I'm a strong advocate for the use of antibodies and therapeutics to combat coronavirus until a vaccine is ready. It should be our top priority. The ability to provide early treatment for the coronavirus to those most susceptible to infection, healthcare workers, the elderly, and those recently infected would be a game changer.
It would give people hope and help us turn the tide on COVID-19.
Over the last month, there are more stories emerging globally on the successful use of Chloroquine, an old malaria pill first approved in 1949, to treat COVID-19.
And just now, there are reports that the pharmaceutical giant Bayer is on the verge of donating a large quantity of Chloroquine to the U.S. government to test its efficacy.
Even Elon Musk has recently tweeted about Chloroquine potentially treating coronavirus.
President Trump’s announcement that Chloroquine has just been approved by the FDA to test as a coronavirus treatment is welcome news.
What’s important now is for the United States to look at how countries globally have successfully used Chloroquine over the last month, decisions they’ve made to ensure an adequate supply for their citizens, and how some have even banned its export.
Additionally, we should look at implementing promising therapies that can be given in conjunction with Chloroquine to eliminate any potential side-effects.
Here’s what we know:
- China- The state owned Xinhua News Agency reported last month that Chloroquine is effective against COVID-19 and has added it to its treatment guidelines.
- Norway- A memo by three top-level Norwegian scientists (including one from Wuhan, China now living in Norway), to Norwegian Health Authorities uses Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) to detail the situation in China. They conclude that Chloroquine is the most effective in treating COVID-19, especially if given early in treating the disease. They also detail how China has placed large orders and is ramping up Chloroquine production.
- Australia- Infectious disease experts at the University of Queensland have seen Chloroquine make coronavirus disappear in infected patients. They’ve seen similar results with an HIV-suppressing combination drug cocktail.
- France- Recent trial conducted by Professor Didier Raoult at the infectious disease institute, IHU Mediterranée Infection in Marseilles saw a significant decrease in the amount of time COVID-19 patients remained contagious when given Chloroquine.
- United Kingdom- Over the last month has banned the export of Chloroquine.
- South Korea and Belgium- Chloroquine has now been added to those countries' treatment guidelines.
One concern with Chloroquine and several anti-viral drugs in treating COVID-19 is that these treatments can damage mitochondria (the powerhouses of the cell), especially in elderly patients whose mitochondrial function declines with age. Additionally, a loss of mitochondrial function from COVID-19 itself can accompany a severe reduction in lung function.
Dr. Robert Elliott has conducted pioneering mitochondrial research related to ALS. He has been evaluating recovery concepts from COVID-19 after administration of anti-virals, antibiotics, and Chloroquine. He observes, "I believe that replenishment of mitochondria post-treatment of COVID-19 can accelerate and stabilize recovery, especially for the most severely compromised patients to reduce death rates."
The bottom line is that the growing evidence in support of Chloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 is compelling. And just now, the University of Minnesota announced it’s beginning a 1,500 person trial to see if Hydroxychloroquine (derivative of Chloroquine) can prevent or reduce the severity of COVID-19. The Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Dr. Jakub Tolar notes, "Results are likely in weeks, not months."
This is the kind of thinking and attitude we need — now.
In this environment, we need to move — fast.
The U.S. should immediately ensure it has an adequate supply of Chloroquine for the American people. We should follow Great Britain’s lead and ban its export. We should look at combining Chloroquine treatment of COVID-19 with treatments to replenish mitochondria afterwards. The use of Chloroquine is one approach that has tremendous merit, gives people hope, and will help us turn the tide on the coronavirus.
Van Hipp is Chairman of American Defense International, Inc. He is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army and author of “The New Terrorism: How to Fight It and Defeat It.” He is the 2018 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II September 11 Garden Leadership Award for National Security. To read more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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