March 20, 2020

"President Trump on Thursday exaggerated the potential of drugs available to treat the new coronavirus..."

"... including an experimental antiviral treatment and decades-old malaria remedies that hint of promise but so far show limited evidence of healing the sick. No drug has been approved to treat the new coronavirus, and doctors around the world have been desperately administering an array of medicines in search of something to help patients, especially those who are severely ill. The malaria drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, are among the remedies that have been tried in several countries.... Doctors in China, South Korea and France have reported that the treatments seem to help. But those efforts have not involved the kind of large, carefully controlled studies that would provide the global medical community the proof that these drugs work on a significant scale. In a White House briefing Thursday, Mr. Trump said the anti-malaria drugs had shown 'tremendous promise.'.... The drugs’ potential has been highlighted during broadcasts on one of Mr. Trump’s favorite news channels, Fox News, where hosts like Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and Jeanine Pirro have trumpeted the possibility of a real treatment...."

The NYT reports.

149 comments:

tim maguire said...

I wonder, on the right people complain about it as much as ever, but what about the general population? Are people noticing, are they bothered by, the media treating this crisis as just more fodder for their partisan hit pieces? As someone else pointed out yesterday, this was the media’s moment to shine, to help keep the American people informed so they can make good decisions. Instead it’s the same old “Orange Man Bad” garbage we’ve been getting from them over every issue big and small.

Is anyone outside the rightwing blogosphere mad about it?

Big Mike said...

Trump is repeating what the French told him. If I had been the one to say it I’d caveat it, but that’s not Trump’s style. Bottom line is that the US bureaucracy — the FDA and CDC — has proven itself to be too slow and ponderous and overly-cautious to deal with a pandemic unless goosed hard by an activist President.

MikeR said...

"But those efforts have not involved the kind of large, carefully controlled studies that would provide the global medical community the proof that these drugs work on a significant scale." Wait, what? Proof - that's what we need right now. How about doing a study now on a lot of people using these drugs, to see if they help and how much?

Big Mike said...

I have also seen reports that anti-HIV drugs work in some difficult cases. That needs to investigated and to Hell with “large, carefully controlled studies.” A bias for action is needed. If anti-malaria drugs and anti-HIV drugs don’t work, try something else.

BarrySanders20 said...

Like many drugs, this appears to be most effective early on, before the severe conditions exist. It won’t cure the dying. It’s not how the drug works, even for the current use as an anti malarial treatment. And like many drugs, it is more effective on some people because we all metabolize drugs differently.

DKWalser said...

There is no pleasing Trump's critics. They're more concerned with nuance than substance. More concerned about the Pageantry of the Presidency than with the actions taken by the President. Trump has taken an ax to the red-tape that otherwise would have prevented the use of drugs and tests until they had gone through extensive clinical trials. In doing so, he didn't caveat appropriately the effectiveness of the new coronavirus tests and treatments that were soon to be available. Would it have been better that he NOT cut through the red tape?

Jersey Fled said...

No good deed goes unpunished at the NYT.

rhhardin said...

The head of the FDA was interviewed on WABC radio and he's a complete bureaucrat. Everything is in terms of the power of his agency and everybody waiting.

wendybar said...

I use the NYT as toilet paper since I'm out. It's readily available, because nobody reads it anymore!!!

David Begley said...

But they may work. They may get approved. And the NYT tells us constantly that Earth is going to burn up in 2100.

Fuck you, NYT.

campy said...

"Is anyone outside the rightwing blogosphere mad about [anti-Trump media bias]?"

Nope. They're eating it up with a spoon.

Krumhorn said...

There is nothing to stand in the way of a medical center conducting an open label study using existing compounds that are already approved for other treatments. But there are liability issues associated with deviating from ‘standard of care’, and there have to be enough sick people in that center for the study to be modestly instructive.

Trump doesn’t need proof, in the sense of a complete double blind Phase II study, to say these things. He just needs some evidence garnered from some Chinese or Italian hot spot where the FDA does not patrol looking for debarred persons.

The haters will hate. And the lefties are nasty little shits.

But I repeat myself.

- Krumhorn

Kevin said...

Fox had a doctor on last night discussing a 40-patient, controlled, peer-reviewed study by a leading French researcher for one of these treatments on Coronavirus.

It was followed by another doctor discussing the barrier to US use being the FDA’s lack of an approved treatment protocol when other countries like South Korea already had enough experience to have created one we could use.

These medicines are already being used in the US by doctors and hospitals willing to take the risk of being sued because the FDA is waiting fir a double-blind study to be published and meticulously reviewed.

These are not new drugs. We know the side effects and have been prescribing them for decades. The only risk is they don’t work.

If nothing else they should be approved under the right to try exemption.

Trump is doing whatever he can to save lives.

The NYT seems more intent on saving itself from having to admit Trump is succeeding.

Birches said...

Bastards.

TreeJoe said...

I work in clinical research - which is the largest, most rigorous scientific pursuit in the history of man (Beyond even landing on the moon) - and almost my entire industry scientific leadership believes that in times of crisis such as this you need to use real-world data (RWD) to drive clinical decisions at times like these.

What the NYT is using to criticize is basically saying: Trump shouldn't be recommending early promising RWD about existing drugs, instead he should not encourage existing treatments to be rapidly deployed for potential efficacy with acceptable safety. He should ONLY be recommending large randomized controlled trials - which are almost always funded for non-existing treatment options - which take awhile to launch, to awhile to enroll, take awhile for the data to come in, and take awhile to have independent agencies review and approve (if the treatment is found effective).

That's the path vaccines and some anti-virals are taking. And that's FINE.

