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South Dakota Testing Hydroxychloroquine; French Study Finds HCQ Tougher on Hearts Than on Covid-19

Two days ago Governor Kristi Noem rushed to Fox News to brag about “being on offense” against coronavirus by launching a statewide trial of hydroxychloroquine.

Hydroxychloroquine—Noem's on it.
Doesn’t have quite the same punch as the November logo….

Today CNN reports French doctors found that hydroxychloroquine showed no evidence of helping their covid-19 patients:

In the French study, doctors looked back at medical records for 181 patients with Covid-19 who had pneumonia and required supplemental oxygen. About half had taken hydroxychloroquine within 48 hours of being admitted to the hospital, and the other half had not.

The doctors followed the patients and found there was no statistically significant difference in the death rates of the two groups, or their chances of being admitted to the intensive care unit [Dr. Minali Nigam and Elizabeth Cohen, “French Study Finds Hydroxychloroquine Doesn’t Help Patients with Coronavirus,” CNN, 2020.04.15].

And that lack of difference in outcomes came with the hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) group coming into the hospital with fewer comorbidities—i.e., less other stuff wrong with them—than the patients who didn’t get HCQ.

But “What the hell do you have to lose?” if you take hydroxychloroquine, asks the man Noem is most interested in pleasing, Donald Trump. Just little things, like a stable heart rate:

Among the 84 patients receiving HCQ within the first 48 hours, 8 (9.5%) experienced ECG modifications requiring HCQ discontinuation at a median of 4 days (3-9) after it began, according to French national guidelines.

…Finally, HCQ blocks the KCNH2-encoded hERG/Kv11.1 potassium channel and can potentially prolong the QTc, with potential severe consequences such as sudden cardiac death and cardiac arrhythmia.26 Besides QTc prolongations, we observed 2 other significant cardiologic events in this study, and the French national drug agency has reported 3 deaths potentially related to HCQ since its promotion to the public as a potential treatment for COVID-19 [Matthieu Mahévas and 29 other scientists, “No Evidence of Clinical Efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine in Patients Hospitalised for COVID-19 Infection and Requiring Oxygen: Results of a Study Using Routinely Collected Data to Emulate a Target Trial,” medRxiv preprint, retrieved 2020.04.15].

Three people died in the HCQ group of 84 patients; four died in the slightly larger group of 97 non-HCQ patients. So even if HCQ had anything to do with one less person dying, it put eight more at risk of heart trouble, which, if you have covid-19, you probably don’t want.

This French study has not been peer-reviewed, so it could use some reading and outside confirmation. South Dakotans, line up for your Noem pills… but ask the doctor to keep a close eye on your heart!


  1. John 2020-04-15 20:13

    Brazil stopped using doctor trumpy’s drug after killing over a dozen.

    Tonight Maddow led with beating Noem over 600+ cases from the Smithfield pork plant.
    Only by finding your local news is one able to begin discerning the truth of breadth of the infection and problem. Meanwhile republtards are challenging and protesting stay at home orders – while communities plan storing bodies on local ice rinks.

  2. Debbo 2020-04-15 20:22

    I have not seen anything purely positive about HCQ. I’ve read a great deal of hopeful speculation from desperate people, intentionally dishonest hoopla by grifting Medical Moron, but mostly heavily qualified assessments like the one from France and from Brazil.

    If a loved one was dying and doctors said there was no other hope, then I might agree to a Noem pill.

  3. Moses6 2020-04-15 21:07

    Noem looks bad when trying to compete with Maddow.She has no clue South Dakota is now the number one hot spot in the country, and it isn’t for high wages.

  4. sarah 2020-04-15 21:20

    I’ve tried to find information on the funding of this study, but to no avail. How much is the state of SD giving to this clinical trial?

  5. John 2020-04-15 21:32

    Plan your spring shopping trips to Sioux Falls! May Day! Memorial Day! Flag Day! Maybe the Fourth of July! — NOT. Governot Noem likely crippled the Sioux Falls economy and, by extension, a deep reservoir of the state’s sales tax collections. If the Sioux Falls Chamber has a brain it ought be up in arms, in addition to the city and county, with Noem’s lack of leadership.

  6. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2020-04-15 22:22

    If I was the head of Avera or Sanford, I would be concerned about Noem making my organization the laughing head of the health care industry. Because sadly, Republican leaders are known to ignore the French much, too often. #FreedomFries

  7. JKC 2020-04-15 22:44

    “laughing stock” ;-)

  8. Buckobear 2020-04-16 10:49

    Great Drug !! The FAA has forbidden any pilot taking it from flying (granted, there ain’t a lot of that going on right now). Are ya feeling lucky ??

  9. Francis Schaffer 2020-04-16 10:52

    I don’t like the sports analogy of ‘being on offense’. This is not a game, lives hang in the balance. Life matters. I thought about the shopping thing too, like John mentioned. We all get to vote with our dollars and I look to whom I can trust with my life to be my business partners in this life.

  10. mike from iowa 2020-04-16 11:17

    Noem meant, she, like drumpf, is at her best when she offends citizens sensibilities. That is the “offense” she had in mind.

    Noem is over her head and I doubt ‘Oh but it sure feels nice’

    (with props to Fleetwood Mac)

  11. Dan 2020-04-16 13:10

    There is strong speculation that Noem is positioning herself for a presidential appointment… possibly a seat in his cabinet

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