Press Release updated: Jul 30, 2020 08:41 EDT


In a video posted online on July 27, 2020, a group identifying themselves as “America’s Frontline Doctors” spoke in front of the Supreme Court in Washington. One of the speakers, Dr. Stella Immanuel, claimed that hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin and zinc can cure coronavirus infections. She further advised that people should not wear masks. The video went viral but was quickly removed from Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

At this point, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to promote hydroxychloroquine as a potential cure for COVID-19. Several recent studies including a study on more than 1,500 patients showed no benefits of hydroxychloroquine compared to standard care. As a result of the published data, the WHO canceled its hydroxychloroquine study and the FDA revoked its emergency use authorization of the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus infections.

A recent study demonstrated a lower death rate in patients receiving hydroxychloroquine, however, this study was heavily criticized because it was not conducted in a controlled fashion.

Dr. Immanuel has been in the news claiming that she has treated 350 patients with hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and zinc, all of whom recovered. The fact is, however, that wishful thinking and anecdotal observations are not sufficient to make any scientific claims about the cure of COVID-19. In order to prove whether any treatment for a disease is beneficial and safe for the use in patients it is required to conduct a systematic trial, ideally in a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled manner in which the drug is tested compared to a control group.

For unproven treatments, it is essential to perform these studies in a scientific way. Any clinical trial is usually initially evaluated by an independent or institutional review board (IRD) IRB, which is supposed to ensure the safety of patients enrolled into the study. Moreover, a scientific study is then published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal after it undergoes a strict and critical review process by independent researchers to ensure the scientific validity and appropriate conduction of the study.

According to a recent article published by  BBC News, Dr. Immanuel, who is a doctor of general medicine and also a religious minister, has made obscure claims in the past such as stating that certain diseases of the female reproduction system like cysts and endometriosis were caused by people dreaming of having intercourse with demons and witches.

As a physician and scientist, I strongly advise against believing false claims of cure for COVID-19 based on anecdotal observations rather than to believe in the science conducted by academic institutions and physicians with expertise and reputations in the field. There is no cure for COVID-19, so far, and the belief in claims to the contrary is harmful and dangerous to the public. 
Professor Dr. Ernst von Schwarz

Source: Dr. Ernst von Schwarz