But the NYT is being stupid here. You CANNOT ignore existing, broadly available, and inexpensive therapies if they have even modest efficacy and a good safety profile.

Gahrie said...

Opinion presented as news...again.

Gahrie said...

It really is true...if trump discovered a cure for cancer, the NYT headline would be: "Trump throws doctors and researchers out of work".

Todd said...

"President Trump on Thursday exaggerated the potential of drugs available to treat the new coronavirus..."

This is the NYT. They exaggerated the Russia, Russia, Russia. They exaggerated the phone call. They exaggerated, actually an easier question would be what haven't they exaggerated. I know, the Trump economy! Funny how they have a "twisted" [one might say] of what they deem "exaggerated" and what they choose to exaggerate.

Pretty much the only real truth in the NTY is the date on the front page.

David Begley said...

Thank you TreeJoe.

exhelodrvr1 said...


The Democrats and the media (I know, I know!) have a very fine line to walk here. They have to praise Trump enough to not be accused of trying to sabotage his efforts, while at the same time they can't let the people think too highly of him, or the coattails in November will put them out of business!! Have some sympathy, people!!

Ironclad said...

Long term clinical studies - right, say a year or two?

Ho did we ever win WW2 with ninnies like this trying to run the show? Then you did what worked and ran with it - something that the lawyer universe has crushed with threats of liability.

The drugs Trump is talking about see to work on the disease when you get it - and work pretty well on most. They have also been around for a long time too - so we know what they do. But ORANGE MAN BAD!

Curious George said...

"I use the NYT as toilet paper since I'm out. It's readily available, because nobody reads it anymore!!!"

I use the NYT's online edition for TP. It's messy, not very effective, but oddly satisfying.

Krumhorn said...

We have managed to dispose of the Trump economy. We will, very shortly, have unemployment exceeding the 25% peak of the Great Depression.

I’m cynical enough to think that it not entirely unrelated to this lock-down I’m now experiencing in LA County. I’m waiting for the civil disorder and the Marxist dialectic to bring us to utter collapse so the the Bernies, AOCs, and Pocahontases can step in to remake our society.

I was pondering the images of Soviet citizens waiting in long lines for a loaf of bread and a roll of toilet paper when I saw a long line waiting yesterday outside of Ralph’s to get into a store with aisles of shelves stripped bare.

So we’re not on lock down. In true George Lakoff fashion, we’re safer at home. But let’s be clear, Garcetti said “it’s not a request. It’s an order”

- Krumhorn

Phil 314 said...

On the flip side I thought Hannity was very rude to Seema Verma when she wouldn’t get on board and enthusiastically endorse the use of chloroquine.

Phil 314 said...

Its not risk-free

From the Mayo Clinic “However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving chloroquine.”

iowan2 said...

Nothing is risk free. Adverse reactions are normal. Having them identified is the key. Do we have enough experience with this treatment to understand those adverse reactions?

Gusty Winds said...

There was nothing misleading or overstated yesterday. The results from France do look good. This isn't a mystery drug. Cloroquine was discovered in 1934. I'm sure labs are scrambling to test other anti-virals in use.

Yes there are side effects. But if you were 50 years old, 60 years old, had the virus, and couldn't breath... would you want to try a dose of Cloroquine based on the news yesterday, or wait until your funeral?

The NYT's is evil.

tim in vermont said...

The New York Time is bouncing the rubble of the Trump hatred among their dedicated readership. The rest of us just laugh.

Any honest person who watched the entire news conference knows this is a lie. The tightly edited little clips give a different impression. Whenever you see a tightly edited clip of Trump, or any politician, you know they are out to deceive you. It isn’t working though

Trump’s numbers have shot up as the obvious unfairness of the coverage shines through.
https://twitter.com/helloitsthao/status/1240949362760482816

Ralph L said...

PBS began their Q&A special last night with Trump down-playing the pandemic early on. No mention of him stopping flights from China. I changed the channel soon after.

tim in vermont said...

The real problem for them is that Trump represents the things we need to do. Cut red tape, decouple from China, make politically incorrect decisions, get control of our borders....

It’s all on brand for Trump. He did seem tired in that news conference and rambled a bit, which gave them their opening to deceptively edit what was said.

tim in vermont said...

"Is anyone outside the rightwing blogosphere mad about [anti-Trump media bias]?”

Look at the poll I just linked, I think you are worrying to much and not giving the American people enough credit to see through their lame tricks.

Browndog said...

As I noted to myself yesterday, pay attention to the ones that push back on this drug.

They are the ones trying to elongate this crisis.

Dr. Fauci and the head of the FDA are in that camp.

dbp said...

"President Trump on Thursday exaggerated the potential of drugs available to treat the new coronavirus..."

This is a "news" item and yet they report as if it is a fact that Trump is exaggerating when he says these drugs show tremendous promise. They show a mean clearance of virus in 6 days with treatment and 11 days without treatment.

Is it a fact that this is not tremendous? Or is it an opinion? I think Trump's opinion is on firmer ground than those professional journalists who work for the NY Times.

Howard said...

By spoon-feeding your Trump faithful a Full Monty breakfast of victimology and divisive hate, are you helping Althouse?

Rory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Browndog said...

rhhardin said...

The head of the FDA was interviewed on WABC radio and he's a complete bureaucrat. Everything is in terms of the power of his agency and everybody waiting.


I assure you any President, democrat or republican, would be trying to work solutions within the parameters of the bureaucracies and careful not to go beyond "the rules".

This is the Trump difference. All he cares about is solutions and turn over every rock to find them.

Rory said...

"President omits many things we have to fear." - NYT (1933)

Jake said...

