March 19, 2020

Gregory Rigano, an attorney who says he is an adviser at Stanford University Medical School, appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show Wednesday night to discuss the potential for a widely-used antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, to treat the novel coronavirus. He had already appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show Monday night, where he claimed a study he’d co-authored showed that coronavirus patients who’d taken hydroxychloroquine were testing negative after six days.

On Tucker’s show, he said that President Trump, after having “cut more red tape at the FDA than any other President in history,” has the authority to green-light the use of this drug immediately against coronavirus. He said Trump has expedited drug approval before, in 2017, with a new drug for muscular dystrophy being approved after a very small clinical trial (fewer than 15 patients) that was “generally uncontrolled, in an open setting.”

Being a lawyer himself, I guess Rigano is concerned about liability if doctors prescribe the drug off-label and it causes harm. But doctors do prescribe drugs off-label quite often. The FDA takes a pretty lax attitude about that once it has approved a drug as "safe and effective."

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Understanding Unapproved Use of Approved Drugs "Off Label"

Rigano noted that hydroxychloroquine has been on the market and used safely for over 50 years, and said he was breaking news on the air with his announcement that “a well-controlled peer-reviewed study...showed a 100 percent cure rate against coronavirus." (He claims this makes COVID--19 only the second virus in history to be cured, after Hepatitis C.) "The study was recently accepted to the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents,” he said. We looked that publication up, and here it is:

The journal has published other work on the issue of treating COVID-19 with this drug.

Tucker was understandably skeptical, as we all should be, but expressed gratitude. “I very much want to believe this,” he said, “and I think we need, obviously, to immediately run it down; the federal government needs to find out if this is true, because if it is, that’s the biggest news of this moment.”

It was hard to know what to think about this while watching it, as it just came out of the blue. It didn’t help that Rigano ended the interview oddly, by saying, “Please disseminate it to the scientific community immediately.” It sounded a little like, "People of Earth...take me to your leader."

What could Tucker say? It was the close of his show. “I would hope they’d—they’d be on it,” he stammered.

We looked up Rigano’s bio, and that’s where I saw that he is an attorney, not an M.D. as TV viewers might have assumed. It goes on to say, “Gregory’s experience includes advancing various pharmaceutical assets through laboratory, animal, formulation, manufacturing, clinical trials (Phase I-III), as well as commercialization.” Here’s the whole thing:

There actually is a research paper with his name on it, called “An Effective Treatment for Coronavirus (COVID-19), linked to below. On the other hand, the paper concludes with a grammatically-challenged disclaimer that says in part, “The authors and/or its affiliates does not guarantee the accuracy of or the conclusions reached by this white paper, and this white paper is provided ‘as is.’ It goes on in similar fashion. That doesn’t do much to inspire confidence. It’s impossible to know right now if this is legit, and it appears that they rushed it out.

Whether this study is for real or not, I think perhaps the best attitude to take about trying this drug on the virus is that “it couldn’t hurt.” When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Still, this is a drug that has been used safely for half a century, so why not fast-track the studies and also approve it now for off-label use to treat coronavirus and see how well it works? Given the circumstances, what have we got to lose?

The video from Tucker’s show can be found here:

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Comments 1-25 of 58

  • Jim Chase

    04/05/2020 11:08 AM

    Do you have a list of all recommended books/authors that you have had on show?

  • Bob Corsale

    03/26/2020 02:50 PM


  • Linda Welsh

    03/25/2020 01:33 PM

    I have been on this drug for years for Sarcoidosis . When I first started on this drug my Pulmonary doctor said that along with this drug had had to be on 40 mg prednisone minimum 3- 4 months before the drug was effective, Then the reduce the prednisone. SO please do not give false hope

  • charles Putman

    03/23/2020 08:17 PM

    Rife technology is the best choice for this virus

  • Joanne Catherine

    03/20/2020 07:53 AM

    It really upset me that Laura Ingraham cut the guy off to go to the next segment. A promising answer to a pandemic should get an extra minute or two.

  • Kevin J. Cook

    03/20/2020 03:11 AM

    Can Americans remain calm when the Coronavirus storm hits next week? If we do we win if not we die.
    Stay Positive Test Negative my friends!!

