"THIS INTERVIEW COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE" PART ONE: EARLY TREATMENT
A Conversation with Dr. Peter McCullough
Dallas, Texas, August 4th, 2021
Interviewed by John Kirby
Edited by Evan Dominguez
Researched by Francis Karagodins & Evan Dominguez
Renowned physician and professor of medicine Dr. Peter McCullough describes early treatment protocols for COVID-19 that have saved countless lives... and the forces that have aligned themselves against their widespread adoption.
Below are resources for early outpatient treatment: https://aapsonline.org/ https://covid19criticalcare.com/covid-19-protocols/math-plus-protocol/ https://americasfrontlinedoctors.org/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33315116/ The following are the references cited by Dr. McCullough in our interview: https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(20)30673-2/fulltext https://scholarlycommons.henryford.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1139&context=infectiousdiseases_articles https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34051877/ https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2767593 https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202007.0025/v1 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34130113/ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19802-w#Sec4 file:///Users/edit5/Downloads/WHO-2019-nCoV-lab-testing-2021.1-eng.pdf https://www.cdc.gov/csels/dls/locs/2021/07-21-2021-lab-alert-Changes_CDC_RT-PCR_SARS-CoV-2_Testing_1.html https://jameslyonsweiler.com/2021/01/31/follow-the-science-not-mere-authority-on-covid19-pcr-false-positive-rates/ https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/press-releases/2021/01/19/hackensack-meridians-john-theurer-cancer-center-jtcc-observational-study-suggests-role-for-hydroxycholorquine-as-outpatient-treatment-for-covid-19-infection/ https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm#Comorbidities ( https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31180-6/fulltext https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(20)30534-8/fulltext https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306987721001419
Dr. Peter McCullough:
At the onset of the pandemic in March of 2020, I became very quickly involved with other physicians at my medical center in organizing one of the first prophylactic protocols using hydroxychloroquine. Things seemed to be going great in March, but as we moved into April and May, I noticed a disturbing trend and the trend was no effort to treat patients who were sick with COVID-19 at home or in nursing homes. And it almost just seemed as if patients were intentionally not being treated, allowed to sicken at home and get to the point where they couldn't breathe, and then be admitted to the hospital.
For our listeners at home, what is the best protocol and where can they find it?
Today, we're talking to Dr. Peter McCullough, who I will allow to introduce himself since that's been an issue. Doctor, go ahead. Introduce yourself and give us a little bit about your background.
Dr. Peter McCullough:
Well, thanks for having me, and thanks for being respectful on the introduction. I'm currently being sued by a major billion-dollar health system regarding scientific interchange and free speech with respect to institutional affiliations. So, I'm Peter McCullough. I'm an internist and cardiologist. We're in Dallas, Texas. I'm in practice in private practice in large major medical center. I am on staff with full staff privileges at the Baylor University Medical Center and the Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital. I previously was employed by Baylor Scott and White Health System, Health Texas Provider Network. And I transitioned from that contract at the beginning of February to a private practice contract, but my lawsuit has to deal with institutional affiliation in the media. And I can tell you and tell your audience that I have never claimed prior titles. I've never falsely associated myself with any institution, including St. John Providence Health System, Ascension Health before this.
And I have always expressed my own opinions and not the opinions of any other institution. I am an academic physician. I see and examine patients every day and every week. And I've been integrally involved in the COVID-19 pandemic response. I am well published in my field. I have over 600 citations in the National Library of Medicine. Well, over 40 specifically on COVID-19, I've published the two major breakthrough papers on the early treatment of COVID-19 in the American Journal of Medicine and Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine in 2020. And I've been asked on behalf of the US Senate and the Texas Senate to provide my opinions to Americans regarding pandemic response.
Can you briefly summarize your experience of the pandemic? When did you first begin to question the official wisdom and protocols surrounding it?
