It was only a couple of weeks ago that President Donald Trump touted the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential “game-changer” in terms of effectively treating the coronavirus.
The establishment media immediately attacked the president for giving people “false hope” by even daring to mention the drug.
They were quick to point out that the medication did not have official approval to be used as a treatment against the COVID-19 disease.
Some in the media even went so far as to accuse Trump of placing people’s lives in danger by mentioning the possibility of effectively treating the coronavirus with a combination of hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin.
They pushed the absurdly “fishy” story of an Arizona couple who’d ingested an aquarium cleaner product — which contained a toxic chemical derivative of chloroquine — that resulted in the man dying and the woman becoming seriously ill, ostensibly at the direction of the president.
All of that, and so much more, seemed specifically geared toward frightening the American people away from the potentially life-saving drug mentioned by Trump.
Despite those media efforts to declare the drugs as dangerous or scary, the New York Post reported Thursday on a worldwide survey of doctors which showed that hydroxychloroquine was rated the “most effective” treatment in dealing with the coronavirus.
The survey, which queried more than 6,200 doctors in 30 countries across five continents, provided a rather insightful glance into how doctors around the globe viewed the coronavirus pandemic, the various governmental responses to the virus, the treatments currently available and what they’d like to see going forward in terms of information and supplies.
The poll of doctors was conducted by Sermo, which describes itself as “the largest healthcare data collection company and global social platform for physicians.”
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The purpose of the poll was to compile a single source of valuable information to push back against a tsunami of “widespread confusion, conflicting reports, inconsistent testing, and off-indication use of existing and experimental drugs.”
On the question of the use of hydroxychloroquine, the survey found that the drug “was overall chosen as the most effective therapy amongst COVID-19 treaters from a list of 15 options.”
The drug was chosen as the “most effective” option by 37 percent of those prescribing treatments for coronavirus patients.
Interestingly, perhaps in part due to the media’s all-out assault on the mere mention of the drug, only 23 percent of U.S. doctors were prescribing it, while usage of the drug was far more widespread in other countries.
The survey further showed that hydroxychloroquine was predominately used in the U.S. for patients diagnosed as “high risk,” while in most other countries, it was more widely prescribed for patients with symptoms ranging from mild to severe.
The poll found that roughly 19 percent of doctors worldwide were prescribing the drug or have seen it prescribed as a preventative measure for “high risk” patients, “and 8% for low risk patients.”
The online survey’s results were “reported for individual countries with a minimum sample size of 250,” according to the poll’s methodology page.
“Such a sample size provides for point estimates with a +/- 6% precision at a 94% confidence level. In situations where the sample size for a country is below 250, countries are aggregated to provide a meaningful regional view.”
The Sermo poll also uncovered some interesting results in regard to views on tests and testing procedures, how best to prioritize patients in terms of equipment and supply shortages, and what doctors need the most.
“This is a treasure trove of global insights for policy makers. Physicians should have more of a voice in how we deal with this pandemic and be able to quickly share information with one another and the world,” Peter Kirk, CEO of Sermo, said in a statement.
“With censorship of the media and the medical community in some countries, along with biased and poorly designed studies, solutions to the pandemic are being delayed. We invite global physicians to contribute to help inform policy makers, their colleagues, and the public,” he added.
Dozens of ongoing clinical trials around the world are currently looking into the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine — often paired with azithromycin to guard against secondary bacterial infections — in treating the deadly virus.
And there are plenty of early results from small studies and anecdotal evidence from individual doctors that the drug combination can be quite effective.
The Food and Drug Administration has already granted emergency authorization for U.S. doctors to use the drug on COVID-19 patients while final approval remains pending.
That, combined with this survey and the various studies and trials, offers hope that the terrible viral contagion could soon be stopped in its tracks.
While that is great news for the American people and everyone else around the globe who are at risk, it is bad news for those who are cynically hoping to exploit this tragic pandemic to damage Trump.
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