Even before President Trump started plugging chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as Covid-19 treatments, enthusiasm for the old malaria drugs was swelling in the state of Utah.

The “stunning medications” led to “responses that are equivalent to Lazarus” — the Biblical figure brought back to life by Jesus — one physician said at an event at the state Capitol. The deputy director of the state health department, even as he acknowledged there was not “FDA-type of evidence” showing the drugs worked, said he was willing to put stock in case reports and “test tube evidence.”

Propelled by that hype, as well as mounting fears of the oncoming pandemic, the state pursued a sweeping — and eyebrow-raising — policy that would have let pharmacies dispense the unproven medications to patients with Covid-19 without a prescription. Utah, which took perhaps the most aggressive strategy with the drugs of any state, also put in an order for $800,000 worth of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to build a stockpile, and considered buying millions of dollars more.

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The state did all of that without any rigorous evidence the drugs can help patients recover faster from Covid-19. Clinical trials that will answer that question are ongoing, but recent observational studies have cast doubt on an effect. And in the weeks since Utah’s efforts to promote and procure the drugs, the Food and Drug Administration has warned they should not be taken for Covid-19 outside a hospital or a clinical trial, citing “reports of serious heart rhythm problems.”

Utah eventually abandoned its plans to make the drugs available without prescriptions and canceled its order.

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The saga of the drugs’ rise and fall in Utah, pieced together from documents STAT obtained through a public records request, provides a case study of what happens when hope and excitement about therapies outpace the evidence. It underscores the pressure officials felt to demonstrate they were on top of the response, even as such efforts sowed confusion among the medical community and led them into initiatives they came to regret. And, mirroring the hydroxychloroquine debate in the Trump administration, it shows how experts scrambled to inject restraint and plead for leaders to follow evidence at a time when promises of easy remedies were more enticing.

When, for example, the Utah Medical Association issued a bulletin to physicians, since rescinded, that suggested the state was recommending hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for Covid-19 patients, the state epidemiologist wrote to others in the health department, “I disagree with this approach.” A top infectious disease specialist at the University of Utah was more blunt, sending a message with only “WTF?????”

Virus Outbreak Utah
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (left) and Senate President Stuart Adams listen during a press conference with legislative, community, and business leaders on April 17 at the Utah State Capitol. Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News via AP

In Utah, the hydroxychloroquine hype reached the public on March 20, at a press conference at the state Capitol. A group of policymakers and health professionals reassured people that they’d begun working on ways to get patients chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. They cast their efforts as a reason for hope, while glossing over the concerns experts were raising about the medications as Covid-19 therapies. The drugs, Stuart Adams, the president of the state Senate, said, “may help bend that curve and keep people out of hospitals.”

Other speakers at the event carried the same message. Dan Richards, a pharmacist, suggested the drugs contributed to South Korea’s success in stemming its outbreak. Kurt Hegmann, a physician, made the comparison to Lazarus, and Marc Babitz, the deputy director of the state health department, delivered his comments about the quality of evidence. At one point, Babitz cited Trump as a reason for suggesting the drugs might work.

“Our president came out and suggested the medications,” Babitz said. “So we’re very confident this could make a significant difference.”

One reason why hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine attracted attention was because they were old. New drugs to fight Covid-19 would take months to develop, but these drugs had long been used to treat malaria, as well as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. That meant that doctors could prescribe them off-label to people with Covid-19 immediately.

Driving much of the Utah officials’ interest in the drugs was Richards, the CEO of a local pharmacy chain, Meds in Motion. In a March 12 email to the executive director of the Utah health department, Joseph Miner, he suggested there was already demand for chloroquine.

Richards also suggested the state pursue a standing order, essentially a blanket prescription that would allow pharmacies to ship compounded versions of the drugs directly to patients when they tested positive for the coronavirus. He indicated doing so might help patients stay healthy enough they could avoid hospitals, at a time when a major fear of the pandemic was that it would swamp health systems.

“Utah needs this to have the potential for an epidemic curve like that for South Korea,” Hegmann, the physician working with Richards, wrote to health department leaders on March 17. (Experts say South Korea’s success in minimizing its outbreak stems not from these drugs, but from strategies like widespread testing, isolating people who are infected, and contact tracing.)

