Why Calls For A “National Quarantine” May Be More Rhetorical Than Legal

Below is my column in the Hill on how the calls for a “national quarantine” ignore both the historical and legal foundations for such orders. While the President can reduce travel at transportation hubs and certainly call for a national quarantine as “an aspirational” matter, the legal authority to enforce a national quarantine is far from obvious.

Here is the column:

In Chicago, residents are being told they will face jail if found exercising outdoors. In Washington, residents are also being threatened with jail for violating lockdown orders. In Rhode Island, officials are looking for New Yorkers to forcibly quarantine them. While President Trump has shelved his consideration of an enforceable quarantine of New York, there have been new calls for him to order a national quarantine of the country. For his part, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared that any national quarantine of his state would be a “federal declaration of war on states.”

Such rhetoric on both sides outstrips the legal realities of government options to contain a contagious outbreak. While Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson famously declared “the Constitution is not a suicide pact,” it is also not carte blanche for the federal government to bar the exercise of rights during a pandemic. Quarantines have a controversial history in the United States, with numerous lingering legal questions.

The term “quarantine” is often used loosely by politicians and pundits who refer to widely different government actions. What some had described as quarantine orders during previous outbreaks were really isolation orders limiting people with known or suspected contagious conditions. Isolation orders have existed for centuries and present less of a legal challenge, as the individual who is infected is deemed a public health risk.

The need for isolation orders is personified in the case of Mary Mallon, or the infamous Typhoid Mary. She was a dangerous combination of amoral and asymptomatic. Despite deaths and illnesses occurring in households where she worked as a cook, Mallon refused to accept or address the fact that she was a toxic “super spreader” of the disease. She was forcibly isolated twice by New York authorities. The first time she was confined for three years until she agreed not to work as a cook.

But she soon grew unhappy working for lower wages as a laundress and returned to cooking under the name Mary Brown. For five more years, she spread typhoid with a vengeance until again put into forced confinement, where she remained until her death with typhoid bacteria still evident in her body. So Mallon is the ultimate justification for involuntary isolation orders. She not only refused to yield to authorities but, when she was apprehended the last time, was delivering food to a friend.

Isolation orders have been used throughout history to battle contagions, from the Spanish flu to tuberculosis. Only six years ago, Kaci Hickox, a nurse who worked with Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, was ordered into a mandatory quarantine by New Jersey officials. She sued the state, and the complaint was dropped in a settlement in which the state agreed to use such powers only when medically necessary. But in contrast, quarantines involve the confinement of large numbers of people through lockdowns and travel bans. It derives from “cordon sanitaire,” a term associated with a 19th century order by the Duke of Richelieu blocking Spaniards from entering France during a yellow fever outbreak.

Unquestionably, Trump issued the same type of directive as the Duke of Richelieu by barring entry from countries like China. Presidents have enhanced authority over our borders, and such limits on international travel are specifically contemplated in laws and regulations governing pandemics. What Cuomo described as a “civil war kind of discussion” is the notion of a federal quarantine line around a state, as opposed to around the country. The analogy is more apt than one might think, since an outbreak like the coronavirus can create a type of warfare between the states. The Rhode Island hunt for fleeing New Yorkers reflects the fears of other states like Florida of a wider outbreak spread by a line of Mary Mallons caravaning from New York.

The federal government has a great deal of authority to order increased production of materials and other measures supporting the states during a pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the express authority to quarantine suspected carriers of a disease or virus. Yet federal regulations contain highly generalized and untested language for action. One rule entitled “Measure in Event of Inadequate Local Control,” reserves the right of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “to take such measures to prevent such spread of the diseases” deemed reasonably necessary.

But there is no express authority for domestic quarantines on the federal level. The federal government has long claimed the authority to order quarantines as part of its jurisdiction over interstate commerce, and a president can cite national security authority for some public health measures. Thus, the national transportation system, including the interstate and railway systems, can be used as chokepoints to restrict travel between the states.

Indeed, the federal government can effectively shut down interstates by simply creating checkpoints for medical examinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director has authority to quarantine anyone “reasonably believed to be infected with a quarantinable communicable disease in a qualifying stage and is moving or about to move from a state into another state.” A white jacketed official from the agency with a thermometer at a tollbooth can do wonders in slowing traffic.

