CategoryScience

Low-dose Hydroxychloroquine Therapy and Mortality in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19: A Nationwide Observational Study of 8075 Participants – ScienceDirect

Compared to supportive care only, low-dose HCQ monotherapy was independently associated with lower mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 diagnosed and treated early or later after symptom onset.
— Read on www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924857920303423

Hydroxychloroquine is protective to the heart, not Harmful: A systematic review

We had been told that a drug that is safe and has been around for ages, all of a sudden had become the most dangerous medicine around. They lied, and that’s obvious.

Now, a study wants to prove that «Hydroxychloroquine is protective to the heart, not Harmful».

Wake up, people. The treatment for Covid-19 was around since before it started. But “for reasons having nothing to do with a correct understanding of science, has been pushed to sidelines”.

Prof. Thomas Borody and an Ivermectin-based protocol for Covid-19 that supposedly is 100% effective

“We Know it’s Curable; It’s Easier than Treating the Flu

Professor Thomas Borody

Highly respected Dr. Harvey Risch of Yale, on Hydroxychloroquine.

Covid-19: history will judge the hysteria

History will judge the hysteria.

If we had not been told that there was an epidemic in the country, you would not have known there was such an epidemic and you would not have done anything about it,” he said emphatically. “The fact that this issue runs all day in the media inflates it beyond its natural dimensions. If black death had raged here, as in the 14th century, you would not have had to follow the situation in the news, the bodies would have piled up in the streets. We were not and we are not in this situation today.”

Prof. Qimron noted that the total number of coronavirus deaths does not exceed 0.1% of the total population in any country, and the death rate from coronavirus is less than 0.01% of the total world population, meaning that 99.99% of the world’s population so far has survived the epidemic and the virus is negligibly lethal.

Prof. Qimron is Soon-to-be head the Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at Tel Aviv University

Italian — Covid-19, bugie, studi e rimedi: un riassunto

Il prof Harvey Risch della Yale School of Medicine ha pubblicato una recensione estesa di svariati trial con HCQ (Idrossiclorochina) + AZ (Azitromicina) + Zinco che abbassano il tasso di mortalità di quasi oltre il 70%. Si veda anche quest’altro articolo meno tecnico, mirato al pubblico.

Si noti che tra i vari trial recensiti c’è anche quello del Dr Zelenko, che persino in Italia era stato preso in giro, ma che in realtà ha curato centinaia di pazienti col suo protocollo.

Cosa non sorprendente visto che CQ (clorochina, di cui HCQ è una variante meno tossica) già nel 2005 fu trovata essere un potente inibitore di SARS-CoV-1 (che ricordiamo essere 79.1% simile geneticamente alla SARS-CoV-2).

La pazzia attuale di non usare questi medicinali ha una radice politica anziché scientifica ed è diventata mainstream con lo studio del Lancet, poi ritrattato causa utilizzo di dati fraudolenti forniti da un’azienda sospetta. Stiamo parlando di una delle più antiche e rinomate riviste scientifiche mediche, che ha pubblicato dati falsi pur di gettare fango su medicinale sicurissimo ed efficace. 

In Italia il dott. Moreno Ferrarese aveva fino a maggio curato oltre 160 pazienti con un protocollo a base di HCQ, di cui solo 7% è finito in ospedale, senza però mai sviluppare complicanze gravi. E nessun decesso o altro effetto collaterale.

Lui ed altri mostrarono subito preoccupazione a seguito della pubblicazione (poi ritrattata) del Lancet.

Didier Raoult aveva dichiarato già a Febbraio che Covid-19 non sarebbe stato un problema grazie a HCQ. 

Negli ultimi due mesi le pubblicazioni a favore di HCQ si sono moltiplicate. Le bugie sulla non sicurezza del farmaco sono cadute in frantumi (ma ovviamente i media non ne parlano – e non dicono che gli studi che avevano trovato la HCQ tossica avevano usato dosi tossiche di 2400mg al giorno sui pazienti). Così come le bugie sulla sua inefficacia (gli studi confermano che il farmaco va usato presto ed è lì che funziona, non quando è troppo tardi e i pazienti hanno raggiunto la fase critica). 

A tutto questo si è aggiunto il prof. Thomas Borody col suo protocollo a base di Ivermectin. Dopo essere andato finalmente in onda su Sky News Australia, YouTube non ha potuto più censurarlo (lo aveva fatto precedentemente). Guarda caso due giorni dopo è partita una macchina del fango contro l’ennesimo professionista di fama internazionale. 

