A new study has found that the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine helped patients survive COVID-19 while in the hospital, countering the establishment media’s criticism of President Donald Trump when he suggested the same thing.
The study was conducted by a team at Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan and published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases on Thursday.
Researchers studied a group of 2,541 hospitalized patients and found mortality rates were substantially reduced when patients were treated with hydroxychloroquine.
The study found that 13 percent of patients treated with just hydroxychloroquine died compared with 26.4 percent not treated with the drug.
“Overall crude mortality rates were 18.1 percent in the entire cohort, 13.5 percent in the hydroxychloroquine alone group, 20.1 percent among those receiving hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin, 22.4 percent among the azithromycin alone group, and 26.4 percent for neither drug,” the study’s report read.
Dr. Marcus Zervos, the division head of infectious disease for Henry Ford Health System, said in a news release that the study’s findings have been analyzed and peer-reviewed.
“We attribute our findings that differ from other studies to early treatment, and part of a combination of interventions that were done in supportive care of patients, including careful cardiac monitoring,” Zervos said.
“Our dosing also differed from other studies not showing a benefit of the drug. And other studies are either not peer reviewed, have limited numbers of patients, different patient populations or other differences from our patients.”
The use of the drug has been criticized and questioned for months.
A May 22 study posted in The Lancet used data from Surgisphere to conclude that coronavirus patients taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine were more likely to die in the hospital, Science reported.
Within days of study’s publication, randomized trials of hydroxychloroquine came to a stop, including part of the World Health Organization’s trial of potential COVID-19 treatments. However, the data used in that study had been scrutinized and described as “flawed,” and was ultimately retracted.
When Trump began taking hydroxychloroquine as a way to prevent him from contracting COVID-19, the mainstream media and Democrats mocked him for it.
“I know this much, I don’t know that it will help with his health, but it certainly helps to cover up his weaknesses,” Cuomo said.
On Friday, however, CNN reported these words from Dr. Steven Kalkanis, CEO of Henry Ford Medical Group:
“It’s important to note that in the right settings, this potentially could be a lifesaver for patients.”
Kalakanis said that while the new findings may differ from other studies, it doesn’t mean that those studies were wrong.
“What it simply means is that by looking at the nuanced data of which patients actually benefited and when, we might be able to further unlock the code of how this disease works,” he said.
“Much more work needs to be done to elucidate what the final treatment plan should be for COVID-19. But we feel … that these are critically important results to add to the mix of how we move forward if there’s a second surge, and in relevant other parts of the world. Now we can help people combat this disease and to reduce the mortality rate.”
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