One of the more dispiriting aspects of the coronavirus pandemic is the news that an effective vaccine is a year to 18 months away from being in a clinical setting.
The reason is that the time it takes to place a vaccine through clinical trials to make sure that it is safe and effective. However, the prospect of having to deal with quarantines and social distancing until next spring is depressing, to say the least.
On the other hand, a treatment for the coronavirus that might be an effective cure for the disease may be just around the corner. According to Hot Air, President Trump has ordered the FDA to fast track the approval of the said treatment, some of which are already safe and are being used for other ailments so that they can be in the hands of doctors as soon as possible.
The drug is called hydroxychloroquine which is already used to treat malaria. A French researcher has conducted a study that concluded that “patients who had not received Plaquenil (the drug containing hydroxychloroquine) were still contagious after six days, but of those that had received Plaquenil, after six days, only 25% were still contagious.”
There is more. Tucker Carlson interviewed a gentleman who owns a biotech firm which is working with the French researcher. He told Carlson “that 40 out of 40 coronavirus patients who were treated with hydroxychloroquine in the French trial recovered from the disease. One hundred percent success.”
The development, if it pans out, would be a game-changer. Currently, those people with a mild case of the coronavirus have to isolate themselves at home for 15 or so days, treating it like a case of the flu, until they test negative for the virus.
People with a more severe case occupy a bed in an ICU unit, hooked up to a ventilator, often for much longer periods of time, and run a not insignificant risk of dying.
If hydroxychloroquine proves to be as effective as the French study suggests, then anyone can be treated and, in less than a week, be cured. That means no more or at least far fewer deaths from the coronavirus.
The current regime that has closed a large number of businesses would be lifted much sooner than anticipated, with the accompanying recovery of the economy.
Hot Air continues:
“The kicker, though, is that hydroxychloroquine is already on the shelf. Unlike promising experimental drugs like remdesivir, chloroquine’s been around for decades as a treatment for other maladies. It’s safe for human consumption. It hasn’t undergone clinical trials here yet as a coronavirus treatment — that’s coming — but it seems like a cinch that American doctors are going to reach for it and use it off-label as a defense against COVID-19 given the early hype about it. This means we should have some basic idea very soon, as hospitals are deluged, how effective it is or not.”
Of course, the news comes with the usual caveats as to whether the treatment will really be effective. Thus far, no one has heard of hydroxychloroquine being used in Italy, where the coronavirus is running rampant.
On the other hand, Hot Air suggests that hydroxychloroquine could actually be used as a substitute for a vaccine. Since the drug has been proven to be safe for decades, anyone coming down with the sniffles or who is has no symptoms at all but has tested positive for the coronavirus could get a shot of the hydroxychloroquine just in case, to stop the virus cold before it starts having an effect.
Incidentally, a Japanese drug called favipiravir seems to have been proven effective in treating the coronavirus. Patients in China given the drug responded very well, according to the UK Guardian.
“Patients who were given the medicine in Shenzhen turned negative for the virus after a median of four days after becoming positive, compared with a median of 11 days for those who were not treated with the drug, public broadcaster NHK said. In addition, X-rays confirmed improvements in lung condition in about 91% of the patients who were treated with favipiravir, compared to 62% or those without the drug.”
It doesn’t take a political scientist to imagine how these developments, if they pan out, will affect the November election. President Trump may soon be pinching himself about how lucky he is.