Hegmann does not appear to be an infectious disease specialist or critical care physician; his University of Utah biography says he is the chief of the division of occupational and environmental health with “expertise in musculoskeletal disorders and the evaluation of commercial drivers.” But the records indicate Hegmann and Richards were part of a public-private initiative backed by some state senators to find ways to expedite the screening of Utahns for Covid-19 and refer them to treatment; Hegmann is president of a company that was helping develop an online screening tool. (The Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune separately obtained the records and reported on some of their contents earlier this month.)

“We are not a state-appointed, organized task force,” Richards told the Deseret News in March. “We are just a bunch of people who raised our hands and said something had to be done.”

But they quickly gained sway with the state. Hegmann, Richards, and the health department’s Miner and Babitz were soon swapping drafts and suggested edits for the standing order. A draft showed that the online screening tool would refer certain people to testing and then, if positive, to treatment with compounded hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine. The drugs, the draft said, have “the potential to help stop the spread of this virus, reduce need for hospitalization, and reduce mortality rates.”

The group thought it was a way to speed the drugs to patients, who wouldn’t need to consult with a physician after testing positive. By getting pharmacies to compound the medications, it wouldn’t cause a shortage of the versions used by patients with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, they argued. The health department officials did not appear to raise questions about whether a pharmacist should be involved in crafting a policy that could benefit pharmacies, the records indicate.

Hegmann, Richards, and a spokesman for the state health department did not respond to emails from STAT seeking comment.

Around the same time, Trump started talking up the drugs.

“Trump is touting chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine at [a] news conference right now,” Miner wrote to the group on March 19.

“That should help with community acceptance of this option,” Babitz replied. “I will say privately that I wish we had ‘trumped’ his announcement with this great plan.”

Trump’s support for the drugs came as they were being cheered on Fox News and among his political allies. Their arguments relied on results from small and flawed studies that weren’t designed to prove whether the drugs were effective or not. The view was that this was an emergency, and people couldn’t afford to wait for the results of randomized controlled trials, the types of studies that can show whether a drug works.

“What do you have to lose?” Trump said, even as federal health officials said they needed to wait on the trials results. Experts also noted that the drugs carried risks to people’s hearts.

Soon, Utah’s “great plan” was raising concerns with experts, too.

“The use of an unproven therapy in this way could be a grave mistake medically,” Andrew Pavia, the chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah, wrote on March 22 to Miner and the lieutenant governor after finding out about the standing order.

He stressed that the state should wait for solid evidence before recommending the drugs, particularly to people who weren’t that sick. Hospitalized patients might be treated with hydroxychloroquine — cases where the potential benefits outweighed the risk — but patients shouldn’t take the medications at home without a physician’s oversight, Pavia said. “There is as yet no real evidence of clinical benefit for these drugs,” Pavia wrote. “Wide use of unproven therapies in outpatients and low risk patients exposes them to potential harm with little evidence of benefit.”

Within a few days, Gov. Gary Herbert’s office pulled the plug on the standing order, saying that there was enough capacity for people with Covid-19 to first consult with a clinician, who could decide whether or not to prescribe the medications, emails show.

But the state was not done with hydroxychloroquine. About a week later, a state purchasing agency — a separate agency from the health department — agreed to buy 20,000 packets of compounded chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine from Meds in Motion, Richards’ pharmacy, for $800,000.

“This smacks as irresponsible and even reckless.”

Scott Aberegg of the University of Utah’s division of pulmonary and critical care medicine, in an email

State officials’ support for the drugs led to confusion — and backlash.

The clearest example: the swift reaction to a March 27 email from the Utah Medical Association to the state’s doctors, which said that Utah’s health department was “recommending that providers use a longstanding medication to treat COVID-19.” Listed were forms of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.

The email included suggested dosages, and added: “The state has arranged for production of compounded medication, so we do not anticipate this will cause a shortage for patients who need it for other conditions.”

Pavia, the infectious disease expert, fired off an email to Angela Dunn, the state epidemiologist who has been helping lead Utah’s Covid-19 response, that only said “WTF?????” Dunn quickly wrote to Babitz and Miner: “Do you know who put out these recommendations from UDOH?” In a follow up, she wrote, “As you know I disagree with this approach.”

It was only the beginning. “This smacks as irresponsible and even reckless,” Scott Aberegg of the University of Utah’s division of pulmonary and critical care medicine wrote to state health officials, adding there was “no credible data that support a recommendation for this drug for this indication.” He said that patients should be in monitored clinical trials if they were going to be taking the drugs.