The problem is that a national or regional quarantine is designed to confine people who do not have symptoms, a fact that would lead to immediate challenges. Yet as shown in the Hickox case, any legal challenges would likely take longer than the period of the quarantine. On a practical level, quarantines are most successful for limited areas and limited periods. States and cities have greater authority to impose and enforce lockdown orders, as the Constitution leaves public health powers largely in their hands. Indeed, the model pandemic plans reaffirm that governors, not the president, hold the primary authority and responsibility to prepare for and address health emergencies.

Yet even state orders can contravene liberties ranging from the right to travel, the right to association, and the right to due process. None are absolute, but contravening such rights requires high burdens that often involve compelling interests, which are easy in a pandemic, and narrow tailoring of government actions, which is more difficult with a blanket ban on travel. A man was arrested last week for holding a “coronavirus party” in violation of the New Jersey Emergency and Temporary Acts. Such actions are likely to be upheld as long as the state can show an immediate danger to the public from viral transmissions.

Such state interests can even trounce religious exercise. New York Mayor Bill De Blasio warned the Jewish community to stop holding minyanim, a gathering of worshipers for prayers, as a threat to public health. The problem is personified by Tony Spell, a pastor in Louisian who defied authorities by holding services with 1,000 followers of his Life Tabernacle Church. Spell, who has claimed to cure such things as cancer, questioned why Walmart can stay open but not his church. The answer is obvious. Walmart cannot get food to people through the internet, but churches can hold online services in emergencies.

There are, however, striking contradictions under the Constitution. The federal government can stop televangelist Jim Bakker from selling a “silver sol liquid” as a coronavirus cure, but it cannot stop a minister promising that faith alone will heal or protect followers, even though such assurances can discourage people from seeking medical help or engaging in preventive measures.

The courts are likely to be highly deferential to quarantine orders by state authorities and even limited orders by federal authorities. There is room at the elbows in the Constitution to deal with emergencies, but the countervailing demands of such rights as association and religious exercise grow quickly with time. More importantly, the efficacy of such orders depends greatly on the cooperation of virtually everyone in a population. Not even the federal government can keep a large population in effective lockdown unless people are willing to stay in lockdown. That means the key to containment is persuasion rather than coercion.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.

300 thoughts on “Why Calls For A “National Quarantine” May Be More Rhetorical Than Legal”

  1. Do they say how many lives would have been saved by Washington reacting 3 weeks sooner?

    1. Actually Trump banned flights from certain areas before he did the Chinese Traveller Ban.

  2. University of Southampton study found there would have been a 95% REDUCTION in cases & less spread if Beijing intervened 3 wks sooner.

    Wow. China really screwed the world.


    Early and combined interventions crucial in tackling Covid-19 spread in China

    A study by the University of Southampton examining non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in response to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in China shows that a range of early, coordinated and targeted measures are needed to help significantly reduce its spread.

    Researchers in the population mapping group WorldPop ran complex modelling, using anonymised data on both human movement and illness onset, to help simulate different outbreak scenarios for cities in mainland China. This allowed them to understand how variations in the timing, level and combinations of interventions affect speed and transmission of the disease.

    Findings are available in a preprint paper on medRxiv website.1

    The study estimates that by the end of February 2020 there was a total of 114, 325 COVID-19 cases in China. It shows that without non-pharmaceutical interventions – such as early detection, isolation of cases, travel restrictions and cordon sanitaire – the number of infected people would have been 67 times larger than that which actually occurred.

    The research also found that if interventions in the country could have been conducted one week, two weeks, or three weeks earlier, cases could have been reduced by 66 percent, 86 percent and 95 percent respectively – significantly limiting the geographical spread of the disease. However, if NPIs were conducted one week, two weeks, or three weeks later than they were, the number of cases may have shown a 3-fold, 7-fold, or 18-fold increase, respectively.

    Study author Dr Shengjie Lai, of the University of Southampton, comments: “Our study demonstrates how important it is for countries which are facing an imminent outbreak to proactively plan a coordinated response which swiftly tackles the spread of the disease on a number of fronts. We also show that China’s comprehensive response, in a relatively short period, greatly reduced the potential health impact of the outbreak.”

