April 15, 2020
|

A WASHINGTON POST “Fact-Checker” column (quotation marks deliberate), not by Glenn Kessler but by Elyse Samuels and Meg Kelly, gives “Four Pinocchios,” the worst rating for lying, to President Trump for allegedly promoting hydroxychloroquine as a “cure” for the COVID-19 (Chinese –- that's a fact) coronavirus.

Where to begin? Aside from the headline, which makes sure to include the words “false hope” (they don’t know that), I suppose we could start right up front, with the quotes in which Trump allegedly tells his overwhelming LIES about it being a cure. Huge whoppers such as, “I don’t know, it’s looking like it’s having some good results. That would be a phenomenal thing.” And “It’s this powerful drug on malaria. And there are signs that it works on this. Some very strong signs.” And of course, “What do you have to lose?” Well, there’s a hardcore sales pitch!


Commentary continues below advertisement


Likewise, the writers’ case for dismissing hydroxychloroquine (which is being used in combination with other drugs, not alone) is that there aren't yet any clinical trials proving efficacy. But here's a FACT: those take time, and people who might die in the next 24 hours don’t want to wait for results to come in months from now., especially with the many “anecdotal” accounts of the drug’s success. That’s why Trump said, “What do you have to lose?”

There have been some small-scale trials showing promise, such as those by French doctor Didier Raoult. But the authors wave his work off as “discredited.” But how? I followed the link in the story to the journal that allegedly “discredited” the study. Here is the entirety of what it said on that subject:

“The ISAC (International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy) Board believes the article does not meet the Society’s expected standard, especially relating to the lack of better explanations of the inclusion criteria and the triage of patients to ensure patient safety.”


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Speaking of nasty bugs, how are things with the FBI?


Does that mean the drug wasn’t shown to be effective? The WaPo writers certainly imply as much. We’ve talked about this very small study here, right after the news broke that a hydroxychloroquine “cocktail” of drugs had helped some patients in France. The news was encouraging, but very preliminary; I said at the time that it appeared to have been rushed out and that the French-to-English could have been smoother. My staff and I were as skeptical as anyone should be of the results of a preliminary study announced on Skype. But after that, there was another, larger study that supported the first, and French President Macron went to the institute where it had been conducted and reportedly received a three-hour presentation on the promising results. In light of this, it is not overselling the treatment for Trump to say there are “some very strong signs” that it works.

And there are other studies currently underway, including in South Dakota, the first state to launch one. None of this would be happening without a lot of encouraging “anecdotal” evidence.

The writers reference these studies and quote spokespeople as saying that’s it’s too early to know for sure.

But what about that growing mountain of “anecdotes” from the many people who report they believed they were about to die but quickly began recovering after receiving this treatment? One was the 96-year-old (!) father of Dr. Marc Siegel; he was quite ill before receiving the treatment but recovered in just a few days. Even a Democrat politician has credited Trump’s publicizing of the drug with saving her life. Well, ignore them all. The WaPo writers say that to a layperson, anecdotal evidence “may not sound bad, but it’s actually an insult in the scientific community,” akin to “a Yelp review.”

That assertion, in itself, is a distortion of fact. If someone cited only anecdotal evidence as “proof” of a “cure,” then, yes, that would be pseudoscience, but President Trump hasn’t claimed this. Personally, if my life were in the balance, there were no proven cure, and a few thousand Yelp reviews said “this medicine saved my life,” I would at least give it a try. And you know what? I’ll bet the authors of this hit piece masquerading as a “fact-check” would, too.

In FACT, according to a new survey by the healthcare staffing firm Jackson & Coker, 65 percent of physicians would prescribe the drug to a family member with COVID-19, and 67 percent would take it themselves. Only 11 percent said they would not use it. In other words, a vast majority of doctors are encouraged –- not insulted –- by the anecdotal evidence.

Another point they use to discredit the drug is that there can be serious side effects if not used under a doctor’s supervision. Isn’t that true of virtually all prescription drugs, which is why you need a prescription? Numerous doctors, even some cardiac specialists, have said this is one of the safest drugs on the market. (Read the list of possible side effects in the paperwork that comes with most prescriptions, and you’ll think twice before taking ANY drug.) This article even cites the very suspicious story about the man dying after deliberately swallowing fish tank cleaner containing a very different ingredient with a similar name. (Talk about relying on “anecdotal evidence” to prove your case!) Sorry, but I can’t find any example of Trump telling people to take this drug without seeing a doctor, or to ingest fish tank cleaner.