Dr. Peter McCullough:
At the onset of the pandemic in March of 2020, I became very quickly involved with other physicians at my medical center in organizing one of the first prophylactic protocols using hydroxychloroquine. And over the course of a weekend, we worked with the USFDA. We had a investigation on new drug application approved. We had internal grant funding and we put everything together very quickly in order to help protect the workers in our healthcare system. And things seem to be going great in March, but as we moved into April and May, I noticed a disturbing trend, and the trend was no effort to treat patients who were sick with COVID-19 at home or in nursing homes. And it almost just seemed as if patients were intentionally not being treated, allowed to sicken at home and get to the point where they couldn't breathe, and then be admitted to the hospital.
And it just seemed... It's like such an unusual response if this had been at any other warm of pneumonia, respiratory illness, or any other illness in the human body where, as an infection, if we start early, we can actually treat much more easily than wait until patients are very sick. And we learned quickly that it takes about two weeks for someone to get sick enough at home to require hospitalization. We learned within a couple of weeks or months that there were three major parts of the illness the virus was replicating for as long as two weeks, there was incredible inflammation in the body and then blood clotting.
So, I think most doctors including myself understood a single drug was not going to be enough to treat this illness. We had to use drugs in combination. And so, what I did is... I have to tell you, as I was watching TV, the White House Task Force one and other people who got involved as well as other local and institutional officials, no one, no one said that hospitalizations and deaths were the bad outcome of COVID-19 and that they were going to put together a team of doctors to stop these hospitalizations and death.
And after a couple of months went by, I have to tell you, I think I may have been one of the few people in the nation to say that, I said, "Listen, I am not going to tolerate that. I'm not going to tolerate that in my practice. And I'm not going to tolerate that on a national worldwide level." And so, I reached out to the Italians who were doing great work. They were getting bombed in Milan. I had friends down in Sienna, we worked with the [inaudible 00:06:05] network, communicating rapidly, saying, "What drugs are working? What drugs are not working? How can we actually start to use drugs in combination?"
And then by July 1st, we had our first protocol based on signals of benefit and acceptable safety that was submitted to the American Journal of Medicine. Within 30 days it was published electronically, and that paper titled the Pathophysiologic Basis and Clinical Rationale for Early Ambulatory Treatment of COVID-19 quickly became the most [inaudible 00:06:32] paper to help doctors in the world treat COVID-19. And it's based on three principles. We're going to use medications to slow down the virus. We're going to use medications to basically attenuate or reduce inflammation. And then lastly, we're going to address blood clotting.
And very quickly, we had great deliverance from Operation Warp Speed. We had monoclonal antibodies that were high-tech, they were fully FDA EUA approved. We had data come on with ivermectin, another drug that was actually those in Bangladesh and elsewhere were working with, that looked terrific. The Canadians came on with colchicine and a high-quality trial based on a initial Greek trial. And then we learned more from experts at UCLA and elsewhere with respect to blood clotting and the need for aspirin and blood thinners. So, in December of 2020, in a dedicated supplemental issue of reviewing cardiovascular medicine, the second paper was published. It was titled Sequence Multi-drug Therapy for Early Ambulatory Treatment of COVID-19.
And it involved the full breadth of drugs that we have available today, including the EUA monoclonal antibodies, including oral antivirals. By that time, we were supported by over 200 studies with hydroxychloroquine, 60 studies with ivermectin, we combine with doxycycline, azithromycin. We were supported by a meta-analysis using steroids. We could use simple prednisone, widely available, supported by two studies with inhaled budesonide, a very large study with colchicine. And then finally, we had observational data from in the hospital on full-dose aspirin and full-dose anticoagulation with low molecular weight heparin. Now, that's a lot to digest for your listeners, but I can tell you, doctors can work with drugs, four to six drugs in combination, supplemented by vitamins and nutraceuticals. And they can guide patients at home, even the highest risk seniors, and avoid a dreaded outcome of hospitalization and death. But we didn't stop there.
We worked with a practice north of us in Dallas in the Plano, Frisco area that did this protocol in hundreds of patients. They demonstrated an 85% reduction in hospitalization and death, as well as another practice led by legendary Dr. Vladimir Zelenko in Monroe, New York that showed the exact same thing. Others have come on. There's been an analysis by Paul Alexander published in Medical Hypotheses in the nursing home. We founded almost anything done in the nursing home. Different components of these protocols dropped mortality by 60%. Again, we didn't stop there, we reached out to Dr. [inaudible 00:09:08] in South America, Dr. Chetty in South Africa. And we learned even if hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin had become so politicized that no one wanted to allow these drugs to be used, we could use other drugs, anti-inflammatories, antihistamines, as well as anticoagulants, and actually time the illness, and again, treat it to reduce hospitalization and death.
