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The Source of the Misunderstanding: Retracted Article Mischaracterizes Hydroxychloroquine

Retracted Article Mischaracterizes Hydroxychloroquine. No one can un-ring a bell. No article can be ‘un-read’ or any eventual retraction definitely seen and understood. There are few more illustrative examples lately than when respected medical journals published information about the use of Hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for the Coronavirus/Covid-19 virus they later retracted.

Large French Real World Observational Study Reveals Hydroxychloroquine Azithromycin-Associated with Reduction in Hospitalization-Death for COVID 19 Patients.

On his podcast, respected, Houston based neurologist Dr. Steven Goldstein describes how the well-established, inexpensive drug Hydroxychloroquine was mischaracterized. To listen to the podcast please visit: SoundCloud, Libsyn,iHeart, and the Houston Healthcare Initiative web site.

Article Retracted But Damage Done

Early in the pandemic, Hydroxychloroquine looked like it could be a possible treatment for Coronavirus/Covid-19 ,but use of and studies about the drug quickly lost favor after articles in the Lancet and New England Journal of Medicinecast doubt. The later retracted study and reporting about it had an immediate impact. The World Health Organization (WHO) stopped their research into hydroxychloroquine. Multiple news web sites carried the message that Hydroxychloroquine was not effective, citing the New England Journal of Medicine as its source. One example was from the NBC News web site read, “Hydroxychloroquine fails to prevent COVID-19, large study finds.”

Damage Done

While the articles were retracted the information originally published, could not be ‘unseen.’ “The news media touted these articles, that falsely claimed there was no evidence that treatment with Hydroxychloroquine was effective,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners.  “A French study published March 20, 2020 suggested the drug helped people with coronavirus, reporting it “is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in patients with COVID-19.”

The article and its author, French physician and scientist, Dr. Didier Raoult, who authored papers showing favorable results, were personally and professionally attacked (The New York Times) among others. Suffice to say that way more people saw and continue to see these refuted articles, even though they were retracted. But the harm from them remains.

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

Houston Healthcare Initiative is a group of physicians and health conscious patients that have joined together in a Healthcare cooperative to maintain and improve the physical and mental health of each member of the group. Visit online at

Sources and Links

“Retraction: Cardiovascular Disease, Drug Therapy, and Mortality in Covid-19.” N Engl J Med. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2007621.

June 25, 2020 N Engl J Med 2020; 382:2582. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2021225

“Retraction—Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis.” Published: June 05, 2020.

By: Mandeep R Mehra,   Frank RuschitzkaAmit N Patel.

“Two elite medical journals retract coronavirus papers over data integrity questions”

By: Charles PillerKelly Servick Jun. 4, 2020 , 5:30 PM

“He Was a Science Star. Then He Promoted a Questionable Cure for Covid-19.” The New York Times By Scott Sayare. Published May 12, 2020 Updated May 21, 2020

“French Doctor Leads Charge for Treating Coronavirus With Antimalarial Drug”

Health authorities say evidence is inconclusive that the treatment, which President Trump has backed, is effective. By Nick Kostov and David Gauthier-Villars

Updated April 11, 2020 7:52 pm ET

Retracted Article Mischaracterizes Hydroxychloroquine.

Retracted Article Mischaracterizes Hydroxychloroquine.