Hydroxychloroquine “shouldn’t be a quick fix” for coronavirus, says former White House medical official

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President Donald Trump has lobbied for the use of a hydroxychloroquine antimalarial drug for the coronavirus, and a prominent doctor says it could be a problem given the lack of available data.

“This is probably not a quick fix,” said Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who was a special adviser on health policy to the director of the Office of the Budget’s Management and Budget in the White House during the Obama administration, told Yahoo Finance on The Ticker. “We all want a quick fix, but … rather than being overly optimistic and talking about the good feelings we have, we have to trust the data. Because if we just go with our feelings, we will probably be very disappointed. And that could be a problem. “

The president has repeatedly touted hydroxychloroquine as an effective way to fight COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, even though his main medical advisers disagreed with him.

President Donald Trump listens to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during the daily briefing of the coronavirus task force at the White House in Washington, United States, on April 4, 2020. REUTERS / Joshua Roberts

“If it works, it would be a shame if we didn’t do it early,” said Trump on Sunday, saying that there are “very strong and powerful signs” of its effectiveness and adding that the government had stockpiled 29 million pills of Drugs. “We send them to various laboratories, our soldiers, we send them to hospitals. “

On the one hand, Trump asked, “What have you got to lose?” On the other hand, the president added, “But what do I know? I am not a doctor. But I have common sense. “

credited President Trump after taking hydroxychloroquine while recovering from COVID-19, and some doctors in major US health systems are now regularly administering the drug as part of COVID-19 treatment without knowing whether it will work . “Data-reactid =” 42 “> There is anecdotal evidence that the drug is useful for the treatment of COVID-19. A Democrat representative from Michigan credited President Trump after taking hydroxychloroquine as she recovered from COVID-19, and some doctors in major American health systems are now regularly administering the drug as part of COVID treatment – 19 without knowing whether it will work.

“For the record, this may have had a limited effect in patients with milder disease,” Dr. Daniel McQuillen, an infectious disease specialist at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Massachusetts, told Reuters. However, the drug “had no effect on limiting or slowing the progression of our patients who were at or near intensive care when they arrived.”

A pharmacy worker wearing a protective mask shows a box of Plaquenil, also known as hydroxychloroquine, on March 25, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo: Chesnot / Getty Images)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and a key advisor amid the coronavirus pandemic, has repeatedly downplayed the potential use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19.

CBS’s Face the Nation. “The data is really suggestive at best. There have been cases that show there can be an effect, and there are others to show that there is no effect. “” Data-reactid = “66”> “In terms of science, I don’t think we can definitively say that it works,” He told CBS Face the Nation. The data is really suggestive at best. There have been cases that show there can be an effect, and there are others to show that there is no effect. ”

encouraging the use of hydroxychloroquine despite the fact that no significant clinical trial has been conducted. A small essay by Chinese researchers touted by some was found to have clear boundaries. Another small-scale trial from France touted by others broke with standard clinical practices by specifically choosing patients (instead of standard practice of randomly assigning patients to treatment or control groups) and failing to do so. not collecting certain data. “Data-reactid =” 67 “> Members of Trump’s inner circle, including personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, encourage the use of hydroxychloroquine despite the lack of meaningful clinical trials. A small essay by Chinese researchers found to have clear boundaries. Another small-scale trial in France touted by others broke away from standard clinical practices by specifically choosing patients (instead of standard practice of randomly assigning patients to treatment or control groups) and by not collecting certain data.

Told The Washington Post. “We are planning a massacre. “” Data-reactid = “68”> “We have to take a little risk, damn it, if we want to save lives”, Giuliani, who cited the French study by President Trump during discussions on the use of hydroxychloroquine during the pandemic, told the Washington Post. “We are planning a massacre. “

Coronavirus cases are still increasing. (Graphic: David Foster / Yahoo Finance)

report by Axios, Navarro argued at a meeting of the White House coronavirus task force that there was indeed enough evidence to prove the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine. “Data-reactid =” 93 “> Another person close to Trump, the White House economic adviser, Peter Navarro, aggressively pushed against Dr. Fauci’s skepticism: According to an Axios report, Navarro argued during ‘a meeting of the White House Coronavirus working group that there was indeed enough evidence to prove the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.

In the midst of some anecdotal reports, experts largely endorse Dr. Fauci’s position.

“First of all, there is no proven benefit [and] we need to be very clear about this, “said Dr. Emanuel, who is currently Associate Dean of Global Initiatives and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Emanuel added that “many of us in the health community are suspicious because you are using the drug with patients who are doing well. We call this selection of patients, and that’s probably what we see in most positive reports. These patients may have been successful anyway without the drug. “

Nurses fit protective masks inside a test tent at St. Barnabas Hospital on March 20, 2020 in New York City. St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx has set up tents to screen potential COVID-19 patients outside before they enter the main emergency department area. (Photo: Misha Friedman / Getty Images)

Other prominent doctors have argued, contradicting the president, that people may indeed have something to lose by taking the drug without proper medical supervision.

Told The New York Times. “It causes psychiatric symptoms, heart problems and a host of other harmful side effects. “” Data-reactid = “118”> “There are side effects to hydroxychloroquine”, Dr. Megan L. Ranney, emergency doctor at Brown University in Rhode Island, told the New York Times: “It causes psychiatric symptoms, heart problems and a host of other harmful side effects. “

Ranney added that “there could be a role for some people. But to say to the Americans “you have nothing to lose” is not true. People certainly have something to lose by taking it indiscriminately. “

Dr. Emanuel noted that “the idea that you’re going to take it as a prophylactic” – something to prevent a disease like COVID-19 – “when it’s absolutely unproven: bad idea.”

He explained that “if you have a serious illness like lupus, it is worth taking” risks related to potential side effects. “But if you take it because you want to prevent [COVID-19], it’s not a good idea. “

& nbsp; Twitter,& nbsp; Facebook,& nbsp; Instagram,& nbsp; Flipboard,& nbsp; SmartNews,& nbsp; LinkedIn,Youtube, and& nbsp; reddit.“Data-reactid =” 127 “>Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, SmartNews, LinkedIn,Youtube, and reddit.



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