At the height of the AIDS crisis in this country in 1988, activist Larry Kramer penned an open letter to Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was “spearheading” U.S. Government efforts to combat the disease. That letter read in part:
“You are responsible for supervising all government-funded AIDS treatment research programs. In the name of right, you make decisions that cost the lives of others. I call that murder…
To quote Representative Henry Waxman… “Dr. Fauci, your own drug selection committee has named 24 drugs as high priority for development and trials. As best as I can tell, 11 of these 24 are not in trials yet. Six of these drugs have been waiting for six months to more than a year. Why the delays? I understand the need to do what you call setting priorities, but it appears even with your own scientists’ choices the trials are not going on.”
“Your defense? “There are just confounding delays that no one can help… we are responsible as investigators to make sure that in our zeal to go quickly, that we do the clinical study correctly, that it’s planned correctly and executed correctly, rather than just having the drug distributed…”
“Meanwhile, drugs we have been begging that you test remain untested. The list of promising untested drugs is now so endless and the pipeline so clogged with NIH and FDA bureaucratic lies that there is no Roto-Rooter service in All God’s Christendom that will ever muck it out…”
“The gay community has, for five years, told the NIH which drugs to test because we know and hear first what is working on some of us somewhere. You couldn’t care less about what we say. You won’t answer our phone calls or letters, or listen to anyone in our stricken community. What tragic pomposity…”
“How many years ago did we tell you about aerosol pentamidine, Tony? This stuff saves lives. And we discovered it ourselves. We came to you, bearing this great news on a silver platter, begging you: can we get it officially tested; can we get it approved so insurance companies and Medicaid will pay for it (as well as other drugs we beg you to test) as a routine treatment, and our patients going broke paying for medicine can get it cheaper? You monster…”
“We tell you what the good drugs are, you don’t test them…”Open Letter To Dr. Fauci, Village Voice
By the time Kramer wrote his open letter the AIDS epidemic had been raging in the United States for seven years. His frustration is palpable. Fauci, the academic researcher, and theoretician was doing what such individuals do. He was proceeding slowly and deliberately as if time were of no consequence and the identification of a cure for the disease was some abstract intellectual exercise. Meanwhile, people were dying.
Fast forward to today.
Speaking yesterday before Congress the same Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked to comment on a study by the Henry Ford Health System which found that hydroxychloroquine was useful in the treatment of COVID-19. Fauci responded that the study was “flawed.” According to Fauci the Ford Health System report was based on a non-controlled, retrospective cohort study and was not a “randomized placebo-controlled trial.” Per Fauci, he will not believe in the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine until he sees the results of such a “randomized placebo-controlled trial,” which he described as the gold standard.
There are numerous studies, in addition to the many accounts of U.S. physicians who claim successful use of hydroxychloroquine (although many agree you need zinc as well and to start the treatment early.
In short, until such time as Fauci, who has not actually practiced medicine for fifty-two years, sees the results of lengthy trials, which will likely take years, he does not intend to recommend the use of a drug, which may save many American lives now.
It should be kept in mind that hydroxychloroquine is not a new drug. It has been widely used around the world for many decades to combat malaria. When I served overseas it was handed out by the bottle-full to me, my coworkers, and our family members to take to head off the contraction of malaria. The drug is also widely prescribed for the treatment of arthritis. In many countries, it is available over the counter without a prescription.
The Centers for Disease Control Website has this to say about hydroxychloroquine.
“Hydroxychloroquine can be prescribed to adults and children of all ages. It can also be safely taken by pregnant women and nursing mothers.”
“Both adults and children should take one dose of hydroxychloroquine per week starting at least 1 week before traveling to the area where malaria transmission occurs. They should take one dose per week while there, and for 4 consecutive weeks after leaving.”
Hardly sounds like something dangerous or experimental.
The reality is that physicians all over America are already prescribing hydroxychloroquine (along with zinc) and have been since the beginning of this crisis. The results have been positive and undeniable. Many other nations have also moved to the widespread use of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 and the results have been clear. The death rates from the virus in those nations have been significantly lower than those here in the United States.
The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons (AAPS) has now filed suit against the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to compel the FDA to end its obstruction of the use of hydroxychloroquine in this country. The FDA is actually already sitting on a huge stockpile of hydroxychloroquine, of which it is refusing to release for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci continues to make his press appearances, lecture us on the “gold standard” for research studies, and drag his feet. We may no longer be faced with the scourge of an uncontrolled AIDS epidemic. We may now be contending with a new disease, but one thing is certain.
Fauci hasn’t changed.