The Drug That Won't Go Away
So, here's the frustrating thing about hydroxychloroquine: it might work. It might not. Thanks to the media, however, it's been politicized to hell and back and we won't actually get to find out.
Why am I still poking this thing? I mean, there's a large scooping of Trumpian Snake Oil bullshit attached to this stuff now-- but there's also data out there which contradicts that. Like, take Trump out of the equation and it gets interesting: the Lancet study which said, "hey this doesn't help."-- they've published a retraction. The Henry Ford Health System in SE Michigan did a study with over 2k patients and got good results. An epidemiologist from Yale has come out in favor of the stuff-- (and he seems not to believe in things like demon sperm and alien DNA- at least so far.)
I'm not a medical professional. I just read a lot. But I would like some more science done on this without the media being so goddamn dismissive about it. Every time there seems to be a definitive answer on this, something pops up somewhere that seems to contradict it-- and it's happened mulitple times now, not just once or twice- so it's enough that I think we should be nailing it down for sure one way or the other- but, obviously, that's not going to happen, because, you know, the media. (Like this, for example. What's up with this? Is this real? Is it fake? Is it bunk? Like someone should look into this and tell me why it is or isn't-- instead, it's just, "Trump likes this, therefore it's wrong.")
And it's not to say that I believe this is a miracle cure or that we don't need masks or that the pandemic was planned or any of that shit. Take the tin foil hat off a second:
Every proponent of hydroxychloroquine that I've seen online always insists that it needs to be taken with zinc or Z-Pak. Why? Someone explain that to me-- if the one drug doesn't work by itself, why does combining it with two others do the trick? (Or does it do the trick?)
The other point I've seen: "oh, you've got to take it as a preventative." What? Again... why? Has someone field tested this? Have their been studies?
"Well, they're just pushing this because they've got a financial interest in the company. Or they want us to pay more for expensive treatments that benefit big pharma." Okay, prove it. Bolsonaro down in Brazil seems to love this shit-- prove that he benefits fiscally. Ditto with our President up here. Prove it.
And do you think big pharma cares? They'd change the name, repackage it and raise the price 300% like they've been doing with insulin. They'd get their money one way or the other. The real money is going to be in a vaccine or antibody treatments- things these companies can pour money into and then find additional uses for if they don't pan out for COVID.
The media doesn't really help on this all that much. Their current business model is flying apart at the seasms and they're in the clickbait and entertainment business. They're not in the nuanced, 'science is evolving as we go with this pandemic' type of a model and that's been a problem throughout all of this. What we know now is much different than what we knew in March- but there's still a shit ton of stuff that we don't know about this. (That uncertainty is especially applicable when returning your kids to school is on the agenda.) The media just can't handle an evolving news story anymore. The fact that President Trump just likes to spitball things at random doesn't help either: you have to account for the fact that a lot of the time he ends up creating a spitball that solidifies and hits him in the dick, but occasionally, the law of averages dictates he might be right about something.
It's the drug that won't go away. I remain firmly agnostic about it and I'm almost beginning to wonder if we'll find out that it did, in fact, help and help quite a bit. We just won't know until the pandemic is over.
Update: And then there's this article. Man, I don't know. Correlation does not equal causation and all that jazz, but then again it'd be nice if some one could science the shit out of this and figure out if it's a thing or not.
Update Again: Weird! There's more!