How a false hydroxychloroquine narrative was created, and much more

This is the most important article I ever wrote, as it is key to understanding the past two years. I began it in May 2020 and kept adding items. If you like it I will post more on this subject.

Meryl Nass

It is remarkable that a large series of events taking place over the past months produced a unified message about hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), and produced similar policies about the drug in the US, Canada, Australia, NZ and western Europe. The message is that generic, inexpensive hydroxychloroquine (costing only $1.00 to produce a full course) is dangerous and should not be used to treat a potentially fatal disease, Covid-19, for which there are no (other) reliable treatments.

Hydroxychloroquine has been used safely for 65 years in many millions of patients. And so the message was crafted that the drug is safe for its other uses, but dangerous when used for Covid-19. It doesn't make sense, but it seems to have worked.

In the US, "Never Trump" morphed into "Never Hydroxychloroquine," and the result for the pandemic is "Never Over." But while anti-Trump spin is what characterized suppression strategies in the US, the frauds perpetrated about hydroxychloroquine and the pandemic include most western countries.

Why do I say "Never Over"? I am expanding on this claim with a), b), c) on August 30. Later in the paper additional evidence is provided.

a) Because if people were treated with HCQ at the onset of their illness, over 99% would quickly resolve the infection, avoiding progression to the late stage disease characterized by cytokine storm, thrombophilia and organ failure. Despite claims to the contrary, this treatment is very safe. (Yet outpatient treatment is banned in many US states.) UPDATE Jan 15: The CDC forgot to rewrite its guidance on malaria and hydroxychloroquine during Covid. CDC says hydroxychloroquine "can be safely taken by pregnant women and nursing mothers..." Only "when it is used at higher doses for many years, a rare eye condition called retinopathy has occurred."

b) If people were treated prophylactically with this drug (using only 2 tablets weekly) as is done in some areas and in some occupational groups in India, there would probably be at least 50% fewer cases after exposure. (Such treatment is currently banned in much of the US, including in my state of Maine.)

c) Protocols for in-hospital treatment (that were unknown during the initial peak of illness in the US and Europe) using HCQ and individually selected blood thinners, steroids, vitamins, zinc and other drugs such as used at NYU, have significantly reduced mortality of the very small number of people who might still progress to a serious illness. (The FDA, however, recommends against the use of HCQ outside of clinical trials, and the CDC and NIH recommend against it.)

If we followed a), b) and c) the result would be much briefer periods of infectiousness, lower viral loads, less severe illness and considerably less transmission. The R zero (average number of people each case infects) would drop below one and the pandemic would soon die out.

Were acts to suppress the use of HCQ carefully orchestrated? You decide.

Might these events have been planned to keep the pandemic going? To sell expensive drugs and vaccines to a captive population? Could these acts result in prolonged economic and social hardship, eventually transferring wealth from the middle class to the very rich? Are these events evidence of a conspiracy?

Here is a list of what happened, in no special order. Please help add to this list if you know of other actions I should include. This will be a living document, added to as new information becomes available.

I have penned this as if it is the "To Do" list of items to be accomplished by those who pull the strings. The items on the list have already been carried out. One wonders what else might be on their list, yet to be carried out, for this pandemic.


1. You stop doctors from using the drug in ways it is most likely to be effective (in outpatients at onset of illness). You prohibit use outside of situations you can control.

Situations that were controlled to show no benefit included 3 large, randomized, multi-center clinical trials (Recovery, Solidarity and REMAP-Covid), the kind of trials that are generally believed to yield the most reliable evidence. However, each of them used excessive hydroxychloroquine doses that were known to be toxic and may have been fatal in some cases; see my previous articles here and here. And a 4th Chinese study that also used excessive doses (3.6 g HCQ in the first three days and 800mg/day thereafter, comparable to the above studies) also found no benefit from HCQ.

2. You prevent or limit use in outpatients by controlling the supply of the drug, using different methods in different countries and states. For example, in New York state, by order of the governor, hydroxychloroquine could only be prescribed for hospitalized patients. In Nevada, the governor outright prohibited both prescribing and dispensing chloroquine drugs for a Covid-19 diagnosis. In New Jersey, the Department of Consumer Affairs required a positive test result before a chloroquine prescription could be dispensed or prescribed. Even back in March, pharmacy boards were coordinating to restrict its use.

France has issued a series of different regulations to limit prescribers from using it. France's Health Minister also changed the drugs' status from over-the-counter (OTC) to a drug requiring a prescription on January 13.

3. You play up the danger of the drug, emphasizing side effects that are very rare when the drug is used correctly. You make sure everyone has heard about the man who died after consuming hydroxychloroquine in the form of fish tank cleaner. Yet its toxicity at approved doses is minimal. Chloroquine was added to table salt in some regions in the 1950s as a malaria preventive, according to Professor Nicholas White in his study for the Recovery trial.

4. You limit clinical trials to hospitalized patients, instead of testing the drug in outpatients, early in the illness, when it is predicted to be most effective.

Finally, but not until May, you have Fauci's NIAID conduct a trial in outpatients, using hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin, but you only enroll 20 patients, after planning for 2,000. You reduce the duration of followup from 24 weeks to 13 days post treatment. You cancel the study after only 5 weeks, claiming inadequate enrollments, even though you have 11 study sites to enroll patients.

5. You design a series of clinical trials to give much too high a dose, ensuring the drug will cause harm in some subjects, sufficient to mask any possible beneficial effect. You make sure that trials in 400 hospitals in 35 countries (Solidarity) plus most hospitals in the UK (Recovery) use these dangerous doses, as well as additional sites in 13 countries (REMAP-Covid trial). There were additional Covid-19 trials that used similar excessive doses, such as PATCH, which I have not yet addressed.

6. You design clinical trials to collect almost no safety data, so any cause of death due to drug toxicity will be attributed to the disease instead of the drug.

7. You issue rules for use of the drug based on the results of the UK Recovery study, which overdosed patients. Of course the Recovery results showed more deaths in the hydroxychloroquine arm, since they gave patients 2.4 g in the first 24 hours, 800 mg/day thereafter. Furthermore, the UK has the 2nd highest death rate in the world for Covid-19 (Belgium is 1st), so simply conducting the trial in the UK may have contributed to the poor results.

8. You publish, in the world's most-read medical journal, the Lancet, an observational study from a massive worldwide database named Surgisphere (which includes 96,000 hospitalized Covid cases) that says use of chloroquine drugs caused significantly increased mortality. This was said to be the paper to end all controversy about HCQ and Covid-19. You make sure that all major media report on this result. This was to be the nail in the coffin for hydroxychloroquine. Then you quickly have 3 European countries announce they will not allow doctors to prescribe the drug. Soon additional countries ban its use for Covid.

9. You do your best to ride out any controversy over the veracity of this paper, never admitting culpability. Even after hundreds of people criticized this Lancet observational study due to easily identified fabrications--the database used in the study did not exist, and the claimed numbers of cases did not agree with known numbers of cases--the Lancet held firm for two weeks, which served to muddy the waters about the trial, until finally 3 of the 4 coauthors (but not the Lancet nor the author who purportedly owned the database) retracted the study. Neither the authors nor the journal have admitted responsibility, let alone explained what it was that induced them to coauthor and publish such an obvious fraud.