Urging Caution on Covid-19 Treatments

My appearance earlier this week on Fox News, decrying the promotion of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Covid-19 was controversial, but I stand by what I said: Studies to date suggest that its benefit for Covid-19 patients will be mild at best—because the drug can have serious, life-threatening threatening consequences for many, it is irresponsible to promote off label use at this time.
There are, however, other approaches to treating Covid-19 that are more promising. Passive immune therapy has the potential to treat critically ill, hospitalized patients on one hand and protect healthcare workers on the other—immediately, and with major improvements over time. Research on a vaccine also continues at rapid pace, though even in the best case scenario, a vaccine will likely not come easily, cheaply or quickly.
In the meantime, our focus should not waiver from the importance of developing new antibody tests that can measure the extent of the pandemic at the population level and can measure the progress of individual infection. These can be manufactured quickly and for a very low cost, though companies continue to profit at the expense of others. Testing is the key to us moving beyond a mere flattening of the curve, and towards crushing it entirely.
There is still so much unknown today about how long this outbreak what the true impact will be, but one thing is certain—the impact on our societies and our economies will be lasting. I am grateful to my good friend and former economic advisor to Kissinger, Gen. Scowcroft and Brzezinski for sharing his unique insight into the Covid induced economic crisis and his prediction for what may happen in the future. I am also grateful to friends around the world who continue to share their stories of life in the face of Covid-19, from business leaders France and the UK, to mothers in Singapore and Boston.

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.