And as we sit here today, I am concerned that this entire effort received no support from any government in the entire world. We had hero doctors that really had to break with the academic ivory tower. We didn't have a single academic institution come up with a single protocol. They didn't even try. Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Duke, you name it, not a single medical center set up even a tent to try to treat patients and prevent hospitalization and death. There wasn't an ounce of original research. Finally, the American Association of Physician and Surgeons, Frontline Critical Care Consortium, American Frontline Doctors, independent organizations galvanized, organize the country into four national telemedicine services, three regional telemedicine services, took over healthcare. We crushed the curves at the beginning of January. We put America on a low steady plateau, and we basically got COVID-19 under control. What happened in early January was remarkable.
New cases, hospitalizations, and deaths dropped at the same time. The only thing they can do that is early treatment. Why? Because early treatment reduces the infectivity period from 14 days to about four days. It allows someone to stay in the home, so they don't contaminate people outside the home. And then it has this remarkable effect in reducing the intensity and duration of symptoms, so patients don't get so short of breath. They don't get into this panic where they break containment and go to the hospital. Every hospitalization in America and there's been millions of them have been super spreader events. They actually contaminate their loved ones, paramedics, Uber drivers, people in the clinic and offices. It becomes a total mess. If we can treat COVID-19 at home, we actually can extinguish the treatment at home.
So, this has been a story of American heroes. It's been a story of worldwide success. In the UK, the BIRD Group is doing the same thing. In Italy, the treatment domiciliary COVID-19 group, they've actually had rallies in the piazzas of Italy, declaring zero hospitalizations with this multi-drug approach. We have PANDA in South Africa. The COVID medical network in Australia. And so, despite the various government agencies and the ivory tower medical institutions, literally not lifting a finger on COVID-19, independent doctors and hero organizations kicked in. And to this day, we're in the middle of another outbreak. It's called Delta. Guess, who's treating the Delta patients? It's again, not the academic medical centers or even the large group practices. They're not touching these patients. It's independent doctors who are actually compassionately reaching out and using what we call the precautionary principle. They are using their best medical judgment and scientific data to apply therapy now.
Now, we know we need large randomized trials. Right now, we need large multi-drug trials. We need trials of 20,000 patients or more with four to six drugs. Those trials are not even planned. So, for any of our academic colleagues that have said, "Dr. McCullough, we need to wait for large randomized trials." What I've always said is, "Listen, this is a mass casualty thing. People are dying now. They're being hospitalized now. We can't wait for large randomized trials." And when I testified in the US Senate, our minority witness, his retort to all of our evidence and our approach was, "You don't have enough evidence. You have enough evidence. You don't have enough evidence." And Senator Johnson finally broke the question, two hours into this, young academic doctor who was advising America to basically do nothing for COVID-19. That was his summary recommendation, "Do nothing and wait for the vaccine." Senator Johnson asked him, "Doctor, have you ever treated a COVID-19 patient? Have you actually seen one?" And he sheepishly admitted, "No, I haven't."
Obviously, I'm not perfect, but I try to use science as well as compassion to guide me.
We appreciate that. Have you treated any COVID patients?
I have not, Sir.
Dr. Peter McCullough:
I have to tell you, I am the most published person in my field, in the world, in history before COVID-19. I'm the editor of two major journals. I have over 40 publications of COVID-19, including the two critical treatment documents, and there's other groups that same concepts are supported. I've had COVID-19 myself with pulmonary involvement. My wife has had it. On my wife's side of the family, we've had a fatality. I can tell you as a single person, I believe I have as much or more medical authority to give my opinions to anybody in the world.
For our listeners at home, what is the best protocol and where can they find it? In your view, treating the patients, where have you seen the most success? What should they do? Is there something they can do prophylactically? What should they be doing right now?