Let’s do everything we can. But fuck that option Trump talked about.

narciso said...

The dems inner tyrant comes through,

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

They're more concerned with nuance than substance. More concerned about the Pageantry of the Presidency than with the actions taken by the President.

This is so wrong. They are not concerned with nuance or the pageantry (remember Clinton's BJs in the oval). They are concerned with power. Any cudgel to hand to damage their political opponents.

Progressives are not good people. They are filled with hate and a burning desire to control.

This myth they are loving caring people is their camouflage. Look behind it and year it down for all to see how ugly they are.

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

A prepper subreddit was talking about chloroquine back before the news media was scaring people into stocking up on toilet paper.

The NYT has to keep mocking Trump, even if they have to make up stuff to do it. It would be bad for their side if we all pulled together over this.

MountainMan said...

Teva Pharmaceuticals to donate its entire inventory of hydroxychorquine sulfate tablets to hospitals nationwide

Six million doses. And they plan to make more.

Mattman26 said...

Doctors in the U.S. are always free to prescribe drugs that have been approved for certain uses for any use they wish. So even if the FDA has not specifically approved chloroquine for COVID, any doc that wishes to treat a COVID patient with it is absolutely free to write such an “off label” prescription.

Press is more interested in proving Trump “wrong” than with the practical reality.

Griff90 said...

When I worked at the Army Corps of Engineers, the process was more important than the outcome. Additional budget could be found and the schedule could be extended. But if you didn't follow the process that was the worst thing imaginable. I suspect that it is the same in all the Federal departments.

narciso said...

it's a minitrue item, not exactly the same thing,

rcocean said...

Trump said that it had "....tremendous Promise" how is that an exaggeration? it's not. The NYT just wants to set up Trump Strawman so it can knock it down. Again, any MSM Reporting on "Trump said..." has to be double-checked since they hate the man so much they can't be trusted to report accurately.

Every NYT/WaPo Paraphrase of "What Trump said" in the last 4 years has been twisted so it makes Trump look bad. And that's NOT an exaggeration.

Freder Frederson said...



For the first couple months, he constantly downplayed the threat. Playing catch up by throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks is neither efficient nor desirable.

rcocean said...

The NYT/WaPo have no problem in NOT taking Biden, Hillary, Schumer, and Pelosi literally - but with Trump they do have that problem. Gee, I wonder why. Anyway, talking about a "promising drug" is supposed to keep people's spirits up and assure them this won't last forever. I see nothing wrong with it.

rcocean said...

"chloroquine.” is this what used to be known as Quinine?

Rit said...

The NYT offices should all be tented and air laden with the Chinese virus air pumped into it. No drugs that haven't been FDA approved by large, carefully controlled studies that prove they help COVID-19 virus sufferers should be made available these asses. Maybe, just maybe, after their colleagues start dropping like flies they will start presenting a more responsible picture of the conditions on the ground. But I wouldn't count on it.

rcocean said...

"chloroquine.” is this what used to be known as Quinine?

jaydub said...

Perhaps we should do the long term, doubly blind, meticulously controlled trials in New York while letting the rest of the country experiment with what has already been shown to work to some degree elsewhere. While that's going on they should have ample opportunity to fine tune the triage protocols for selecting which patients to euthanize.

Pookie Number 2 said...

For the first couple months, he constantly downplayed the threat. Playing catch up by throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks is neither efficient nor desirable.

Was barring flights from China an example of downplaying the threat?

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

The corrupt corporate deep state industrial media complex is loving this virus.

Narayanan said...

I'm wondering if medical corpsmen on battlefield have JAG officers and FDA enforcement checking to see their treatment methods are legal and compliant?

mockturtle said...

F**k the 'large, carefully controlled studies'. Give it to the very sick. What harm can it do?

Krumhorn said...

For the first couple months, he constantly downplayed the threat. Playing catch up by throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks is neither efficient nor desirable.

Really? In January, he banned flights from China and you lefties along with Biden called him a racist. Let’s see how that plays out in the debates.

- Krumhorn

narciso said...

and the stay behind bureaucrat, let the diamond princess come into the country,

Freder Frederson said...

Was barring flights from China an example of downplaying the threat?

Besides that, what else did he do? He thought that shutting down flights was a sufficient step to control the disease. If he bothered to listen to his experts, he would have known it wasn't going to help much. At the same time he was boasting that there were only 15 cases in the U.S. and that once they got better, that was the end of it.

So, yes it was downplaying the threat.

mockturtle said...

"chloroquine.” is this what used to be known as Quinine? .

Same family.

Freder Frederson said...

I'm wondering if medical corpsmen on battlefield have JAG officers and FDA enforcement checking to see their treatment methods are legal and compliant?

They are trained extensively. So of course their training informs them of legal, safety, and best medical practices. Additionally, all combat arms personnel are trained in tried and true first aid procedures.

What is your fucking point?

mockturtle said...

In a time of toilet paper shortage, there is, after all, a use for The New York Times.

Amadeus 48 said...

I do believe that part of the POTUS's job is to lift the spirits of the populace in times of trouble.

The NYT, on the other hand, has adopted the policy of the Democrats,namely, "When in danger/When in doubt/Run in circles/Scream and shout!"

The NYT is good for lining bird cages.

mockturtle said...

Mountain Man reports: Teva Pharmaceuticals to donate its entire inventory of hydroxychorquine sulfate tablets to hospitals nationwide

Six million doses. And they plan to make more.


Great news! Hooray for Teva!

Narayanan said...

Blogger Mattman26 said...
Doctors in the U.S. are always free to prescribe drugs that have been approved for certain uses for any use they wish
______&&&&&&&
Does this apply only to visit in their office practice or also to hospital doctors?

