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A Physician Investigates: Should You Take Hydroxychloroquine?

A controversy has arisen regarding the utility of using chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

On the one hand, there are the purists who maintain that these medications ought not be employed until the proof of their benefits has been established. On the other, some advocate for the aggressive and immediate deployment of these medications. With these two very valid competing arguments proffered by sophisticated scientists and healthcare providers, the question for the rest of us mere mortals is what should we do?

The first step in addressing this question is to evaluate the state of the literature on the topic. An early indication that hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in combination with azithromycin could be helpful in the treatment of CORVID-19 infection comes from a randomly controlled study from France involving 40 patients with early infection.  All patients in the experimental group improved and did better than those in the placebo group, except for one who was 86 years old and received the medicines in an “advanced form” of the disease.

But the study suffered from its small size and lack of a peer review process.

Other studies seemed to support the French conclusion.  In the laboratory, evidence demonstrates that chloroquine helps defeat the virus by increasing a cell’s internal pH and interfering with the penetration of the virus into the cell. Another study, this time out of China, showed the effectiveness of chloroquine and another medication, Remdesevir, against the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the COVID-19 virus) in Vero E6 cells taken from African green monkeys. Yet another preliminary study out of Wuhan showed that the time to clinical recovery, body temperature recovery time, and cough remission time were shorter in patients treated with hydroxychloroquine than in untreated controls.

There’s also experiential evidence suggesting that people who take chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine in low doses may be prevented from even developing the disease.  Additionally, informally reported observations find that patients who regularly take these medications for other conditions such as lupus are generally not contracting COVID-19.

But conflicting scientific information has also emerged. One study suggests no benefit to the administration of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in patients with severe infection. The severe nature of the infections in these patients is notable, as it appears that the damage to the body goes beyond what an antibiotic can improve.

In light of all this emerging information regarding the potential benefits of administering the drugs it is tempting to conclude that we should treat all COVID-19 patients with these medications.  But what about the potential harm? Here, there is extensive evidence of the safety of taking chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Yes, either medication can cause retinopathy and changes in heart electrophysiology, but these effects are exceedingly rare and take place in patients who consume the medication at higher doses and for much more protracted periods of time.  In reality, the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in the recommended doses and projected administration times for COVID-19 is very safe.

So should we be taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine?  Well, the answer actually comes in three packets.

  • First, with the data available, those patients in respiratory failure ought definitely be treated with a regimen of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.  They should also be placed on Remdesevir. These patients, of course, are generally being treated in the intensive care unit setting, and the optimal management controversy does not apply to the general public.
  • Second, for those patients who are not in respiratory failure, but are nevertheless infected with COVID-19, the more proper approach is one of drug administration.  Although treatment should be undertaken under physician supervision, there is little question that the balance between risk and benefit strongly lands in favor of benefit, especially when one considers the potential imminence of patient demise.
  • Third, there is the question of preventive treatment or prophylaxis. Here again, there is a strong suggestion of benefit and a very remote risk of harm particularly when one considers the exceedingly low doses required for prevention.  The conflict here lies in supply. Do we have enough chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to meet the demands from such a broad swath of the population? Ideally, it would be preferable that everyone takes one of these medications, but in light of supply limitations, at the very least, those coming into frequent contact with COVID-19 patients and elderly persons should be on a prophylactic dose.

What about those on chronic regimens of these medications?  Should they be kept from accessing chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine as many in the media claim is taking place?  They shouldn’t. But even in light of temporary shortages, the prophylactic use of these medications should still be considered.

Let’s face it.  We are looking at a massive pandemic that is devastating the national economy and able to take some victims with great haste.  A short-term interruption of treatment on chronic patients is generally not going to result in their rapid demise, but the contraction of COVID-19 may.  Here, urgency considerations definitely fall on the side of the COVID-19 patient and its prevention.

In the end, these are prescription medications so the decisions for administration or not lie with the physician.  Ultimately, each physician is going to have to make up his or her mind. However, although there is still some room for debate, the answer presently is falling on the side of administering rather than withholding these potentially life-saving medicines.

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ISIS Discovers the Cure for Coronavirus: Jihad

Of course! What else could it possibly be? My latest in FrontPage:

Worried about the coronavirus? Don’t be. All you have to do to make sure you don’t contract the virus is blow yourself up in a crowd of infidels. Well, yes, but there’s always a catch, now, isn’t there?