Eventually, Babitz clarified. What happened, he said, was that he had supplied the association with recommended doses of the drugs should doctors want to prescribe them to treat Covid-19. It wasn’t meant to suggest that all Covid-19 patients get these drugs, he said.

In his explanation, Babitz spelled out a timeline of what had occurred leading up to the medical association’s email. The first bullet point: “President Trump announces to the world that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can combat COVID19.” He concluded: “If a healthcare provider, for whatever reason, decides s/he wishes to treat a COVID19 positive patient, our desire was to recommend the safest dosing of these medications.”

Miner emailed the head of the medical association asking for a corrected statement. “I admit there was much enthusiasm among some clinicians, pharmacists and political leaders locally and nationally about the prospects of using these medications to see if they would help blunt the severity of this pandemic,” he wrote. He added: “After further consideration we know we must have better scientific research before recommending them.”

The following day, the association sent out another email: “The UDOH has withdrawn its guidance on hydroxychloroquine from March 27. They are instead endorsing the launching of the clinical studies and urging patients to participate in the trial to get access to the investigative drugs in a controlled environment with gathering of data.”

Virus Outbreak Utah
Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist from the Utah Department of Health, speaks during the daily Covid-19 briefing on April 6. Rick Bowmer/AP

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine’s moments in the spotlight did not last very long — at the national level, and in Utah.

The drugs stopped getting as much attention from Trump and Fox News. Observational studies found no benefits, and the FDA issued its warning about heart rhythm problems. Prescriptions tapered off — a relief to people who take them for autoimmune conditions.

In Utah, criticism quickly built once the state’s $800,000 purchase came to light. Some state lawmakers questioned why taxpayer dollars were being spent on unproven drugs. On April 24, Herbert, the governor, said he did not know about the initial purchase and said the health department’s talks to buy another 200,000 treatment courses from Meds in Motion had “ceased.” The Salt Lake Tribune reported the state far overpaid for the drugs compared to other formulations of hydroxychloroquine, and that the state was not experiencing any shortages.

“It was never more than a questionable Covid-19 treatment, and Utahns were never at risk of running out of it,” the Tribune editorial board wrote on April 29. “But that didn’t stop state officials from making a purchase that far exceeded any known need in the state. … State political leaders have given money and license to shameless promoters of baseless medical claims.”

That day, Herbert announced Meds in Motion refunded the state its $800,000. “A state supply of chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine is no longer prudent,” the governor’s office said.

Herbert’s office cited “breakdowns in communication between state agencies,” but there were no ramifications. “All involved acted proactively, preemptively, and prudently during an emergency in an effort to save lives,” a statement said.

As for Richards, he said his goal had always been to contribute to the state’s response.

“We did it to help the state, and it didn’t work out,” Richards told KUTV. “And we move on.”

  • Safety? Took it like Rolaids as a malaria prophylaxis. In the Army. MILLIONS of us. Think 250,000 soldiers in Vietnam and environs on 12-month tours times 15 years. Plus Panama. Plus Subic Bay. Plus Thailand. Plus Korea as well back then.

    • Funny article. You’ve apparently done ZERO research. Every single study that showed HCQ failed, th drug was given too late. HCQ, like any anti-viral, must be given EARLY.

      There are several studies now starting to come out with HCQ given early and using zinc as well.

      50% reduction in deaths

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341254876_Hydroxychloroquine_and_azithromycin_plus_zinc_vs_hydroxychloroquine_and_azithromycin_alone_outcomes_in_hospitalized_COVID-19_patients

    • Mark, it may be useful later for cytokine storm. Zinc seems to be a factor also.

      I have lost sight of the magic cure of high dose Vit C IV. One guy swears it cures everything!

      Simply put, we just don’t know yet. But sad that many focus on orange man bad. He didn’t just pull HQ out if thin air. And as has been posed elsewhere, the science is not settled. It seldom is even when reported as such.

      And the risks, while serious, are blown so far out of proportion bc MSM love hype pus they & other political ops love orange man bad.

      It would be nice if he stopped talking so much and more. However, he is not the problem.