Tutta questa ostinazione a voler trascinare tutto alla nuova stagione dell’influenza, così si potranno mescolare le carte tra influenza e Covid. Tutta questo voler negare l’efficacia di HCQ dimostrata sul campo da dozzine di dottori. Tutta questa manipolazione sociale mai vista prima, su basi scientifiche praticamente inesistenti (pubblicazioni dimostrano anche l’inutilità del lockdown e di mascherine). 

Poi c’è il negare l’evidenza della T-cell immunity ormai dimostrata da una recente ricerca di Oxford. Il che sta facendo raggiugnere immunità di gregge a 20% — ultima di tante regioni, la Florida proprio di recente. 

Tutto questo puntare irrazionalmente sul vaccino; vaccino per un RNA virus? Quand’è l’ultima volta che si e scommesso su un tale vaccino? Vaccini tradizionali per RNA virus di solito non funzionano. A meno che non si stia puntando su vaccini DNA/RNA.

Tutto questo negare (o non dire affatto) che aumentare il PCR testing quando c’è meno malattia in giro aumenta i falsi positivi

Tutto questo non spiegare a nessuno che gli asintomatici sono sostanzialmente una barzelletta e la ragione per cui si hanno PCR tests positivi su persone senza sintomi è, molto probabilmente, perché il virus è stato contratto da una persona immune che lo ha sconfitto. Certo una percentuale di queste persone potrebbe essere qualcuno ancora in fase di incubazione, ma la T-cell immunity spiega l’alta percentuale di “asintomatici”, ovvero persone immuni in cui si trova un virus morto che però viene rilevato dal test PCR, che non distingue tra virus vivo e attivo, e virus morto e sconfitto dal sistema immunitario. Questo spiegherebbe anche coloro che sono risultati positivi per mesi dopo essere guariti dall’effettiva malattia. Non erano più malati. 

Coloro che hanno appoggiato tutta questa pazzia, in un modo o nell’altro, ne dovranno fare i conti. 

Flu killing more than Covid-19 in London

Influenza deaths overtook those caused by coronavirus in mid-June, UK figures show. What’s really noteworthy is that this happened in the midst of the measures that were (and are) in place for limiting the spread of Covid-19, which really, should limit the spread of any virus, because the principle is the same.

And yet Covid is basically not killing anymore, but flu is. What does this mean? That the drop in deaths by Covid-19 has got nothing to do with lockdown, masks, hand washing, etc. etc. It’s simply the course of the virus, just like many great virologists and epidemiologists had predicted.

Fake pandemic. If they only allowed treatment by HCQ+AZ+Zinc, Covid-19 would’ve likely caused far less deaths than influenza. In fact, it might have helped with influenza, too.

We didn’t have to have so many people dying. We didn’t to lockdown an entire world.

But they did. And they have reasons for it that are far beyond the containment of the disease.

Frontline Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance – MATH+ protocol

A number of doctors formed the Frontline Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance and developed the MATH+ protocol for Covid-19.

The difference between this protocol and HCQ-based treatments seems to be about the “when”.

MATH+ is designed for hospital treatment, rather than for home treatment. That is, it’s “designed for hospitalized patients, to be initiated as soon as possible after they develop respiratory difficulty and require oxygen supplementation”, and not for people who are in the early stage of the disease with mild symptoms, and can be treated at home.

The protocol is available in several languages, including English (of course) and Italian.

HCQ Trial: clever usage of globally available data

This study at https://hcqtrial.com is, IMHO, a very clever initiative. They decided to use globally available data to build randomised controlled trial for hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). 2.7 billion people were divided in treatment group (those who took HCQ) and a control group (those who did not). Their abstract (follows) explains in summary the setup of the study.

Many countries either adopted or declined early treatment with HCQ, forming a large country-randomized controlled trial with 2.0 billion people in the treatment group and 663 million to the control group. As of August 7, 2020, an average of 39.6/million in the treatment group have died, and 443.7/million in the control group, relative risk 0.089. After adjustments, treatment and control deaths become 82.0/million and 637.0/million, relative risk 0.13. Confounding factors affect this estimate, including varying degrees of spread between countries. Accounting for predicted changes in spread, we estimate a relative risk of 0.21. The treatment group has a 79.1% lower death rate. We examined diabetes, obesity, hypertension, life expectancy, population density, urbanization, testing level, and intervention level, which do not account for the effect observed.

Hydroxychloroquine and Covid-19: unexpected though unsurprising developments

Hydroxychloroquine is probably best known to the world these days as the magic drug that Donald Trump claimed to be the game changer in the fight against Covid-19. Soon after, the drug was discredited as dangerous, and prescribing the drug off label as a method to treat Covid-19 was eventually prohibited, if not demonised altogether, especially in the west.

I largely ignored the matter, thinking that the evidence simply was against the drug, and moved on. Until a few days ago.

