Are CNN anchors now physicians and healthcare professionals? Brianna Keilar seems to think so. The CNN anchor announced recently to her audience that hydroxychloroquine “kills,” despite the drug being used as an anti-malarial and being used to treat the auto-immune disease Lupus for 65 years.
In a contentious exchange, CNN anchor Brianna Keilar dismissed Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh after he mentioned a recent successful test of the contested COVID-19 treatment, hydroxychloroquine.
Murtaugh said, “You remember the hydroxychloroquine fiasco, where the entirety of the media was dead set against anyone ever talking about this simply because the president expressed optimism.”
Keilar interrupted saying, “That’s not why, it’s because it kills people Tim…You’re doing a real disservice to Americans. I just want to be clear to everyone out there. We’ve talked to a number of doctors and experts, including federal experts. This is not something you want to be playing with, alright? Studies have been canceled because this stuff is so dangerous…We’re done with this conversation.”
If it’s so dangerous, then why has this drug been on the market for decades? It doesn’t even have a REMS, the FDA’s highest and most severe restriction that it can place on a prescription drug.
To add some clarity to the situation, Laura Ingraham, of “The Ingraham Angle,” interviewed Yale epidemiologist professor Harvey Risch, MD, PhD for an alternative perspective on the CNN host’s dramatic conclusion about the dangers of hydroxychloroquine.
“That’s a little funny that we shouldn’t talk about anything,” Dr. Risch said. “This is a drug that’s been used for 65-plus years in billons of doses around the world that people take without even thinking about it. And suddenly it’s become dangerous? That’s ludicrous.”
The most recent study, which was the basis of the contentious exchange between the CNN anchor and Tim Murtaugh, was over a recent study at the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan that showed that providing hydroxychloroquine early was 66% at “hazard ratio reduction and hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin is 71% compared to neither treatment.” In conclusion, “when controlling for COVID-19 risk factors, treatment with hydroxychloroquine alone and in combination with azithromycin was associated with reduction in COVID-19 associated mortality.”
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are some concerns with using hydroxychloroquine due to reports of “serious heart rhythm problems,” which mostly affect patients that have other health issues like “heart and kidney disease.”
Due to some of these complications, that most likely affect older members of the population that are more vulnerable to COVID-19, the FDA did revoke the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine “when a clinical trial is unavailable or participation is not feasible.”
Based on this information, it’s questionable whether the Keilar’s response to Murtaugh was based on science or her own bias. The recent study in Michigan shows real promise, but no medial professional denies that there are potential risks to using hydroxychloroquine.
Only time will tell what treatment for COVID-19 is the most effective.
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