Hydroxychloroquine is suddenly the rage of social media – not the scientific journals, but right wing social media sites. The latest video shows a group of people dressed in white to look like doctors, praising hydroxycholorquine as THE cure for COVID-19 coronavirus (see below). Missing from all these right wing and pseudo-scientific social media reports is anyone from the health community, peer reviewed scientific studies supporting the drug as a cure for the coronavirus and even approval by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). After the federal government stockpiled 63 million doses of the drug, the FDA removed it from the list of possible cures. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that hydroxychloroquine studies show little or no beneficial effect and in fact, can lead to more serious heart problems.
This kind of reminds me of the great Martian invasion of 1939. Never heard of it? Back then, noted actor and director, Orson Wells, produced a radio version of the H.G. Wells classic “War of the Worlds” (not the Tom Cruise version). It was acted out as a series of radio broadcasts starting in New Jersey, with first hand reports that a spaceship from Mars had landed. From there, more spaceships landed to take over the United States. It was a hit. Sort of. People tuning in to the show, hearing the newscast, thought we were actually being invaded by Martians. A nationwide panic ensued, people leaving their homes, driving from cities out to the country, causing mayhem everywhere. But finally word spread that this was only a radio show hoax and everyone calmed down.
Now move up to modern times. A real pandemic virus has struck the United States scaring people from coast to coast. Millions have contracted the virus and thousands have died. Then a series of quotes and videos began appearing on social media, exclaiming that a malaria drug, Hydroxychloroquine, would stop the disease in its tracks. Millions of people, after seeing the social media posts, demanded to know why it wasn’t being given to everyone so the coronavirus could end and life return to normal.
The first red flag with this ‘miracle’ cure sought by millions is that it is only promoted on social media, not by researchers at the CDC or independent labs here and around the world who have been desperately searching for a vaccine that would work. As it turns out, we may be just months away from the cure that could eliminate the coronavirus. But people aren’t enthused about it on social media though. We only know about it from real news outlets, scientists and actual scientific studies. If the vaccine is fully tested and approved by the end of 2020, that would be a miracle in itself; no vaccine has ever been developed, tested and approved in so short a time.
In spite of that, people cling to the disproven drug hyped by the president, based on a few suspect studies, exhorted by a group of people posing as doctors in white lab coats supposedly ‘proving’ the curative powers of Hype-droxychloroquine. Then we have Stella Immanuel, purportedly a doctor in Houston who is also leader of the Fire Power Deliverance Ministries that promise deliverance from demon sperm, spirit wives (incubus) and spirit husbands (succubus) along with promising a cure from hype-droxychloroquine. With these kinds of endorsements, Americans are supposed to feel secure that their future is in good hands with charlatans, fake cures and social media endorsements. How can well educated Americans, who lead the world in technology and success, suddenly act like illiterate medieval serfs?
What I don’t understand is the lack of similar enthusiasm for what is really happening in the search for a vaccine. You would think the fact that real doctors, real researchers and real scientists are coming up with legitimate vaccines that could be available in a matter of months would be raved about on social media. But it is not. Possibly this lack of enthusiasm is because two of the companies producing hype-droxychloriquine stand to make more tons of money as at least one of them has been over-billing Medicare/Medicaid, and the fact that the government has already stockpiled 63 million doses of the drug. Combine that with a high price marketing effort to promote this unproven product to an unsuspecting – but willing – public, and maybe you can better understand why the US is overwhelmed with the coronavirus and no clear cut strategy exists to end it.
Some day when we look back at this episode we will realize so much of it was a hoax like the Martians landing in New Jersey. It could be a funny reminder of a time when we were hoodwinked by politicians and companies, but it won’t be funny at all because hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans will be dead because of it.
NOTE: If you are interest in knowing more about how this drug has become a social media sensation and why it should not be, check out the following unbiased * news sources:
Unbiased according to the non-aligned MediaBias/FactCheck.org
“We are the most comprehensive media bias resource on the internet. There are currently 3200+ media sources listed in our database and growing every day. Don’t be fooled by Fake News sources. Use the search feature above to check the bias of any source. Use name or url.”