Remember that Texas nursing home experiment with hydroxychloroquine?
Last week, American Thinker published “NPR proves true AG Barr’s claim the media is on a ‘jihad’ against hydroxychloroquine.” Subsequent events have proven how wrong NPR was when it used a Houston doctor's reliance on hydroxychloroquine as a vehicle to attack the drug.
If you don't want to read the post linked above, here's a quick summary: Laura Ingraham interviewed Attorney General Bill Barr. In addition to calling the Russia hoax “one of the greatest travesties in American history”, Barr touched on COVID-19.
One thing Barr found bizarre was how the media ignored informing Americans in favor of discrediting President Trump. Barr specifically noted the media’s response to Trump’s hope that hydroxychloroquine might stop the Wuhan virus’s malignancy. Hydroxychloroquine has been approved for decades as a treatment for malaria, lupus, and arthritis. The media, though, isn't giving Americans objective information about the drug. Instead, Barr said (accurately), “the media’s been on a jihad to discredit the drug.”
Immediately after Barr’s interview, NPR’s Vanessa Romo wrote about Robin Armstrong, a Houston doctor, who was treating nursing home patients with hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and zinc. Romo implied that, because the doctor is a Republican (even scarier for Democrats, he’s a black Republican) and used his political connections to get hydroxychloroquine, that meant he was a veritable Dr. Mengele, the Nazi who experimented on prisoners in Auschwitz. Her article, entitled, COVID-19 Patients Given Unproven Drug In Texas Nursing Home In 'Disconcerting' Move, painted the treatment in dire terms:
Concern is mounting after a doctor at a Texas nursing home started giving the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to dozens of elderly patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and tracking the outcomes in what he's calling an "observational study."
Use of the drug to treat coronavirus infections has set up a heated debate between the Trump administration and leading health experts over its efficacy against COVID-19.
Romo even implied that Armstrong was experimenting on patients without proper authorization. Then, almost reluctantly, she acknowledged that most patients did give their permission. In any event, because the drug is FDA approved and because the FDA authorized using hydroxychloroquine off-label, Armstrong didn’t need the patient’s explicit permission.
The Houston Chronicle (which endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016), wrote in the same apocalyptic tones and directly accused Dr. Armstrong of unethical behavior:
The problem is that Armstrong disregarded proper protocol and administered the drug without permission from family members. While this unprecedented pandemic may call for urgent action, it doesn’t condone irresponsible acts.
Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug often used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, is not a proven miracle drug — no matter what President Donald Trump says.
NPR and the Houston Chronicle weren't the only outlets making (or implying) that Armstrong is an evil Republican doctor, even though his behavior was entirely within the bounds of law and ethics. All those outlets should be eating crow now. Despite being a vulnerable cohort for COVID-19 mortality (since they’re all elderly), Armstrong's patients are recovering:
What happened at a Galveston County nursing home over the last week was one of the first big tests of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients in Texas.
“I thought the risk of seeing 15% of that nursing home die was just not an acceptable,” said Dr. Robin Armstrong, MD, medical director at The Resort at Texas City.
Fifty-six residents at this senior facility in Galveston County contracted the novel coronavirus. Dr. Robin Armstrong said 39 of them gave him permission to treat them with hydroxychloroquine pills.
“Most of the patients have done well. And, you know, and I think that that is suggestive that the medication is helpful,” Armstrong told WFAA.
“Well, I would say I would say all the patients have done well,” Armstrong added.
On Sunday, those 39 patients finished five days of treatment with hydroxychloroquine. Dr. Armstrong said no one experienced any side effects.
“We've got one patient now that kind of goes back and forth,” said Dr. Armstrong, “He's an older gentleman, but we're kind of nursing him through the process, but he's getting better.
Two patients receiving hydroxychloroquine have had to go to hospital for unrelated conditions, Armstrong disclosed; a woman had a fall and a man got dehydrated in his room because he was not eating and drinking.
But for the first time since this treatment began, many of those who have recovered from the virus have been able to go outside and get some fresh air over the last 48 hours, Armstrong said.
What Dr. Armstrong did doesn’t sound like Dr. Mengele to me. It sounds like a doctor who stayed well within the law and, ignoring the media’s politically-motivated jihad against hydroxychloroquine, saved people’s lives.