There has been a mix of excitement and controversy around the world about a particular combination of drugs that has shown some promise as an effective treatment for patients infected by the novel coronavirus. But according to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, scientists just got one step closer to figuring out the truth.
According to Fox, Ingraham touted on Friday’s edition of The Ingraham Angle a new study from a world-renowned French epidemiologist who says that of 80 patients who received a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat COVID-19, all but one showed remarkable improvement in their condition.
“This is really big”
As reported by The Connexion, Dr. Didier Raoult, a well-respected French epidemiologist, had previously conducted a smaller study showing promise for hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as effective treatments for the coronavirus disease. Now, it appears he’s been able to match his findings in a larger study.
“This is really big,” Ingraham said of the new research on her Friday night program, according to a transcript provided by Fox News. “This just broke tonight — from the French research team that was led by the renowned epidemiologist, Didier Raoult, just posted online, this study offers more hope that the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin is helping COVID-19 patients.”
Still, Ingraham noted that while Raoult’s new study had twice as many subject patients as his initial study, both lacked control groups.
“Nevertheless, 54 of the patients had CT scans for COVID pneumonia. Only three of them required an ICU, and the median age was 52, that’s fairly young,” she said, according to Fox. “About two-thirds or so had underlying medical conditions, and the results were stunning.”
Ingraham went on to read from the study:
By administrating hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin, we were able to observe an improvement in all cases, except in one patient who arrived with an advanced form, who was over the age of 86 and in whom the evolution was irreversible.
For all other patients in this cohort of 80 people, the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin resulted in a clinical improvement that appeared significant when compared to the natural evolution in patients with a definite outcome, as described in the literature.
“It’s all about risk-benefit”
Later in the program, Ingraham spoke with Adm. Brett Giroir, a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) official and a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, who gave his thoughts on the study’s findings — as well as its flaws.
“I don’t think there is mixed messages at all,” Giroir told Ingraham, according to Fox’s transcript. “In order to be absolutely certain that the drug combination works or one of the other drugs work, sure, you need a controlled study. But hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are both approved medications in the United States. And it is perfectly reasonable for a physician with a patient, particularly one being sick, to prescribe that.”
The admiral added that the study serves as “another piece of suggestive evidence” supporting the idea that the drug combination should be considered “seriously.”
“You have to understand that medicines are used off-label every day in this country. And that doesn’t mean it’s unsafe,” he told Ingraham, according to Fox. “That just means that it hasn’t gone through the 10 years of study to be absolutely approved by the FDA. And it’s all about risk-benefit.” Giroir went on:
I’m an intensive care physician. It’s different if you have a young, healthy person who is mildly ill. Sure, you don’t want to give them a drug that hasn’t been proven. But if you have a person who is in an ICU or who is ill or has risk factors and you have a drug that may work, that we have dozens of years of experience with, it’s a very reasonable option. And I think that’s a decision between the doctor and the patient and the patient’s family. And that’s the way it should be.
In the end, there will be ample testing done on the viability of this particular treatment, both with controls and without. For now, we can only hope a final answer will come as soon as possible; lives are at stake.