  • Martha Shuping

    03/19/2020 09:18 PM

    I just read today that there are actually "100 trials...listed in the database as testing a wide range of different treatment approaches for COVID-19." These include trials with hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir and a number of other meds that may work. The best way is always to do the clinical trials and even during these epidemic conditions it's great that researchers would work quickly to get these trials done so that we have more info to go on when doctors treat patients. But if I got sick today with many trials pending, I have in mind the medication I would be asking for even though trials still pending. The World World Medical Association's Declaration of Helsinki (2013 update) says that if an illness is serious, it is ethical to use best judgment to treat even if medication is not fully tested - I would rather have a treatment that has shown some promise rather than no treatment at all, and many patients can't wait till April, if they have a serious infection. So I wanted to clarify that in normal times, of course the research process we use in the U.S. is a good ideal, but in the midst of a public health crisis, ethically, it would be wrong to withhold treatment if there is something that may help and the patients wants it, and patient is willing to accept the risk. We don't yet know which treatments will work the best, but if we use them and keep records, we will have more of an idea soon - and good that so much careful research is going on even during the epidemic. I think it is very encouraging to see the treatment possibilities that are emerging, whether perhaps hydroxychoroquine which is in actual clinical trials, or remdesivir which is said to have activity against the viruses that cause Ebola, MERS, SARS, and now apparently Covid-19. Unfortunately, the article I saw today with the good news about the many trials in progress also included news that one trial of one of the meds did not reach it's primary endpoint, though it did shorten ICU stays by 5 days, which is something, and some other benefits. However, from positive case reports of other meds, I am hopeful that the trials currently underway will bring good news of some things that will help. The more I keep reading, the more I see - we are taking the right steps with the social distancing and working at home, etc. for now - but I am also optimistic that we will get this under control and we will see that all the efforts are worth it. I am also glad to see that even people not of the President's party are recognizing publicly that he is doing an excellent job of trying to find solutions and move things forward. Regulations have been adjusted so that doctors can use distance technology to do office visits by online to prevent the necessity of people coming to doctors office, when the care needed can be provided remotely - avoiding unnecessary exposure to virus.

  • Michael Gene Langley

    03/19/2020 09:16 PM

    I used Quinacrine, first, when studying guinea pig sperm rouleaux under a florescence microscope. I discovered it was a "vial" stain, not harming the sperm while lighting them up with florescence. The second time I encountered it was as a physician, on a medical missionary trip, to Belize. I took it for prevention of malaria. It would not be surprising for it to be useful for killing coronavirus. But, we have to test it, now!

  • janis

    03/19/2020 07:14 PM

    Why are we NOT hearing about the EXISTING Corona virus VACCINE. It is an equine corona virus vaccine that has been effective in preventing epidemics of equine corona virus in horses for a long time, possibly years.
    But instead of using the equine vaccine as an obvious beginning point for a human vaccine, researchers are pursuing research into Malaria which is from a parasite carried by mosquitoes and the malaria vaccine is ineffective in treating malaria.
    WHY IS THE EXISTENCE OF EQUINE CORONA VIRUS BEING IGNORED OR HIDDEN PROBABLY BY BIG PHARMA EXPECTING HUGE PROFITS to increase as America’s fear increases due to no vaccine being realistically in sight.

  • Donna Beckstein

    03/19/2020 06:46 PM

    This may have been used for years, but please look up the side effect profile. It is very toxic. Lots of people have been seriously harmed, and if taken on overdose it can be fatal. It has a very narrow margin of safety. But sure, pharmaceutical companies could make a lot of money. Please consider high dose IV vitamin C first. It is having very good results, it’s cheap AND non-toxic!