  3. WHO’s Senior Advisor Had an Astonishing Response When Asked About Taiwan

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has come under fire over its handling of the Wuhan coronavirus and, in particular, for spreading Chinese propaganda. WHO has parroted the Chinese regime’s various talking points. Back in January, the organization shared a tweet citing Chinese health official’s who claimed there was no evidence the virus transmitted through human-to-human contact. We now know that is a blatant lie.

    “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China????.
    — World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020

    Because of China’s beef with Taiwan, the WHO has prevented Taiwan from having a seat at the international table since 2016. That is having literal dire consequences.

    Taiwanese health officials alerted WHO about the Wuhan coronavirus’ transmission between humans back in December but the organization failed to alert countries around the world.

    And, on top of it all, China was generous enough to send faulty Wuhan coronavirus testing kits to the Czech Republic. Out of the hundreds of thousands of tests that were administered, roughly 80 percent provided inaccurate results.

    The WHO dug their public relations crisis even deeper into the ground when Bruce Alyward, the Senior Advisor to Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, refused to talk about Taiwan during an interview with RTHK. In fact, Alyward pretended the Skype call froze. Then he said he wanted to move on to a different question since China had already been discussed. When the reporter pressed him about Taiwan again, he hung up the call.

    It is an embarrassing scene. @WHO Director General, Bruce Aylward, hangs up in an interview with RTHK when he is asked about reconsidering Taiwan’s membership. Ironically, despite being so close to China, Taiwan manages to keep the #coronavirus infection and fatality rate low.
    — Ezra Cheung (@ezracheungtoto) March 28, 2020

    If this doesn’t tell you all you need to know about WHO’s leadership (or lack thereof), then nothing will.


  4. Hmmmm, first I see this

    Chinese scientists destroyed proof of virus in December

    Sunday March 01 2020, 12.01am, The Sunday Times
    Laboratories were told not to release any information and to hand over or destroy samples


    Chinese laboratories identified a mystery virus as a highly infectious new pathogen by late December last year, but they were ordered to stop tests, destroy samples and suppress the news, a Chinese media outlet has revealed.

    A regional health official in Wuhan, centre of the outbreak, demanded the destruction of the lab samples that established the cause of unexplained viral pneumonia on January 1. China did not acknowledge there was human-to-human transmission until more than three weeks later.

    The detailed revelations by Caixin Global, a respected independent publication, provide the clearest evidence yet of the scale of the cover-up in the crucial early weeks when the opportunity was lost to control the outbreak.

    Censors have been rapidly deleting the report from the Chinese internet.


  5. Who Really Failed to Stop the Coronavirus from Hitting American Soil?
    A troubling look at the CDC’s elite Epidemic Intelligence Service.

    April 7, 2020
    Lloyd Billingsley

    By Sunday, the United States marked almost 350,000 cases of COVID-19, with nearly 10,000 deaths. The pandemic took down a strong economy and millions of Americans are out of work. This disaster might not have happened if a little-known American government agency was doing its job.

    The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deploys something called the Epidemic Intelligence Service. As Diana Robeletto Scalera of the CDC Foundation explains, the EIS “works day and night domestically and globally to ensure epidemics in other countries do not hit American soil.” EIS disease detectives are “are the ones responsible and they take this role very seriously.” Even so, the coronavirus epidemic certainly hit American soil, so Americans have good cause to wonder about this epidemic intelligence service.

    Established in 1951, Scalera notes, the EIS is “a two-year postgraduate program of service and on-the-job training for health professionals interested in the practice of epidemiology.” Since the program began, more than 3,500 EIS “officers” have been trained.

    According to the CDC, “EIS officers serve on the front lines of public health, protecting Americans and the global community.” When diseases and public health threats emerge, “EIS officers investigate, identify the cause, rapidly implement control measures, and collect evidence to recommend preventive actions.”

    The EIS did not identify the cause of the coronavirus and any rapidly implemented control measures proved a complete failure. So coronavirus victims have a right to wonder what these intrepid disease detectives are really about. As the CDC explains, EIS alumni have gone on to become CDC directors, leading CDC scientists, acting surgeons general, and even World Health Organization assistant directors-general.

