A panel of doctors held a press conference on the Supreme Court steps in Washington D.C. on Monday to combat what they called “massive disinformation” regarding COVID-19 and to publicly announce their support of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a treatment for the virus. The video was viewed 17 million times before being removed by Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter due to what they called the spreading of “false information.” The America’s Frontline Doctors organization, whose website has since been shut down by Squarespace, organized the summit which was sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots, a conservative political organization in favor of limited government. Many groups, including The National Institute of Health, are currently conducting HCQ clinical trials.
The Right criticizes media platforms and others for censoring the information. They defend the panel of physicians, pointing to multiple trials which proved the effectiveness of HCQ as a treatment: one peer-reviewed, Association of American Physicians & Surgeons-supported study of over 2,500 patients showed that the use of HCQ at a lower dosage was an effective COVID-19 treatment with no “heart-related side effects.”
“Our analysis shows that using hydroxychloroquine helped save lives. As doctors and scientists, we look to the data for insight. And the data here is clear that there was benefit to using the drug as a treatment for sick, hospitalized patients.”Dr. Steven Kalkanis, senior vice president of Henry Ford Health System
One of the panel physicians, Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo of the UCLA, noted that the censorship of a topic in which there are differing study outcomes and medical opinions should raise red flags. It is believed that despite lack of further clinical trial results, the benefits of using HCQ, as seen by those on the front lines, outweigh the risks amid the COVID-19 pandemic
The Left believes media companies are right to censor the information and are justified due to the potential public health risks. A New England Journal of Medicine study of over 500 people showed that the drug “did not improve the conditions of hospitalized patients with mild-to-moderate Covid-19.”
“I have not been misleading the American public under any circumstances.”Dr. Anthony Fauci, leading US infectious disease specialist
Fauci added that most clinical trials have supported the notion that HCQ is not an effective COVID-treatment. Others have argued that some of the studies that do prove its effectiveness were not peer-reviewed or proper clinical trials. The Food and Drug Administration recently removed emergency use authorization of the drug as a COVID treatment. Many have questioned the panel of doctors’ credibility and pointed to their lack of expertise on infectious diseases. The summit was said to be “conspiracy-pseudoscience” that promotes information that “does not align with the consensus of science.” It is argued that doctors should wait for further clinical trial results.