  • Danny Browning

    03/19/2020 05:47 PM

    Solidiers have been administered this drug for years and it has caused us some severe problems. The DAV just published a researched article in its lasted article on how our soldiers were poisoned and no records keeping as to when and who so no filings could be done or claims filed with the VA. How convenient. Soldiers are the research rats for experimental search. I took the anthrax shots during OIF III and the malaria drugs from 1967 to 1973 and 1990 until 2005. I am a stinking mess both physically and mentally. They still deny most of benefits. They rate me 70% and I function at 100%. And I am not a scammer. I have too much to lose. I am a retired Sergeant Major of the army that have went through 3 wars

  • Jerry Korba

    03/19/2020 05:38 PM

    Today I slaved over tonites dinner I put a beef roast in the crock pot with the usual fixings listened to some concerts watched a movie and came out and watched about 5 minutes of the 5. Democrats every day do and say very stupid things. It does not matter to them if problems get solved or the American people are served well, they are dissatisfied if the leader of our country is doing well. To give credit to our leaders for anything is forbidden we will MAGA without them.

  • judith jakub

    03/19/2020 04:56 PM

    Have to agree with you 100%, Skepticism is part of my nature and since my credentials are limited, need to leave it to the TRUE experts and heed their advice.

  • Vickie Fiorentino

    03/19/2020 04:51 PM

    What the heck! This looks like a great peprieve. The Greek decent hav a problem with the drugs of the 50's for malaria...this might actually work!

  • Linda D Radosevich

    03/19/2020 04:50 PM

    Governor, even though our stock market is ping-ponging and yo-yoing right now, if we hadn't had such a strong economy going into the covid-19 pandemic, think how bad it could be now! God bless President Trump! And stay healthy, Governor!

  • Mary Calhoun

    03/19/2020 04:15 PM

    They give this stuff to lupus patients. I was on it for over ten years. Stuff deposits on the back of your retina. Lost some vision from it. Be careful!

  • Firewagon

    03/19/2020 03:51 PM

    A strange coincidence happened to me the day of Laura's night program when her 'guest' mentioned this 'malaria' drug I immediately thought about my mailman. That day, he had mentioned that his doctor had been providing him a prescription for this drug. I don't recall why he was taking it, however, he said that it was 'supposed' to be useful against this COVID-19 virus. Perhaps, more coincidental is that I rarely meet the mailman to receive the mail, a sign?

  • Anne Amato

    03/19/2020 03:33 PM

    The drug combination of the antiviral and Azithromycin sounds positive.
    HOWEVER.....the antiviral drug needs to be evaluated for several reasons:
    1) People who already have an auto-immune disease may actually die from it,
    especially if they have an OVER-active auto-immune disease. And...many
    who do have over-active auto-immune diseases (such as Sarcoidosis) may
    not even be aware they have the disease. It only started to be seriously
    investigated after 9/11 exposures of people to contaminants.
    But I have had it for over 30 years...and can tell you I got it from pine PITCH
    or TAR (not "pollen") the year I made 700 pine wreaths. And the disease
    alone can wreak havok with the immune do many treatments.

    2) People with any types of allergies are also at risk, so unless THOROUGH
    allergy testing has been done, this could be a serious risk...unless all testing
    completed and warnings shown.

  • Don Crumbley

    03/19/2020 03:09 PM

    President Trump brought up the differences in deaths, caused by Flu and Coronavirus in 2020, in a very early-on Corona Virus WH press conference, but no one paid any attention to it, particularly the Progressive media. They were worried about global discrimination over using the Wuhan China Virus as a name for the virus, eventually designated by WHO as the COVID-19! Now we are in a “war time” footing to fight a perceived country-wide and world-wide medical virus death issue, spending Billions $, if not over a Trillion $ to stop the Coronavirus and the follow on economic implosion, as well as a restart to the economy after the damage. I would like to see a similar John Hopkins Institute world wide chart for this years flue virus and compare it to the current Corona Virus chart. Is some group proving that you never let a crisis go to waste and whomever that is, planning to benefit from it politically, as well as financially?

  • Joyce Birch

    03/19/2020 02:50 PM

    I'm praying for us & the world we find a cure. I'm not that convinced about this drug yet. My heart goes out to Italy, 400+ in a day.
    I'm sorry to say, but I can't seem to pray for all those evil liberals, especially the person (won't mention his name, was on CNN) who wished that the First Lady get the virus. How low & evil.
    Then there's Omar I. who agreed with the President. Wolf in sheep's clothing!
    I'm taking care of my 91 yr old husband & pray everyday to keep us safe & protect us. I have to leave the house to get us food/fruit or go to the pharmacy & that's it. We're kind of alone. I'm extremely careful about my surroundings & cleaniness. I have faith & God will keep us safe. If I get in a jam, I'll make the calls for help. God Bless & Peace Be With You All.