Dr. Peter McCullough:
Well, first, let's cover access to protocols. Fortunately, since early October, America has had access to protocols. So, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has a home treatment guide. This is available at aapsonline.org and it's freely downloadable. We estimate actually, it's been download millions of times, in past, around millions of times, so it's been heavily utilized. The Frontline Critical Care Consortium, FLCCC, they have their own sets of protocols, similar concepts called [inaudible 00:14:51] and MATH+. These are also available for use.
So, does the American Frontline Doctors. They have protocols. They're all very similar, but they involve a list of nutraceuticals and vitamins which are not curative, but they form a good base because we know patients with deficiencies of these become at risk for hospitalization and death. And they employ the concepts of using drugs in combination. And so, these combinations, it does take a doctor to prescribe these, and that's the reason why patients need to ask their doctor if they're willing to treat COVID-19. If the doctor's not comfortable or not willing, the patient can't take no for an answer. That's actually how we have had mortalities in the United States. The patient must move on to these telemedicine services.
When you described this, at-home treatment protocol, it sort of emerged by implication that when people aren't going out and about, they, therefore, aren't spreading, because at that point, are they symptomatic? Is there such a thing as asymptomatic spread in your experience?
Dr. Peter McCullough:
Well, fortunately, the previous models that predicted 40% to 50% of the spread of COVID-19 was in completely asymptomatic patients. Those models were never confirmed to be true. And two very good analyses, one by Medwell, the other one by Cao published in a peer-reviewed literature showed that asymptomatic spread is negligible. In the Cao paper, for instance, in China, they evaluated 10 million people in order to figure out who's asymptomatically carrying it. They were able to come up with 300 people, and among those 300 people, the vast majority were just forming antibodies to the virus anyway, and they weren't communicable. They weren't spreading the illness. So, even the World Health Organization recognizes this now. As of June 25th, the World Health Organization says, "No more asymptomatic testing." In the United States, we've had about 35 million Americans get COVID-19, and you know we've actually performed 400 million COVID-19 tests.
So, we know that if a COVID-19 PCR test is done in someone who's asymptomatic, which again, shouldn't be done, shouldn't be done. The FDA has never granted any approvals for this. Asymptomatic testing has actually never been, have any regulatory approval, but if it's done, let's say by an airline or a nursing home or a government facility, when it is positive, it's far more likely to be a false positive than a true positive. And this has been done in sports teams and others, and all it is is creating a churn. And by the way, every positive test does get reported as a COVID case. So, people have estimated. In the United States, people say, "Cases are on the rise." We pretty much have to have a correction factor of about 40%. Our case count is inflated about 40% because of asymptomatic false-positive testing which should not be done.
Well, let's talk a bit about tests. The CDC, just as I understand what just came out admitted that their original test was devised without reference to the actual virus, but to some kind of guesstimate or confabulation, I'm not really sure. And then of course, there's the whole question of how many replication cycles are used? So, what's your assessment of the test? You gave us some indication, but it seems like if you go beyond a certain replication threshold, you're guaranteed a false positive. So, how could we trust... You say it's only 40% inflation, isn't it not possible that we have even higher inflation?
Dr. Peter McCullough:
Well, it depends on how many symptomatic and asymptomatic people are actually being tested. And so, those estimates, a leading expert on this is Dr. Jack Lyons-Weile and he's performed a whole series of analyses. And I think that 40% is pretty reasonable. Some people say it's higher, but of the total case count, maybe 40% is a false positive.
What is now sort of evolving into a bit of a standard that if you get at a cycle threshold of 35 or more, that the chances of it being replication competent are minuscule, so that if somebody... And we do, we have patients and it's very frustrating for the patients as well as for the physicians. Somebody comes in and they repeat their PCR and it's like 37 cycle threshold, but you almost never can culture virus from a 37 threshold cycle. So, I think if somebody does come in with 37, 38, even 36, you got to say, "It's just dead nucleotides." Period.
What's your current perspective on the fraction of transmission now, that's either asymptomatic or presymptomatic versus symptomatic?
Richard, I know you were going to ask that. I like these questions because there's no right or wrong answer, because we don't know, but we can guess, so long as we don't take our guesses too seriously.
