Recent scientific findings reveal that individuals using hydroxychloroquine, a drug once touted by former President Trump as a Covid-19 cure, faced an 11% higher mortality risk. Here’s the full story.
The Trump-Touted Malaria Drug
In the very early days of the disaster that unfolded into the Covid-19 pandemic, then President Donald Trump enthusiastically endorsed the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential cure for the virus, no doubt as an attempt to shift focus from his disastrous handling of the early stages of the outbreak.
However, a recent scientific study, published in the peer-reviewed Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy journal, suggests a much darker consequence of Trump’s unscientific Hail Mary.
According to the study’s findings, anyone unfortunate enough to take Trump’s advice who tried to use hydroxychloroquine to combat Covid-19 were actually 11% more likely to succumb to the deadly virus.
The study, conducted through a meta-analysis of randomized trials, looked into the outcomes of those who used hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 preventative or treatment. The researchers, led by the editiors of the 67 year old Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy journal, calculated an astonishing 11% increase in mortality among Covid-19 patients who followed the President’s terrible advice.
The study estimated that, tragically, up to 17,000 individuals across no less than six countries, including the United States, lost their lives due to their blind belief in what Trump told them to be true. This led these doomed individuals to decide to use an antimalarial drug to try to treat a disease that was not malaria.
Doctors Playing God
Much as some might to place the blame entirely at the feet of the former President, it is crucial to note that, during the height of the pandemic restrictions, some doctors prescribed hydroxychloroquine off-label to attempt to slow the spread of the virus, as well as to treat Covid-19, despite a complete lack of evidence supporting any clinical benefits.
The study’s authors emphasize the dangers of such guesswork, no matter how well intentioned, especially when managing global health crises. They stated that the study’s conclusions “illustrate the hazard of drug repurposing with low-level evidence for the management of future pandemics.”
In order to arrive at the conclusions, the researchers utilized public databases to identify hospitalized Covid-19 patients early in the pandemic. Subsequently, they systematically reviewed 44 cohort studies to quantify the increased mortality risk associated with hydroxychloroquine use.
The reliance on rigorous methods, such as a meta-analysis of other randomized trials, strengthens the credibility of the study’s outcomes.
The Blind Leading the Blind
Former President Trump’s vocal endorsement of hydroxychloroquine in March 2020 triggered a massive surge in prescriptions for the antimalarial drug. Despite several warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which emphasized that hydroxychloroquine was only approved for treating malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the damage had been done.
Fuelled by the paranoia typical of the beginning of the pandemic, boosted by faceless Twitter accounts and biased podcast hosts, the drug soon gained wide attention as a potential Covid-19 remedy.
With the bluster and self belief typical of Trump as president, he dismissed early studies discrediting hydroxychloroquine as an ineffective Covid-19 treatment, labeling them as “Trump enemy statements.”
The controversy deepened as he claimed to take the medication prophylactically, even after the FDA warned about potential cardiac issues. The belief many of Trump’s followers placed in him and his statements, no matter how much they went against prevailing medical and scientific advice, may have led some of them to try an untested treatment, either through desperation or through blind faith.
Trump, Shockingly, Gets Sick
Despite Trump assuring his supporters that he was on a regimen of hydroxychloroquine, ironically, and somewhat predictably for someone who refused to wear a mask during a pandemic, Trump himself tested positive for Covid-19 in September 2020.
His hospitalization and subsequent speedy recovery using a presidentially exclusive antibody cocktail drew further attention to the stark contrast between the treatments available to political leaders and the general public during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the world grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic, hydroxychloroquine emerged as a controversial and perilous treatment option for those desperate enough, those unlucky enough, or those sure enough to believe every word that came out of Trump’s mouth.
Despite having the best medical care in the world available for himself, Trump’s statements about hydroxychloroquine may have led thousands to their deaths, as this most recent study proves. The study’s findings not only highlight the serious and life threatening risks associated with the drug but also emphasize the importance of evidence-based decision-making in public health crises, such as the pandemic.
In the future, both the medical community and the wider public must learn from the hydroxychloroquine saga, ensuring that treatments endorsed for widespread use are grounded in rigorous scientific evidence to safeguard public health and, potentially, save lives.
The post Hydroxychloroquine Study Reveals Alarming Mortality Rates first appeared on Edge Media.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Bernard Chantal.
Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.