That Big Hydroxychloroquine Study the Media Went Nuts Over Turned Out to Be a Scam

AP Photo/John Locher
AP featured image
This Monday, April 6, 2020, photo shows an arrangement of Hydroxychloroquine pills in Las Vegas. President Donald Trump and his administration are keeping up their out-sized promotion of the anti-malaria drug not yet officially approved for fighting the new coronavirus, but scientists say more testing is needed before it’s proven safe and effective against COVID-19. (AP Photo/John Locher)


Hydroxychloroquine is back in the news today after a major study, which was widely touted by the media a few weeks ago, has turned out to be a scam. The study was also used to change coronavirus treatment policies by the World Health Organization.

Now, we are learning that that the company that supposedly did the study, and has helped push others, is a front company of some kind. Further, the person who put the data together is not a scientist, but a science fiction author.

The studies produced by this company were published by Lancet, a renowned medical journal, and used as evidence to attack Donald Trump with. Lancet has now issued an “expression of concern,” demanding that the company provide details on their data and methodology. Given what’s already been revealed, you’d think they’d just disown the studies altogether, but I suspect they want to save face.


While these studies being frauds is bad, what’s worse is that the media took their message far and wide, literally painting hydroxychloroquine as some kind of death sentence. How many people who might have been helped by the drug, if used properly early in the process, might be alive had countries and doctors not been so discouraged from using it? We may never know the answer to that, though the usual suspects continue to dig in behind their narrative.

This does provide some notion to how flawed the medical journal system is. Why would something like this be published and used to make life and death decisions when Lancet wasn’t even aware of their methodology? It seems rather insane on it’s face.

I’ll also note that some of us pointed out at the time that the study was flawed from the get go. They included data on the drug being used alone, which scientifically makes no sense. We already know it doesn’t work by itself. It also doesn’t work with just an antibiotic. It’s the inclusion of zinc that doctors have testified to making the difference.


But whether hydroxychloroquine is effective or not on a wide scale against coronavirus, there’s no doubt that a rabid media campaign to discredit it for purely partisan reasons has taken place. This was always simply about sniping at Trump, nothing more. These news outlets should be offering corrections today, though I suspect we’ll see far more double down.



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