A startling investigation into how a cheap, well-known drug became a political football in the midst of a pandemic
My cmnt: Be sure to read the (rather lengthy) article in whole by clicking the link below. I have excerpted the last few paragraphs from the end of the article that pretty well sums it up. The points Doidge makes are of the utmost importance and relevance and need to be heeded by every American who values the truth and keeping public policy rooted in reality instead of the pipedreams of the Left.
As contentious as this debate has been, and as urgent as the need for informed and timely information seems now, the reason to understand what happened with HCQ is for what it reflects about the social context within which science is now produced: a landscape overly influenced by technology and its obsession with big data abstraction over concrete, tangible human experience; academics who increasingly see all human activities as “political” power games, and so in good conscience can now justify inserting their own politics into academic pursuits and reporting; extraordinarily powerful pharmaceutical companies competing for hundreds of billions of dollars; politicians competing for pharmaceutical dollars as well as public adoration—both of which come these days too much from social media; and the decaying of the journalistic and scholarly super-layers that used to do much better holding everyone in this pyramid accountable, but no longer do, or even can. If you think this year’s controversy is bad, consider that hydroxychloroquine is given to relatively few people with COVID-19, all sick, many with nothing to lose. It enters the body, and leaves fairly quickly, and has been known to us for decades. COVID vaccines, which advocates will want to be mandatory and given to all people—healthy and not, young and old—are being rushed past their normal safety precautions and regulations, and the typical five-to-10-year observation period is being waived to get “Operation Warp Speed” done as soon as possible. This is being done with the endorsement of public health officials—the same ones, in many cases who are saying HCQ is suddenly extremely dangerous.
Philosophically, and psychologically, it is a fantastic spectacle to behold, a reversal, the magnitude and the chutzpah of which must inspire awe: a public health establishment, showing extraordinary risk aversion to medications and treatments that are extremely well known, and had been used by billions, suddenly throwing caution to the wind and endorsing the rollout of treatments that are entirely novel—and about which we literally can’t possibly know anything, as regards to their long-term effects. Their manufacturers know this well themselves, which is why they have aimed for, insisted on, and have already been granted indemnification—guaranteed, by those same public health officials and government that they will not be held legally accountable should their product cause injury.
From unheard of extremes of caution and “unwishful thinking,” to unheard of extremes of risk-taking, and recklessly wishful thinking, this double standard, this about-face, is not happening because this issue of public safety is really so complex a problem that only our experts can understand it; it is happening because there is, right now, a much bigger problem: with our experts, and with the institutions that we had trusted to help solve our most pressing scientific and medical problems. Unless these are attended to, HCQ won’t be remembered simply as that major medical issue that no one could agree on, and which left overwhelming controversy, confusion, and possibly unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands in its wake; it will be one of many in a chain of such disasters.