Dr. Stephen Smith, founder of the Smith Center for Infectious Diseases and Urban Health in East Orange, New Jersey, said the remarkable results he is seeing in his coronavirus patients using a combination of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin marks the “beginning of the end” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Appearing on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” on Wednesday night, Smith said not a single patient he has been treating with the combination over a five-day period has had to be placed on a ventilator.
“The chance of that occurring by chance, according to my sons Leon and Hunter, who did some stats for me, are .000-something,” he said, adding that “it’s ridiculously low.”
“It’s a game-changer. It’s an absolute game-changer,” he said, arguing his findings support what a French researcher’s study determined.
“I think this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic. I’m very serious,” said Smith, whose facility is in the New York metropolitan area, the U.S. hotspot for the coronavirus outbreak.
Dr. Stephen Smith, an infectious disease specialist, on using hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin combo to treat #COVID19 patients:
— Nicole Saphier, MD (@NBSaphierMD) April 2, 2020
Similarly, Dr. Mehmet Oz told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday that the Chinese have conducted a “randomized trial” with hydroxychloroquine after noticing that none of the patients taking the drug for lupous and rheumatoid arthritis were contracting the coronavirus.
The study consisted of 62 COVID-19 patients in which researchers gave half of them hydroxychloroquine over a five-day period, Oz said.
“What they realized was pretty interesting,” he said.
“First off, the symptoms. The temperature, the fevers, instead of lasting three days, in a typical illness, it only lasted two days,” while coughing also went from three to two days for the people receiving the drug, Oz said.
All the people in the study had pneumonia, and over the course of the five days, 81 percent of the people taking hydroxychloroquine saw improvement in their lungs compared with 55 percent of those not given that medication.
Additionally, four people in the control group not receiving hydroxychloroquine died, while none of the patients in the experimental group taking the medication did.
Oz recommended that the United States do a search of the entire Medicare database and see if any of those being treated with hydroxychloroquine for other medical conditions had developed COVID-19.
He said New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he works as a surgeon, has launched a study among its staff to see if taking hydroxychloroquine has a prophylactic effect of keeping people from developing the illness.
Regarding the drug’s efficacy for treating COVID-19, Oz said, “We’ll only prove it with a larger trial, but this is tantalizing bait.”
On Sunday, the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients.
President Donald Trump has said he sees the drug as a potential “game-changer” in the fight against COVID-19.
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