The social media powers that be are aligning themselves against posts about potential treatments for COVID-19 and the purported effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug famously touted by President Donald Trump as a potential treatment. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have now all blocked posts that cite the drug's efficacy.
Contrary to media reports, Trump is not the only one who believes hydroxychloroquine works. Newsweek published an article by Yale University School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Harvey A. Risch, M.D., that linked to his original article in the American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE) and says:
I am usually accustomed to advocating for positions within the mainstream of medicine, so have been flummoxed to find that, in the midst of a crisis, I am fighting for a treatment that the data fully support but which, for reasons having nothing to do with a correct understanding of the science, has been pushed to the sidelines. As a result, tens of thousands of patients with COVID-19 are dying unnecessarily. Fortunately, the situation can be reversed easily and quickly.
I am referring, of course, to the medication hydroxychloroquine. When this inexpensive oral medication is given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control, it has shown to be highly effective, especially when given in combination with the antibiotics azithromycin or doxycycline and the nutritional supplement zinc.
Risch contends that "the medication has become highly politicized," adding that it "has not been used properly in many studies" and that the FDA's caution about cardiac concerns is a generalization based on long-term use of the drug by patients with chronic medical issues. He concludes, "In the future, I believe this misbegotten episode regarding hydroxychloroquine will be studied by sociologists of medicine as a classic example of how extra-scientific factors overrode clear-cut medical evidence."
Fox News also cites the politicizing of hydroxychloroquine. The outlet reports that on Monday, a video posted by a group called America's Frontline Doctors claiming to expose an alleged "massive disinformation campaign about the coronavirus" was pulled from YouTube, Facebook and Twitter after it garnered more than 17 million views and 600,000 shares on Facebook. At the time, the video had more than 80,000 views on YouTube as well as a tweet from Donald Trump that linked to the video.
Earlier today, Twitter restricted Donald Trump Jr.'s account after he shared the same video on the social media platform, per CNBC. The tweet has since been deleted but was removed for "spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19."
The video in question, CNBC says, came from Dr. Stella Immanuel, a physician at Houston's Rehoboth Medical Center, whose Twitter account describes her as "Physician, Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Deliverance Minister, God's battle axe and weapon of war. Rehoboth Medical Center, Houston, TX. Fire Power Ministries." Charisma News found her website, firepowerministry.org unreachable as this article posted but did gain access to a video Immanuel shared on her Facebook page encouraging any COVID-19 patients who have been "cured by this drug" to share their stories online using the hashtag #HCQworks.
"I have treated over 350 COVID patients, and they are all well," she says in the video. "All those who have been treated, those who have been cured, you need to speak up. ... If you've taken hydroxychloroquine and you've been cured, it's time to speak up. We've put our lives, we've put our families, we've put our licenses on the line to treat you. You need to speak up," she urges, encouraging patients cured by the drug to make a short video and post with the hashtag "#HCQ works." She concludes the video with "Thirty days, hydroxychloroquine, will stop COVID in its tracks."
WE NEED YOUR HELP. We are being attacked, ridiculed and discredited. We need our patients to SPEAK UP. If you have been cured by this drug, share your story online using this hashtag #HCQWorksPosted by DrStella Immanuel on Tuesday, July 28, 2020
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