Friday, September 4, 2020

Coronavirus -- HCQ, RCT, politics

This article, title Hydoxychloroquine: A Morality Tale, is sort of long (> 15,000 words), but well worth reading. It is about the drug (HCQ), randomized control trials (RCT), facing a pandemic due to a novel virus, and how they have been so politicized.

Remdesivir has been politicized, too, but not as much. Many people on the political left favor it. Its success in treating Covid is modest. Some had a change of heart when they assumed the FDA was unduly influenced by the Trump administration when the emergency use authorization was broadened for remdesivir. See my September 1 post.  

The article gets philosophical: "We live in a culture that has uncritically accepted that every domain of life is political, and that even things we think are not political are so, that all human enterprises are merely power struggles, that even the idea of “truth” is a fantasy, and really a matter of imposing one’s view on others. For a while, some held out hope that science remained an exception to this. That scientists would not bring their personal political biases into their science, and they would not be mobbed if what they said was unwelcome to one faction or another. But the sordid 2020 drama of hydroxychloroquine—which saw scientists routinely attacked for critically evaluating evidence and coming to politically inconvenient conclusions—has, for many, killed those hopes." 


  1. Good point. Another way the Covid-19 pandemic is being politicized is by the claim by many Democrats that Joe Biden would have handled it much better than Trump has. However, one soon sees the boast is empty after comparing what the Biden-Obama administration actually did when confronting the H1N1 pandemic. According to Biden's own former chief of staff, Biden and Obama completely lucked out that the fatality rate of H1N1 was very low. Check out this quote from the WSJ's Kim Strassel's column of Aug. 20, 2020:

    "Former Biden chief of staff Ron Klain said at Texas A&M in 2019: 'We did every possible thing wrong. Sixty million Americans got H1N1 in that period of time, and it is just purely a fortuity that this isn’t one of the great mass-casualty events in American history. [It] had nothing to do with us doing anything right; just had to do with luck. If anyone thinks that can’t happen again, they don’t have to go back to 1918. Just go back to 2009, 2010. Imagine a virus with a different lethality, and you can just do the math.'

    "Yes, let’s do the math. The U.S. has some five million reported cases of coronavirus and 170,000 deaths. A virus with the spread of H1N1 and fatality rate of Covid-19 could produce a death toll approaching two million."

    So much for Biden's putatively superior acumen in protecting Americans from dread diseases.

  2. Thank you for the extra input comparing the current epoch to 2009-10. I wonder why this page doesn't include 2009-10.