Hydroxychloroquine, is it a Cure for COVID-19?



Hydroxychloroquine has received a great deal of attention during the last few months. A lot of this attention was created by President Donald Trump, who took the medication for two weeks. Another person, the president of Brazil, had the sickness and said the medicine cured his COVID-19. A group, calling themselves the “Frontline Doctors” tout the drug. Many doctors disagree and say the medication is not a cure for COVID-19. So, whom do we believe? What is the truth? Let’s take a look at the “Frontline Doctors.”

Frontline Doctors And Hydroxychloroquine

Jenny Beth Martin, the co-founder of Tea Party Patriots (a pro-Trump conservative group that helped to organize a recent event to offer their thoughts), said, “These are the doctors, diagnosing, treating, and helping patients beat COVID-19” (referring to the Frontline Doctors). The event was backed by the conservative organization seeking to re-elect President Trump. The seven doctors, identifying themselves as “Frontline Doctors,” created a video to promote their ideas last week. The doctors believe neither masks nor shutdowns are needed in order to fight the spread of the virus.

Video Promotes Hydroxychloroquine

The video, which was later removed from the internet, alleged the benefits of hydroxychloroquine, and the groups’ belief that it is a cure. They attempted to shoot down the scientific research that has shown the medicine does not have any benefit for COVID-19. Although their name suggests they work in hospital emergency rooms or intensive care units while having experience treating the virus, it is unclear to what extend the doctors have such experience. USA Today confirmed each one is a licensed doctor, but their specialties and experience suggests they were offering little more than personal opinions rather than research experience on COVID-19. None of the doctors claim to be infectious disease experts or doctors working in a hospital emergency or intensive care unit. USA Today reported that Ashish Jha, from the Harvard Global Health Institute, said the image of the doctors in the video, wearing white lab coats and standing outside the Supreme Court, spread a hopeful message to people fearing the pandemic. Jha concluded the idea that any doctor’s personal experience could outweigh more rigorous studies is simply unscientific. He said that their experiences are disproved by scientific evidence. The video suggested there is a global conspiracy to suppress an effective treatment of the coronavirus. Jha says, “It’s not science.” It is not proven. There is no evidence. USA Today attempted to contact the doctors participating in the video to determine if they are working on the front lines of the pandemic. One responded. Another declined to comment. The remainder did not respond. The paper also reached out to Tea Party Patriots and did not get a response.

Dr. Stella Immanuel – A Frontline Doctor

Dr. Stella Immanuel is a primary care physician in Houston. She claims she has treated 350 COVID-19 patients. She is a strong proponent of the medicine and said so in the video. The video was retweeted by President Trump and one of his sons before it was removed from Facebook and Twitter. The president said he found the doctor to be “very impressive.” Immanuel, also a Christian pastor, gave a speech on the steps of the US Supreme Court in Washington, which was first published by the right-wing website Breitbart a week ago Monday. She claims, “Nobody needs to get sick. This virus has a cure – it is called hydroxychloroquine, I have treated over 350 patients and not had one death.” Although no attempt is being made to disavow her, she has previously made some difficult to believe statements. In 2015, for example, she claimed that alien DNA was being used in medical treatments and that scientists were cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. During one of her sermons, she claimed that medical conditions are due to witches and demons. She said they have sex with people in a dream world. She stated, “They turn into a woman, and then they sleep with a man and collect his sperm – then they turn into the man, and they sleep with a man and deposit the sperm and reproduce more of themselves.”

Other Doctors Disagree

Experts are saying the “Frontline Doctors” may be real doctors but say they don’t know what they are talking about. The World Health Organization, recently taking some hard knocks, has halted its trials, saying it does not reduce death rates in patients with coronavirus. The US Food and Drug Administration cautioned against using the drug to treat coronavirus patients, following reports saying it causes “serious heart rhythm problems” and other health issues. The BBC reported last week, “We know that every good study – and by good study, I mean randomized control study in which the data are firm and believable – has shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of COVID-19. The debate regarding hydroxychloroquine continues to divide Americans mostly among political lines. The proponents point to the president’s support of the medication, while critics accuse the critics of covering up the potential effectiveness.

It is difficult to know, not being a scientist or a doctor, who to believe about the medication. Would you takeĀ hydroxychloroquine?