This sage advice for a coronavirus cure comes from the thoughtful medical researchers of the Islamic State, aka ISIS. The latest edition of the jihad group’s al-Naba newsletter tells Muslims to wash their hands frequently and avoid traveling into Europe in order to avoid contracting the coronavirus, but somewhat contradicts itself in also noting that the best way to turn away “the torment and wrath” of Allah is to wage jihad.

The coronavirus, says ISIS, is a “plague” sent by Allah in order to give “painful torment” for non-believers. This is by no means a novel idea in Islam. The idea that Allah will punish the unrighteous in this world is in the Qur’an: “So if they repent, it is better for them; but if they turn away, Allah will punish them with a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And there will not be for them on earth any protector or helper.” (Qur’an 9:74) The obverse of the idea that Allah will punish the unrepentant in both this world and the next is that if one is righteous, one will prosper in this world as well as in the next.

With that idea likely in mind, ISIS states that “the Muslims should not pity the disbelievers and apostates, but should use the current opportunities to continue working to free Muslim prisoners from the camps in which they face subjugation and disease.” In doing this, they need not worry about the coronavirus: “They should also remember that obedience to God — the most beloved form of which is jihad — turns away the torment and wrath of God.”

The most righteous deed of all, the one that is most effective in turning away Allah’s “torment and wrath,” is jihad. A hadith has a Muslim asking Muhammad: “Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).” Muhammad replied, “I do not find such a deed.” (Bukhari 4.52.44)

So while ISIS tells Muslims that they should take sensible precautions against the coronavirus, it also tells them that committing acts of violence against unbelievers will protect them from the virus anyway. Meanwhile, the jihad group asks Allah to make the coronavirus even more lethal than it is already, so as to “increase their torment,” as well as to “save the believers from all that.”

Also, the Qur’an teaches that Allah will place a Muslim’s good deeds on one scale and bad deeds on the other, and send them to Paradise or hell depending on which scale weighs more. A Muslim who is worried about his eternal destiny can decisively tip the scales in his favor by waging jihad, the deed that is greater than all others. He can seize the Qur’an’s promise of Paradise for those who “kill and are killed” for Allah (9:111).

Of course, if one is killed, the points about avoiding the coronavirus are rendered moot, especially in light of the fact that a hadith attributed to Muhammad accords martyr status to those who die in a plague: “There are seven types of martyrdom in addition to being killed in Allah’s cause: one who dies of plague is a martyr; one who is drowned is a martyr; one who dies of pleurisy is a martyr; one who dies of an internal complaint is a martyr; one who is burnt to death is a martyr; who one is killed by a building falling on him is a martyr; and a woman who dies while pregnant is a martyr. (Sunan Abi Dawud 3111)

Another hadith adds that Muslims should not flee an epidemic: “Narrated Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) I asked Allah’s Messenger about the plague. He told me that it was a Punishment sent by Allah on whom he wished, and Allah made it a source of mercy for the believers, for if one in the time of an epidemic plague stays in his country patiently hoping for Allah’s Reward and believing that nothing will befall him except what Allah has written for him, he will get the reward of a martyr.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 3474)

The only difference, then, between dying in the midst of one’s own jihad massacre and dying from the coronavirus is that in the former, some infidels die as well. For ISIS, that is a big difference, and one worth telling Muslims to wash their hands before they set out to murder infidels.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

New York: Muslim Brotherhood activist, ‘If you have contracted coronavirus, you should exact revenge!’ [Video]

Is Bahgat Saber’s activity in New York under investigation? Why not? Would that be “Islamophobic”?

In any case, his call is completely Islamic: “Muhammad is the apostle of Allah. Those who follow him are ruthless to unbelievers, merciful to one another.” (Qur’an 48:29)

“NY-Based Muslim Brotherhood Activist Bahgat Saber Urges Egyptians to Deliberately Infect Government Officials and Employees at Egypt’s Consulates and Embassies with Coronavirus, MEMRI, March 1, 2020:

Bahgat Saber, a New York-based Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood activist, said in a video he uploaded to his Facebook page on March 1, 2020 that any Egyptian who has flu-like symptoms or coronavirus should deliberately go to Egyptian police stations, public prosecution offices, courthouses, embassies, and consulates and shake hands with government officials in order to exact revenge against President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s government, which he said is deeply corrupt, and avenge the people Sisi has oppressed. He added that if he gets coronavirus, he plans to go to the Egyptian consulate in New York and infect the people working there.

