ to successfully treat COVID-19 patients. According to the Bahrain News Agency, the head of Bahrain’s National Taskforce for Combatting COVID-19 reports that HCQ has had a “profound impact” when used to treat COVID-19 patients. And Belgium has established a “strategic reserve” of HCQ to treat as many as 22,000 COVID-19 patients on an “off-label” basis.

    But far and away the widespread off-label use by physicians in the United States of HCQ alone or in combination with other FDA-approved drugs to successfully treat COVID-19 cases has produced the most stunning and powerful “anecdotal evidence.” This has resulted in major hospitals such as Michigan’s Henry Ford Hospital and the University of Michigan Hospital publishing COVID-19 treatment protocols that include the use of HCQ. This is happening across the nation, and physicians are using HCQ either alone or in combination with azithromycin to successfully treat COVID-19 patients.

    Parry additionally references New York physician Dr. Vladmir (Zev) Zelenko who disclosed last week in a letter to the Israel Ministry of Health “he and his team had used a combination of HCQ, azithromycin, and zinc to successfully treat 500 high-risk COVID-19 patients. He reported ‘ZERO deaths, ZERO hospitalizations, and ZERO intubations [ventilator uses]’ and ‘no serious negative side effects’ caused by the drug protocol.”

    On Rudy Giuliani’s televised podcast “Common Sense”, Zelenko subsequently testified that,

    as of March 29, 2020, he and his team had treated hundreds of high-risk COVID-19 patients with no deaths, no intubations, and only three hospitalizations. …

    He stated that, by using a “cocktail” of HCQ, azithromycin, and zinc in an outpatient setting “as soon as possible,” none of his patients have died, been intubated, or treated in an ICU. …

    [A]ny of his COVID-19 patients who are 60 or older or with a chronic medical condition or who are immunocompromised, he treats immediately with the “cocktail.” …

    Drawing on the studies from South Korea and France, he combined HCQ with azithromycin and zinc. [Zinc] interferes with the replication of viruses. …  As far as he knows, azithromycin has no impact on the viral load but is effective in suppressing any non-viral pneumonia that may be present.

    He stressed that the key to effective treatment is to administer the “cocktail” as soon as COVID-19 is confirmed. As he put it, “Hit the infection hard and early.”

    Dr. Zelenko noted that “many doctors” are using his “cocktail” and having similarly positive patient outcomes. …

    [“]If you scale this nationally, the economy will rebound much quicker. The country will open again. … This treatment costs about $20. That’s very important because you can scale that nationally. If every treatment costs $20,000, that’s not so good.

    All I’m doing is repurposing old, available drugs which we know their safety profiles, and using them in a unique combination in an outpatient setting. [“] …

    [A]necdotal evidence demonstrates that the majority of high risk COVID-19 patients can be saved by early dosing with HCQ and without tying up hospital and ICU beds or the use of ventilators.

    … [T]he anecdotal evidence strongly supports the proposition that there is a quicker, far less expensive, and more effective alternative. How about a wartime crash program to increase the production and distribution of the inexpensive and demonstrably safe HCQ so that it may be used here and now to save lives on an outpatient basis and to, at the very least, be used prophylactically by our health-care providers and first responders to prevent their contracting COVID-19?  …

    [A]sk yourselves if there is any good reason why we should delay for one second a nationwide crash program to ramp up production of HCQ and deploy Dr. Zelenko’s $20 solution and similar effective protocols to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Any good reason? Probably not. Still, there is one possible – even likely – explanation for the widespread pooh-poohing of this bracingly promising treatment: Hey, this COVID-19 scourge may be taking lives, laying up multitudes more and laying out America’s economy, but the mainstream media are leery of a magic bullet because … TRUMP!

    Dr. Zelenko volunteered, “I would like to thank President Trump for approving Hydroxychloroquine for use against this virus. … He said he had a good feeling about it. And truth is he’s very intuitive, and I have the same intuition. I really feel that this is the answer.”

    Those kinds of accolades, coupled with actual, confirmatory results, translate into a potential electoral jackpot for the White House incumbent – which makes many a Trump-hater’s hair stand on end.

    The Leftist-dominated press, in case you haven’t noticed, despises Donald Trump. If Hydroxychloroquine might help the president evade Wuhan Virus blowback come November – well, the media clearly can’t promote it.  The “emoluments clause”, the 25th Amendment, Russian “collusion”, Ukraine, the impeachment farce – all these Democrat-engineered, media-enabled schemes failed to drive the much-loathed Republican Chief Executive from office. Trump’s foes are now conspicuously, frantically, hoping it’ll be a coronavirus coup de grace which does the trick.  In exchange for Trump’s scalp, after all, what are thousands more lives lost to this pandemic? Or the livelihoods of those whose jobs, businesses, savings, dreams are scuttled by it?

    Whatever one thinks about this president – and for even some conservatives his antics are regularly irksome — a solution guaranteeing more humans will be healed and protected and limiting societal devastation ought to be self-justifying.  Even if the “Orange Man” is pushing it.  Yet, Hydroxychloroquine’s being good for sick Americans while simultaneously providing a possible boost for Donald Trump’s second-term prospects? That’s flatly too much for not a few Lefty journos and workaday members of “The Resistance” to stomach.

    Then again, maybe the evidence for that conclusion is merely anecdotal? Even so, recall: sometimes “anecdotal evidence is just evidence”.

    H/T: George Parry/American Spectator

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge.

    Image: Adapted from: mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

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    Steve Pauwels

    Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH, Managing Editor over at dailysurge.com and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.

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