How many of trick diagnoses and cures in "House" qualify?

How come Hollywood medical show writers are not being interviewed? Or virologists?

Why only bureaucracy!

Freder Frederson said...

I do believe that part of the POTUS's job is to lift the spirits of the populace in times of trouble.

There is a difference between "lift the spirits" and giving false (or at least unproven) hope.

Curious George said...

"Trump’s numbers have shot up as the obvious unfairness of the coverage shines through."

Meanwhile John Althouse Cohen makes another Facebook post and desperately searches for another gay to endorse.

Krumhorn said...

Besides that, what else did he do? He thought that shutting down flights was a sufficient step to control the disease. If he bothered to listen to his experts, he would have known it wasn't going to help much

The TrumpHate is strong in you. You have no idea whatsoever what “he thought”. And if stopping flights from Chine in January didn’t “help much”, then why is social distancing and now lockdowns going to work any better?

Haters gotta hate.

- Krumhorn

Narayanan said...

Blogger Freder Frederson asks
What is your fucking point
_____&&&&&
My fucking point is :

What is on their minds:
Saving lives or avoiding court-martial and malpractice.

What is your fucking point?

Drago said...

Field Marshall Freder moves seamlessly from "Emoluments!" to "Russia Russia Russia!" to "Kavanaugh is a rapist!" to "Quid Pro Quo!" to what we have today: non-stop lying about the Trump's response to Chinese Communist Party Wuhan Kung Flu Virus spread while providing non-stop obfuscation services to those same ChiComs.

Francisco D said...

Freder wrote: There is a difference between "lift the spirits" and giving false (or at least unproven) hope.

What Freder is saying is that we need a couple of years of clinical trials for an FDA approved drug and a couple of years to review the findings because Americans cannot be allowed to benefit from anything that is Trump approved and not bureaucracy approved.

What the heck. If more people die, all the fewer votes for Trump. It's a real opportunity.

BAMN, eh buddy?

Milo Minderbinder said...

From an internal med doc (Afghan field doc experience) working at a major Denver hospital:
"I read this link as well as the “well controlled” article they reference as their background data. Their optimism within this link should be curtailed a little bit. The study they reference had < 40 total patients, only about 20 in the treatment arm. With such a small study, it’s hard to statistically confirm a positive response - only can suggest the need for larger scale studies. Such studies are underway now. The initial studied individuals all had mild or asymptomatic CoV disease and all they showed was that the virus was shed quicker, rather than demonstrating that those treated with anti-malarial and azithromycin actually didn’t become as sick.

That being said, we are certainly using (and studying) plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine), select HIV antivirals, and the experimental drug remdesivir here in Denver as well as all throughout the country, since we don’t have any good data for alternative therapies.

But, the MOST important way to get rid of this virus is the prevent the transmission - quarantine really works. This is demonstrated quite strongly in the success in China and S Korea."

The horse is out of the barn on testing. We'll never know the real denominator. The testing emphasis should be to identify first as many evidencing symptoms and then treat them. The prez is right to speed demonstrably effective treatments into treatment. The second testing emphasis should be to test as many as possible. But, for heavens sake, this is a textbook example of bureaucrats trying to make the perfect the enemy of the good. When you're going through Hell, keep going.

Calypso Facto said...

Again, "I'll believe it's a crisis when the people telling me its a crisis start acting like its a crisis." Is it a crisis that demands shelter in place and abbreviated drug approval processes, or isn't it? Is the COVID-19 mortality/fatality rate so high that it's worth risking unproven treatments, or were we just buffaloed about the risk of death all along?

I'm sure it's just coincidence that the NYT is for both immediate lock down AND delayed treatment options when both deepen and prolong the economic calamity?

Polo said...

Review article describing efficacy and toxicology of formulations of cloroquine You decide whether the data is compelling of not. https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vTi-g18ftNZUMRAj2SwRPodtscFio7bJ7GdNgbJAGbdfF67WuRJB3ZsidgpidB2eocFHAVjIL-7deJ7/pub

Freder Frederson said...

The TrumpHate is strong in you.

The Trumplove is strong in you. You refuse to admit that Trump's response to this has been awful.

Birkel said...

Don't you have a NAMBLA meeting to attend?

Michael K said...

Epidemiologist Freder tells us how things should be. In his imagination.

Playing catch up by throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks is neither efficient nor desirable.

Actually, this is an example of more misinformation.

The recommended use of chloroquine is 7 to 10 days, so renal problems are a minor concern.

My wife has rheumatoid arthritis and has been talking hydroxychloroquine, as Plaquenil, for three years. No side effects.

It was critically important that Trump stopped flights from China, in spite of left wing criticism as "racism."

The use of chloroquine and the hydroxy version will most likely end the epidemic in a month. The use of remdesivir will be able to prevent most respirator requirements.

The "hot spots" will remain crowded Democrat ruled cities. Mostly close to international airports.

Freder Frederson said...

Epidemiologist Freder tells us how things should be. In his imagination.

And I thought you were a surgeon, not an epidemiologist.

Freder Frederson said...

Don't you have a ***** meeting to attend?

Are you going to start this bullshit again? Remove this comment or I will have Ann remove it, just like last time.

Narayanan said...

So USA : What is "our plan of action"

End the CoVID19 crisis ASAP vs stretch it out till November elections.

If poll were taken what would be the result?

How about it Emerita?

Rory said...

"Does this apply only to visit in their office practice or also to hospital doctors?"

