Why Are Potentially Viable COVID-19 Treatments Being Suppressed?

The only thing we know for certain about COVID-19 is that more people are dying this year than in previous years. A lot more. CDC data on deaths from all causes show an increase through May 20 of 11 percent above the average through that same date for the previous six years. That’s over 127,000 Americans, dead before their time. Because of the CDC’s eight week lag in compiling complete data, this is the most reliable comparison possible so far. The number undoubtedly will increase significantly.

You can’t fake death. You can decide which “co-morbidity” to list as the primary cause of death, but “alive” or “dead” is a binary choice. Something horrible is happening in America this year. This disease, whether it was engineered or not, overblown or not, handled properly or not, without question is a mass killer.

What is inexcusable is the ongoing and blatant suppression of valid debate over how to treat COVID-19. We’re not talking here about an irresponsible meme that recommends somebody drink bleach. We’re talking about distinguished, credentialed doctors and scientists, with decades of front line experience in virology, infectious diseases, pandemics, microbiology, pharmacology, emergency medicine, and a host of related fields, whose opinions are being banned.

When it comes to treating COVID-19, not only are dissident opinions offered by medical experts ignored by the media or only featured in the context of being “debunked,” but their postings on YouTube and Facebook routinely are taken down. Alternative websites that attract far less viewership are the only recourse.

The most notorious example of this bias and suppression is with respect to the treatment alternative that relies on hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and zinc as an outpatient therapy. There is growing evidence that this treatment is effective in the early and mid-stages of a COVID-19 infection, before the patients end up in the hospital.

Most of the studies and reports that claimed hydroxychloroquine is dangerous were referencing end-stage treatment, when the patients are already half-dead, coping with blood clotting and heart failure. So in these end-stage cases, perhaps hydroxychloroquine is not indicated. But it is misleading to pretend this drug, which has been in widespread use for over 70 years, is dangerous to otherwise healthy COVID-19 patients.

To learn more about this alternative treatment, here are just a few of the recent studies that acknowledge the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine: Henry Ford Health System; Infectious Diseases Unit, Central Defense Hospital, Madrid; NYU Grossman School of Medicine; So Ahn Public Health Center, Republic of Korea; American Journal of Epidemiology; Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, France. These studies all find that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment.

To further investigate both sides of the debate over hydroxychloroquine, read the online postings of Dr. James Todaro, virologist Didier Raoult, Dr. Victor Zelenko, Dr. Dan Erickson and Dr. Artin Massihi, or even Dr. Judy Mikovits. Read “A Tale of Two Drugs: Money vs. Medical Wisdom,” by Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, published by the American Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Even if you disagree with the conclusions ventured by these dissident doctors, you will come away with far more information.

Growing Evidence, Growing Suppression

Just as new studies from around the world reinvigorated legitimate debate over the potential for hydroxychloroquine to treat early and mid-stage COVID-19, several things happened: On June 15, the FDA revoked the “Emergency UseAuthorization for Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine,” leaving Americans unable to access nearly 70 million dosesof hydroxychloroquine that the FDA had stockpiled. On June 20 the National Institute of Health halted its clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine. On July 4 the World Health Organization halted “hydroxychloroquine and combination of HIV drug trials among hospitalized COVID-19 patients.”

This is a coordinated shutdown of hydroxychloroquine research by major institutions around the world. And the timing is uncanny. On June 1, Gilead Sciences announced favorable results for treating COVID-19 with Remdesivir, for which a course of treatment costs $3,100. Meanwhile, the cost for a course of hydroxychloroquine oral tablets of 200 mg is around $37 for a supply of 100. At the same time, the study most cited by opponents of hydroxychloroquine, issued by the online medical journal The Lancet, was retracted by that publication on June 4.

Here is where, with tragic consequences, political and economic priorities appear to have distorted the public health debate over how to handle COVID-19. It’s not just the choice of therapies, or the push for an effective vaccine which may never be forthcoming. From the start, the priority has been to lock down the healthy, instead of quarantining the vulnerable.

Here is a partial list of issues that ought to be central in any open debate over how to handle COVID-19:

  • The number of pre-adolescent children who have become sick with COVID-19 is statistically negligible.
  • Children also do not appear to spread COVID-19.
  • Older children can catch COVID-19 but the rate of cases that either are fatal or leave serious long-term damage is statistically negligible.
  • Healthy people, including classroom teachers, can take several measures to protect themselves from possible exposure to infection, including the approved methods—face shields, masks, frequent hand washing, social distancing.
  • Anyone with a serious health condition or in an at-risk age group may consider taking a leave of absence or retire from working in public spaces in order to minimize their potential exposure to infection.
  • Preventive steps that can be taken by healthy people include getting an updated Rubella vaccine, taking 400 mg per week of hydroxychloroquine, taking zinc lozenges, getting at least eight minutes per day of exposure to full sun or taking vitamin D3, taking Pepcid, and taking chewable vitamin C.

These various measures may not all be valid. But there is strong evidence that some of them are valid. They have been unfairly dismissed.

How many Americans would not be dead today if their doctors had prescribed hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and zinc as an early outpatient therapy or even as a preventive measure, before they ended up in the hospital? COVID-19 is killing Americans by the tens of thousands, and yet the “experts” and the people who quote them are willing to brand hydroxychloroquine as harmful based only on the experience of morbidly ill patients in the end-stages of the disease. This is patently misleading. It is journalistic malpractice and medical negligence. It is propaganda. Why?

The American Left, as its adherents would almost certainly claim, supposedly stands up to rapacious corporations, including “big pharma.” So why aren’t any of the journalists and activists and donors who support the American Left also supporting open debate about inexpensive and possibly game-changing COVID-19 therapies?

Could it be they are more interested in seeing nothing get better in America until after the November 3 election?

About Edward Ring

Edward Ring is a senior fellow of the Center for American Greatness and co-founder of the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013.

Photo: Getty Images

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