America Frontline Doctors

A group of doctors that recently formed an association called America Frontline Doctors, went live on Facebook and other social media to declare to the US and the world that they had been treating patients with Hydroxychloroquine (+ Zinc + Azithromycin) and they had seen a great benefit. In fact, they essentially stated that the cure for Covid-19 exists and no one has or had to die so far. And went as far as saying that the protocol can be used as prophylaxis, too. The video has been banned repeatedly from all sorts of platforms. It’s currently available on this site (no direct link available, but it’s currently on the homepage, in rightmost column, entitled: “CENSORED: America’s Frontline Doctors Press Conference at the Supreme Court”).

Hardcore censorship and defamation

With the apparent reason of “false information about Covid-19”, the information shared by these doctors was forcefully censored (and still is) from all sorts of platforms. Not only that, very shortly after the fact, a number of blog and newspapers (mostly leftwing) have done their best to discredit the doctors involved. From claiming that these doctors never actually treated any Covid patient to using Dr Stella Immanuel’s peculiar religious beliefs (I haven’t fact-checked her beliefs, because for me it is beside the point), they have done their best to defame these doctors, although I have seen very little actual evidence against them.

Digging

I admit the whole thing seemed weird, but one fact actually haunted me: I was convinced these doctors had no advantage or benefit whatsoever from claiming what they claimed. So, why?

When I started digging, the first thing I realised is that I had been distracted during this pandemic. I mean, I have a lot going on. But. I should have paid more attention. I am referring to the Lancet study. The study, now formally retracted (which happened only 13 days after its publication), was based on fake data from a joke of a company. This is the same study that both the FDA and WHO have leveraged to carry out the decision to stop off-label use of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 treatment. As a result of that move, other bodies around the western world have done the same.

Some more digging

That just me made want to dig even more, specifically into some scientific literature.

The most striking paper I found after five minutes in my research is entitled Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk Covid-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis. From the abstract:

Hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin has been used as standard-of-care in more than 300,000 older adults with multicomorbidities, with estimated proportion diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmias attributable to the medications 47/100,000 users, of which estimated mortality is <20%, 9/100,000 users, compared to the 10,000 Americans now dying each week. These medications need to be widely available and promoted immediately for physicians to prescribe.

You read that, and you go: mhm, ok. (The rest of the paper is available for free, by the way).

Then I found out that the person who wrote that paper is Harvey A. Risch, MD, PhD, professor of epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health. And he also wrote this op-ed entitled The Key to Defeating COVID-19 Already Exists. We Need to Start Using It.

So, this guy isn’t just a random nobody holding a sudden press conference saying they have been treating 350+ patients to date of all kind of ages and with comorbidities, with zero deaths (this is Dr Stella Immanuel, by the way). This is a respectable Yale professor publishing in reputable journals.

In this op-ed you’ll find that he says:

Since publication of my May 27 article, seven more studies have demonstrated similar benefit. These seven 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. Since my letter was published, even more doctors have reported to me their completely successful use.

Henry Ford Health System (HFHS)

Treatment with hydroxychloroquine cut the death rate significantly in sick patients hospitalized with COVID-19 – and without heart-related side-effects, according to a new study published by Henry Ford Health System.

Italian study agrees with HFHS

An Italian team published a study entitled Effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 disease: A done and dusted situation? In this paper, they say «Our results are remarkably similar to those shown by Arshad et al.» (i.e. HFHS study).

More studies

And even more studies

More interesting links

More interesting links can be found on Dr James Todaro‘s website, Medicine Uncensored.

Meanwhile, on the news

Ok, let me have a look in Italy

At this point I stop and wonder: what about Italy? I usually trust the Italian doctors. They are excellent, they have a great training, they are very knowledgeable, and being Italian, they don’t just follow orders because they are orders. Which in cases like this, it’s probably good.

Yet I didn’t hear much about hydroxychloroquine in Italy. Or perhaps, once again, I hadn’t paid much attention. Of course, above, I linked a study by an Italian team that agrees with Henry Ford Health System. But that’s recent in my research trail.

Early in my research, I found out that Dr Moreno Ferrarese of Alessandria (Piedmont) had been using hydroxychloroquine with success. Hundred more doctors were apparently doing the same. We are talking about GPs, family doctors, treating patients at home. And we talk about May time, before The Lancet came out with its fraudulent study.

The latest public comment by Dr Ferrarese I could find goes back to 25 May, and states that he had by then treated 169 patients, no deaths, and only 7% was hospitalised, although none of them ever developed severe complications.

When the AIFA forbade the use of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19, the Italian doctors denounced that without alternatives, home-based treatment of patients was now at risk.