The FDA approval is about the marketing of a drug or device. Sales literature has to limit recommended uses to what's been approved, and sales people aren't allowed to pitch unapproved uses.

Freder Frederson said...

It was critically important that Trump stopped flights from China, in spite of left wing criticism as "racism."

Was it really. Perhaps if it was coupled with other measures it might have helped, but it obviously was insufficient alone to stop the spread. And Trump boasting that there were only 15 cases in the U.S. and that we had stopped the disease at the border certainly was counterproductive.

Mark O said...

Anyone who has listened to Seema Verma knows she is a terrible representative of this crisis. She equivocates and seems almost completely ignorant of simple matters. Tucker tried to let her rehabilitate herself the other night and she dramatically failed.

Mattman26 said...

Yes to what Rory said. "Off label" uses of a drug only prohibit the drug's marketer from pushing it for unapproved uses. Any doctor with a scrip pad can use his/her professional judgment.

Iman said...

Fuck the NYT, for chrissakes!

Darkisland said...

Mountain Man,

Good on Teva for donating those 6mm doses and thanks for posting that. The article also says that they are going to make an additional 10mm doses available in April.

I understand that chloroquine is generally in tablet ("pill") form. Assuming that they can get the active ingredient, tablets are easy to make. Mix the active with some starch, microcellulose and some other inactive ingredients, run it through a granulator to convert the mixed powders (like flour) into granules (like sugar) and run it into a tablet press. Even a medium capacity tablet press can make millions of tablets a day.

See https://www.fette-compacting.com/en/products/tablet-presses/fe-series The smallish FE-35 is rated at 367,000 tablets per hour. About 7mm tablets in a 24 hour day.

So, IF chloroquine works as it seems, it would be a very easy matter to produce enough, in a few weeks, to dose everyone in the country. Assuming that the active ingredient is available.

John Henry

Curious George said...

"Freder Frederson said...
Epidemiologist Freder tells us how things should be. In his imagination.

And I thought you were a surgeon, not an epidemiologist."

Surgeon is closer to epidemiologist than dumbass is.

roesch/voltaire said...

This from an article in Nature by Wang, Can and others: "Our findings reveal that remdesivir and chloroquine are highly effective in the control of 2019-nCoV infection in vitro. Since these compounds have been used in human patients with a safety track record and shown to be effective against various ailments, we suggest that they should be assessed in human patients suffering from the novel coronavirus disease." So yes, promising, along with Fujifilm's Avigan which has proven effective according to some Chinese doctors.

Darkisland said...

The mantra of the FDA is "safe and effective". Safety is relatively easy to prove. Effectiveness, does the drug do what is claimed therapeutically, is much harder. The effectiveness standard is a large part of why it costs $2-4bn to bring a drug into production in the US.

Looser requirements for effectiveness is one of the reasons drugs are less expensive in other countries. They don't have to include the billion$ spent on proving effectiveness into the price per dose.

My understanding is that we already know pretty much all there is to know about the safety of chloraquine. We also know pretty much everything there is to know about the effectiveness of it for normal uses.

There seems to be some doubt, perhaps justified, perhaps not, about how effective it is against kung flu. There doesn't seem to be any evidence that it is not effective. The doubt comes from lack of evidence that it is effective.

Seems like the best way to see, one way or 'tother is to give it to people and monitor to see what happens. It can't hurt, might help.

In the face of something that is crashing our economy, that seems like a pretty reasonable approach.

And even if it isn't the miracle cure, it can still be used as an excuse for the press to back itself out of the corner they have put us in.

John Henry

Michael K said...

Freder Frederson said...
Epidemiologist Freder tells us how things should be. In his imagination.

And I thought you were a surgeon, not an epidemiologist.


Freder, unlike you, my education did not stop at college. Even medical school. In 1994, I went back to school and got an MS in Outcomes Research from Dartmouth that includes such things as Biostatistics and Decision Theory. Bill Clinton handed me my diploma in June 1995.

It is the equivalent of an MPH. Jack Wennberg ran the program

Darkisland said...

One of the problems we have is that we have lost much of our pharmaceutical industry. Here's 2 recent posts I made recently on former pharma plants:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/america-held-hostage-china-john-henry/?published=t

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/changeover_puertorico-cloroquine-pharmaceutical-activity-6646587786755403776-5aK4

An article in the Free Beacon talks about a bill that Rep Tom Cotton is introducing to bring pharma manufacturing back to the US:

The sale of APIs [active pharmaceutical ingredients-JRH] to the United States has been major business for the Chinese, with the total number of factories producing them in China doubling between 2010 and 2019. Census Bureau data show that pharmaceutical imports have grown from $179 million in 2000 to $1.56 billion in 2019—a nearly 800 percent increase.

Naturally, the Chinese are not happy about this:

Perhaps, in part, because of these profits, discussion of repatriating pharmaceutical production appears to have spooked Chinese authorities. In a Tuesday tweet, the country's ministry of foreign affairs claimed that "trying to move medical supply chains back to the U.S. from China is unrealistic and unhelpful," adding that it would be "a wrong remedy for #COVID19 pandemic."

https://freebeacon.com/policy/tom-cotton-debuts-plan-to-take-pharma-production-back-from-china/

John Henry

chuck said...

No wonder Democrats are anxious and depressed. Thanks NY Times.

Michael K said...

My understanding is that we already know pretty much all there is to know about the safety of chloraquine. We also know pretty much everything there is to know about the effectiveness of it for normal uses.

We are still suffering from the consequences of thalidomide and that occurred in 1957. The FDA was canonized because of that incident. It has never gotten over it and still thinks it is a saint.

The CDC is filled with medical bureaucrats who all lean left politically,. I have never known a public health physicians who was not a Democrat or even a Socialist.

