PETITION: Tell the FDA to reverse its opposition to Hydroxychloroquine and help save lives! Sign the petition here.
September 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – While Democrats and the mainstream media routinely attribute the United States’ relatively high number COVID-19 deaths to Americans’ failure to uniformly wear masks or “socially distance,” a new report suggests the true culprit may be the country’s unwillingness to embrace the drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).
The United States is estimated to have seen 7.1 million COVID-19 cases as of September 25, with more than 200,000 deaths and 4.4 million recoveries. Officially it has the most cases in the world (though that ranking is likely due in part to the authoritarian government of China’s refusal to share accurate numbers).
HCQ has long been approved for use in treating malaria, arthritis, and certain autoimmune conditions, but its potential applications to the coronavirus became a political lightning rod after President Donald Trump first called attention to early studies indicating its potential. The FDA initially issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allowing it to be distributed from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) but revoked that authorization in June, claiming “new information” indicated the potential dangers outweighed any potential effectiveness.
However, a white paper published this month by the Economic Standard argues that the primary roadblocks to HCQ are political rather than scientific.
“The U.S. is an international outlier on HCQ,” the paper says. “Right now, doctors around the world are prescribing HCQ to treat COVID-19 outside of hospitals, as well as prophylactically to prevent infection among healthcare workers and vulnerable populations. This paper argues that HCQ has met the appropriate burden of proof and urges members of the U.S. news media, public health community, and regulatory agencies to stop politicizing the use of this medicine. Tens of thousands of lives still hang in the balance.”
The paper lists more than two dozen medical conditions for which HCQ is an established treatment, which it says “reflect a general medical consensus, long predating the COVID-19 pandemic, that HCQ is a safe, well-tolerated drug.”
“In the U.S. alone from 2007-2017, patients received around 59 million prescriptions for HCQ,” the paper explains. “In over seven decades of use, there have been a handful of reports of fatal arrhythmias due to torsades de pointes from all drug causes, and zero reports of fatal arrhythmias with HCQ use. Most cases of arrhythmia involved extraordinary circumstances, including overdoses and patients with end-stage liver failure. Other side effects, such as retinopathy and kidney damage, result only from years of long-term use and have been described as ‘rare.’”
HCQ was identified as a potential COVID-19 treatment relatively early in the outbreak, and has been used in China, South Korea, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Malaysia, Bahrain, Poland, Russia, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, India, and the Philippines, “among many others,” the report says. Yet the United States remains an “international outlier on HCQ, as one of just a handful of countries that have moved to limit – rather than expand – patient access to the drug.”
This, it continues, was due in part to the American news media focusing on “low-quality or botched RTCs [randomized controlled trials] – misrepresenting these as the ‘gold standard’ – while dismissing observational studies as irrelevant due to supposed biases…This narrative was sustained and amplified by scientists, academics, and government agency staff,” with possibly the most egregious example being a notorious study published in The Lancet that the esteemed medical journal was forced to retract after the data sources turned out to be fraudulent.
“A Google News search for the words ‘unproven’ and ‘hydroxychloroquine’ in reports published in April and May returned over 160 results, with most of these articles managing to work the adjective into headlines or opening sentences,” the paper goes on. “None of these reports mentioned that observational trials had discovered useful drugs in the past. Nor did they clarify that many observational studies in aggregate can yield more meaningful results than any one single study, RCTs included.”
Last month, three Republican senators sent a letter to U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Alex Azar this month demanding an explanation as to why the agency revoked its approval of HCQ against the wishes of American doctors and the experiences of other countries.
LifeSiteNews’ petition calling on the FDA to drop its hostility to hydroxychloroquine has so far collected more than 49,000 signatures. Readers can click here to read, sign, and share the petition.