A newly published study is creating news headlines that the widely touted medicine hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for prevention against COVID-19 coronavirus has once again been found to be ineffective. The study adds to the volumes of junk science already produced to allegedly prove this medicine is ineffective or even problematic.
The study met all the criteria science demands for credibility. It was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial involving a sufficient number of participants to produce at least a statistical if not meaningful conclusion as to the safety and effectiveness of properly-dosed hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the long-used anti-malarial drug that the President of the United States name-dropped as an alternative to vaccines.
The objective was to measure if HCQ prevents COVID-19 coronavirus infection among healthcare workers. Results of the study are published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. Internal Medicine, Sept. 30, 2020.
Better than nothing
Of course, this is just another of the misleading studies right from the get-go as the medicine (hydroxychloroquine) is being tested against a so-called placebo, which is not real world. What doctors should want to know is how HCQ stacks up next to vitamin D or zinc, which are known preventive agents. All that this study could possibly prove is that HCQ is better than nothing.
The study was conducted among health care workers who care for COVID-19 coronavirus-infected patients to see if HCQ could prevent transmission of this virus. The study involved 132 subjects who were without symptoms (asymptomatic) and had negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests after a nasal swab sample was obtained. HCQ was taken daily for 8 weeks.
The assumption was healthcare workers would have a 10% infection rate. Predictably, there was no significant difference in infection rates between HCQ-treated (6.3%) and placebo-treated participants (6.6%). There was no change in heart rate as some prior tests indicated.
If the test is flawed, how can the data be valid?
None of the healthcare workers who were COVID-19-positive by PCR test required hospitalization and were without symptoms or had mild disease and "fully recovered," said the report (did they ever have COVID-19?). Given the PCR test produces 100% false positives and is not specific for COVID-19 coronavirus, researchers came to nothing more than a presumptuous null effect conclusion.
Naked hydroxychloroquine without zinc
Given that HCQ is a known zinc ionophore (enhancer of zinc, a trace mineral required for the production of T-cells that kill off coronavirus-infected cells) and zinc is a potential preventive agent that may underlie the preventive and therapeutic effects of HCQ, it appears to be an incomplete study by design. HCG is a companion to zinc, not zinc a companion to HCQ.
There are zinc lozenges now with a zinc ionophore included. They would provide optimal effect.
No accompanying zinc supplemental was employed nor was its use as a dietary supplement investigated among study subjects, nor was the use of any other potential preventive measures (vitamin D, vitamin C, selenium, NAC, melatonin) surveyed.
Regarding side effects, more than twice as many study participants taking HCQ developed diarrhea (32%) vs placebo participants (12%). Of interest, zinc is a proven antidiarrheal agent in patients with respiratory tract infections.
Why prevent infection?
A major question that needs to be answered is why any effort is being made to prevent infection at all, particularly in light of the absence of a vaccine. At the present time the only way to protect the public is to develop antibodies/T-cells from natural transmission in the community. Both natural exposure to any virus or inoculation of attenuated forms of the virus via needle injection (vaccination) would theoretically produce long-term antibody/T-cell immunity. The more people who have already developed antibodies/T-cells, the fewer stand in need of vaccination.