    Other EIS officers “have taken a leadership role in foundations, nongovernmental organizations and the news media.” EIS veteran Daniel B. Jernigan is the current director of the CDC’s Influenza Division. Dr. Jernigan “coordinated responses for dozens of disease crises,” and “greatly improving the nation’s ability to identify, prepare for and respond to inevitable flu pandemics.”

    Whatever great improvements Dr. Jernigan managed to coordinate did not equip the nation to prepare for, and respond to, the current pandemic. As it happens, before the coronavirus arrived on American soil, the EIS deployed officers deployed in China.

    As Healio notes, second-year EIS officer Emilio Dirlikov learned about the EIS while conducting research in Lanzhou, China. There an EIS officer recommended that he apply for the program, and Dirlikov was duly accepted. Any EIS officers present in China failed to prevent the coronavirus from arriving on American soil, but the EIS has escaped attention from the establishment media.

    Those afflicted with the virus might want to know which EIS officers slipped up on the home front, but so far no official word from the CDC. Maybe one of those EIS veterans now working “in the news media” is shielding EIS and CDC bosses from bad publicity over the consequences of their massive failure.

    As those suffering from the pandemic might recall, America’s entire “intelligence community,” including the CIA, FBI and NSA, failed to stop a squad of Islamic jihadists from hijacking airliners and crashing them into the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Nearly 20 years later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with its vaunted Epidemic Intelligence Service, fails to prevent the Wuhan virus from hitting American soil, claiming thousands of lives, and wrecking the American economy.

    As Roger Kimball observes, millions are out of work, but those government and medical officials who determine what counts as essential “never seem to lose their jobs.” That should come as no surprise.

    The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with a budget of more than $6 billion, is part of the government-medical complex, a division of the deep state that remains in power as politicians move in and out of office. Whatever their failures, the white coat supremacists never lose their jobs, never have to say they are sorry, and the money keeps coming.

    Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is setting up a select committee to investigate President Trump’s handling of the pandemic. In the style of former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch during the impeachment hearings, look for CDC types to testify.

    Obama CDC boss Tom Frieden is already on record that President Trump’s press briefings are “not a way to run a railroad,” and that “fighting an epidemic without CDC involved at the decision table and at the podium is like fighting with one hand tied behind your back.” No word from Frieden, a former New York health official, about the CDC failure to prevent the Chinese virus from hitting American soil.

    Maybe Speaker Pelosi will call the Epidemic Intelligence Service officer who became an assistant director-general of the World Health Organization. On January 29, WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, opposed a travel ban from China, adding, “China is actually setting a new standard in terms of outbreak response. We would have seen many more cases outside China by now, and probably deaths, if not for the government’s efforts.”

    Did the EIS veteran agree with the China-friendly WHO boss? Did the CDC agree? So many questions, but as President Trump says, we’ll have to see what happens.

    1. Allan’s opinion piece comes up empty’ The author writes:

      “..The EIS did not identify the cause of the coronavirus and any rapidly implemented control measures proved a complete failure. …”

      That’s it – no evidence, timelines, facts of any kind behind this accusation, obviously intended to shift blame anywhere, but Trump. In fact that team was poised to enter China but was denied:

      “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tried to get into China just one week after China reported the outbreak to the World Health Organization on Dec. 31, 2019.

      “On January 6, we offered to send a CDC team to China that could assist with these public health efforts,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a Jan. 28 press conference. “I reiterated that offer when I spoke to China’s Minister of Health on Monday, and it was reiterated again via the World Health Organization today. We are urging China: More cooperation and transparency are the most important steps you can take toward a more effective response.”

      More than a week later, Azar said again at a Feb. 7 press conference that “our longstanding offer to send world-class experts to China to assist remains on the table.”

      At the time, the New York Times reported, “Normally, teams from the agency’s Epidemic Intelligence Service can be in the air within 24 hours.”…”

      In any case. a warning was delivered to the WH in January by other intelligence agencies about the possible severity of the crisis and the fact that China was hiding information.

      Today we learned that Peter Navarro warned in February of deaths of over a million.

      “A top White House adviser starkly warned Trump administration officials in late January that the coronavirus crisis could cost the United States trillions of dollars and put millions of Americans at risk of illness or death.

      The warning, written in a memo by Peter Navarro, President Trump’s trade adviser, is the highest-level alert known to have circulated inside the West Wing as the administration was taking its first substantive steps to confront a crisis that had already consumed China’s leaders and would go on to upend life in Europe and the United States.

