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I would advocate for allowing The Physician to make the determination of efficacy. Not journaliats ahilling for Dems, not trolls and CERTAINLY NOT POLITICIANS.

But as pointed out upthread, it is physicians that have reached the conclusion that HCQ is not effective. (No, not cartoonists - I linked that because I thought it was an accessible illustration of the principle).

It's not just Democrats or trolls or politicians. Those are entirely domestic factors that are offered up as an excuse for why HCQ hasn't been approved by the U.S. FDA, but they ignore the fact that this is pretty much a global position. The overwhelming majority of public health agencies worldwide have concluded that there is no evidence that HCQ is effective. They're not making that decision because they're trying to influence U.S. politics - they're making that decision based on their professional analysis of the data.

Almost every country on earth that had an early uncontrolled outbreak of COVID was able to get it under control. And they all used the same 'cure.' A combination of social distancing, voluntarily reducing unnecessary travel, facial coverings in areas of high infection where social distancing wasn't possible, suspension of certain high-density public gatherings, contact tracing, and massive amounts of testing relative to the spread of the virus in the population. No country on earth has controlled an initial high outbreak of the virus using HCQ - and the one country that has tried (Brazil) has failed.

The reason you can't leave it up to individual physicians is because individual physicians won't see enough of the cross-section of patients to form any informed conclusion about the efficacy of the medication. That's the point that the cartoon was trying to illustrate. If you take 1,000 doctors and let them prescribe anything to treat Covid - whether it's HCQ or aspirin or green jelly beans - then some percentage of them will find statistically significant improvement regardless of whether it works. Because they don't know about, and don't take into account, the other doctors who prescribed that treatment and saw no benefit (or saw adverse results), they can't possibly know whether the treatment is effective or not. Only by looking at the entire population - and by using controlled tests - can you actually determine efficacy.

In this case, we want the good to be the enemy of the ineffectual. Instead, we're letting the ineffectual be the enemy of the good. We know how to stop uncontrolled Covid infection - we just have to do what every other country that stopped it has done.

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