When Drugs Become Politicized, Patients Suffer
By Alicia Cashman, MS, Lyme Advocate
Recently, a Colossal study came out in the Lancet throwing cold water on Hydroxychlorquine (HCQ) and chloroquine as treatments for COVID-19. It seems the minute President Trump endorsed it, there has been a concerted effort to prove it causes harm, despite it being used safely – even over the counter for decades. According to the Lancet study, those receiving either drug were about twice as likely to die compared to controls.
This study didn’t surprise me. In fact, I was expecting it. The CDC will stop at nothing to malign any tests or treatments that compete with their own patented products. I’ve written about this also occurring with Lyme disease.
The CDC wants you to forget all about HCQ like yesterday’s stale bread – just like it wants doctors to fear using extended antibiotic therapy for Lyme patients.
Despite the full-press attack, Sixty five percent of surveyed U.S. doctors stated they would give these drugs to their own family for COVID-19. HCQ was chosen as the most effective therapy amongst COVID-19 treaters from a list of 15 options (37% of COVID-19 treaters) 75% in Spain, 53% Italy, 44% in China, 43% in Brazil, 29% in France, 23% in the U.S. and 13% in the U.K.
So what gives? Why the dissonance?
I posted this before but our health “authorities,” including most researchers, have severe conflicts of interest. Nine of the nineteen experts on the COVID-19 treatment panel have financial interests with Gilead Science, the manufacturer of the anti-viral Remdesivir which bombed for Ebola but now has been dug out of the drug graveyard and repurposed for COVID-19 to reclaim lost profits. Interestingly, due to Dr. Anthony Fauci announcing early results, prior to peer-review, of ONE clinical trial using remdesivir for COVID-19, it got rapid EUA, while HCQ required two months from reports of successful use in China and South Korea to get the March 28 FDA EUA for use in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
See the overt favoritism here?
Word of the large HCQ study is getting out and doctors are writing in. In fact, one doctor has stated:
“I am concerned that more desperately needed clinical trials may be stopped as a result of this study.” Matthew Spinelli, MD, of University of California San Francisco
And, in fact, that’s exactly what has happened. The WHO just halted a HCQ study due to the Lancet article.
Just today the scientific journal issued a correction due to 10 major concerns about statistical analysis and data integrity raised by more than 100 scientists and medical professionals. The following quotes come from the open letter to the study authors and the editor of Lancet:
“A request to the authors for information on the contributing centres was denied. Data from Australia are not compatible with government reports. Surgisphere have since stated this was an error of classification of one hospital from Asia. This indicates the need for further error checking throughout the database,” they added.
“The authors have not adhered to standard practices in the machine learning and statistics community. They have not released their code or data,” the letter stated.
Another new article states that Hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin has been widely misrepresented in both clinical reports and public media. Five studies, including two controlled clinical trials, have demonstrated significant major outpatient treatment efficacy. The article states that HCQ and azithromycin
“has been used as standard-of-care in more than 300,000 older adults with multicomorbidities, with estimated proportion diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmias attributable to the medications 47/100,000 users, of which estimated mortality is <20%, 9/100,000 users, compared to the 10,000 Americans now dying each week. These medications need to be widely available and promoted immediately for physicians to prescribe.”
Chris Newton, Research Director CIMMBER (Center for Immuno-Metabolism, Microbiome and Bio-Energetic Research), did a brief analysis of the Lancet paper in comparison to the French study done in early May. Excerpt:
Comparing an aggregate of numerous centres around the world with one specialist treatment centre (Marseille) has given startlingly different results.
Whilst the Lancet paper suggests that the severity of cases on initial treatment was similar to the Marseille study, the fatality rate of 9.3% for the aggregate control group seems high for what one would conclude from baseline disease severity, as a low overall NEWS score. One might suspect these patients were rather more ill than these data suggest. Hydroxychloroquine and a macrolide will have most effect and be far less toxic in early disease before the phase of hyper-inflammation.
To cause cardiac arrhythmia to the extent indicated in the Lancet study, one can only assume that not nearly enough attention was paid to the fundamentals of electrolyte balance or, for some reason, the blood drug concentrations were considerably higher than in the Marseille study.
It would be absolutely imperative to know the outcomes for non-treated COVID-19 patients in centres from which treatment (chloroquine/HCQ/macrolide) results were obtained.
