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It’s true: I’m not a medical doctor.
But you obviously don’t need to be a medical doctor to be able to smell a rat.
Longtime readers will recall that years ago I had a public exchange with commentator Mark Levin on the subject of presidential war powers. He was defending Barack Obama’s right to intervene in Libya on his own authority, and I was disputing that right.
That exchange got nastier than it needed to.
But forget all that.
Levin’s recent interview with Harvey Risch is to my mind the most valuable and important thing he’s ever done.
Harvey Risch is a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of Medicine. He is associate editor of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, editor of the International Journal of Cancer, and a member of the board of editors of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Risch has been outspoken in defense of hydroxychloroquine, administered correctly, as a treatment for COVID-19.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “all the experts” say it doesn’t work, etc.
Well, not really.
Before we get to the Levin interview, here’s an excerpt from an article Dr. Risch wrote last month (emphasis mine throughout):
As professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, I have authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications and currently hold senior positions on the editorial boards of several leading journals. 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.
On May 27, I published an article in the American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE) entitled, “Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk COVID-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis.” That article, published in the world’s leading epidemiology journal, analyzed five studies, demonstrating clear-cut and significant benefits to treated patients, plus other very large studies that showed the medication safety.
Physicians who have been using these medications in the face of widespread skepticism have been truly heroic. They have done what the science shows is best for their patients, often at great personal risk. I myself know of two doctors who have saved the lives of hundreds of patients with these medications, but are now fighting state medical boards to save their licenses and reputations. The cases against them are completely without scientific merit.
In his interview with Levin, Risch went even further:
“In fact, the science is so one-sided in supporting this result that it’s stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied in my entire career. The evidence in favor of hydroxychloroquine benefit in high-risk patients treated early as outpatients is stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied.”
Risch goes on to recall that Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has resolutely denied any benefit from hydroxychloroquine, was similarly obstructionist (the similarity is almost eerie) in 1987, in the face of the AIDS epidemic.
At that time, there was a drug (Bactrim) that worked better than AZT and was very inexpensive, and which had an excellent record of treating the particular kind of pneumonia that was then the leading killer of people with AIDS. But the testimonies of countless frontline AIDS physicians meant nothing to Fauci, who opposed the scientific consensus and discouraged its use. As many as 17,000 people died unnecessarily. You need to hear Dr. Risch — who is a mild-mannered academic — tell the story.
Incidentally, if the organized LGBT movement weren’t in the tank for the Democrats, they’d be screaming with outrage right now, alerting Americans that Fauci is today doing to COVID patients what he had done to AIDS patients in 1987. But they’d rather stick it to Trump than stand up for themselves and for suffering Americans.
(Interestingly, even Huffpost criticized Fauci for this back in 2014: “Dr. Anthony Fauci is rewriting history. He is doing so to disguise his shameful role in delaying promotion of an AIDS treatment that would have prevented tens of thousands of deaths in the first years of the epidemic.” Of course, this was back when Fauci hadn’t yet become sainted and untouchable; Huffpost would never have the courage to publish such a thing today.)
Click to watch the Levin/Risch video:
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