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CNN reports 'surprising' positive hydroxychloroquine study results after pushing negative stories about drug for months

The team reviewed every patient who was treated in Southeast Michigan's Henry Ford Health System from March 10 to May 2, of this year, and the results showed that the treatment helped.
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY

A recent study conducted at the Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan concluded that of 2,541 hospitalized patients, those who were administered hydroxychloroquine were more likely to survive the coronavirus, according to CNN.

The team reviewed every patient who was treated in Southeast Michigan's Henry Ford Health System from March 10 to May 2, of this year, and the results showed that the treatment helped.

CNN announced their report with a curious tweet. It read: "A surprising new study found that the controversial antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine helped Covid-19 patients better survive in the hospital."

CNN writes: "It's a surprising finding because several other studies have found no benefit from hydroxychloroquine, a drug originally developed to treat and prevent malaria. President Donald Trump touted the drug heavily, but later studies found not only did patients not do better if they got the drug, they were more likely to suffer cardiac side effects."

Conservatives took to Twitter to denounce CNN for what they saw as somewhat hypocritical reporting, as even up to two weeks ago, CNN was telling the story that the treatment Trump touted was ineffective.

CNN then went on to report the facts of the new study.

Per a study in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, "Overall crude mortality rates were 18.1 percent in the entire cohort, 13.5 percent in the hydroxychloroquine alone group, 20.1 percent among those receiving hydroxychloroquine?plus?azithromycin, 22.4 percent among the azithromycin alone group, and 26.4 percent for neither drug."

Dr. Marcus Zervos, head of infectious disease division at the Henry Ford Health System, said 26 percent of patients who weren't given hydroxychloroquine died, whereas the 13 percent of those who took the anti-malarial drug did not.

"The combination of hydroxychloroquine?plus?azithromycin was reserved for selected patients with severe COVID-19 and with minimal cardiac risk factors," read the report.

While speaking at a news conference, Dr. Zervos noted that, "Our results do differ from some other studies."

He added. "What we think was important in ours... is that patients were treated early. For hydroxychloroquine to have a benefit, it needs to begin before the patients begin to suffer some of the severe immune reactions that patients can have with Covid,"

"It's important to note that in the right settings, this potentially could be a lifesaver for patients," said Dr. Steven Kalkanis, CEO of the Henry Ford Medical Group,  at the news conference.

Dr. Kalkanis said their latest findings don't necessarily contradict the previous research, but that "...by looking at the nuanced data of which patients actually benefited and when, we might be able to further unlock the code of how this disease works."

"But we feel ... that these are critically important results to add to the mix of how we move forward if there's a second surge, and in relevant other parts of the world. Now we can help people combat this disease and to reduce the mortality rate," said Kalkanis.

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