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Tags: chloroquine | pharmacy | new york

Cuomo Needs to Give Hydroxychloroquine a Chance

new york governor andrew cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to the press at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, on March 27, 2020.  (Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images) 

Tawfik Hamid By Monday, 06 April 2020 09:35 AM Current | Bio | Archive

I understand from news reports that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered pharmacies within the state not to fill prescriptions of the compound containing hydroxychloroquine as treatment for coronavirus patients unless they have been admitted to hospitals. I strongly believe this course is a tragic mistake and could lead to many more deaths from the virus also known as COVID-19.

Please let me explain. I am a medical doctor and medical educator.

I devoted much of my master’s degree thesis in Internal Medicine to the study of lung diseases; in particular the condition known as lung fibrosis, which causes lung tissue to become damaged and scarred. This in turn makes it more difficult for the lungs to process oxygen. That is why, as fibrosis of the lungs worsens, the patient becomes increasingly short of breath.

In treating coronavirus, hydroxychloroquine can be a miraculous drug.

It reduces the virus’s ability to attach to the pulmonary cells, inhibiting viral replication within human cells by hindering its RNA polymerase enzyme. Additionally, hydroxychloroquine restrains the excessive inflammatory reaction against the virus by fighting the inflammatory mediators, or compounds, such as TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6, which are produced during the disease.

These mediators can cause serious damage to the lungs partially because they activate the fibroblasts, or collagen-producing cells, which create fibrous tissue in the lungs.

If left unchecked, or if the process of tissue damage is not interrupted at an earlier stage, coronavirus may result in fibrosis, quickly taking over the lungs’ air sacs, the alveoli, and likely rendering both mechanical ventilators and hydroxychloroquine much less effective or even useless.

The process I have described is critical for any coronavirus patient, because the longer the delay in treating the disease the greater the odds that the condition will cause death or irreversible damage to the lungs.

In short, preventing treatment with hydroxychloroquine until hospitalization would likely increase the probably of death in patients who cannot naturally resist the disease.

According to the studies I have seen, most coronavirus patients who end up on ventilators to assist their breathing go on to die. Researchers in Hong Kong, for example, have reported that even recovered coronavirus patients can be left with sustained lung damage.

Those researchers mentioned that lung fibrosis could not be cured because the scaring in lung tissue does not regress. If treated in time, however, the progression of pulmonary fibrosis can be delayed — and sometimes even stopped.

Other research has also demonstrated that those who recover from coronavirus can be left with reduced lung function due to permanent lung fibrosis or scarring.

Given this situation, it's simply wrong to restrict treatment with hydroxychloroquine — if deemed a proper course by the patient’s physician — until after the patient is admitted to the hospital.

Also, using chloroquine at an earlier stage of the disease may decrease the burden on our exhausted hospitals and may also diminish the spread of the virus societally.

May I remind Governor Cuomo that he eventually admitted that his initial decision to shut down all schools in New York could have contributed to the many deaths we see there today.

Cuomo said, "We closed everything down," "That was our public health strategy."

The governor mentioned the particular problem of confining the young with older people, thereby forcing possible asymptomatic carriers of the disease in proximity with more vulnerable individuals.

Cuomo’s observation is supported by the fact that in the four countries that refused to shut down their schools: Singapore, Australia and Taiwan, death rates due to coronavirus infections have been significantly less than in areas that closed down their schools at a relatively early stage of the pandemic. New York, unfortunately, has suffered a death rate from coronavirus that is hundreds of times higher.

I salute Governor Cuomo for being honest in admitting the possibility that his decision to close schools could have been wrong. Now, I strongly urge Governor Cuomo to urgently reverse what essentially is his "pharmacy ban."

Dr. Tawfik Hamid (aka Tarek Abdelhamid) M.D.; Mlitt (Edu) has testified before Congress and before the European Parliament. Dr. Hamid is the author of "Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, How to Defeat It." Read more reports from Tawfik Hamid — Click Here Now.

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I salute Governor Cuomo for being honest in admitting the possibility that his decision to close schools could have been wrong. Now, I strongly urge Governor Cuomo to urgently reverse what essentially is his "pharmacy ban."
chloroquine, pharmacy, new york
Monday, 06 April 2020 09:35 AM
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