They also bring up the concern about lupus and rheumatoid arthritis patients facing shortages of this drug because of the demand. I would say that if there is a demand, it’s because a lot of doctors –- repeat, doctors –- see the value in prescribing it for their COVID-19 patients. (See survey, above.) Ironically, the problem of supply vs. demand might actually be exacerbated by the tendency of politicians to “play doctor” and try to limit the use of the drug. A solution might be to go the opposite way: green-light mass production and distribution. A supply should, of course, be reserved for those patients already depending on it for maintaining their health.

The article also warns that a focus on this drug might cause researchers to “put all their eggs in one basket” and miss finding more promising treatments. On the contrary, those studies are going on as well.

Here are a few FACTS for those in the “fact-check” business who have trouble recognizing one. Trump has never called this a “cure.” He’s said he’s heard good things (so have I, so I know that’s true). He’s said what have you got to lose (if there is no other treatment, and the alternative is dying on a ventilator, that sounds pretty accurate as well.) It’s impossible to have perfect, long-term clinical trials at this stage; this is a never-before-seen virus and a treatment that’s only recently been tried. Many doctors, when faced with no alternative for a possibly terminal patient and no available clinical trials, make recommendations based on anecdotal evidence, particularly when there is a vast and growing library of it.

The authors surely know that slapping a "Four-Pinocchio" rating on Trump's comments implies to the public that they've made an ironclad case for deliberate, malicious LYING. Yet the last paragraph in particular reads more like an overly dramatic editorial than a dispassionate assessment of facts. And it is inaccurate (a LIE!!) for them to say that politicians and the media have turned this “unknown drug” into a “100 percent coronavirus cure.”

After reading through this article, I have to award Samuels and Kelly Four Pinocchios for their claim to be objective “fact-checkers.”

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Comments 101-115 of 115

  • Charles Simmons

    04/15/2020 12:10 PM

    Hence, this is additional insight into reasons why no rational person trusts any report from “national media.”
    However, those comprising the intended audience of “media reports” remain blissfully ignorant of blatant lies promulgated as fact.
    The 4th estate has become the 5th column in the matter of upending USA.

  • Kenneth Joyce

    04/15/2020 12:09 PM

    Governor Huckabee:
    Who cares about 4 Pinocchios ! The WAPO and NYT have zero credibility and journalistic standards lower than Larry Flint and Hustler Magazine, another piece of superb Journalism. If you dare disagree with their unsubstantiated, emotional rants, you are a LIAR, the favorite escape valve for MSM.

  • Cynthia Wallace

    04/15/2020 12:08 PM

    The propaganda capacity of left leaning journalists knows no bounds! Even when that propaganda is so easily debunked as Mike Huckabee has just done. Their audacity is truly remarkable!!!

  • Steve Fay

    04/15/2020 12:08 PM

    Thanks for the truth, it's a powerful tool. God bless

  • Mike Ryan

    04/15/2020 12:07 PM

    It is my understanding that surgeries for cancer and heart issues are considered elective. (Heart caths and only done on patients coming through the ER)
    Has anyone done a study to find out how many people have died do to restrictions on “elective surgeries”?

  • Ronald J Johnson

    04/15/2020 12:06 PM

    We appreciate your thoughts. And to know they are accurate is good

  • Jerry D Woods

    04/15/2020 12:04 PM

    Thanks for researching this and posting it.
    I totally agree!

  • Don Mummert

    04/15/2020 11:55 AM

    The HCQ protocol should be done
    NOW on EVERYONE!! We cannot continue as we are doing now. Economic ruin is coming for the whole country if we don’t get back to work and I mean now.

  • Mona Tycz

    04/15/2020 11:54 AM

    Sir: I thank you for this article and for your total body of work. May God bless you greatly.

    Our country needs more people like you who honor God and thus also honor truth.
    mona

  • Jefferson Pals

    04/15/2020 11:53 AM

    Like most Americans, I am so sick of the press and it sure seems that every story they tell are lies and/or purposefully meant to mislead the public. What happen to them? Is it just their own hate for Trump? There ought to be consequences to people caught purposefully misleading the public with known lies. Right now if that was the case, the courts would be FULL of reporters being charged.