      “The lack of immune protection or an existing cure or vaccine would leave Americans defenseless in the case of a full-blown coronavirus outbreak on U.S. soil,” Mr. Navarro’s memo said. “This lack of protection elevates the risk of the coronavirus evolving into a full-blown pandemic, imperiling the lives of millions of Americans.”

      “A second memo that Mr. Navarro wrote, dated Feb. 23, warned of an “increasing probability of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic that could infect as many as 100 million Americans, with a loss of life of as many as 1.2 million souls.”

      At that time, Mr. Trump was still downplaying the threat of the virus. …”

      1. “That’s it – no evidence, timelines, facts of any kind behind this accusation,”

        I posted this article as an interest article since no mention of this group occurred on this blog which likely means a lack of familiarity with the group.

        I take note of Anon’s statement “no evidence, timelines”

        The purpose of the group as Diana Robeletto Scalera of the CDC Foundation explains, the EIS “works day and night domestically and globally to ensure epidemics in other countries do not hit American soil.”

        The evidence is the EIS didn’t warn us of the virus and the timeline has been reproduced in virtually every newspaper across the globe.

        It’s amazing the lack of intelligence Anon brings to the table.

        1. Allan’s article alleges a failure without any specific evidence or specific accusations. We know that the WH was warned in January by our intelligence services of the threat and Trump continued downplaying and minimizing the threat.

          1. This isn’t our first rodeo with SARS, so nahhhh…..this isn’t a new plague or whatever you want to call it.

            so a few thousands Americans die. They were going to die from being unhealthy anyways since the virus did not kill them, their underlying medical conditions did, not that anyone is discussing this at the NYTurd or washingtoncompost

          2. The evidence is clear. The EIS, Epidemic Intelligence Service, didn’t warn the nation in advance. What do you think their job was? To bring you a bagel?

            1. Allan – I don’t think they brought the bagels either. 😉

  6. Trump And Cronies Have Stake In Malaria Drug

    Day after day, the salesman turned president has encouraged coronavirus patients to try hydroxychloroquine with all of the enthusiasm of a real estate developer. The passing reference he makes to the possible dangers is usually overwhelmed by the full-throated endorsement. “What do you have to lose?” he asked five times on Sunday.

    Bolstered by his trade adviser, a television doctor, Larry Ellison of Oracle and Rudolph W. Giuliani, a former New York mayor, Mr. Trump has seized on the drug as a miracle cure for the virus that has killed thousands and paralyzed American life. Along the way, he has prompted an international debate about a drug that many doctors in New York and elsewhere have been trying in desperation even without conclusive scientific studies.

    Mr. Trump may ultimately be right, and physicians report anecdotal evidence that has provided hope. But it remains far from certain, and the president’s assertiveness in pressing the case over the advice of advisers like Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease specialist, has driven a wedge inside his coronavirus task force and has raised questions about his motives.

    If hydroxychloroquine becomes an accepted treatment, several pharmaceutical companies stand to profit, including shareholders and senior executives with connections to the president. Mr. Trump himself has a small personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine.

    “I certainly understand why the president is pushing it,” said Dr. Joshua Rosenberg, the medical director at Brooklyn Hospital Center. “He’s the president of the United States. He has to project hope. And when you are in a situation without hope, things go very badly. So I’m not faulting him for pushing it even if there isn’t a lot of science behind it, because it is, at this point, the best, most available option for use.”

    A senior physician at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn, where doctors are not providing the drug, however, said the current demand was worrisome for patients on it chronically for rheumatic diseases. At St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, another doctor said his staff was giving it to coronavirus patients but criticized the president and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for “cheerleading” the drug without proof. “False hope can be bad, too,” he said.

    Some associates of Mr. Trump’s have financial interests in the issue. Sanofi’s largest shareholders include Fisher Asset Management, the mutual fund company run by Ken Fisher, a major donor to Republicans, including Mr. Trump. A spokesman for Mr. Fisher declined to comment.

    Another investor in both Sanofi and Mylan, another pharmaceutical firm, is Invesco, the fund previously run by Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary. Mr. Ross said in a statement Monday that he “was not aware that Invesco has any investments in companies producing” the drug, “nor do I have any involvement in the decision to explore this as a treatment.”

