Dr. Stephen Smith, an infectious disease specialist, on using hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin combo to treat #COVID19 patients:
— Nicole Saphier, MD (@NBSaphierMD) April 2, 2020
TheHill.com reports that
President Trump on Sunday forcefully touted the use of hydroxychloroquine as a potential means to combat or even prevent the onset of symptoms from the coronavirus, wading further into a medical debate that has put him at odds with some of his top health experts.
Trump said the government has stockpiled 29 million pills of the drug, which is also used to treat lupus. For a second consecutive day, he suggested even those without coronavirus symptoms might consider taking the drug despite limited evidence about its efficacy in treating the virus.
“What do you have to lose?” he said. “I’m not looking at it one way or another. But we want to get out of this. If it does work, it would be a shame if we didn’t do it early.”
“What do I know? I’m not a doctor,” he added. “But I have common sense.”
The president has for days opined on the potential efficacy of hydroxychloroquine when taken with azithromycin.
But Sunday’s comments marked the furthest he has veered into playing armchair doctor. He acknowledged the drug may not work but suggested there was no time to wait and let clinical trials play out.
“I want people to live, and I’m seeing people dying,” he said. “And you know the expression when that’s happening. You should do it. What really do we have to lose?”
Other administration officials on Sunday joined in the effort to promote the drug’s availability. Vice President Pence said the government was working with Michigan to make the drug more readily available, and a top Federal Emergency Management Agency official organizing supply chain efforts said the agency is prioritizing getting pills out to pharmacies and hospitals in areas experiencing outbreaks.
The promotion of hydroxychloroquine has been a point of tension within the White House as Trump has repeatedly pushed it at press briefings.
Axios reported Sunday that top White House trade adviser Peter Navarro clashed with Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about how aggressively to promote the drug.
Fauci has been adamant that it is too soon to say how effective the drug is.
“The data are really just at best suggestive. There have been cases that show there may be an effect, and there are others to show there’s no effect,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday morning. “So I think in terms of science, I don’t think we could definitively say it works.”
The administration’s aggressive promotion of the drug has also led to a shortage of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, the Food and Drug Administration said last week, raising concerns for those who take the drugs for conditions such as lupus.
There is a reason that President Trump is advocating for the use of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of Americans who have the Chinese Coronavirus: IT WORKS.
According to the CDC, it is
…currently recommended for treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in several countries. Both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have known safety profiles with the main concerns being cardiotoxicity (prolonged QT syndrome) with prolonged use in patients with hepatic or renal dysfunction and immunosuppression but have been reportedly well-tolerated in COVID-19 patients.
So, why is Dr. Fauci so cautious about it?
Back on April 3rd on “Fox and Friends”, he said,
“I think we’ve got to be careful that we don’t make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug. We still need to do the kinds of studies that definitely prove whether any intervention is truly safe and effective,” he said.
The fact of the matter is, it has proven to work as a treatment for the coronavirus in conjunction with Zithromax, a strong antibiotic which is commonly used to treat upper respiratory infections, also known as a “Z-pak”.
In an International Poll of 6,227 physicians released last Thursday, hydroxychloroquine was rated as the most effective way to treat the coronavirus.
The President and the Coronavirus Taskforce have already told us that this was going to be a “tough week”.
The Chinese lied. Americans have died…and it is going to get worse.
Nothing great was ever accomplished without taking a chance.
It is time to throw caution to the wind and to aggressively decimate this “invisible enemy” with the most effective weapon we have.
I agree with the President.
“What really do we have to lose?”
Until He Comes,