How does he find the time to do it? Dr David Gorski at Science Based Medicine hits another one out of the ballpark:
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a golden opportunity for quackery and antivaccine conspiracy theories. This is not unexpected, given the size and the current lack of specific therapies for the disease other than supportive care and the current death toll. However, there is another assault on evidence- and science-based medicine that doesn’t come from quacks (although quacks have definitely joined in on the attack). Rather, it comes from desperate and/or opportunistic doctors who, either through a terrified imperative to “do something, anything” in the face of dying patients whom they can’t save or from self-aggrandizing doctors like Dr. Mehmet Oz, Didier Raoult, and others, who, drunk with the arrogance of ignorance and loving the attention, promote unproven treatments with no evidence an irresponsible attitude of, “What harm could it do?” (Answer: A lot. The specific drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, have toxicities that have been well-known since the 1960s.) Add to that politicians like Donald Trump, full of magical thinking and possessed of a long history of selling snake oil himself, glommed onto these drugs as the solution to the pandemic before clinical trials showed any benefit.
I agree with Dr Gorski’s overall assessment:
I’ll conclude by simply saying this. Taken together, the evidence that hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, or the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin combination is an effective treatment for COVID-19 is getting weaker with every publication, to the point where I am 95% sure now that they either don’t work or that any benefit they might have will be outweighed by side effects. Could I still be wrong? Sure, and I’d be happy to be wrong given the desperate need for effective treatments against COVID-19. But I don’t think I am. In the end, the hype over these drugs and particularly the rush by doctors on the flimsiest of evidence to make hydroxychloroquine, in essence, a standard of care, have shown just how weak most doctors’ allegiance to evidence-based medicine is and represent one of the most massive failures of EBM that I can recall.
Steve Parker, M.D.
PS: In New York, they found obesity linked to severity of COVID-19 illness. I can help you with that.