Paul Vallone, a Democratic New York City councilman, says he nearly died of COVID-19 earlier this year, but hydroxychloroquine saved his life.
“I couldn’t breathe, very weak, couldn’t get out of bed. My doctor prescribed it. My pharmacy had it. Took it that day and within two to three days I was able to breathe,” Vallone told The New York Post. “Within a week I was back on my feet.”
“We were in panic mode when I went down because I didn’t have a lot of immune response,” he added. “I needed something to stay alive.”
That something was hydroxychloroquine. Vallone said, it “worked for me.”
Paul Vallone wasn’t the only one who became a believer in the anti-malaria drug’s effectiveness in treating COVID. His brother Peter, a former city councilman who currently serves as a civil court judge in Queens, couldn’t deny the drug worked after seeing how it helped his brother.
Peter Vallone has a theory why there’s resistance to accept the drug’s potential.
“I guess all those doctors who are prescribing it are right,” he said. “This drug is already on the market and the patent is up so it’s cheap. A new drug won’t be. So big money does not want this drug to be used. Always follow the money.”
In April, Democrat State Rep. Karen Whitsett from Detroit, Mich., credited the drug and President Trump with saving her life. Other coronavirus patients have reported dramatic recoveries after taking the drug.
President Trump has been touting hydroxychloroquine as a potential game-changer since mid-March after small studies showed it potentially served as an effective treatment for coronavirus patients. “I feel good about it. Just a feeling. I am a smart guy, we’ll see soon enough and we have certainly big samples of people,” Trump said at the time.
Paul Vallone is grateful that President Trump has been touting the drug.
“At that time, there was only fear and panic, he offered hope in a possible treatment when there was none. With my sarcoidosis and then my COVID symptoms, it basically saved me. For that my family will always be thankful,“ Vallone said.
The media has desperately tried to undercut Trump’s positive message about hydroxychloroquine’s potential as a treatment for the coronavirus, calling it “unproven” and claiming there’s “no proof” that it works, and that certain at-risk people can die from the drug. Studies showing its effectiveness have been ignored, while studies linking the drug to higher mortality have been hyped.
But the evidence to support hydroxychloroquine’s use in treating COVID-19 is overwhelming.
Veteran virologist Steven Hatfill noted that there are 53 studies that show “positive results of hydroxychloroquine in COVID infections” while there are 14 studies with neutral or negative results. In ten of those studies, patients were in the very late stages of the disease, “where no antiviral drug can be expected to have much effect.” The other studies include faulty studies that rely on bogus data. Nations that have been widely using the drug to treat the virus have had substantially smaller death rates than those that aren’t.
Given all the evidence that the drug is an effective treatment for COVID-19 for many people, it’s about time to put an end to the politicization of a drug that can potentially save thousands of lives.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis
Five Problems With the Study That Claims ‘More Deaths’ From Treating Coronavirus With Hydroxychloroquine