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June 12, 2021
The observational study, published by medRxiv, found that antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, along with zinc, could increase the coronavirus survival rate by as much as nearly 200% if distributed at higher doses to ventilated patients with a severe version of the illness.
“We found that when the cumulative doses of two drugs, HCQ and AZM, were above a certain level, patients had a survival rate 2.9 times the other patients,” the study’s conclusion states. The study adds, “By using causal analysis and considering of weight-adjusted cumulative dose, we prove the combined therapy, >3 g HCQ and > 1g AZM greatly increases survival in Covid patients on IMV and that HCQ cumulative dose > 80 mg/kg works substantially better. These data do not yet apply to hospitalized patients not on IMV. Since those with higher doses of HCQ had higher doses of AZM, we cannot solely attribute the causal effect to HCQ/AZM combination therapy. However, it is likely AZM does contribute significantly to this increase in survival rate. Since higher dose HCQ/AZM therapy improves survival by nearly 200% in this population, the safety data are moot.”
The study was conducted by Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey on 255 patients. In March of this year, the World Health Organization warned against using the drug to prevent the coronavirus, citing data suggesting it was ineffective. During the pandemic, Trump was a vocal supporter of using hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. The former president even took a two-week regimen of the anti-malarial drug after he had been diagnosed with COVID.
Some conservatives have taken to social media and used the study to defend Trump, including Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who called out Fauci for his previous comments about the drug. “How many people died bc Dr. Fauci said trust the science and Hydroxychloroquine isn’t effective?” Greene tweeted. “New study shows: Hydroxychloroquine + Azithromycin therapy at a higher dose improved survival by nearly 200% in ventilated COVID patients. Trump was right” [Yahoo News].
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE NEW YORK TIMES