  • Robin Kovachy

    04/15/2020 11:51 AM

    On Monday, 4/13, The blog Power Linepower Line posted a scientific article from a medical journal supporting the lethal effect of chloroquine on another SARS/corona virus. I tried to copy abstract for you but was unable to do so but you can find it on the blog mentioned above. So there is some scientific basis for trying this drug. I think the Washingtion Post are obviously praying - no, Strike that, the WP doesn’t pray - hoping the drug doesn’t work so they can slam Trump for promoting false treatment!

  • Maris Hodges

    04/15/2020 11:46 AM

    Thank you once again.

  • Jeanne Halsey

    04/15/2020 11:46 AM

    FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. When we will start seeing accurate reporting of the “deaths strictly by CV19” versus “deaths from old age (natural causes)” versus “deaths from pre-existing conditions” versus “deaths from pre-existing conditions possibly in combination with CV19” and so on? FEAR is generating many falsehoods, skewing data, “throwing the baby out with the bath water,” unsupportable “facts.” Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I AM with you.” We will never overcome CV19 until we eradicate the fear factor.

  • Lisa Neely

    04/15/2020 11:43 AM

    Hi, Mike,

    No one will ever convince me that the unleashing of this “designer virus”wasn’t
    deliberate. The timing of this happening is very suspect, and we are believing that this killer was here way before it was discovered by the government. Many people in my area, SW Pennsylvania, were very sick right after Christmas, and flu shots were of no protection. I believe that this was done by the Chinese to upset the world economy because of the trade sanctions (YAY!) levied by the President! We have friends in NC that got this vicious virus, and also were told that it wasn’t the flu. This is starting to be discovered by the news (Fox) and are reporting it.

  • Mable Alford

    04/15/2020 11:43 AM

    I would demand that my doctor give the Trump drug cocktail a try, and early on too before a respirator was necessary. Worth a try, and zi am not worried about side effects

April 15, 2020
|

A WASHINGTON POST “Fact-Checker” column (quotation marks deliberate), not by Glenn Kessler but by Elyse Samuels and Meg Kelly, gives “Four Pinocchios,” the worst rating for lying, to President Trump for allegedly promoting hydroxychloroquine as a “cure” for the COVID-19 (Chinese –- that's a fact) coronavirus.

Where to begin? Aside from the headline, which makes sure to include the words “false hope” (they don’t know that), I suppose we could start right up front, with the quotes in which Trump allegedly tells his overwhelming LIES about it being a cure. Huge whoppers such as, “I don’t know, it’s looking like it’s having some good results. That would be a phenomenal thing.” And “It’s this powerful drug on malaria. And there are signs that it works on this. Some very strong signs.” And of course, “What do you have to lose?” Well, there’s a hardcore sales pitch!


Commentary continues below advertisement


Likewise, the writers’ case for dismissing hydroxychloroquine (which is being used in combination with other drugs, not alone) is that there aren't yet any clinical trials proving efficacy. But here's a FACT: those take time, and people who might die in the next 24 hours don’t want to wait for results to come in months from now., especially with the many “anecdotal” accounts of the drug’s success. That’s why Trump said, “What do you have to lose?”

There have been some small-scale trials showing promise, such as those by French doctor Didier Raoult. But the authors wave his work off as “discredited.” But how? I followed the link in the story to the journal that allegedly “discredited” the study. Here is the entirety of what it said on that subject:

“The ISAC (International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy) Board believes the article does not meet the Society’s expected standard, especially relating to the lack of better explanations of the inclusion criteria and the triage of patients to ensure patient safety.”


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Speaking of nasty bugs, how are things with the FBI?


Does that mean the drug wasn’t shown to be effective? The WaPo writers certainly imply as much. We’ve talked about this very small study here, right after the news broke that a hydroxychloroquine “cocktail” of drugs had helped some patients in France. The news was encouraging, but very preliminary; I said at the time that it appeared to have been rushed out and that the French-to-English could have been smoother. My staff and I were as skeptical as anyone should be of the results of a preliminary study announced on Skype. But after that, there was another, larger study that supported the first, and French President Macron went to the institute where it had been conducted and reportedly received a three-hour presentation on the promising results. In light of this, it is not overselling the treatment for Trump to say there are “some very strong signs” that it works.

