Did Medical Journal Put Politics Ahead Of Science In Sketchy COVID Treatment Publishing?

Written by Wes Walker on June 1, 2020

We’re told we must ‘trust the science’. How will anyone be able to do that if ‘the science’ stops being objective and data-driven?

When the world was at maximum panic as the Coronavirus began sweeping the world, we were groping in the dark for treatment options to help save lives from the dangerous secondary effects of the virus. The ‘atypical pneumonia’ that came along with the cytokine storm.

Early indications from France showed some promise with a particular drug with a long pedigree. That drug had a great safety profile, had an entirely known set of side effects and best of all — it was cheap and readily available without having to wait for drug trials.

Those promising results were published in the Lancet.

Then, President Trump mentioned that study. Suddenly, what was intended to be optimism about tentative signs of a way to save a great many lives, here and abroad, became a political football.

For many, support or opposition to the use of this drug became a political litmus test. We at ClashDaily never took that approach. We were happy to let the studies play out, but if this existing, inexpensive medication had a shot at saving lives, we recognized that as a good thing.

The early excitement and optimism quickly turned sour when a major study published in The Lancet called HCQ dangerous when used for Wuhan Coronavirus patients.

A massive study that raised health concerns over hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug touted by President Trump as a coronavirus treatment, is coming under scrutiny from scientists who are demanding to see the data behind it.

The scientists expressed concerns over a high-profile study from The Lancet, which surveyed 96,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients across six continents and concluded that the drug was ineffective in fighting the coronavirus and caused serious heart problems and even death for patients who had the disease.

An open letter from more than 180 scientists around the world raised concerns over what they said was inconsistent data in the report, noting that the average daily doses of hydroxychloroquine were higher than the those recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

They also pointed out that data the magazine said was from Australian patients did not seem to match data from the Australian government, among other things.

Another major concern was that the study’s authors did not release their code or data despite signing a pledge to share information on the coronavirus.

The report “has led many researchers around the world to scrutinize in detail the publication in question. This scrutiny has raised both methodological and data integrity concerns,” the scientists wrote, adding that they were asking the Lancet to make available the peer review process that “led to this manuscript being accepted for publication.” —TheHill

Meanwhile, in India, studies have shown a significant benefit to the health outcomes of health care workers using a dose of HCQ for preventative purposes.

Sustained intake of anti-malarial drug hyrdoxychloroquine (HCQ) along with appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) led to a significant decline in the odds of healthcare workers getting infected with the coronavirus infection, a study has indicated.

According to the findings of a case-control study published online in the ICMR’s Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR) on Sunday, consumption of four or more maintenance doses was associated with a significant decline in the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among the study participants. —HindustanTimes

What, exactly, is going on with these medical journals? If we can’t trust peer-reviewed studies as data-driven and unbiased, what can we trust?

These are the studies on which our health depends.

Were these discrepancies motivated by TDS? By profit motive by some drug company hoping for a treatment requiring a patent?

Who knows. But if it later turns out that lives could be saved by the use of a cheap, decades-old drug with known side effects, and studies were rigged to prejudice us against it, someone has a hell of a lot of blood on their hands.

And the public will deserve answers.