AP featured image
A pharmacist shows a bottle of the drug hydroxychloroquine on Monday, April 6, 2020, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

My RedState colleague Betsy Vaughn wrote a detailed piece Thursday that talked about how French Dr. Didier Raoult, who had previously conducted a study that showed a 91% effectiveness rate in Wuhan coronavirus patients treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, alleged that “scientific misconduct” had taken place in the VA hydroxychloroquine study that came out late last week.

Dr. Raoult cited a number of issues with the VA study, including the fact that the hydroxychloroquine and hydroxychloroquine-ZPAK combo were given to patients who had already been intubated. That’s a pretty significant point against drawing definitive conclusions about hydroxychloroquine from the VA’s study.

The French doctor is not the only person who found serious issues with the media-touted study after doing a careful analysis. In fact, it doesn’t even take a doctor to read the fine print on the data to conclude that not only was the study flawed, but that the mainstream media – in their eager rush to slap down Trump’s promotion of the drug as a treatment for the Wuhan coronavirus – completely botched their reporting on it.

Former CNN producer Steve Krakauer reviewed the details of the study and posted this Twitter thread noting how badly the media got it wrong:

I read Krakauer’s tweets and then the newsletter he sent Thursday night going into further detail on it, and my mouth dropped open. So I went and looked at the study myself, and found that his claims were correct.

I found this statement from the study (starting on the bottom of page 13) to be especially important to note (bolded emphasis added):

Despite propensity score adjustment for a large number of relevant confounders, we cannot rule out the possibility of selection bias or residual confounding. Our study cohort comprised only men whose median age was over 65 years. Therefore, the results may not necessarily reflect outcomes in women or in younger hospitalized populations, nor can they be extrapolated to pediatric patients. Our findings may also be influenced by the demographic composition of patients in our cohort, the majority of whom were black. Disproportionately higher rates of Covid-19-related hospitalization among the black population have also been reported in the United States as a whole.

Wow! So in other words, this “retroactive” study doesn’t really tell us anything at all about how the drug would work on people from other demographics who are under 65 and may not be as sick as some of the patients whose cases were reviewed for this study.

The VA even admitted as much when asked about it:

Other doctors, too, have weighed in and found the study lacking, drawing similar conclusions to Dr. Raoult and Krakauer:

So with all that in mind, let’s go a prime example of a typical media hot take on the study:

Note the garbage headline from the Politico link he cited, which was courtesy of a very flawed AP report on the study.

Unbelievable. And they wonder why we don’t trust them?

Sister Toldjah
Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year writer with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars.
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