HCQ Cocktails: How Many Anecdotes Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb, Dr. Fauci?

Richard J. Wright
VirtualWright.com | COVID-19

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”
— Richard Feynman

The “experts,” especially Dr. Fauci, keep telling us that the actual positive clinical results many doctors around the country and around the world are reporting for a medicine “cocktail” of hydroxychloroquine, plus azithromycin, plus zinc, are just “anecdotal.” We need large scale, randomized, double-blind, controlled studies in order to determine its effectiveness as a curative treatment for patients suffering the mortal threat of the rapid advancement of Covid-19.

So, let’s see. You’re in the hospital with a high fever, horrible cough and having a very hard time breathing. Your blood oxygen saturation level is dangerously low. If things don’t get better you might very quickly end up in the ICU and if you get put on a ventilator your odds are not good at all. Dr. Fauci comes up to you and asks if you would like to be a part of this wonderful scientific study by which we will be able to determine whether or not this drug combination is effective in treating the disease. And it’s the only way because we have no FDA approved therapies. Sure, sign me up!

But do you know that you might be part of the ever so important control group which will not receive any medication at all, just a sugar pill, a placebo? “Double-blind” means that neither you nor the doctors treating you will know who gets the medication and who does not. Only the people who designed the test will know and you will never meet them nor they, you. Are you willing to die for science?

You don’t have to. These kinds of experiments are great in principle but completely immoral when it comes to deadly diseases. And they are unnecessary. We have plenty of people around the world who have had to be admitted into hospitals, ICU’s, put on ventilators and died. We have a lot of information about the risk factors associated with age and underlying conditions. If a drug is anything more than just slightly effective, all we have to do is statistically compare the outcomes of people getting the drug to the outcomes we have seen based on age and underlying conditions.

That is what front line doctors are doing and they are reporting that there is clear and, sometimes, profound clinical improvement in many, many patients, especially when this combination of medicines is administered earlier rather than later. Some of these are highly respected, practicing infectious disease experts. And we’ve had decades of experience in prescribing these drugs so there is no uncertainty as to their safety.

Dr. Michael Erdek, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and School of Medicine writes concerning one of earliest of these studies (which was controlled, by the way) by eminent French researchers:

It is ironic that the authors of this study state, ‘For ethical reasons and because our first results are so significant and evident we decide to share our findings with the medical community, given the urgent need for an effective drug against SARS-CoV-2 in the current pandemic context.’ The true ethical responsibility of researchers is to produce and to publish data and subsequent recommendations yielded as a function of robust methodology and stringent review. Perhaps some investigators may be altruistically motivated in an effort to rapidly disseminate hopeful conclusions. Nevertheless, the responsibility we hold to our patients and, especially in the setting of the current pandemic, to greater society at large depends on good judgment and fiduciary concern rather than on haste to demonstrate beneficial outcomes.


The study being criticized was small but the results were so profound as to be impossible to dismiss. Bioethicist Erdek thinks ethics is about “robust methodology and stringent review” and not about saving lives.

How many anecdotes does it take to change a light bulb?

If the light bulb is Dr. Fauci’s mind (and others like him) then I’m afraid the answer is infinity.

Richard J. Wright, a chemist and information technology specialist, has been tracking the official Covid-19 (Corona-SARS) data and assessing our government’s disease progression modeling, plus responses, at virtualwright.com.


  1. Those hostile toward HCQ are referring to an article in the June 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, “A Randomized Trial of Hydroxychloroquine as a Postexposure Prophylaxis for Covid-19.” To its credit, the NEJM had enough doubts about it that the article was accompanied by a skeptical editorial.

    That trail claimed the HCQ was only 2.4% more effective that a placebo in their trial. I examined their calculations and discovered a flaw in their reasoning so great, the actual benefit of HCQ was 17%. That is an incredible 700% error. And that was for a trial that was loaded against HCQ. Only the drug was given, not zinc or the entire cocktail. Most of the subjects did not receive the drug until four or five days after their high-risk exposure. And finally all of the subjects were relatively young and healthy. The oldest was 51. They were not typical of those most at-risk from this virus. Of its 821 subjects, only two had to be hospitalized with Covid-19.

    You can read my analysis of where this trial went wrong at this Adobe-hosted link. Click on the cloud icon on the lower left and you can download a PDF to pass on to others.



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