Why Do Some People Still Think Hydroxychloroquine Works for COVID-19?

We are more than six months into the COVID-19 pandemic and we are still talking about hydroxychloroquine, a dangerous treatment that doesn’t work.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage throughout the world, we don’t have a vaccine, there are few treatments and no cure, and as some still refuse to wear masks in public or social distance, there are still those think that hydroxychloroquine works.

We are still talking about hydroxychloroquine.

Can you guess why?

Why Do Some People Still Think Hydroxychloroquine Works for COVID-19?

Sure, it’s not complicated…

The US has a stockpile of hydroxychloroquine.

There are plenty of people pushing for the continued use of hydroxycloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, even though many experts were skeptical from the beginning and there are new warnings from the FDA.

“Based on its ongoing analysis of the EUA and emerging scientific data, the FDA determined that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses in the EUA. Additionally, in light of ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other potential serious side effects, the known and potential benefits of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine no longer outweigh the known and potential risks for the authorized use.”

FDA cautions against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems

But how do these folks convince anyone to listen to them?

Zev Zelenko is one of the doctors pushing hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.

Mostly it is because people want to believe that there is a treatment, especially when the alternative is doing nothing.

Dr Urso is another doctor pushing hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.

They want to believe, even though that false hope for an effective treatment puts them at risk of dangerous side effects.

An extra risk without any benefits, as hydroxycholorquine doesn’t actually work as a COVID-19 treatment.

“We know that every single good study – and by good study I mean randomised control study in which the data are firm and believable – has shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of Covid-19.”

Anthony Fauci on Coronavirus: Hydroxychloroquine ineffective says Fauci

Again, then, why do so many people think that hydroxychloroquine and these other protocols actually work?

In addition to some poorly done studies that say it works, it is mostly because of the anecdotal data and testimonials they are hearing from the doctors who have appointed themselves experts on treating COVID-19.

How are they determining that false negatives are really false negatives?
How are they determining that false negatives are really false negatives?

For example, is the fact that there are no deaths and only one hospitalization on this list of COVID STATS from the McKinney Family Medicine a good reason to take hydroxychloroquine?

“The overall cumulative hospitalization rate is 120.9 per 100,000 population.”

COVIDView Weekly Summary

Of course not, especially when you consider that you likely wouldn’t expect any hospitalizations or deaths when you only have 271 COVID-19 patients.

Wait, why is that?

With a hospitalization rate of 120 per 100,000 cases, you can expect one person to be hospitalized for every 1,000 cases!

Of course, that rate is higher in groups with higher risk factors, but even if all of the patients at McKinney Family Medicine were older and had some risk factors, it is doubtful that you would expect more than one hospitalization.

“Mild to moderate (mild symptoms up to mild pneumonia): 81%”

Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Remember, most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and recover without any specific treatments.

Unfortunately, some don’t, especially those in high risk groups.

Craig Spencer warns that anecdotes about hydroxychloroquine are harming people.

And that’s why we need to work to control COVID-19 with face masks, social distancing, handwashing, testing, contact tracing, and quarantining, and stop all of the pseudo-scientific nonsense about hydroxychloroquine and other COVID-19 misinformation.

More on Hydroxychloroquine

Author: Vincent Iannelli, MD

Vincent Iannelli, MD