Also, as far as I can tell, the “Alessandria protocol” (such was labelled the approach used by Ferrarese using hydroxychloroquine) was never big news on TV or elsewhere. In fact, living in the UK, the thing I had heard more about coming from Italy was the Ascierto protocol, using Tocilizumab, which now a randomised study says had no statistically relevant benefits.

That said, it remains that in Italy, too, we have doctors that disagreed with the global advice of not using hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19.

As you dig, you find many doctors in the West have chosen, for the sake of their patients, to follow the science instead of the politics. Some names are:

After the storm

Interestingly enough, after the storm that the American Frontline Doctors unleashed, suddenly more and more people came out as both patients willing to testify and more doctors willing to put their neck on the line.

Within days from that presse conference, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said there are some medical observational studies that “suggest a benefit” in using the drug hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19 and that doctors can still prescribe the drug off-label for coronavirus patients.

The FDA official guidance hasn’t however changed, and Hahn added that clinical, randomised trials do not show a benefit (which based on the literature I reviewed, I don’t think it’s an accurate claim).

Fauci insists

In the light of all the data I presented here, which is only a fraction of what’s available, it bewilders me to read Fauci, as of three days ago, still say that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective.

Mind you, this is the same man who can’t guarantee in-person voting at the US elections in November, but apparently has no advice to give regarding the hoards of rioters amassing in the streets of the USA.

You should really be starting to think hard at this point, because if you don’t feel something is wrong, I am not sure what could ever make you budge.

Natural experiments

Again, from prof. Risch:

These have been “natural experiments.” In the northern Brazil state of Pará, COVID-19 deaths were increasing exponentially. On April 6, the public hospital network purchased 75,000 doses of azithromycin and 90,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine. Over the next few weeks, authorities began distributing these medications to infected individuals. Even though new cases continued to occur, on May 22 the death rate started to plummet and is now about one-eighth what it was at the peak.

A reverse natural experiment happened in Switzerland. On May 27, the Swiss national government banned outpatient use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19. Around June 10, COVID-19 deaths increased four-fold and remained elevated. On June 11, the Swiss government revoked the ban, and on June 23 the death rate reverted to what it had been beforehand. People who die from COVID-19 live about three to five weeks from the start of symptoms, which makes the evidence of a causal relation in these experiments strong. Both episodes suggest that a combination of hydroxychloroquine and its companion medications reduces mortality and should be immediately adopted as the new standard of care in high-risk patients.

Not new and not unsafe

It was 2005 when Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread was published. Now, the study speaks of chloroquine, not hydroxychloroquine, but the latter is essentially a less toxic form of the former. So, the efficacy of such a drug against this kind of viruses has been known for a while, and the SARS-related study mentioned above suggests “both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage”, which is essentially the same thing many doctors are now claiming of hydroxychloroquine for SARS-CoV-2.

It is also false that these drugs are not safe. Fears of heart problems seem overblown. Prof. Risch also deems the drug safe. And many have suggested that it takes extremely long period of exposure to the drug or toxic doses to see the problems HCQ has been accused of causing. In essence, the so much feared side-effects seem to be extremely rare.

Why has hydroxychloroquine been disregarded?

Prof. Risch says it best:

In the future, I believe this misbegotten episode regarding hydroxychloroquine will be studied by sociologists of medicine as a classic example of how extra-scientific factors overrode clear-cut medical evidence.

The reason is not scientific. In fact, Risch continues:

  • The medication has become highly politicised
  • The drug has not been used properly in many studies
  • Concerns have been raised by the FDA and others about risks of cardiac arrhythmia, 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.

To close, some common misconceptions about the virus

It’s a completely new virus. No, it isn’t. It’s 79% similar to SARS-CoV and 50% similar to MERS-CoV. And there are plenty more coronaviruses around.

There is (was) no immunity at all in the population. False. Because the virus belongs to a family of viruses we as human have already encountered, and because the virus is naturally similar to those other coronaviruses, claiming total lack of immunity to the virus is a lie. See recent research from Oxford scientists. And also interview with Dr Gupta, who says “The pre-existing antibodies & T-cell responses against coronaviruses seem to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection, not just the outcome of infection”.

The pandemic will become endemic. Actually, research suggests that the four coronaviruses responsible for the cold once caused pandemics. This also may suggest that this new coronavirus will end up the same. This is also the opinion of Sadler, former director of the Institute for Immunology at the University of Bern, a biologist and professor emeritus.

Children have a central role in spreading the virus. Early in the pandemic had become clear this wasn’t the case. A recent study confirms that “Almost 6 months into the pandemic, accumulating evidence and collective experience argue that children, particularly school-aged children, are far less important drivers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission than adults.”

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