Dr. Peter McCullough:
What the CDC recently announced is their original assay. So, the CDC actually had a PCR, a polymerase chain reaction assay, their original assay of which some manufacturers modeled the same approach on was unable to distinguish between influenza and COVID-19. So, this is worrisome because those individuals who, let's say truly had influenza, if they came into a clinic and if they weren't simultaneously tested for influenza and COVID-19, they actually... If they had influenza, with that assay, it would've tested positive for COVID. So, now we would've had a patient who had truly has influenza, but they're actually diagnosed as COVID. They count as a COVID case. If they had severe enough symptoms, they would've been hospitalized. They may have been given remdesivira, dexamethasone, convalescent plasma, we keep going. Honestly, this misdiagnosis of influenza as COVID-19, and we don't know, and how many people this happened, it sounds like a medical nightmare that basically some of our seniors and other sick people through the fall had to endure.
We saw right from the beginning that the CDC guidance was to assume COVID on the death certificate, for instance. At the NHS, they were counting anyone who had a positive test and any lethal event within a month of a positive test as a COVID death. So, when we hear about 600,000 dead in this country, and I know that your thrust has been about there's so many people that could have been prevented from dying, but when we're talking about... Is that number 600,000, is that a realistic number of the people who actually died of COVID or even with COVID, or is that an inflated number?
Dr. Peter McCullough:
Well, there were published estimates, one from the Center for Disease Control, one I saw in one of the major news lines that indicated the anticipated mortality in the United States would be 1.7 to 2.1 million. And the only thing that headed that off was early treatment. We know the hospital actually was not saving as many lives as what people think. The contemporary mortality for someone admitted to the ICU in the stop COVID program, that's headed out of Harvard medical school is over 30%. That's staggering mortality and overall hospital mortality, fortunately, over the last several months has gone down, it's under 10%. So, we know that we're doing much better with early treatment.
And an analysis by Ip and colleagues from New Jersey showed if patients got even any type of early treatment... An abbreviated or abridged course of hydroxychloroquine plus other drugs, any form of early treatment, markedly reduced inpatient mortality. We even have randomized trials of patients who receive monoclonal antibodies like President Trump did. Regeneron is our featured antibody now, but previously Lilly. Even if they had gotten an antibody infusion, it actually took the edge off the mortality risk if they were subsequently hospitalized. And I've seen this in my practice in patients with heart failure and advanced heart lunging kidney disease. So, the important point here is that early treatment is the determinant of survival, not what happens in the hospital.
Now, just in general, how lethal is COVID? How dangerous is it, in and of itself?
Dr. Peter McCullough:
Well, mortality in COVID-19 is understandable in what's called risk stratification, and it's unlike other illnesses. If we were to take another illness, let's say an overwhelming staphylococcal infection or a crush injury or something like this. It may not be so amenable to risk stratification, but in COVID-19, it's really exquisitely related to age. And it's exquisitely related to other superimposed, what we call comorbidities or medical risk factors, including heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, prior cancer, diabetes, obesity, asthma. These conditions increase the risk. So, what the listeners can understand is age under 50, no other major medical problems, there's less than a 1% chance of mortality, less than 1% chance of hospitalization. They're going to do fine. In fact, in our published treatment protocols, we say below age 50, nutraceuticals, hydration, and kind of ride it out in quarantine, no treatment needed.
That means in a conventional practice, only about 25% of people we'd actually have to treat, so we can focus on a much smaller group. Now, of those, when we get to higher and higher age brackets, the rates go up. And in fact, let's say someone who is in a nursing home with multiple medical problems, that person could face, let's say a 10%, 20%, 40% mortalities. That's really a significant overall mortality. So, the CDC on their website has analyzed these deaths and readily acknowledges that fewer than 10% of the deaths are directly and solely related to COVID-19. In fact, these other conditions contributed to the mortality, but having said that, you could take the converse and say, "If they didn't get COVID, would they be alive today?" And my answer would be yes. So, I take the mortality rate of COVID-19 as being serious.