Newton then went further and wrote a longer opinion piece on the results that will hopefully be published soon: BMJOPINION_LancetStudy. In short, the Lancet study uses something called a qSOFA score which has to do with disease severity utilizing criteria of low blood pressure, high respiratory rate, and altered mentation. The presence of 2 or more qSOFA points was associated with a greater risk of death.
Around 46% of the control group with a qSOFA score greater than 1 were on mechanical ventilation and all of the high risk patients in the treatment groups were on mechanical ventilation. Looking at deaths, in the treatment groups, these were largely accounted for by being in the category, ‘on mechanical ventilation’, independent of treatment status.
Which is what has been noted before about COVID-19 mortality. Nearly 90% of those on ventilators die.
From this archival study of patients from 671 hospital in 6 continents, it is not possible to assign any firm conclusion regarding the effect of treatment as a sole variable, independent of the use of mechanical ventilation. Indeed these data for the control group indicate that there were some deaths not accounted for ‘by mechanical ventilation’. These may have been deaths of patients who unfortunately fell outside the criteria for mechanical ventilation, despite the extent of their symptoms.
So we cannot conclude that chloroquine, HCQ without or with a macrolide results in worse prognosis for COVID-19. All we can conclude is that severe disease progression has accounted for the majority of deaths.
We also cannot assign any significance for arrhythmia in association with the treatment groups for exactly the same reasons. The QT interval was not measured and so the arrhythmia remained non-specific and most probably disease-related.
And the most important point for clinicians:
From the growing number of laboratory and clinical studies, the medical profession and particularly those working in hospital setting, should take note that for HCQ to be effective, it should be administered early in the disease process. The information currently available is that HCQ blocks SARS-CoV-2 uptake by cells and by interfering with autophagy (lysosomal function), it may prevent the down-regulation of MHC-1 receptors, allowing better antiviral surveillance by cytotoxic T cells. It is not appropriate to use HCQ when the cytokine storm of hyperinflammation is in full flight. Here a powerful anti-inflammatory combination should be used, such as that described in the MATH+ protocol.
This crucial information about using HCQ early on when the COVID-19 virus is multiplying has also been given before, but obviously not considered in the Lancet study.
Another study on veterans has been used to malign HCQ as well, even though it hasn’t been peer-reviewed. The study also states HCQ causes increased mortality. There were also many problems with this study as well, and Dr. Ridier Raoult refutes it soundly.
There’s a reason why many doctors are supporting the usage of HCQ. Numerous studies show its effectiveness. Dr. Zelenko, a New York doctor, has successfully treated 1,450 COVID-19 patients with a 99% success rate using a cocktail of hydroxychloroquine, Zinc Sulfate and Azithromycin.
One thing’s for sure – HCQ is a political hot button. This has also been the case with Lyme/MSIDS treatment for over 40 years.
Unless something changes, science has become little more than government propaganda.
Please remember that Dr. Fauci is behind the antibody testing fiasco, sits on the Gates’ Global Vaccine Action Plan council, is directly involved with the continuing denial of Lyme disease, and is in charge of doling out government research grants . Every researcher needing grants is essentially courting Dr. Fauci. All four study authors of the Lancet HCQ article have dealings with Dr. Fauci and receive NIH grants for their research.
In 2003, when the SARS-CoV virus was discovered, several institutions were quick to unilaterally file patent applications for the total or partial sequence of the coronavirus genome. Patent applications are published 18 months after they have been filed. During that period the application is confidential to the patent office. This means news of a Wuhan coronavirus patent will not be disclosed until after January 2021. More will become clear when that information becomes available. Here is what is currently known:
- Sapan S Desai is Chief of NAID’s Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research and has inventions and patents in connection with the U.S. government. He is the founder of Surgisphere Corporation. Surgisphere completed a statistical review of the HCQ manuscript.
- Mandeep R Mehra receives significant funding from NIH.
- Mehra and Frank Ruschitzka were coauthors of the May 19, 2020 paper “Electron Microscopy of SARS-CoV-2: A Challenging Task”: Electron_microscopy_of_SARS-CoV-2_a_challenging_ta
- Amit N Patel, also receives NIH funding and has numerous patents and inventions.
Unfortunately, science has been hijacked and patients and the doctors who treat them are the ones who suffer.
Those in public health should not be allowed to own patents and inventions, have conflicts of interest with pharmaceutical companies, and then turn around and set public health policy.