Darkisland said...


Blogger Freder Frederson said...

And I thought you were a surgeon, not an epidemiologist.

Dr K doesn't really need my help but Jeebus Creepers, Freder, you can really makes some stupid statements.

He wrote the book on the history of disease. "A Brief History of Disease, Science and Medicine: From the Ice Age to the Genome Project". At 529 pages, not all that brief, either. Available via the Altazon portal.

Excellent book, informative and well written. Easy for even a layman like me to understand. I recommend it.

What about you, Freder? What is your experience in epidemiology? Why should we listen to you on this? At least anymore than you should listen to me on this subject.

John Henry

roesch/voltaire said...

I have made a little money buying and selling Moderna, Inc which is in a phase one trail of mRNA-1273 vaccine against Novel Coronavirus, and suggest folks keep an eye on the process of the drug for early break through.

Breezy said...

NY in shelter in place mode. Only essential business personnel can be out and about. Critical trips out for food and meds only.

Drago said...

Field Marshall and Noted Epidemiologist Freder: "Was it really. Perhaps if it was coupled with other measures it might have helped, but it obviously was insufficient alone to stop the spread."

Just read that sentence and let the monumental stupidity coupled with ill intent wash over you....

Darkisland said...

Blogger Michael K said...

We are still suffering from the consequences of thalidomide and that occurred in 1957. The FDA was canonized because of that incident.

I probably don't need to tell you but most people don't realize how close the FDA was to approving Thalidomide. They were literally days away from approval, lacking only a couple of final signatures, when the news of deformities broke in England.

It was pure dumb luck, not any great display of competence, that prevented Thalidomide from being approved in the US.

John Henry

Yancey Ward said...

"chloroquine.” is this what used to be known as Quinine?

No, chloroquine is an analog of quinine. Both are a class of compounds called quinolines. Quinine is actually a naturally occurring compound from a tree bark of some kind, and has been used as a anti-malarial for centuries.

Crazy Jane said...

Oh, I see. Deep State good, Trump bad is all you need to know per the NYT.

If you're part of its echo chamber you can save all that money you spend on a subscription, unless of course you regard the cost as the dues required to assert your membership in our self-anointed elite class.

Personally, I like people who think for themselves. I find Trump wearying, but some of the time what he does makes sense.

And Michael K. is right: Big medicine, federal style, is not infallible. The thalidomide decision should never be forgotten, but neither should the CDC foot-dragging over testing and the FDA's slow-walk about the release of remdesivir as desperately sick people died.



Pookie Number 2 said...

So as I understand it, the current argument is, sure, the “experts” were wrong about the travel bans, and Trump was right, but WHY DIDN’T TRUMP LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS?!?!?!

I still think Trump (or at least his public persona) is something of a blockading buffoon, but these criticisms don’t even pretend to be serious.

Pookie Number 2 said...

*bloviating*

Francisco D said...

Arguing with Freder is a waste of time. He is neither well informed nor particularly bright.

I would rather listen to people who have some knowledge and do not get their opinions from the media.

In that respect, kudos to Michael K. who was talking about the two drugs to treat COVID-19 more than one week ago and before anyone here had ever heard about them.

Yancey Ward said...

It is clearly time that Trump nationalize the paper industry and devote all of it to TP production.

Darkisland said...

When I came back to PR Wednesday I was greeted in baggage claim by 20-30 National Guard types in full hazmat gear. Booties, Tyvek coveralls, hood, face shield, respirator. Similar to what one would wear in a Class 100 aseptic cleanroom.

The news says they were national guard but there was no indication of who they were or what they were doing.

They were taking temperatures of arriving passengers. Probably more guardsmen than passengers when I was there. As I walked into the hall, they asked if they could check my temperature. I said "No thank you" and kept on walking. The perfume samplers in Macys are more aggressive.

They were also only checking people going to baggage claim. If I had not had checked a bag, I wouldn't have even seen them.

I would not have cared if they checked my temp. I mainly wanted to see what would happen if I refused. If you can even call my response a "refusal"

John Henry

Nichevo said...


Pookie Number 2 said...
For the first couple months, he constantly downplayed the threat. Playing catch up by throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks is neither efficient nor desirable.

Was barring flights from China an example of downplaying the threat?


No, that was an example of OMB SO RAYCISS! Try to keep up. /s

Yancey Ward said...

I am personally skeptical about the chloroquine claims, but the French paper is discussing already approved drugs, so off label use can be done by doctors without running into real legal problems. The main worries are lawsuits afterwards, but patients and their families can sign consent forms.

As for the remdesivir claims, I still wonder how much of this drug is extant at this point- it isn't a commercial product, and it is very complex molecule whose synthesis isn't trivial. I assume Gilead has a better method than that reported on Wikipedia, which itself looks like a medchem route (i.e. the first route developed by the people who first synthesized it in drug discover) rather than a process route (the route optimized for kg sized production at a minimum). I doubt this drug has been put through any batch size production higher than 100 kgs.

Darkisland said...

For those not aware, Thalidomide was approved for medical use in the US by the FDA in 1998.

Not by pregnant women, I assume.

John Henry

Nichevo said...


Blogger roesch/voltaire said...
I have made a little money buying and selling Moderna, Inc which is in a phase one trail of mRNA-1273 vaccine against Novel Coronavirus, and suggest folks keep an eye on the process of the drug for early break through.


Oh, you mean you've been profiteering on the blood of children. At least, that's what you would say of your enemies.

Darkisland said...

Blogger Yancey Ward said...

I doubt this drug [Remdesvir-JRH]has been put through any batch size production higher than 100 kgs.