There certainly could have been a tendency to code the death certificates towards COVID-19, that probably did happen. There are experts evaluating that, Dr. Henry Ealy from Oregon is one, he's a leading expert in evaluating that. That's not my area of expertise. Like I said, I've had patients myself with COVID-19 who've died and I'm convinced, they died of the illness. And if they didn't get COVID-19, they'd still be here today. And that's happened even in my family. So, I wouldn't want the listeners to think I'm being cavalier with mortality in COVID-19, it's a potentially lethal illness, but it's heavily related to age and comorbidities.
I have to get this out of the way, there's so much to ask. Let me just state it bluntly, and I've heard your thoughts on this before, but I don't know if they've changed at all. Have you seen convincing evidence that the virus has been isolated? Have Koch's postulates been followed and satisfied? Have you seen it under an electron microscope?
Dr. Peter McCullough:
Well, people have always asked that. They have to kind of see it in their hand. The best way to actually truly understand if it's there is through full genomic sequencing. So, I've been working very closely... There's many labs that do this, by the way, many of the local community health departments do this, but I've been working closely with Dr. Sabine Hazan out in Ventura, California, and she assures me, the virus is readily and fully sequencable. The virus does exist. SARS-CoV-2 does exist. It's base pair sequences for all the components, the spike protein, the nuclear capsid, polymerase, everything else does really exist. Believe it or not, the virus is more readily retrievable in terms of an intact unit that can be sequenced from the GI tract, and the Chinese learn this.
They actually do anal swabs. And Dr. Hazan actually analyzes stool specimens. Well, many have said... And I know Dr. Dolores Cahill said, "We can't find the whole virus out of the nose." Well, that's true because in our nasal frontal tract, we have immune cells, we have Immunoglobulins, IgA, and so the virus is quickly attacked and is broken down in the nose and mouth. So, we can't find the virus intact, but any of your listeners who've had COVID-19 know that some people actually have gastrointestinal symptoms and that's the virus work in its way out of the body.
What do you think the vector of transmission is if it's not a symptomatic spread, then how are people getting it?
Dr. Peter McCullough:
The Chinese have shown in a variety of publications that the virus is spread through respiration, and it's also spread through body secretions, okay? So, that's how it's spread. So, it's close contact. It's in close breath contact with another person. You can imagine body fluids, things of this nature, kissing, oral [inaudible 00:28:17] secretions. And so, the Chinese have shown in other studies supported that 85% of spread occurs in the home. That's actually where it happens. Only 15% of spread occurs outside the home. And yet we've seen our government agencies and press focus relentlessly and spread outside the home, in congregate settings, et cetera. 85% is within the home. And I can tell you, I have managed enough patients to know that if you take any household, when someone gets COVID-19, if susceptible, the majority of people in that home will also get COVID-19. We try to open the windows, get as much fresh air as possible. We try to isolate, but it's nearly impossible to isolate your way around someone in the home with COVID-19.
Now, fortunately not everybody gets COVID-19. And the CDC and others estimate, and I've done this myself for testimony that 15% of us are not susceptible. 15% of people cannot get COVID-19. And this is at from the very beginning of the pandemic, because they may have had prior cross-reacting antibodies and other immune defense mechanisms from other coronaviruses, and then it's been shown. Interestingly, again, Dr. Hazan out in California has shown that the microbiome in the human body has a certain configuration and some people actually have great immune defense and they are not susceptible to COVID-19.
In other words, you feel there have to be symptoms present of some kind, in order for spread to occur. Do you agree with Dr. Yin about that?
Dr. Peter McCullough:
Yeah. I agree with that. And any one of us who's come on with a cold and I've had so many patients tell me, "I can't tell if I have allergies or if I have a cold." And that I think is the moment of spread for a lot people. They just start with some nasal congestion, maybe a little sinus pressure, or a little fever, that's the moment of spread.
I should just ask you just very quickly, how did you fall upon the idea of using hydroxychloroquine? Had you come upon that idea before President Trump mentioned it?
