Saving Lives Should Not Be About Politics

It’s shocking to a lot of folks… but did you know that when people are admitted to a hospital, nobody checks their voter registration card?

And yet here we are.

Thanks to Twitter – and one user in particular who I don’t need to mention – for the first time in my life a drug has developed a political affiliation. That drug, of course, is hydroxychloroquine.

It’s crazy. We’re at war with a virus that’s killing people. And people are suggesting that treatments are politically motivated… Meanwhile folks are tapping their feet waiting around for double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials.

That’s not how this works.

When a patient is in critical care, the ICU is not the time or place to run a placebo-controlled study. You know why? Because it would be unethical to not treat someone looking down the barrel of a COVID-19 diagnosis with something that shows evidence of working.

What the media and the naysayers don’t get is that doctors are trained to use every possible tool they have to save someone’s life. But the folks NOT on the front lines of this thing are looking for scientific proof that hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin (you might know it as Z-Pak or Zithromax) are effective.

It’s hard to have scientific evidence (at least under current testing guidelines) for a treatment for a virus that didn’t exist six months ago.

But I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves.

A No-Brainer

Dr. Didier Raoult in France has treated some 1,000 COVID-19 patients with the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin combo. Of those, seven died – all of whom were quite old and suffered from comorbidity that put them at increased risk.

And this wasn’t some crapshoot remedy. He based his treatment around how Chinese doctors were treating their patients.

If I come down with this rotten virus, I know exactly what I’m asking for. It’s a no-brainer.

And the best part is that these are generic drugs. Nobody holds a patent on them… so nobody can get rich off this treatment.

Is this really what partisan politics has come down to?

This isn’t about gerrymandered districts or allegations of insider trading. Americans’ lives are at stake, and still the two sides don’t trust each other.

It’s ludicrous.

As studies are conducted and lives are lost, it’s true that there is no “scientific proof” that any treatment works.

But doctors are seeing signs of success with this stuff. And that’s what I like to see.

Politicians aren’t saving lives, doctors are. And I’ll trust any doctor treating this thing in spite of any political disagreement we might have.

Doctors take a sworn oath. We swear to use treatments to help the sick to the best of our ability and judgment, but never with a view to injure or commit wrongdoing. That’s taken very seriously in the medical community.

So all the talking heads on prime time need to go back to their political corners. The doctors are on the case.

We can all fight over methods when this thing’s over. But right now, there’s no time for that.

As Dr. Raoult wrote, “A doctor can and must think like a doctor, and not like someone obsessed with methodology.”

Well put, doc. I couldn’t agree more.

Keep politics out of my medicine.

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