It looks like the dose is 100mg so even if they had to make it in 100kg lots, that would still be about a million doses per lot.

John Henry

Unknown said...

The NYTimes reports, that’s funny.

elkh1 said...

The drug does not kill and have known side effects. Whether it helps much, well... If it saves one life, should we rather waste this life and wait for the large scale study to prove the drug works on a significant scale?

If I were on my death bed, anything that delayed my demise, "works on a significant scale". Will we use untested drugs next year when the virus comes back? Probably not.

Desperate people make desperate decisions.

Sam L. said...

"The NYT Reports": I despise, detest, and distrust the NYT. The WaPoo, too,

Yancey Ward said...

John Henry,

I have read the remdesivir stories- the actual total dose/patient came out to 2.2 g. The 100 mg is the increment used to get to 2.2 g.

reader said...

Good heavens. We’ve had two states go on lockdown. Heaven forbid he tries to give some hope and allay some fears. If it’s wrong it’s wrong we won’t be worse off. Hope is helpful now!!!

JohnAnnArbor said...

There is NOTHING wrong with optimism with these preliminary, SCIENTIFIC reports. Clinical trial now, see if it works. Best we can do.

And there are many drugs being tried in vitro and in some cases in vivo. We shall see.

Francisco D said...

It is clearly time that Trump nationalize the paper industry and devote all of it to TP production.

Too late. The Babylon Bee reported last week that Bernie Sanders called for the government to seize the means of toilet paper production.

reader said...

Lets force a few million people to stay on lockdown and then see how long it takes for their fear to turn to anger...

It seems like this is an experiment the media wants to run.

Gospace said...

There's never been a double blind study to see if gargling with warm water and xyiltol will prevent sore throats from viral and/or bacterial infections. I normally get one or two bad sore throats from URIs each year. Started gargling with warm water and xylitol this year. Daily, every night, just before bed. No sore throats. My recommendation, though not a doctor or medical professional, gargle every day with a warm water and xylitol mixture.

BTW, this article makes some good points. Likely C-19 has been around in the United States since long before we were aware it might even be a problem. My wife had flu like symptoms for 3 weeks that wasn't flu. And it's a topic of conversation on one of the larger Facebook groups I belong to that many of the members have had lingering flu like symptoms these last few months. That were diagnosed as not flu.

Between regular nasal irrigation and the xylitol gargling, I haven't had any flu like symptoms for any appreciable among of time.

Drago said...

Yancey Ward: "I am personally skeptical about the chloroquine claims, but the French paper is discussing already approved drugs, so off label use can be done by doctors without running into real legal problems."

I watched Laura Ingraham's show last night where the Chief Oncologist (I think he was the Chief) of Lenox Hill hospital in NY flatly stated that within his hospital and other hospitals in the NY area he is contact with are using chloroquine with or without azithromicyn already across the board and his impression seemed to me to be a very positive one.

Is he lying?

Freder Frederson said...

There is NOTHING wrong with optimism with these preliminary, SCIENTIFIC reports. Clinical trial now, see if it works. Best we can do.

As Dr. Fauci explained, these are not "SCIENTIFIC" reports, they are anecdotal. Donald Trump "feeling good about it", and "seeing if he was right, and he's right about a lot of things", does not change that.

Bobb said...

How do we know the Wuhan virus is killing these people? I demand a two-year double-blind review prior to jumping to conclusions.

Michael K said...

As for the remdesivir claims, I still wonder how much of this drug is extant at this point-

Peter Navarro, on Hugh Hewitt's show a week ago, said they have 4500 doses in hand and 90,000 ordered at a cost of $200 million.

He did not specify the amount of a "dose." The NEJM case report said "an infusion"

Darkisland said...

Blogger Yancey Ward said...

I have read the remdesivir stories- the actual total dose/patient came out to 2.2 g. The 100 mg is the increment used to get to 2.2 g.

Not sure I am following you here. Are you saying that the course of treatment is 2.2g over some period of time, administered in 100mg doses?

If so, my math still holds. I did not mean to imply that a single dose was all that was needed. My quick look at dosages did not show total course of treatment.

If each patient needed 22 doses, that would still be 45m treatments per lot. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.


John Henry

roesch/voltaire said...

Yes I am making money by supporting a company that has a promising vaccine for Covid19, which may save some adults and children, and as one who studies capitalism, like many others, I follow the market to see how it will affect my life.

bagoh20 said...

""President Trump on Thursday exaggerated..."

is an exaggeration or maybe a lie.

Drago said...

Freder: "As Dr. Fauci explained, these are not "SCIENTIFIC" reports, they are anecdotal. Donald Trump "feeling good about it", and "seeing if he was right, and he's right about a lot of things", does not change that."

Dr Fauci also said that what he is saying and what the President is saying are not in conflict.

So I'll take that.

Feel free to return to your latest hoax.

Francisco D said...

Is he lying?

From what I have seen, the only liars are in the Democrat-media complex.

All the experts make guesstimates. Sometimes they are wrong, but good experts should be (by definition) less wrong than non-experts.

Science staggers forward based on figuring out what they did wrong.

walter said...

It's a ridiculous accusation in light of him almost overdoing the caveats.
covidtrial.io
Background

A recent controlled clinical study conducted by Didier Raoult​ M.D/Ph.D, et. al in France has shown that 100% patients that received a combination of HCQ and Azithromycin tested negative and were virologically cured within 6 days of treatment.

In addition, recent guidelines from South Korea and China report that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are effective antiviral therapeutic treatments for novel coronavirus.