Bahgat Saber: “Whoever has flu-like symptoms – cold, fever, sneezing – should pay a visit to his ‘friends’ who work for Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s government. The moment you get flu-like symptoms like a cold or a fever, go to the public prosecution office that is closest to your house. Go to any building where they might illegally incarcerate people. If you can, go to a building of the Security Investigations Service, and if you can’t, just wait for them and sneeze on their cars when they pass by.

[…]

“If you want the state to care about coronavirus and start dealing with this disease, whoever among you suffers from influenza, fever, or cold, should just casually walk into a police station, or go to an office of the public prosecution, or to a courthouse. If you are a soldier, you can go into the defense ministry, and shake hands with all the generals of the military and the police. The same is true with the justice system. [People should target] the businessmen and actors who support Sisi. He should go to Media Production City. If there are people who oppose the military coup and work in Media Production City, and who have contracted anything – cold, fever, anything… They should go there and shake hands with everybody.

[…]

“If you have contracted coronavirus, you should exact revenge! Avenge yourself, avenge the honor of your women, avenge the people who are in prison, and avenge the oppressed people. Go there. Why die alone? When you die, why die alone?

[…]

“Perhaps coronavirus will topple Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Our Lord is capable of doing anything. But you have to make proper use of this.

[…]

“People who are outside of Egypt should go to any consulate or embassy. They are all licentious villains and sons of bitches.

[…]

“Exact revenge! This is legal and constitutional revenge. No law or constitution prohibits you from paying them a visit. If you know someone [sick], send him on a visit. You’ll be doing him a favor.

[…]

“When you talk to people, they say to you: ‘We don’t have machine guns, we don’t have F-16 plans, we don’t have this and that…’ But now you have the coronavirus culture.

[…]

“If I am infected, I will go to the Egyptian consulate here. They are all corrupt sons of bitches. I’ve been dealing with them for years.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: H1N1 Response VS COVID-19 Response, Why So Different? We Asked Rep. Roger Marshall, M.D.

Dr. Roger Marshall, who representing Kansas’ first district spoke with the Daily Caller’s Stephanie Hamill about the the latest regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

He also discussed the differences between the 2009 H1N1 pandemic response and coronavirus response.

“First of all it has been sensationalized, so from day one the press has, they really have, the left socialist media has blown it out of proportion, they’ve used this as an attack tool on the president, but unfortunately it is a real virus and it has a higher mortality rate on our senior citizens especially those people with underlying medical problems” said Marshall.  

Marshall went on to discuss what Congress can do to help Americans suffering from COVID-19’s economic impact.

VIDEO BY

Stephanie Hamill

Video Columnist

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Muslim cleric: Jews more dangerous than AIDS and coronavirus, jihad is the cure [Video]

“Jews are more dangerous than AIDS, coronavirus, cholera and all the diseases of this world. If you want to be saved from these deadly diseases, we should all remember jihad.”

The Qur’an depicts the Jews as inveterately evil. They are bent on destroying the well-being of the Muslims. They are the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); they fabricate things and falsely ascribe them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); they claim that Allah’s power is limited (5:64); they love to listen to lies (5:41); they disobey Allah and never observe his commands (5:13). They are disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah’s beloved people (5:18); devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more. They are under Allah’s curse (9:30), and Muslims should wage war against them and subjugate them under Islamic hegemony (9:29).

Find out more of why Muslim clerics such as Ahmad Al-Shahrouri feel free to spew this paranoid hatred in The Palestinian Delusion.

“Jordanian Islamic Scholar Ahmad Al-Shahrouri: The Jews Are More Dangerous Than Coronavirus, AIDS, and Cholera; Jihad Purifies Our Bodies and Souls, Can Save People from These Diseases,” MEMRI, March 8, 2020:

Jordanian Islamic scholar Ahmad Al-Shahrouri said in a March 8 episode of his show on Yarmouk TV – a Jordanian TV channel affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood – that the Jews are more dangerous than coronavirus, AIDS, cholera, and every disease in the world. He also said that to be saved from these illnesses, one should remember the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jihad, which he explained is a means of purification of one’s soul and body. Sheikh Al-Shahrouri added that being saved from coronavirus serves to give one the honor of liberating the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Shahrouri is a professor of shari’a at Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan and serves as the imam of the university’s mosque.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.