And there are other studies currently underway, including in South Dakota, the first state to launch one. None of this would be happening without a lot of encouraging “anecdotal” evidence.

The writers reference these studies and quote spokespeople as saying that’s it’s too early to know for sure.

But what about that growing mountain of “anecdotes” from the many people who report they believed they were about to die but quickly began recovering after receiving this treatment? One was the 96-year-old (!) father of Dr. Marc Siegel; he was quite ill before receiving the treatment but recovered in just a few days. Even a Democrat politician has credited Trump’s publicizing of the drug with saving her life. Well, ignore them all. The WaPo writers say that to a layperson, anecdotal evidence “may not sound bad, but it’s actually an insult in the scientific community,” akin to “a Yelp review.”

That assertion, in itself, is a distortion of fact. If someone cited only anecdotal evidence as “proof” of a “cure,” then, yes, that would be pseudoscience, but President Trump hasn’t claimed this. Personally, if my life were in the balance, there were no proven cure, and a few thousand Yelp reviews said “this medicine saved my life,” I would at least give it a try. And you know what? I’ll bet the authors of this hit piece masquerading as a “fact-check” would, too.

In FACT, according to a new survey by the healthcare staffing firm Jackson & Coker, 65 percent of physicians would prescribe the drug to a family member with COVID-19, and 67 percent would take it themselves. Only 11 percent said they would not use it. In other words, a vast majority of doctors are encouraged –- not insulted –- by the anecdotal evidence.

Another point they use to discredit the drug is that there can be serious side effects if not used under a doctor’s supervision. Isn’t that true of virtually all prescription drugs, which is why you need a prescription? Numerous doctors, even some cardiac specialists, have said this is one of the safest drugs on the market. (Read the list of possible side effects in the paperwork that comes with most prescriptions, and you’ll think twice before taking ANY drug.) This article even cites the very suspicious story about the man dying after deliberately swallowing fish tank cleaner containing a very different ingredient with a similar name. (Talk about relying on “anecdotal evidence” to prove your case!) Sorry, but I can’t find any example of Trump telling people to take this drug without seeing a doctor, or to ingest fish tank cleaner.

They also bring up the concern about lupus and rheumatoid arthritis patients facing shortages of this drug because of the demand. I would say that if there is a demand, it’s because a lot of doctors –- repeat, doctors –- see the value in prescribing it for their COVID-19 patients. (See survey, above.) Ironically, the problem of supply vs. demand might actually be exacerbated by the tendency of politicians to “play doctor” and try to limit the use of the drug. A solution might be to go the opposite way: green-light mass production and distribution. A supply should, of course, be reserved for those patients already depending on it for maintaining their health.

The article also warns that a focus on this drug might cause researchers to “put all their eggs in one basket” and miss finding more promising treatments. On the contrary, those studies are going on as well.

Here are a few FACTS for those in the “fact-check” business who have trouble recognizing one. Trump has never called this a “cure.” He’s said he’s heard good things (so have I, so I know that’s true). He’s said what have you got to lose (if there is no other treatment, and the alternative is dying on a ventilator, that sounds pretty accurate as well.) It’s impossible to have perfect, long-term clinical trials at this stage; this is a never-before-seen virus and a treatment that’s only recently been tried. Many doctors, when faced with no alternative for a possibly terminal patient and no available clinical trials, make recommendations based on anecdotal evidence, particularly when there is a vast and growing library of it.

The authors surely know that slapping a "Four-Pinocchio" rating on Trump's comments implies to the public that they've made an ironclad case for deliberate, malicious LYING. Yet the last paragraph in particular reads more like an overly dramatic editorial than a dispassionate assessment of facts. And it is inaccurate (a LIE!!) for them to say that politicians and the media have turned this “unknown drug” into a “100 percent coronavirus cure.”

After reading through this article, I have to award Samuels and Kelly Four Pinocchios for their claim to be objective “fact-checkers.”

Leave a Comment

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.

