In early July, the positive news was published about hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Six clinical studies that showed good results were conducted:
- Three in the United States (one in Michigan in the Henry Ford Health System, and two in New York State, including one outpatient primary care study by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko).
- Three from other countries (Portugal, India, and Brazil).
All six studies showed that HCQ, given early in the course of the COVID-19 disease, alone or in combination with zinc and azithromycin, reduced hospital admissions and mortality without serious heart problems or other adverse effects.
Surprisingly, most of the media ignored this news and continues to focus on concerns about the use of HCQ. Henry Ford's study found a 50 percent reduction in mortality with early HCQ use in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Even earlier Dr. Zelenko’s outpatient interventions with HCQ, azithromycin, and zinc showed a reduction in mortality of approximately 80%. These extraordinary results show how many lives can be saved with early HCQ treatment.
Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Institute in Dallas issued an urgent letter in support of the Henry Ford new outpatient EUA application, based on the remarkably positive outcomes in their own clinical study of prophylactic use of HCQ in their own medical workers.
Baylor's letter, from one of their cardiologists, showed benefit for a weekly prophylaxis regimen, and described no adverse cardiac outcomes. This directly rebuts the constant media hype about “heart dangers” of HCQ.
Henry Ford and Baylor studies add safety data to that accumulated since HCQ was first FDA-approved in 1955, as well as safety reported in 2020 COVID-19 worldwide clinical outcomes, and the safety summaries of HCQ compared to current over-the-counter medicines presented to the Trump Administration May 25.
Since it was approved more than 65 years ago for malaria, and later for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, HCQ has been safely used worldwide in hundreds of millions of patients. More than 15 years ago, in the 2002-2003 SARS-CoV-1 outbreak, CDC conducted in-vitro studies that showed HCQ was a potent anti-viral agent. Since the SARS-CoV-2 virus, initially recognized in China, has been spreading around the world, HCQ has been widely used in dozens of countries as a safe and effective treatment for the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19.
In all reports, including the CDC findings published in 2005, HCQ’s most important effect is to block viral entry into the cells and viral replication IF given within the first 5 days of symptoms. Restricting HCQ use to only critically ill hospitalized patients has been one of the reasons for the high U.S. COVID death rate compared to countries using it prophylactically and early in the viral illness. ALL viral illness we treat respond best to anti-viral medication begun early, not late when patients are critically ill.