    As of last year, Mr. Trump reported that his three family trusts each had investments in a Dodge & Cox mutual fund, whose largest holding was in Sanofi.

    Edited from: “Trump’s Aggressive Advocacy Of Malaria Drug For Treatment Of Coronavirus Divides Medical Community”

    The New York Times, 4/6/20

    1. Love the “logic.” Trump has a political donor. That donor has a stake in a pharmaceutical company among hundreds of other investments. Ipso facto, Trump is wrongfully profiting from advocating a life-saving drug. Now unless you’re a not-so-bright fifth grader, you probably my can poke any number of holes in this argument. Sadly, Seth and whatever sock puppet anon is using today can’t begin to see any problems. Factor in the patent has been off the drug for about 50 years and you can see why the Left’s greatest enemy isn’t the right, it’s common sense. To quote our resident prevaricator: Thanks Seth.

      1. Mespo, tell me when a president last promoted a drug treatment. Like did Bill Clinton, for instance, promote drug ‘cocktails’ for AIDs?

        1. Ask Fauci he was in on that

          AIDS did not kill in 2 weeks time. there is a different urgency

          dont make too much out of Fauci saying “anecdotally” of course the feedback loop is only anecdotal at this early stage

          that does not mean that it is not promising.

          the doctors are trying it widely in New York and Detroit. The journalists are downplaying it out of their usual political bias against Trump. Thankfully doctors are more concerned about helping patients than knocking down Trump.

          1. Kurtz, I wonder if there is a difference between doctors battling the disease on the front and those that are in academics that have the luxury of making political conclusions.

    2. Yeah, his personal stake could be as high as $1,485 or as low as $99.

      No wonder he donated his salary from last quarter to the pandemic fight. He doesn’t need it! Not with the haul he’s getting from Sanofi.


  7. More On The Malaria Drug

    And Why It’s Not Completely Safe

    Hydroxychloroquine has a number of serious side effects, chief among them its impact on the “QT interval” — the time it takes for the heart’s electrical system to reset between contractions, which push blood into the vascular system and around the body, according to Mark Gladwin, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. This raises the risk of heart arrhythmias — irregular heartbeats — that can be fatal, he said.

    With many covid-19 patients arriving at hospitals as emergencies, it is not always possible for doctors to know what other drugs a patient is taking or conduct an electrocardiogram, making use of the drug dangerous, Gladwin said.

    Because hydroxychloroquine hasn’t been studied in valid large-scale research, doctors can’t know the appropriate dose for any covid-19 patient. Also, the disease is causing a heart infection, myocarditis, in some of the most seriously ill patients.

    “The heart may already be involved in this virus,” Gladwin said. “And now we’re adding a drug that prolongs the QT [interval]. We have no idea what that will do in the setting of a patient with covid-19.”

    Scott Gottlieb, who served as FDA commissioner earlier in the Trump administration, said the data on hydroxychloroquine is “very preliminary” and the drug has been used widely in the United States and Europe without “any obvious benefit.” Clinical trial data is needed, he said. Meanwhile, he added, “We should focus on the drugs that are most likely to be transformative,” such as antibody drugs that are under study.

    Edited from: “What Do You Have To Lose? Inside Trump’s Embrace Of A Risky Drug Against Coronavirus”

    The Washington Post”, 4/6/20

        1. a valid point from Faust. they say the current experimental therapy is to combine it with ZPAC ie azithromycin and also blood transfusions. let the clinicians try what they think is best.

          it’s just politics to call sharing the use of this experimental therapy a “False hope.”
          Hope in the context of life and sickness, hope is ALWAYS false. In the end, as you ALWAYS die in the end.

        2. I respect Dr. Fauci very much. How might underlying zinc deficiency affect the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, especially if that drug is being administered without additional zinc supplementation?

          Since this drug helps increase the uptake of zinc into cells, wouldn’t being zinc deficient result in side effects since not enough zinc would be readily available to continue the enhanced uptake, thus further depleting the body? The physician in the article below used the drug in conjunction with zinc.


