Article on Alleged Danger of Hydroxychloroquine Shown To Be ‘Fake News’
June 5, 2020 (EIRNS)—British medical journal The Lancet has retracted a May 22 article that purported to show that the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine was deadly, claiming that the use of these drugs was “associated with decreased in-hospital survival and an increased frequency of ventricular arrhythmias when used for treatment of COVID-19.” Sapan Desai, one of the paper’s co-authors, provided what he claimed was an enormous database of thousands of patients, upon which the study had based its conclusions. The database could not be verified and appears not to actually exist! Three of the four original co-authors submitted a retraction on June 5.
Why did The Lancet ever publish this piece? Its May 16 editorial gives insight about its view of U.S. President Donald Trump, who had touted the virtues of hydroxychloroquine based on early studies: “The administration is obsessed with magic bullets—vaccines, new medicines, or a hope that the virus will simply disappear.” Their call to readers? “Americans must put a President in the White House come January 2021, who will understand that public health should not be guided by partisan politics.” Could that goal be promoted by claims that the potentially useful but still unproven drug promoted by Trump is actually a poison?
On the basis of the now-retracted May 22 article, published one week after this editorial, the World Health Organization announced on May 23 its suspension of trials of hydroxychloroquine as part of its Solidarity Trial of potential COVID-19 treatments. According to a June 4 posting on its website, the WHO on June 3 resumed the hydroxychloroquine arm of its study, after the glaring problems with the fraudulent study came to light.