A therapeutic agent that prevents infection with novel coronavirus is highly desirable--especially for persons with high-risk exposure (e.g healthcare professionals) as well as persons with comorbidities (heart disease, diabetes, etc) and compromised immune systems. Ground-breaking in vitro studies demonstrate potential efficacy of hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic for novel coronavirus infection in primate cells.

Note: Hydroxychloroquine (brand name Plaquenil) is an inexpensive, globally available drug (tablet) that was approved for widespread medical use since 1955. It is commonly used today to treat malaria, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Jessica said...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/186Bel9RqfsmEx55FDum4xY_IlWSHnGbj/view

That's a link to the actual study. It is promising. Not a sure thing, but a bit of hope.

walter said...

Jessica,
Also hotlinked in my post.

n.n said...

The trumpeting has come from overseas. While the braying is purely domestic.

Greg the class traitor said...

TreeJoe said...
But the NYT is being stupid here. You CANNOT ignore existing, broadly available, and inexpensive therapies if they have even modest efficacy and a good safety profile.

Sure you can.

If your goal is "dead Americans and Trump not re-elected".

n.n said...

the media treating this crisis as just more fodder for their partisan hit pieces?

The social contagion... the diverse social contagions that JournoLists have spread for more than 12 trimesters has left the population at risk for an occupation, rebellion, knockout game, or riot.

BUMBLE BEE said...

He downplayed the threat. Sounds like a calming influence to me. Both times I was diagnosed with cancer, my doctors downplayed the threat. I'm OK with that, worry and panic played no part in my cases. Together we laid out realistic plans, tossed around the alternate therapies and set a course. Never did my docs preclude any of my options. Having lived through these obstacles I am reassured in my saying to those who whine about Trumps "downplaying", SHUT THE F*CK UP you adolescent wastes of flesh.
Bring it on Mr. President.

Greg the class traitor said...

Freder Frederson said...
The Trumplove is strong in you. You refuse to admit that Trump's response to this has been awful.

So, what, exactly, and Trump's response to the Chinese Coronavirus has been "awful"?

It's the #Resistance bureaucrats at the FDA and CDC who blocked Dr. Chu's testing in Seattle. Who screwed up the testing.

It's the #Resistance bureaucrat at the State Dept. who let the Diamond Princess passengers in w/o further quarantine.

What, other than tell people "don't freak out", has Trump done "wrong"?

Or is that the sum total of your complaint against him? That he disagreed with the doomsayers? That he trusted the CDC and FDA to do the right thing, and was slow to decide to kick butt against them?

Details. Specifics

n.n said...

These treatments have been identified by foreign doctors to tamp down the symptoms and mitigate the antigens' progress and damage in viable persons. That said, there is no magical elixir, the JournoLists should reconsider their multitrimester plan to spread social contagions, which are known first-order forcings of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.

walter said...

"tamp down the symptoms and mitigate the antigens' progress and damage in viable persons."
Pretty much the definition of a successful medication.
Plus, if the prevention angle pans out, borderline magical.

Greg the class traitor said...

Freder Frederson said...
It was critically important that Trump stopped flights from China, in spite of left wing criticism as "racism."

Was it really. Perhaps if it was coupled with other measures it might have helped



So, Freder, or anyone else who wishes to criticize President Trump here, what, exactly, are the things he should have done? When should he have done them, and what was the evidence existing at that time that he should do those things?

I'm open to hearing what Trump's failures were. But all I ever hear is the bald assertion that "Trump screwed up", plus complaints that he didn't run around with his hair on fire

Gusty Winds said...

I get the feeling that Cloroquine is going to be and effective Coronavirus drug because it is obvious the mainstream media hopes it isn't.

Gusty Winds said...

Penis Alexander: "Mr. President, do you feel like you are giving the American People false hope by suggesting Cloroquine may be and effective drug?"

Trump: "You're and asshole"

Penis Alexander: "But what do you have to say to Americans who are scared (other than anything good)...."

Trump: "You're an even bigger asshole than you were a minute ago"

Penis Alexander: "Me??? An asshole? I was just giving you an opportunity to reassure the American People"

The Godfather said...

My guess is that the American people are nearing the end of their patience with lockdowns and close downs and shutdowns and tanking the US economy. Particularly when we’re not being told when it will end. We’re going to start coming out of our bolt holes soon, so I hope there’s going to be some meds for those who get sick.

Ralph L said...

I fear some places (like my area) shutdown too soon, but no one wanted to do it too late. Bet a lot of restaurant food is spoiling.

Kevin said...

The NYT reports.

I think you mean opines.

They should have to earn their "reports", and the bar is getting more difficult for them to clear every day.

Known Unknown said...

Let's be honest. Given the open travel in November, December and January, Covid-19 has been in this country. We probably had a wave of infections over the winter but they weren't recognized as such. We may be on a completely different part of the wave right now but not know it.

TJM said...

The New York Slimes

telling left-wing lies for over 100 years

wbfjrr2 said...

Althouse posts the garbage from NYT and WAPO because the articles are so blatantly propaganda that they rile most of her followers up, generating higher clicks and income for her.

If she’s as smart as she thinks she is she too knows this stuff is all crap.

Hate and critical thinking skills don’t function well together. Hate also fosters dishonesty. Hate and acceptance of facts/opinions different from the hate narrative does not happen.

Many of my orangemanbad friends have no idea what was going on with the coup attempts (Russia,Ukraine etc) because they exclusively watch msnbc and cnn. They actually believe everything they are told. Total credulity and zero critical thinking.

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Nichevo said...



If she’s as smart as she thinks she is she too knows this stuff is all crap.


Spoiler alert: She's not as smart as she thinks she is.