          If you have an autoimmune condition, you are very likely deficient in a wide variety of micronutrients. Here is a review of studies examining just zinc deficiency in autoimmunity (zinc modulates the immune system, so it’s a good place to start examining whether deficiency is part of the problem). What of other deficiencies or insufficiencies? The Standard American Diet is not known for being nutrient-rich.


      1. Some Swedish hospitals stopped its use and others continued to use it.

        Sweden hasn’t locked down. Does that mean all other countries should change what they are doing?

      2. Thanks, Anonymous, we keep hearing about highly volatile side effects.

      3. Im not taking any clues from Sweden which is one of the few developed nations apparently going for “herd immunity” with next to no lockdowns at all.

    1. “And Why It’s Not Completely Safe”

      Nothing is completely safe. Not even your Maxi Pads. A lousy reporter will focus on the QT interval as if it is a major problem, but it isn’t except with those that already have the problem and even then it is likely controllable. Risks of arrhythmia might be occasionally fatal or not but we already know the virus is fatal to all too many. The former can be looked for in the few where it might present the problem. The later all have the virus and many will die. I think the drug is still off label for Lupus. I guess Paint Chips will next be requesting that no patients with Lupus receive this drug.

      When I was in certain parts of Asia I always had to take a prophylactic drug to prevent Malaria. I don’t remember all those fears being raised. The article continues “it is not always possible for doctors to know what other drugs a patient is taking or conduct an electrocardiogram”. An EKG can be done in less than 5 minutes and read in seconds. It takes a lot longer to manage a ventilator patient. I don’t think the EKG is a barrier to a drug that might be helpful. It is not even a surety that the person receiving prophylactic hydroxychloroquine has provided his complete drug list.

      The way the article was written makes the doctor sound a bit foolish. I don’t know if the drug works or not but it is worth a try and if there is a problem the drug can be stopped. The news media in an attempt to soil Trump are in essence lying to the public and distorting the different views on the use of the drug.

    2. it is a dangerous drug but there are credible reports that it’s effective

      you guys should just let the doctors give it a swing. it’s not up to news departments to politicize this experimental therapy

      very sad and inappropriate

      time will tell. perhaps it will be proven through valid studies to have been effective, or perhaps the results will only be mixed. either way you can be sure the big newspapers NEVER apologize for their editorials. and that’s what we have here: just more editorial

      1. Kurtz, hydroxychloroquine is certainly not as dangerous as a lot of drugs and treatment that are used on a daily basis. It is benign enough to be used as prophylaxis.

          1. There is always a danger of over dose with any medication. Look at the number of deaths from Fentanyl. There is a lethal dose for every medication. There is even a lethal dose for water.

      2. Kurtz writes:

        “…. it’s not up to news departments to politicize this experimental therapy.”

        That’s what the president is doing in yet another attempt at sunshine pumping, and this one, like the others is also dangerous. He’s not leading by accurately reporting on the realities of the crisis while offering realistic hope, he’s selling something and he’s been dead wrong for most of the time.

        Let the docs and labs work it out.

          1. He’s not sharing a hopeful option, he’s hard selling it for obvious reasons. He’s been pumping sunshine for months now and this is just a continuation of that.

            “…The professional organization that published a positive French study cited by Mr. Trump’s allies changed its mind in recent days. The International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy said, “The article does not meet the society’s expected standard.” Some hospitals in Sweden stopped providing hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus after reports of adverse side effects, according to Swedish news media….”


            1. that’s the peer review process, and science. let it unfold. but for now they are trying it. the results will not be in for a long time. and there’s not much else they can try at the moment. hopefully, yet other promising therapies will materialize.

                1. because it may save lives. now i refer you back to the Detroit free press article

                  See this is how it is with you guys. you make an assertion and then when it gets proven wrong you just keep doubling down.

                  you say show me the sources and when you get them you can’t admit it

                  here is another refutation of your fake news that trump is selling something for his own pecuniary gain


                  you can make fun of the source but he owns at most an indirect interest in not more than $1,500 worth of sanofi which is about what he probably has in his wallet.

                  just admit you were barking up the wrong tree and drop it

    3. Over a quarter of a million people with rheumatoid arthritis safely use this stuff every year.

      Good grief. Find a real news outlet.

    1. He’s been corrected before, but Paulie is Paulie. And you’re right: He’s “Not All There.”

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