  • Ventilators and Hydroxychloroquine are not successful in tge majority of victims that developed Wuhan coronavirus (Covid 19/SARS2) related Acute Respiratory Distress (ARDS). Hydroxychloroquine is best, according to anecdotal evidence compiled Dr. Didier Raoult and countless other physicians, as a prophylactic or before Wuhan coronavirus ARDS begins.
    A March 25th MIT article based on Wuhan coronavirus victim autopsies noted coagulatied capillaries in the lungs, heart, kidneys, and other areas of the body where ACE2 is expressed. They suggested using Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA).
    Previous tPA and ARDS studies demonstrated nebulized tPA as being most effective method of restoring fibrinolysis balance and oxygenation levels.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2040297/
    Mt. Sinai tested tPA with success, but found Heparin was needed to maintaun fibrinolysis balance and oxygenation levels.
    Until Remdesivir, antivirals, plasma antibodies, and other remedies are available, that Hydroxychloroquine administered pre-ARDS and tPA administerd post-ARDS are the best methods available to treat the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
    How many deaths are allowable when ways to prevent death are available.
    Hundreds of millions have been prescribed Hydroxychloroquine for Malaria, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and now for Wuhan coronavirus infection. Whether Covid 19/SARS2 caused heart arrhythmias or Hydroxychloroquine wasn’t proven. The success rate of ventilators is minimal.

    • The respiratory problems that develop in Covid 19 make the lungs unable to absorb enough oxygen out of room air even when assisted by ventilators. Improvements in ease of breathing by “proning” the patients, especially in obese patients, by putting them more on the side and front, lessened the burden of breathing, against the heavy adipose tissue, but also by including oxygen supplementation help the patients to gain some strength back and helped to heal themselves because their tissues were getting the oxygen the organs needed to get better. The bad after-effects of a severe case of Covid 19 are the residual lung damage, so earlier treatment is more effective especially in the long term. Hydroxychloroquine is apparently very good at blocking the inflammation that destroys lung tissue later in the disease process.

  • HCQ pulls zinc into the cells. the Zinc increases the PH and blocks RDRP viral replicators. In other words HCQ stops the the cells from creating more viruses that is spread to other cells and to other people.

    Problem is doctors…. don’t know what they are doing…. Remember doctors are the best at curing people. They are best at geting money for medical school, getting through years of schooling and impressing other doctors.

    HCQ dramatically slows viral creation so your immune system can respond. IF the doctor gives HCQ after their are symptoms of PNA then the patient will still suffer through PNA and may go into ARDS and die. HCQ doesn’t fix the damage the doctor allowed by not prescribing HCQ sooner. Additionaly HCQ must be taken with zinc. Zinc is the tank fighting the war. HCQ is the transport ship that delivers the tank to the fight. An empty transport ship doesn’t work well. Most people have zinc in their blood, but it is likely not enough.

    We incentive doctors to allow patients to get sick. they don’t get money to prevent hospitalization. Hospitals and doctors make money when patients are so sick they need to be admitted.

    Lastly a lot of doctors prescribe HCQ on the most sever patients. Which may help a little but this has resulted in the false association that HCQ increases mortality. The reality is HCQ is used in patients with a higher likely hood of mortality. It was good that UTAH got HCQ it is disgusting that they aren’t using it widely.

    • This.

      “HCQ pulls zinc into the cells. the Zinc increases the PH and blocks RDRP viral replicators.

      In other words HCQ stops the the cells from creating more viruses that is spread to other cells and to other people.”

      If people can’t grasp this (pretty simple) concept, you really have no place commenting on this topic (or you’re simply running a political agenda).

  • Theodore, check out the Wikipedia page on the AAPS. They are not a respectable medical organization. Their members may all be MD’s, but they are on the fringes of medicine. They embrace anti-vaccination quackery and promote a conspiratorialist political agenda.

  • Hydroxychloroquine Has about 90 Percent Chance of Helping COVID-19 Patients
    https://aapsonline.org/hcq-90-percent-chance/

    In a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) presents a frequently updated table of studies that report results of treating COVID-19 with the anti-malaria drugs chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ, Plaquenil®).

    To date, the total number of reported patients treated with HCQ, with or without zinc and the widely used antibiotic azithromycin, is 2,333, writes AAPS, in observational data from China, France, South Korea, Algeria, and the U.S. Of these, 2,137 or 91.6 percent improved clinically. There were 63 deaths, all but 11 in a single retrospective report from the Veterans Administration where the patients were severely ill.

    The antiviral properties of these drugs have been studied since 2003. Particularly when combined with zinc, they hinder viral entry into cells and inhibit replication. They may also prevent overreaction by the immune system, which causes the cytokine storm responsible for much of the damage in severe cases, explains AAPS. HCQ is often very helpful in treating autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

    Additional benefits shown in some studies, AAPS states, is to decrease the number of days when a patient is contagious, reduce the need for ventilators, and shorten the time to clinical recovery.

