The ban on the availability of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for the treatment/prevention of COVID-19 should be lifted immediately. HCQ has been used for decades as a safe and effective treatment for such disorders a malaria, lupus, restless leg syndrome and others. It's even available over the counter in many countries around the world, yet U.S. physicians can't even prescribe it.
The principle cause for the ban is a study which appeared in two of the world's most prestigious medical journals:
LANCET (from the UK) and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). The study's author concluded that HCQ was not effective in treating COVID-19 and was unsafe. This study influenced governments of several nations,including the US, to not only ban the drug, but additionally it resulted in the suspension of clinical trials including those overseen by the World Health Organization.
What hasn't been disclosed by the media is that the articles in both LANCET and NEJM have been retracted. Both articles relied on data from Surgisphere Corp., a Chicago based firm owned by Dr. Sapan Desai. Dr Desai refused requests from LANCET to allow an independent verification of his findings and almost immediately retracted his articles. This was confirmed by the CBS News website which stated "the author retracts hydroxychloroquine study which raised global concern about the drug's use for coronavirus." Additionally, the New York Times stated "Dr. Sapan Desai, who supplied the data for the two prominent and later retracted studies, is said to have a history of cutting corners and misrepresenting information in pursuit of his ambitions."
This is offset by volumes of positive recovery results from front line doctors, studies at the Henry Ford Medical System and the Baylor Scott and White Heart and Vascular Institute.
We should not continue to deny the American people this option.
William MacArthur, Columbus
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