Dr. Peter McCullough:
I was probably late to the overall evaluation of hydroxychloroquine, but I learned later on that I think around 2005 or 2006, hydroxychloroquine was shown to really powerfully reduce viral replication in cell culture studies. So, how drugs are evaluated is typically we have a cell in a test tube and then actually put the virus in there and see what drugs actually impair the virus ability to replicate. But study after study showed hydroxychloroquine was pretty powerful in reducing replication, and it did it by three mechanisms of action. First, hydroxychloroquine changes the pH of lysosomes. So, when the virus comes into the cell, the virus needs a certain pH to survive inside the little vesicle, inside the cell, so hydroxychloroquine changes that. Hydroxychloroquine also allows zinc, which is in the fluid around cells to go into the cell, and zinc itself inhibits the polymerase of the virus. So, it eliminates one of the major replicating enzymes of the virus.
Then lastly, hydroxychloroquine changes the cell surface receptors, what's called Toll-like receptors or innate immunity. So, hydroxychloroquine is kind of a triple win. And on top of that, it's a proven anti-inflammatory. So, it's used in systemic lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It also works for other intercellular infections like malaria. So, hydroxychloroquine was always kind of first and foremost thought to be kind of the drug for COVID-19. Now, we knew you couldn't handle everything, it couldn't handle the inflammation or the blood clotting, but we knew it would be an important part of the combination. We have over 300 supportive studies where things went wrong with hydroxychloroquine. I think part was politicized when President Trump thought that... He said it could be a game-changer. And there's a paper by the first author named Barry, who actually showed that those who went against hydroxychloroquine were much more likely to be those politically inclined to go against President Trump, which was basically what we thought was going on, but it was really in the world, disturbing things happened.
The United States appropriately stockpiled hydroxychloroquine. So, did Australia, so did other countries, but we saw these incredibly crazy things. Instead of stockpiling it and then distributing out so we could use it, its use became restricted. In the United States, we had an emergency use authorization, which was effectively a restriction to inpatient use, which honestly didn't make sense. This is an approved drug. I use it in my practice every day. I didn't need a restriction on just inpatient use. We saw in Australia, early in April, they put on the books in one of the provinces in Australia a law that said, "If a doctor try to use hydroxychloroquine, that that doctor could be punished including imprisonment."
In terms of it's used for this particular disease. The jury's pretty much out. It doesn't work.
Dr. Peter McCullough:
I'm like, "What? We use this all the time." And in France, it was over the counter and they actually took it from over the counter and they made a prescription. So, hydroxychloroquine are most useful drug. It was appropriately stockpiled, we should be ready to go. In fact, things got tense. And if you look at the fall, the spring of 2020, there was a massive use of hydroxychloroquine in the United States. And if you recall, in Italy where things got out of control, they had this crazy curves. We actually, our curves were pretty well controlled in the spring of 2020 because of the broad use in my view of hydroxychloroquine, but it doesn't stop there. There was a disturbing report of the second largest hydroxychloroquine plant outside of Taipei, basically burning to the ground. We had reports commonly out of Africa that hydroxychloroquine was being burned by various types of operatives in pharmacies across Africa.
And I have to tell you, we started to get the idea that treating COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine was something that somebody somewhere didn't want. And then the shoe really fell on this when a fraudulent paper was published in Lancet, one of the leading medical journals. And this was a paper that claimed to have data on tens of thousands of people through December, January, and February, of which WHO had data like this with detailed drug data, and people hospitalized in their forties, which we never hospitalized people in their forties, claiming that hydroxychloroquine didn't benefit patients, in fact, hydroxychloroquine was associated with harm. Well, Lancet published this paper. Anybody looked at it in two seconds knew, it didn't make sense. It looked like a fake paper, which I can tell you, I'm the editor of two major journals. I did editorial work this morning.
I've done this for 20 years. I am telling you as an editor, a fraudulent paper would never get past my eyes as an editor, never. We have an editor, associate editors. We have two or more reviewers. We have a very tight processing to make sure the data are correct. Lancet let this hang up there for two weeks and then really with no apology or fanfare, they said, "Well, we can't verify the data came from a source called Surgisphere," which no one seemed to know about. I do know that that paper had a great influence. I remember my colleague saying, "Wait a minute, you can't use hydroxychloroquine, it's dangerous." And it was around that time, the FDA indicated a second thing. So, not only did we have the original emergency authorization that restricted to the hospital, now the FDA rescinded that Emergency Use Authorization.
