‘Doctor’ ‘Very Stable Genius’ writes a very bad prescription

Pandemic

Not that this should be even remotely surprising, but hydroxychloroquine is bad stuff,[1] even if a “very stable genius”[2] recommends it:[3]

“It’s one thing not to have benefit, but this [study] shows distinct harm,” said Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. “If there was ever hope for this drug [hydroxychloroquine], this is the death of it.” . . .

For those given hydroxychloroquine, there was a 34 percent increase in risk of mortality and a 137 percent increased risk of a serious heart arrhythmias. For those receiving hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic — the cocktail endorsed by Trump — there was a 45 percent increased risk of death and a 411 percent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias.

Those given chloroquine had a 37 percent increased risk of death and a 256 percent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias. For those taking chloroquine and an antibiotic, there was a 37 percent increased risk of death and a 301 percent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias.[4]

While this particular study relies on correlation, controlled experiments have also shown an increased risk of heart problems and little or no benefit in treating COVID-19.[5]

I have decided I can no longer patronize my favorite vegan restaurant in the Pittsburgh area, the one in North Strabane. The old man is a brilliant cook, really he is, but his attitude toward the lockdown, even to wearing masks, is unacceptable. I’m pretty sure he’s getting his information from the same sources as white supremacists who also blame Jews for the virus, which is especially ironic given that the family that runs this place appears to be conservative Jewish. Sorry, I just can’t wrap my head around this.

Ariana Eunjung Cha and Laurie McGinley, “Antimalarial drug touted by President Trump is linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients, study says,” Washington Post, May 22, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/22/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-study/

Dana Mattioli and Konrad Putzier, “When It’s Time to Go Back to the Office, Will It Still Be There?” Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-its-time-to-go-back-to-the-office-will-it-still-be-there-11589601618


Housekeeping

IMG_20200522_125537_MP
Fig. 1. I don’t think I’m slick enough for Slickville, in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Photograph by author, May 22, 2020.

I am discovering that if you get far enough away from Pittsburgh, the white supremacist gun nuttery seems to recede to something like a normal level. I wound up out in Greensburg, which is in Westmoreland County, today and it felt like a breath of fresh air. The rent is still too high and I have seen way too much social conservatism in previous visits to Westmoreland County anyway, but it may be possible for me to remain in the Pittsburgh area, albeit at some distance.


  1. [1]Associated Press, “FDA warns against using the drugs that Trump touts for coronavirus,” Los Angeles Times, April 24, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-04-24/fda-warns-against-using-trump-touted-drugs-to-treat-coronavirus; Marilynn Marchione, “Heart woes spur partial stop of malaria drug study for virus,” Washington Post, April 13, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/heart-woes-spur-partial-stop-of-malaria-drug-study-for-virus/2020/04/13/c6460050-7db6-11ea-84c2-0792d8591911_story.html
  2. [2]Emily Stewart, “Trump tweets that he’s a genius and ‘a very stable genius at that!’” Vox, January 6, 2018, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/1/6/16857492/trump-tweets-mental-health
  3. [3]Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman, “Health Dept. Official Says Doubts on Hydroxychloroquine Led to His Ouster,” New York Times, April 22, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/us/politics/rick-bright-trump-hydroxychloroquine.html; Paul Waldman, “The real reason Trump is obsessed with hydroxychloroquine,” Washington Post, April 7, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/07/real-reason-trump-is-obsessed-with-hydroxychloroquine/
  4. [4]Ariana Eunjung Cha and Laurie McGinley, “Antimalarial drug touted by President Trump is linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients, study says,” Washington Post, May 22, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/22/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-study/
  5. [5]Ariana Eunjung Cha and Laurie McGinley, “Antimalarial drug touted by President Trump is linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients, study says,” Washington Post, May 22, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/22/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-study/; Marilynn Marchione, “Heart woes spur partial stop of malaria drug study for virus,” Washington Post, April 13, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/heart-woes-spur-partial-stop-of-malaria-drug-study-for-virus/2020/04/13/c6460050-7db6-11ea-84c2-0792d8591911_story.html

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