America’s Frontline Doctors released their latest film on Wednesday, “SAVING LIVES—Real Stories of Frontline Interventions, featuring Lidia.” The film, which is the debut episode in their new SAVING LIVES series, tells the story of Lidia, who reached out to AFLDS when she was sick and bedridden with COVID-19. Following her consultation, Lidia received a prescription for hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).

“The medication I took was HCQ. And I can tell you that immediately after, maybe an hour or two later, I felt incredibly better.”

The uplifting real-life story of Lidia’s experience with HCQ illustrates the growing interest in our nation for safe and effective treatment for COVID-19.

Brief Summary of Dr. Simone Gold’s White Paper on HCQ

A white paper on the AFLDS website written by Dr. Simone Gold highlights the “indisputable safety of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an analog of the same quinine found in tree barks that George Washington used to protect his troops.” The modern version—FDA approved for 65 years—has shown exceptional efficacy against SARS-CoV-2. AFLDS maintains its use is unjustly restricted despite the pressing danger COVID-19 poses to the American people and the rest of the world.

As an approved drug, HCQ has been safely used billions of times around the world. It has been dispensed to children, elderly patients, immune-compromised patients, healthy patients, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women. The paper reiterates well-established safety studies of HCQ, which is among the safest of all prescription drugs in the U.S., stating:

It is self-evident that HCQ is safe from the fact that it has been FDA approved for 65 years and has been used many billions of times all over the world and it is over the counter in most of the world, certainly pre-2020. It is the #1 most used medication in India, the second-most populous nation on the planet with 1.3 billion people. If an American travels to a location where malaria is endemic, per the CDC, they would start HCQ before they left for their trip. There has never been an allegation that HCQ is not safe until 2020. 

The only allegations of HCQ not being safe relate to a potential heart problem. The media has stated this so often that many people, including physicians, think there is a potential heart problem. However, the evidence is overwhelming that HCQ is very low risk.

Dr. Gold points out in the white paper that “There are only two things that must be considered regarding a medication: is it safe and does it work?” She writes that the safety record of HCQ is indisputable. And now, almost two years into the pandemic, there is substantial and overwhelming evidence that HCQ is also effective for COVID-19, with multiple studies from around the world confirming its effectiveness. Dr. Gold highlights several examples from studies:

• February 19, 2020, China: “The drug [chloroquine] is recommended to be included in the next version of the Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Pneumonia Caused by COVID-19 issued by the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China for the treatment of COVID-10 infection in larger populations in the future.” 

• March 20, 2020: New York: 1450 patients. 1045 mild and not requiring meds (all recovered), 405 treated with HCQ +AZM+Zinc, of which six were hospitalized, and two died.

• March 22, 2020: India: The country of India recommends HCQ prophylaxis broadly.

• March 22, 2020: China: “Among patients with COVID-19, HCQ could significantly shorten time to complete recovery and promote the absorption of pneumonia.” 

• April 11, 2020: France: All patients [treated with HCQ + AZM] improved clinically except [two]. A rapid fall of nasopharyngeal viral load was noted. Patients were able to be rapidly discharged from IDU [Infectious Disease Unit].” 

• April 13, 2020: NY: 54 long-term care/nursing home patients received HCQ+ Doxycycline, and only 5.6% died (this population can have >50% mortality).

• April 17, 2020: Brazil: Of 636 symptomatic high-risk outpatients, only 1.9% of those treated needed hospitalization vs. 5.4% of the untreated.

• April 21, 2020: 16 countries: “The difference in dynamics of daily deaths is so striking that we believe that the urgency context commands presenting the analysis.”

• April 30, 2020: Saudi Arabia: “Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have antiviral characteristics in vitro. The findings support the hypotheses that these drugs have efficacy in the treatment of COVID-19.” 

• May 15, 2020: China: We found that fatalities are 18.8% in the HCQ group, significantly lower than 47.4% in the non-HCQ group. These data demonstrate that the addition of HCQ on top of the basic treatments is highly effective in reducing the fatality of critically ill patients of COVID-19 through attenuation of inflammatory cytokine storm. Therefore, HCQ should be prescribed as a part of treatment for critically ill COVID-19 patients, possibly saving lives. 

• May 16, 2020: France: 1,061 COVID-positive patients treated with HCQ+AZM “no cardiac toxicity was observed” and “good clinical outcome and virological cure were seen in 92%.”

•June 20, 2020: India: “Consumption of four or more maintenance doses of HCQ was associated with a significant decline in the odds of getting infected. This study provides actionable information for policymakers to protect healthcare workers at the forefront of COVID-19 response.” 

•June 29, 2020: Detroit: “In this multi-hospital assessment, when controlling for COVID-19 risk factors, treatment with HCQ alone and in combination with AZM was associated with a reduction in COVID-19 mortality.”

• June 30, 2020: NYC: 6,493 patients who had laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 with clinical outcomes between March 13-April 17, 2020 who were seen in 8 hospitals and 400 clinics in the NYC metropolitan area. “Hydroxychloroquine use was associated with decreased mortality.”

• July 3, 2020: NY: COVID-positive patients treated with HCQ + AZM+Zinc vs. untreated.

Hospitalized: treated 2.8% vs. untreated 15.4% 
Death: treated 0.7% vs. untreated 3.5% 
No cardiac side effects
5x less all-causes deaths

 

With the corruption of scientific journals, like The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the breakdown in mainstream media around the honest reporting of safe and effective available treatments for COVID-19, and the unprecedented censorship of physicians, scientists, and other experts who dare to speak outside of the White House narrative, HCQ’s reputation has been shattered. Indeed, the disinformation campaign against HCQ has been all-encompassing. 

Dr. Harvey Risch, MD, Ph.D., is a Professor of Epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health and is published in affiliation with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Risch, who has 39,779 citations on Google Scholar, notes that:

“U.S. cumulative deaths through July 15 are 140,000. Had we permitted HCQ use liberally, we would have saved half, 70,000 and it is very possible we could have saved 3/4, 105,000.”

Dr. Gold emphasizes that it is unclear when Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and leader of the White House COVID-19 response team, came to believe HCQ was not an effective agent for the coronavirus. However, it is widely known that newly patented drugs can be profoundly profitable if there is demand and no other supply.