    Peer-reviewed studies published from January through April 20, 2020, provide clear and convincing evidence that HCQ may be beneficial in COVID-19, especially when used early, states AAPS. Unfortunately, although it is perfectly legal to prescribe drugs for new indications not on the label, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that CQ and HCQ should be used for COVID-19 only in hospitalized patients in the setting of a clinical study if available. Most states are making it difficult for physicians to prescribe or pharmacists to dispense these medications.

    As the letter to Gov. Ducey notes, “Many nations, including Turkey and India, are protecting medical workers and contacts of infected persons prophylactically. According to worldometers.info, deaths per million persons from COVID-19 as of Apr 27 are 167 in the U.S., 33 in Turkey, and 0.6 in India.”

    After Morocco and Algeria began using HCQ, a trend break and sharp reduction in their COVID-19 case fatality rate occurred.

    Vaccines and results of randomized double-blind controlled trials of new drugs are at best months away. But patients are dying now, while affordable, long-used drugs would be available except for government restrictions, AAPS states.

    The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has represented physicians of all specialties in all states since 1943. The AAPS motto is omnia pro aegroto, meaning everything for the patient.

    • Do you really believe deaths in India are only .6 per million? Seems more likely they haven’t nailed down testing, reporting, etc. and that has the numbers off….

    • Exactly. Hydroxicloroquine with Zinc prophylactically protect and if the patient has the illness the addition of the Z-pac fights the pneumonia.

    • Most people don’t die from covid 19. So data showing that 91% of patients improve when they take hydroxychloroquine doesn’t show us a thing.

      Most people who catch corona and go to the hospital improve . . . wait for it . . . because they are getting professional care.

      Until there’s data that this drug outperforms the baseline, it’s all anecdotes and speculation. At $40 per packet if I have my math right.

  • Another political hit job from STAT disguised as scientific, unbiased, factual article. Stop it already, your readers are on to you.

    • My thoughts exactly, the other shameless article posted today by @HelenBranswell at STAT regarding lack of evidence for the Moderna trials itself lacked evidence, and caused a 390 pt drop in the stock market. Irresponsible reporting at its finest. The Moderna report was simply a Phase (1) trial report, yet it was shamed by this ruthless and dangerous reporting.

      All of these naysayers is the real reason why we are exactly where we are today. This pandemic is bloated with insatiable idiocracy that will never make sense to anyone because it is all driven by motives not in the interest of the health of the people, or the economy.

  • Hello, Mr. Andrew Joseph. Your article about Utah and HCQ is very well written. However there is compassionate use that’s legitimate. Thus, there’s nothing wrong with prescribing a drug prophylactically, that has proven over many decades in 3 major diseases to work well with minimal negative side effects in most patients. What I wish journalists would explore is the insane directive by public health “authorities” that those with early symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 (aka COVID-19) should stay home until they’re febrile and have respiratory distress. This is insane. In quality medical care, we treat early to prevent dire later acuities. If HCQ can prevent mildly ill pts from graduating to severely ill and death, then let’s use it right away. [EKGs can be done to monitor for the rare cardiac concerns some ppl are exaggerating while pandemic pts are dying, mostly because they received zero early-illness medication that could rev up the immune system to fight this vicious virus.] Helen Borel,RN,PhD

    • Filling the prescription cost more than the drug costs. I have heard as low as $0.12 per pill for maybe a week’s worth of pills.

