To better understand how using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to treat COVID-19 patients last year became a scientific quagmire, it’s always best to follow the money.
HCQ is cheap (costing under $10 for the course of a COVID-19 treatment), well-understood by physicians having been prescribed for more than 80 years, and can be taken orally. Yet, Dr. Anthony Fauci and others at the National Health Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases preferred remdesivir, a proprietary, intravenous drug manufactured by Gilead Sciences, costing about $3,500 per treatment, with unknown side effects. And as to not make Big Pharma mad — and possibly threaten invites to cocktail parties, board seats and threaten grant monies — Dr. Fauci and his cohorts did everything possible to promote remdesivir and downplay HCQ, possibly costing millions of lives around the globe.
Although, many doctors around the world were finding success with HCQ, in February 2020 NIH started enrolling patients for a remdesivir COVID-19 trial, with Dr. Fauci overseeing its progress. He had the final say on all the press releases, and presumably was working closely with Gilead. On April 16 something funny happened with the trial — the endpoints of it were quietly changed and updated on the clinicaltrials.gov website. Instead of evaluating remdesivir’s ability to prevent death from COVID-19, the study was redesigned to evaluate how fast a patient recovered from remdesivir.