Is hydroxychloroquine a “game changer”? We don’t know — and that’s about all we do know.

The real proof that the Cynic is more often than not correct can be seen in the coverage and treatment of COVID-19.

This has been astounding to watch — even for the Cynic — although not unexpected. When the virus arrived, we were being told by the authorities (surgeon general) not to wear masks. Now masks are mandatory in several places across the United States.

Very early on, President Trump hailed hydroxychloroquine as a potential “game-changer.” The non-Fox media immediately admonished him as irresponsible and dangerous. Clinical trials were begun. Those trials that were positive were critiqued as not controlled while those that were negative were quickly and repeatedly broadcast as proof positive of the President’s irresponsibility.

Some states even went so far as to ban the use of hydroxychloroquine as treatment of COVID-19. Never mind that the drug has been in use for over sixty years. Never mind that tens of millions of doses have been dispensed. Never mind that the drug has been deemed safe for pregnant women. It was more important to protect the citizenry, especially if doing so would embarrass President Trump.

Meanwhile, other states adopted the drug as standard protocol for treatment. Countries adopted the drug as standard protocol for treatment. First responders in several cities began taking the drug as prophylaxis.

The President pulled back from touting the drug for several weeks. That was only a temporary respite, however. In mid-May, Mr. Trump revealed to an unbelieving press corp that he was, in fact, taking hydroxychloroquine as prophylaxis. He stated that two members of the White House staff had contracted the disease.

The networks and the Dems in congress went through their (by now) expected histrionic condemnation, and the subject became quiet again. Now, however, the World Health Organization is actually recommending that the drug NOT be used. Several countries have consequentially banned the drug; others have chosen to ignore the WHO’s recommendation.

Why would a recommendation like this be put forth?

Enter remdesivir. A new drug developed specifically for COVID-19 has been announced This drug was used in a shortened trial in April and the findings were positive — great news, right?

Problem: the new drug was shown to shorten the recovery of COVID-19 by four days. The drug was no help in reducing the case fatality rate.

Hydroxychloroquine is a drug that is out of patent. The generic version is manufactured by multiple companies. Hydroxychloroquine costs about twenty dollars for the entire COVID-19 treatment.

Remdesivir is the product of a big pharmasutical company. Its cost per dose is currently unknown. Gilead, the manufacturer, reportedly stands to make over one billion dollars in 2020 alone off of the treatment of the COVID-19 virus.

This is a great case study for the education of new cynics.

“But wait, would anyone really risk people’s lives just to promote a drug?”

The Cynic will be grading your answers.

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