Your Information
Your Comment
BBML accepted!
Captcha

Comments 101-115 of 115

  • Charles Simmons

    04/15/2020 12:10 PM

    Hence, this is additional insight into reasons why no rational person trusts any report from “national media.”
    However, those comprising the intended audience of “media reports” remain blissfully ignorant of blatant lies promulgated as fact.
    The 4th estate has become the 5th column in the matter of upending USA.

  • Kenneth Joyce

    04/15/2020 12:09 PM

    Governor Huckabee:
    Who cares about 4 Pinocchios ! The WAPO and NYT have zero credibility and journalistic standards lower than Larry Flint and Hustler Magazine, another piece of superb Journalism. If you dare disagree with their unsubstantiated, emotional rants, you are a LIAR, the favorite escape valve for MSM.

  • Cynthia Wallace

    04/15/2020 12:08 PM

    The propaganda capacity of left leaning journalists knows no bounds! Even when that propaganda is so easily debunked as Mike Huckabee has just done. Their audacity is truly remarkable!!!

  • Steve Fay

    04/15/2020 12:08 PM

    Thanks for the truth, it's a powerful tool. God bless

  • Mike Ryan

    04/15/2020 12:07 PM

    It is my understanding that surgeries for cancer and heart issues are considered elective. (Heart caths and only done on patients coming through the ER)
    Has anyone done a study to find out how many people have died do to restrictions on “elective surgeries”?

  • Ronald J Johnson

    04/15/2020 12:06 PM

    We appreciate your thoughts. And to know they are accurate is good

  • Jerry D Woods

    04/15/2020 12:04 PM

    Thanks for researching this and posting it.
    I totally agree!

  • Don Mummert

    04/15/2020 11:55 AM

    The HCQ protocol should be done
    NOW on EVERYONE!! We cannot continue as we are doing now. Economic ruin is coming for the whole country if we don’t get back to work and I mean now.

  • Mona Tycz

    04/15/2020 11:54 AM

    Sir: I thank you for this article and for your total body of work. May God bless you greatly.

    Our country needs more people like you who honor God and thus also honor truth.
    mona

  • Jefferson Pals

    04/15/2020 11:53 AM

    Like most Americans, I am so sick of the press and it sure seems that every story they tell are lies and/or purposefully meant to mislead the public. What happen to them? Is it just their own hate for Trump? There ought to be consequences to people caught purposefully misleading the public with known lies. Right now if that was the case, the courts would be FULL of reporters being charged.

  • Robin Kovachy

    04/15/2020 11:51 AM

    On Monday, 4/13, The blog Power Linepower Line posted a scientific article from a medical journal supporting the lethal effect of chloroquine on another SARS/corona virus. I tried to copy abstract for you but was unable to do so but you can find it on the blog mentioned above. So there is some scientific basis for trying this drug. I think the Washingtion Post are obviously praying - no, Strike that, the WP doesn’t pray - hoping the drug doesn’t work so they can slam Trump for promoting false treatment!

  • Maris Hodges

    04/15/2020 11:46 AM

    Thank you once again.

  • Jeanne Halsey

    04/15/2020 11:46 AM

    FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. When we will start seeing accurate reporting of the “deaths strictly by CV19” versus “deaths from old age (natural causes)” versus “deaths from pre-existing conditions” versus “deaths from pre-existing conditions possibly in combination with CV19” and so on? FEAR is generating many falsehoods, skewing data, “throwing the baby out with the bath water,” unsupportable “facts.” Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I AM with you.” We will never overcome CV19 until we eradicate the fear factor.

  • Lisa Neely

    04/15/2020 11:43 AM

    Hi, Mike,

    No one will ever convince me that the unleashing of this “designer virus”wasn’t
    deliberate. The timing of this happening is very suspect, and we are believing that this killer was here way before it was discovered by the government. Many people in my area, SW Pennsylvania, were very sick right after Christmas, and flu shots were of no protection. I believe that this was done by the Chinese to upset the world economy because of the trade sanctions (YAY!) levied by the President! We have friends in NC that got this vicious virus, and also were told that it wasn’t the flu. This is starting to be discovered by the news (Fox) and are reporting it.

  • Mable Alford

    04/15/2020 11:43 AM

    I would demand that my doctor give the Trump drug cocktail a try, and early on too before a respirator was necessary. Worth a try, and zi am not worried about side effects