And then the FDA said, "Don't use it at all. Don't use it for inpatient or outpatient." Okay. And so, I had a phone call with Peter Navarro with the White House. Peter was trying to work on some important commerce issues and said, "Listen, is there support for a renewed emergency use authorization so we could at least use it broadly, inpatient, outpatient, and finish our research, because our research depended... If not, we are going to have to get investigation of drug applications on every single protocol." And that broke my back back in March. And so, I led that effort and sure enough, it was shot down. And the FDA after that shortly said, "Don't use hydroxychloroquine at all." Period. I think that came out in July of 2020, and that still hangs over the entire treatment community.
Since that time, there have been randomized trials, there's been five randomized trials on an inpatient basis. Those randomized trials were very small. Only two of them were placebo-controlled. They had biased endpoints where the doctor decided how much oxygen patients got. So, these trials were not high quality. And I can tell you, the prospective of placebo-controlled trials include less than 750 patients. They concluded neutrality that hydroxychloroquine late in the hospital was neutral. Didn't harm patients, was neutral. And people have taken that conclusion from that small body of trials to say, "Broad brush, don't use hydroxychloroquine across." And in academic institutions today, and in hospitals today, I can tell you hydroxychloroquine sadly is not used. And other studies, Henry Ford did a whopper study. Thousands of patients, they consented everybody and they carefully showed when hydroxychloroquine was used early, it was associated with reduction in mortality.
Any and all of the randomized placebo-controlled trials, which is the gold standard of determining if something is effective, none of them had shown any efficacy for hydroxychloroquine.
We reached out to Henry Ford Health System for a response to Dr. Fauci's testimony, but have yet to hear back. Now, despite his criticism of the study, Dr. Fauci says he remains optimistic that a vaccine is possible this year.
Dr. Peter McCullough:
So, as we sit here today, hydroxychloroquine, one of the most valuable drugs in COVID-19, it's first line in many countries in Europe, first line across Russia and Asia, first line in India and all over the world, Americans are not treated with hydroxychloroquine.
America has to wake up right here, right now. We are getting buried and we need home treatment.
Dr. Jha, let me have you jump in here.
My problem here is not so much that we have a different reading of the literature, which we clearly do, it is this idea that there is this broad conspiracy across hundreds of thousands of doctors, the NIH, the CDC, all academic institutions, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, we're all in on this conspiracy to prevent Americans from getting a life-saving therapy. As you might imagine, pulling off a conspiracy like that would be extremely difficult. Doctors and academics are way too disorganized to pull off such a thing. [crosstalk 00:38:57].
By the way, I never used the word conspiracy.
I don't think anybody on this... So, quit using that word.
Okay, [crosstalk 00:39:05]. Sorry.
Okay. Something has happened where we have not devoted any time or energy, or resources to doing what could have stopped this COVID crisis very quickly. And that's called early intervention, early treatment.
Dr. Peter McCullough:
What I am struck with is how people in their minds can come up with the same conclusion. How can hospital administrators in their mind come up with a conclusion that they should mass vaccinate their employees? How did that get in their mind? The CDC is not asking for it. The CDC and the FDA say it's voluntary. Everyone's saying it's voluntary. How does the human minds say, "Okay, we see this happening. It looks like the vaccines are failing. The safety data doesn't look good at all. Let's mass vaccinate people." How does that decision get in the mind of executives to roll that down to their employees and the employees respond in sheer terror? What is the psychology of that?
What's in the minds of leaders in New York to say, "Okay, we got these vaccines. It looks like they're failing. We're in an outbreak of Delta. The safety data look not good at all. We haven't had a single safety report yet. Let's ask everybody in New York to just take the vaccine in order to go to a restaurant." That is the question. What is in the minds of people? What is in the minds of a doctor to tell a pregnant woman to take a vaccine like this? I think the best way to characterize it, it's a disturbia. It is maybe a group neurosis. It is something that's come over the minds of people all over the world. And I tell you, whatever's going on is going on in the tiniest island of the Philippines and Indonesia, the smallest little village in Africa and South America, it's all the same. It's come over the entire world.