LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): A new volume of the American Journal of Medicine includes a study showing the clear benefits of the early use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID. Joining us now is one of the study's co-authors, Dr. Harvey Risch of the Yale School of Public Health, and Dr. Scott Jensen, a physician and former Minnesota state senator. Dr. Risch, tell us about this study and your response to the almost obsessive effort on the part of Anthony Fauci and others in the medical establishment to discredit the drug?
DR. HARVEY RISCH (YALE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH): Good to talk to you. I really wish Dr. Fauci would actually say something in terms of evidence. But since he never quotes any actual studies, it's really hard to know that he has any evidence to actually talk about. He's very dismissive, but he never actually says anything.
The study that we published, Dr. McCullough and 50 plus co-authors published is a review of all the evidence for early treatment as a whole. It's not just one drug; it's not just hydroxychloroquine. There's many drugs that can be used as we've seen this week, colchicine is another drug that can be used, favipiravir, ivermectin. There's a whole now repertoire, armamentarium of drugs that work in early treatment. And we combine them in order to get maximal benefit. And that's how we treat early COVID and it works very well.
INGRAHAM: And Dr. Jensen, whether it's hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin, the drug NAC — the whole series of these therapeutics that Dr. Risch is talking about. What's going on here? Like what happened to medicine being an accumulation of data and an analysis of that? I'm not a doctor, but I certainly I've gotten to know Dr. Risch and another — many practicing physicians. And they're like, Laura, we don't — this is the most disturbing development we've seen is the seeming politicization of medicine.
DR. SCOTT JENSEN (PHYSICIAN): Laura, you're spot on. This is going to be a dark chapter for medicine going forward. Because if you go back to 1976, when Legionnaires disease took place, we didn't have to wait to treat our patients and save their lives when it became evident that the normal antibiotics we might try weren't working, people were still dying. But when we stumbled across erythromycin as being the drug, we didn't have to have a Dr. Fauci say something or anything else. We went ahead and used it.
INGRAHAM: And when you also talk about this, Dr. Risch, ivermectin has — has received a huge amount of publicity in recent weeks because of various studies that have come out about its benefit as well in early use of patients. A friend of mine just took it, I guess, last week. She had COVID for four or five days and feeling really lousy. I think in maybe 20 hours, 18 hours, she was gardening out in a house, you know, and she's like, I feel almost back to normal. But she said one major pharmacy chain would not fill it. They said, no, we're not filling this prescription. What?
RISCH: It's astonishing, you know that everything has become politicized and it's like Big Brother is watching over every pharmacologic move that we make with some script behind the scenes that nobody actually understands. These drugs are relatively inexpensive. They're generic. Nobody's making a huge profit over them. And maybe that's the real bottom line here.
INGRAHAM: And Dr. Jensen, that means, again, bringing us full circle here that those early interventions with relatively safe antivirals, we should not be discouraging, correct?
JENSEN: Absolutely not. Honestly, the idea of telling someone that when they get sick with COVID, they should either get better on their own or wait till they get so sick they have to go to the hospital and then once they go to the hospital, they'll be told hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin are no longer appropriate to use. It makes no sense. Patients are saying we don't want that binary choice. We'd like to do something early on an outpatient basis. And that's reasonable.