  • HYDROXYCHOLORQUINE
    A few years ago I discovered google scholar. It didn’t take long to figure out that this is where they hide older studies they don’t want us to know about. (Try to find this stuff on google) Disclaimer: I am not an M.D.
    These are conditions I found that are treated, studied, etc. with hydroxychloroquine as a therapeutic. (By itself and in combination with other drugs.) This list is by no means exhaustive as I stopped after approx. 25 pages.
    More has to be out there. I’m going to start with the biggest impact diseases. Keep in mind the potential HIT big pharma will take if this info is well known!!!!
    Let’s start with the big ones:
    *systemic erythematous lupus (BIG!)
    * malaria
    *rheumatoid arthritis (BIG!)
    *juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
    *sjogren’s syndrome
    *connective tissue disease (BIG!)
    *HIV type 1 (BIG!)
    *dermatomyositis
    *cancer therapy-shown to mediate substantial antineoplastic effects in preclinical models (FNG BIG!)
    *dementia in Alzheimer’s (OMG BIG!)
    *melanoma (BIG)
    * breast cancer (OMG BIG!!)
    *schizophrenia -significant ameliorating effect (BIG!!)
    *B-chronic lymphocytic leukaemic cells (BIG)
    *severe chronic asthma- steroid sparing effect (BIG)
    *advanced non-small cell lung cancer (BIG)
    *improves insulin sensitivity in obese non-diabetics
    *Q fever (LOL!)
    *cutaneous sarcoidal granulomas
    *cholesterol lowering effects- reversal of deleterious effects of steroids on lipids (BIG)
    *prevention of post-op deep vein thrombosis (BIG)
    *decompensated treatment for refractory non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitis
    *oral lichen planus
    *urticarial vasulitis syndrome
    *Kikuch-fujimotos
    *sarcoidosis
    *discoid lupus profundus in children
    *lupus panniculitis
    *antiphospholipid syndrome
    *severe multicentric reticulohistiocytosis
    *chronic urticaris
    *relapsed/refractory myeloma
    *glioblastoma
    *immunomodulatory properties for bone marrow transplants
    *psoriatic arthritis
    *lichen planopilaris (frontal alopecia)
    *porphyria cutanea tarde
    *hypercalcemia
    *surfactant protein c deficiency
    and finally:
    *cancer in dogs
    So finally patriots, we have to take advantage of this moment in time… big pharma must go down!!! Tell your family, tell your friends.. “Ask your doctor if hydroxychloroquine is right for you?”
    Not only has it been studied it’s been proven for many things. As the sleeping liberals listen to the fake news media, and root for Big Pharma to nvr solve this problem… the rest of America will get on with living their lives… without mask, without shut downs. Bc just as the media, WHO, CDC and many others pushed false numbers and fear the intelligent people researched everything… like how the mortality rate is actually LESS than the flu… but hey keep being victims of this corruption…

    • Hidden. In plain view.

      The most virulent ideologies, including those that deal with health, almost always incorporate a heavy dose of conspiracy. Covid-19 is a perfect storm for Trumpkin paranoids, with China, Big Pharma, and vaccination. Trump is their sublime leader, with his long history of puerile speculations and bigotries.

      Trumpkin logic:
      1 The Covid-19 pandemic is fake.
      2 China is to blame for suppressing information about the fake pandemic.
      3 The cure for the fake epidemic is being buried because Big Pharma will yield little profit from it.
      4 The side-effects of hydroxychloroquine are exaggerated, but a vaccine would, like all vaccines, be dangerous.

    • With a little hunting, HCQ is available off-shore fairly cheaply from the same countries that make about 90% of our drugs currently. The stuff is so cheap to make, it makes no sense to fake it. 3rd world countries all over the globe consume this drug by the millions of doses daily, so it is available for a little time spent. Availability was gone early on in the pandemic from anywhere I could try, but it appears the pipelines are again filling up because I just bought 60 tablets for maybe $28. There are some cheats out there so if it doesn’t smell right, move on and many have telephone numbers that actually work. It is consumed probably more often than aspirin. Don’t hog it and let the 3rd world have their share but if you want some, it will come in very inconspicuous packaging many times with their local newspaper as padding. Money is the root of all evil.

  • Your article doesn’t even mention zinc. This drug works in conjunction with zinc. Turkey and Honduras and other countries and some doctors in the US are having success using this drug paired with zinc.

    • Right on the button. The initial study in China showed no benefit but it does not seem to have included zinc. The chloroquine opens up a window in the cell membrane so that zinc can enter the infected cell and disable the replication mechanism of the virus. You also need the Zinc!!

  • I am amazed at the hit piece, especially saying there is no evidence. I am shocked that a comment like that can be made in a professional publication. That is, especially when physicians in the field, from France to America, from New York to Texas to California who have used this drug ‘in time’ not when the patient has gone on a ventilator and the drug is ineffective, I think, looking at the push in your pub for another drug, patented by China, with the names Soros and Gates tagged on and pushed by Fauci, and noted in American Thinker as a big dollar ticket for the investors and admitted by Fauci as performing not as well as he expected, I question your independence. I question your motives and the article slides over the field performance with a long article but little substance. Maybe you all should get out of the office, and go out into the field and get your hands dirty.

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