As professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, I have authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications and currently hold senior positions on the editorial boards of several leading journals. I am usually accustomed to advocating for positions within the mainstream of medicine, so have been flummoxed to find that, in the midst of a crisis, I am fighting for a treatment that the data fully support but which, for reasons having nothing to do with a correct understanding of the science, has been pushed to the sidelines. As a result, tens of thousands of patients with COVID-19 are dying unnecessarily. Fortunately, the situation can be reversed easily and quickly.
I am referring, of course, to the medication hydroxychloroquine. When this inexpensive oral medication is given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control, it has shown to be highly effective, especially when given in combination with the antibiotics azithromycin or doxycycline and the nutritional supplement zinc.
As a result, tens of thousands of patients with COVID-19 are dying unnecessarily.
An inexpensive and be highly effective treatment, especially when given early: Hydroxychloroquine in combination with the antibiotics azithromycin or doxycycline and zinc.
The article, “Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk COVID-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis” was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE). It analyzed five studies, demonstrating clear benefits and safety of this treatment.
Other studies include:
an additional 400 high-risk patients treated by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, with zero deaths;
four studies totaling almost 500 high-risk patients treated in nursing homes and clinics across the U.S., with no deaths;
a controlled trial of more than 700 high-risk patients in Brazil, with significantly reduced risk of hospitalization and two deaths among 334 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine;
and another study of 398 matched patients in France, also with significantly reduced hospitalization risk.
“Natural experiments:” northern Brazil state of Pará used hydroxychloroquine to reduce deaths.
Hydroxychloroquine has shown major success when used early in high-risk people but, as one would expect for an antiviral, much less success when used late in the disease course.
Delays in waiting before starting the medications can reduce their efficacy.
FDA concerns about the drug did not announce is that these adverse events were generated from tens of millions of patient uses of hydroxychloroquine for long periods of time, often for the chronic treatment of lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
The harms are minuscule compared to the mortality occurring right now in inadequately treated high-risk COVID-19 patients.
The study, from Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, is freely available for download from The Royal Society website. Nevertheless, we doubted that many people would take time to verify the claims so we took a look. What did we find?
The bulk of study is in fact an investigation into policies and behavioural factors behind face mask usage. Only a small section is dedicated to analysing the effectiveness of cloth face coverings and even this provides nothing new. Further, rather than performing randomised controlled trials (RCTs), which form the highest level of evidence in medical science, this report simply looked at existing research.
From this existing research, the authors forced a conclusion that ‘face masks and coverings work’ but with some very important caveats:
The tests were carried out in medical and lab settings, not within the community.
There were other factors that contributed to the masks’ effectiveness.
The conclusions were based on small studies.
The study limitations can be found in the document appendix, table A5.1.
What can we conclude from the release of this study?
The Royal Society published, on 26 June, a ‘rapid review of the science of the effectiveness of different face-mask types’ – a dense, 37-page tract which made the case for face masks. It was neither peer-reviewed nor opened to wide expert and public debate before being used to argue for policy.
…the hasty assembling of research articles in support of a policy position is not science, and demanding that the government introduce new ‘taboos’ is naive and clumsy social engineering, not careful examination of the facts.
Prolonged periods of lockdown cocooning the public from germs could leave people dangerously vulnerable to new viruses, a leading epidemiologist has warned.
Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology at the University of Oxford, fears intense social distancing could actually weaken immune systems because people are not exposed to germs and so do not develop defences that could protect them against future pandemics.
The Recovery trial has steadfastly ignored Professor Didier Raoult and a string of countries that have implemented his protocol, early use of HCQ with Azythromycin in safe doses, despite the fact that, after treating 3,737 patients — the single largest study in the world —Raoult has lost only 0.6 per cent, while Horby and Landray are presiding over carnage —a fatality rate of 25 per cent.
The Recovery trial has steadfastly ignored Professor Didier Raoult in the early use of HCQ with Azythromycin in safe doses.
Raoult has lost only 0.6 per cent, while Horby and Landray are presiding over carnage —a fatality rate of 25 per cent.
Landray admitted to an investigative journalist at FranceSoir ‘these are quite high doses to… have a chance of killing the virus.’ Or killing the patient.
Recovery is not the only trial delivering dangerously elevated doses of HCQ to Covid patients. Dosage in the international Solidarity trial was four times greater than the dose being used in India.
WHO has been working for years with Gilead Sciences trying to get the pharmaceutical company’s lacklustre drug Remdesivir to show efficacy at curing first Ebola, with poor results, and now Covid-19.
Landray revealed Gilead pays scientists 20 to 50 times more to conduct a clinical trial than Horby and Landray were paid to conduct the Recovery trial.
Horby is the executive director of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium which received 4.5 million pounds for research into vaccines.
Horby established the Epidemic Research Group which is promised up to 14 million pounds from AstraZeneca and Zuckerberg/Chan of Facebook fame for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine which is being trialled by Oxford University.
AstraZeneca is interested in merging with Gilead Sciences, which, if it went through, would create the biggest Big Pharma ever.
Horby and Landray have announced that dexamethasone, a low-cost steroid which is also being tested has reduced the mortality rate of Covid-19 patients on ventilators from a scandalous 41 per cent to a still appalling 32 per cent.
Raoult has pointed out that in his hospital, of the 0.6 per cent who die, a mere 16 per cent were in ICU
In Britain, where almost 42,000 people have died of Covid, the only thing randomised, controlled trials have achieved, is to blind people to the evidence that 40,000 of those deaths could have been avoided.
School children under the age of 15 are more likely to be hit by lightning than die from coronavirus, new figures suggest, amid mounting pressure for the government to get more to get pupils back into classrooms as quickly as possible.
Scientists from the universities of Cambridge and Oxford have called for “rational debate” based on the “tiny” risk to children and have suggested that if no vaccine is found in the future then it may be better for younger people to continue with their lives, while shielding the more vulnerable.
It comes as the government was accused of “losing the plot” after Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, scrapped the Government’s target of getting all primary school pupils back in the classroom before the summer holidays
“It’s becoming clear that a lot of people have been exposed to the virus and that the death rate in people under 65 is not something you would lock down the economy for,” she says. “We can’t just think about those who are vulnerable to the disease. We have to think about those who are vulnerable to lockdown too. The costs of lockdown are too high at this point.”
Professor Carl Heneghan, an Oxford University epidemiologist, expects no ‘excess deaths’ by the second week of June, for which the data will not become available until mid-June.
The weekly death toll in England and Wales dropped to its lowest levels since the lockdown began, an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report said today. A total of 1,983 people in England and Wales died with Covid-19 in the week ending May 22, down almost 30 per cent in a week and the lowest figure for two months.
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