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September 29, 2023

The Drug That May Now Be Named?

The Mayo Clinic’s seemingly changing guidance on hydroxychloroquine has raised a few eyebrows.

Only ignorant, tinfoil hat-wearing, anti-vax rubes would believe that the drug hydroxychloroquine could be used to treat COVID-19 infections. That was essentially the narrative much of the mainstream media peddled — and enforced through “fact-checkers” — for years following Donald Trump’s elevating of the drug early on during the pandemic.

Back in April 2020, NBC News ran a scare piece against the drug with the headline, “Mayo Clinic cardiologist: ‘Inexcusable’ to ignore hydroxychloroquine side effects,” followed by the teaser, “While safe for most, the drug carries serious side effects for some, including sudden cardiac arrest.”

It got so bad that even uttering the word “hydroxychloroquine” on social media was grounds for getting censored on a Big Tech platform. The “H” drug was taboo, perhaps especially due to the fact that Trump had touted its effectiveness.

We mentioned the enforcement of “fact-checkers,” and we know that firsthand. We’ve written many times about NewsGuard, one of the self-appointed gatekeepers of information. Among the numerous differences of opinion NewsGuard’s ostensibly objective team had with The Patriot Post was that the word “hydroxychloroquine” appeared in a small handful of articles on our website — not as a recommended treatment, mind you (we’re not doctors), but in the context of challenging the Leftmedia for its reflexively partisan rejection of the drug. For this sin, our grade at NewsGuard suffered, which in turn negatively affected our reach on social media platforms.

Fast-forward to today, three and a half years after the pandemic began and following several available COVID vaccines — with side effects suppressed by the media, we might add — and it was discovered that the Mayo Clinic had a statement on its website effectively acknowledging the same claim Trump made back when he first referenced the drug. According to the clinic’s website: “Hydroxychloroquine may also be used to treat coronavirus (COVID-19) in certain hospitalized patients. … Hydroxychloroquine should only be used for COVID-19 in a hospital or during clinical trials. Do not take any medicine that contains hydroxychloroquine unless prescribed by your doctor.”

That was until a few days ago.

Since that revelation, the Mayo Clinic quickly reacted, pulling down the “offending” page and replacing it with a new version consistent with The Narrative™. The new statement on hydroxychloroquine now reads: “Hydroxychloroquine is not recommended as a treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Also, hydroxychloroquine doesn’t prevent infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.”

So, what is the truth? Is the drug that was not to be named absolutely ineffective against COVID, and even potentially dangerous to boot? Should people trust the Mayo Clinic’s current opinion on the drug or its previous opinion? As for hydroxychloroquine, is it or is it not a quack conspiracy theorist treatment for COVID? Since COVID has faded into the rearview mirror for most Americans, why is the Mayo Clinic still invested in holding to The Narrative™? Evidently, the politics that directed past messaging on hydroxychloroquine is still relevant.

The answers to these questions are likely tied to the FDA’s decision to grant emergency authorization to Big Pharma to distribute their COVID vaccines. According to FDA guidelines regarding emergency authorization for a novel drug, there cannot exist any already-approved therapeutics on the market that could be repurposed as a treatment. If it was found that hydroxychloroquine or the other taboo drug, Ivermectin, were effective treatments for COVID, then the FDA’s emergency green-lighting of novel COVID vaccines would run afoul of the rules.

Again, we’re not asserting that those drugs are effective, merely that they couldn’t be if vaccines were to remain on the fast track.

Indeed, it behooves Big Pharma to ensure that there were and remain no already-FDA-approved drugs out there that could be effective treatments for COVID.

This whole fiasco is exactly why so many Americans have lost trust in the country’s institutions. Concern over politics trumped adherence to the principles of scientific objectivity that institutions like the Mayo Clinic or the CDC are ostensibly committed to upholding. And it certainly seems like getting the money mattered more than following the science.

Americans don’t demand that these institutions have all the answers. They demand that these institutions give honest answers rather than patronizing opinions that treat the vast majority of the country like a bunch of ignorant children.

A truly free society demands institutions that eschew self-righteous hubris and instead present honestly what they know and don’t know. And these institutions need to embrace the notion that treating people as adults will go much further in building back trust in these institutions than censoring views that might not comport with the politically convenient opinion of the moment.

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