  • Dave Frank

    03/19/2020 02:20 PM

    Now would be the 'politically correct' time, I suppose, to bring up the subject of public restroom doors. Don't know about women's restrooms, but just from my own observations, too many men don't wash their hands correctly and many, not at all. All public restroom doors should be 'pull-in' 'push out'. Pull the door open to enter, you will wash your hands before leaving. Push the door open to leave; after you have washed your hands, you don't want to have to touch a handle that others have touched on the way out.

  • Lola Wyatt

    03/19/2020 01:51 PM

    i think it would be ok to try it anything to get a hold on this virus.

  • Kay DeWitt

    03/19/2020 01:37 PM

    Mike, prior to reading this newsletter, I read an article about the coronavirus that began with the statement: "There is nothing like a pandemic to help a society sort out what it really values in life" and I immediately thought of YOU and then my thought was "RUN WITH IT" !!!

    Like, perhaps, you could talk about the hat you wear as a Christian....who just happens to believe that the Bible IS just what it claims to be...the Word of GOD....and...therefore, BECAUSE you also wear this hat, it is through the lens of HIS values that you have viewed this political saga between the Democrats and the Republicans!!!!.....AND in view of what has been...BY God's values....the sin the Democrats have committed AGAINST President Trump....this pandemic might just be God's way of MAKING "society sort out what 'it' really values in life" and, upon DOING so, discover what GOD really values in life.....which is certainly NOT "it" killing HIS unborn children....or a political party who did not win a political presidential election spending all its time and money trying to destroy the President who DID win the election because he was not OF their political party!!!!

    I wonder how much of that "damnable" (and I use that word because God's values DID damn it) impeachment trial would have been covered if it had occurred during this endemic!!! Ask Democrats how important their impeachment mission now seems when viewed against the backdrop OF this endemic that is a life/death threat to their loved ones. Of course, the growth of school... were a life/death threat death to HIS loved.ones but that fact...that "value" ....waned in importance TO the Democrats because it didn't seem to pose enough of a potential life/death threat to THEM...or their loved ones....and their HATRED for one Donald Trump far outweighed tneir LOVE for HIS dying unborn...and born hurting.... kids....and after God wept and wept and wept over the stench of this sin in His nostrils, His hatred FOR this sin, finally, brought down His judgment ON this sin on a nation that once claimed to be UNDER Him and HIS values!!!!!

    If we Christians CAN, in this way, relate the coronavirus TO God's judgment on the sin of the Democrats' desire to destroy their president, ya think it might win some votes for President Trump in November?....assuming, that is, that election won't also be postponed! AND my closing thought is to ask if there is any way we can petition whoever needs to BE petitioned to take the late night hosts off the air and perhaps suggest that all the BAD ones be replaced by one GOOD one hosted by ...ahem....Mike Huckabee? What's so funny! I thought you said you believed in a miracle -working God! WITH that response, as the saying goes, "I'm
    taking my crayons (in MY case, my tablet) and going home!"

  • Kenneth Babb

    03/19/2020 01:33 PM

    ‘Cure’ found for coronavirus in Australia ----

    A team of Australian researchers say they've found a cure for the novel coronavirus and hope to have patients enrolled in a nationwide trial by the end of the month.

    University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research director Professor David Paterson told today they have seen two drugs used to treat other conditions can wipe out the virus in test tubes.

    He said one of the medications, given to some of the first people to test positive for COVID-19 in Australia, had already resulted in "disappearance of the virus" and complete recovery from the infection.

  • Gregory Weinman

    03/19/2020 01:25 PM

    A second report from France has confirmed the Stanford study. It used HCQ and Zmax in combination reporting patients virus free after 6 days. Australia is also working with the same combination as is China and Korea.
    HCQ has a possibility of affecting the retina. However, based on today's CoV presser it looks like FDA approval mere days away.