“There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president,” former Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo said during a Facebook Live broadcast back in September.
His allegations caused a stir in the media, and soon afterward he took a leave of absence. But was Caputo correct?
In the spring, the AMA issued a statement warning against the use of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 therapeutic. “Physicians, pharmacists, patients and policymakers must understand that these medications have dangerous side effects, that may lead to patient harm, including fatal cardiac arrhythmias.” Before the election, the American Medical Association was considering rescinding their previous statement. Unfortunately, they chose to stick to their original position.
But why was the AMA considering rescinding their previous statement?
It’s a good question, but perhaps the more important question is why didn’t the AMA rescind their previous statement? The science says they should have.
Actually, the science says they should never have discouraged the use of hydroxychloroquine in the first place. Hydroxychloroquine is a decades-old malaria drug. The side effects are well documented. For many months now there have been ample studies showing it was safe to use and significantly reduced COVID-19 mortality rates, but the media relentlessly covered bogus studies that suggested hydroxychloroquine was linked to higher mortality rates and other dangerous side effects instead.
Sadly, the AMA isn’t alone in pushing the narrative that hydroxychloroquine isn’t safe.
In September, the Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), titled, “Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine Prescribing Patterns by Provider Specialty Following Initial Reports of Potential Benefit for COVID-19 Treatment — United States, January–June 2020” alleged that current data indicated that “the potential benefits of [hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine] do not outweigh their risks,” despite the fact that the studies alleging deadly side effects had already been debunked.
The most commonly cited claim against hydroxychloroquine (echoed in the CDC’s MMWR) was fatal heart damage. Two studies made this claim: the debunked VA study, and another flawed study in Brazil from April. But as veteran virologist Steven Hatfill explained, the media never mentioned that the Brazilian doctors in that study “were giving their patients lethal cumulative doses of the drug.”
Two other studies followed linking hydroxychloroquine to higher mortality, but those studies were based on faulty data, and two well-respected medical journals had to retract one of them.
There are currently over a hundred studies on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19 (most of them peer-reviewed) that overwhelmingly show positive results, particularly when administered early. For example, a study published a month ago out of Saudi Arabia found that “Early intervention with HCQ-based therapy in patients with mild to moderate symptoms at presentation is associated with lower adverse clinical outcomes among COVID-19 patients, including hospital admissions, ICU admission, and/or death.”
Another study published in early September of nursing home patients found that patients not treated with hydroxychloroquine had a mortality rate more than five times higher than those who were treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. Back in July, a large-scale, peer-reviewed study conducted by the Henry Ford Health System concluded that hydroxychloroquine successfully lowered mortality rates for hospitalized coronavirus patients.
Back in April, it was noted that countries with high rates of malaria have significantly lower COVID-19 mortality rates. Since hydroxychloroquine is a decades-old anti-malaria drug, the connection between hydroxychloroquine and lower rates of COVID-19 mortality was impossible to ignore… except by the anti-Trump media who wanted Joe Biden elected president. One analysis suggests that over 840,000 lives worldwide were lost because hydroxychloroquine was not being widely used as a therapeutic.
Yet Trump was blamed for promoting the drug. The media accused Trump of “practicing medicine without a license” simply for pointing out that the drug showed promise in some small studies. A Democratic state lawmaker in Ohio said that Trump should be tried for “crimes against humanity” for touting the drug’s potential. The New York Times even alleged that Trump’s motivation for touting it was self-serving because he holds “a small personal financial interest” in Sanofi, even though the drug is out of patent, and he only owned $29 – $435 in the stock as part of a mutual fund.
The media also largely ignored success stories from coronavirus patients who recovered after being treated with the drug. In April, Democrat State Rep. Karen Whitsett from Detroit, Mich., credited the drug and President Trump with saving her life. Other coronavirus patients have reported dramatic recoveries after taking the drug.
Not only did anti-Trump swamp creatures suppress positive studies about the drug, but they also censored doctors who spoke out in support of it.
Why won’t the experts admit they were wrong? Because they can’t. The political left, which fancies itself to be the party of science, outright ignored the science because they wanted to win an election. Thousands likely died despite the widespread availability of a cheap and effective drug that reduced mortality by a huge rate.
Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis