AN OP-ED BY PETER NAVARRO AND DR. STEVEN HATFILL
The Democrat-controlled House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis has accused us of constantly pressuring then-FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and his agency to make the antiviral drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) available to out-patients for early treatment use. We, in turn, accuse Hahn, his successor Janet Woodcock, Anthony Fauci, and the broader FDA bureaucracy of the mass murder of more than half a million Americans who needlessly perished from COVID-19. These senseless deaths were a direct result of the actions of Hahn, Fauci, and Woodcock in discrediting and blocking the distribution of HCQ.
During the early stages of the pandemic in the Spring of 2020, when the battle over HCQ began (which Hahn graphically describes as a “knife fight with the White House”), Hahn and his FDA minions never realized or acknowledged that COVID-19 had two stages.
Stage One is typified by an initial four- to seven-day early phase of upper respiratory tract infection. At this stage, COVID-19 is ordinarily self-limiting (although unpleasant) in healthy adults less than 50 years old. It is also poorly transmitted in children with no co-morbidities and infected children do not readily pass COVID-19 to adults or each other.
However, within 7–8 days from symptom onset in the 50-year and over group with co-morbidities, approximately 15% of cases progress into a more severe late phase of the disease. Stage Two is typified by shortness of breath, falling oxygen saturation levels, heart damage, and later septic shock (cytokine storm) requiring ventilation support and can result in death.
The preliminary science showed that HCQ offered a potent and safe therapeutic effect during the early phase of the disease. This finding is why we engaged so vigorously with Hahn and the FDA on behalf of the American people. In Stage One, early treatment with HCQ can dramatically curtail viral replication and block the transition of patients into the potentially lethal late second stage of the disease.
We now know that what we hypothesized based on preliminary data is confirmed. The evidence that HCQ could have taken death off the table for over half a million Americans is now overwhelming.
As of August 2022, there have been 354 studies of HCQ as a treatment for COVID involving 5,764 scientists and 482,120 patients in 51 countries. Meta-analysis across these studies demonstrates a resounding 57–81% improvement in mortality when given early treatment and a 41% reduced hospitalization. In addition, contrary to erroneous reports, adverse cardiac events are not an issue in early HCQ treatment.
“Blood on the FDA’s hands”: this meta-analysis indicates that if physicians had been allowed to freely prescribe HCQ off-label to out-patients within the first seven days of their symptoms, from 570,000 to 810,000, Americans would still be alive today. We must note that these lost souls were our parents, grandparents, friends, lovers, or in rare instances, children, who disappeared like dust in the political and partisan winds fanned not only by the FDA but by those indoctrinated by Fauci across the U.S. health bureaucracy, and the corrupt corporate media most notably CNN and New York Times. “Hydroxy hysteria” panicked the nation and the world, and more souls were lost.
Must this grim past continue to be a prologue to more needless death?
Why does the FDA continue to suppress HCQ? Is it greed, scientific ignorance, or rabid hatred of President Trump? Are they too arrogant to admit that at least some of the Administration’s scientists, doctors, and advisors were right to advocate for early treatment HCQ use? Whatever the answer, the consequence remains the same: people have died and will continue to die without an effective early treatment option.
In a bizarre backtrack, the FDA has recently listed the “controversial drug” Ivermectin as an “antiviral COVID-19 drug” and is conducting clinical trials. Many physicians continue to prescribe it off-label for the early and late treatment of COVID-19. The latest studies indicate that using Ivermectin as prophylaxis for COVID-19 yields a 92% reduction in mortality in an observational study of 88,012 individuals in a strictly controlled population. While this is encouraging, HCQ remains banned from America’s medicine cabinet by the FDA due to its inaccurate assessment as a “dangerous drug.”
The FDA has repeatedly and wrongly warned the public that HCQ is dangerous when it has been used safely by both lupus and arthritis patients and as an anti-malarial treatment for decades. In addition, HCQ can be used by pregnant women and nursing mothers and has been said to be “safer than aspirin.” These facts have been supported by the growing mound of overwhelming scientific evidence. Yet, the FDA never once distinguished between early use and late use of HCQ in COVID-19, or did they acknowledge that it was the virus causing fatal cardiac events in late-phase COVID patients, not HCQ.
Ironically, we’d like to close this article by thanking the Select Committee’s Chair Rep. James Clyburn and his churlish band of partisan idiots for resurrecting the HCQ debate. Their witch hunt report has allowed us to remind America and the world and the bankrupt corporate media that refuses to cover HCQ fairly: HCQ offers one of the safest, most potent, and most affordable treatments for COVID-19. Therefore, the FDA must acknowledge the legitimate scientific data gathered from almost half a million patients and recognize its use for the early treatment of COVID-19.
Peter Navarro served as the Defense Production Act Policy Coordinator in the Trump White House and is the author of Taking Back Trump’s America: Why We Lost the White House and How We’ll Win It Back. Dr. Steven Hatfill is a specialist physician and virologist with a military background and the author of Three Seconds Until Midnight.