IMPERIAL COUNTY — Several doctors and medical professionals around the country — and even the world — have come face-to-face with how best to treat their COVID-19 patients, many relying on hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and an antibiotic — known commonly as the HCQ cocktail. Many doctors have spoken out against those who would deny the effectiveness of the cocktail, including National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Brian Tyson — who practices family medicine at All Valley Urgent Care in El Centro — appeared on KUSI News to discuss the use and effectiveness of the HCQ cocktail to treat COVID-19 patients.
Tyson referred to six different studies showing positive results for COVID patients with the use of hydroxychloroquine.
“I say listen to the doctors who have been taking care of the patients. We’re the ones on the front line. We’re the ones who see the patients. We’re the ones who prescribe the medication. We’re the ones who follow up those results,” said Tyson. “When you start listening to the doctors on the front lines who have been taking care of these patients personally, you’re going to hear a whole different story than what the researchers are suggesting behind the screens and behind the statistics from wherever they decide to get their statistics from.”
According to Tyson, he has treated more than 1,700 COVID patients, most of which received the controversial cocktail. The drug is not prescribed for pregnant patients or children within a certain age range. He claims the mortality rate for COVID-19 at the only level one urgent care facility in El Centro is zero.
Tyson has seen patients from 11-months-old up to 88-years-old. He has treated patients with and without symptoms, pregnant patients, and patients with a range of severity.
Additionally, he explained his patients range from a wide variety of demographics and different sectors of the workforce — including farmworkers, border patrol agents, food industry employees, personnel from correction facilities, and more. He also said the urgent care facility sees a lot of patients that live in Mexicali but work in the United States and have to travel across the border on a daily basis.
“All of our patients went through a full evaluation by practitioners. Once they had that evaluation, we decided whether or not the triple therapy would be prescribed for them. Under all of those cases, every single one of those patients that has been treated, has recovered,” said Tyson.
Despite his positive outcomes using the cocktail, he and several other doctors face condemnation and skepticism for using the drug that the Centers for Disease Control and Dr. Fauci have warned against because of efficacy and potential side effects.
“If a drug is truly that bad to use, then there should be a black-bx warning on it. That has not been the case. This drug is 65-years old. We’ve used it in many countries over-the-counter,” he said.
Despite the current downward trend of COVID rates in Imperial County, he is planning for the future of continuing to use the cocktail. Tyson also explained the possible use of the cocktail even once a vaccine is approved and ready for use. He said not all RNA viruses have vaccines and he won’t know the efficacy of the vaccine for COVID-19
“I think time will tell on that,” said Tyson.
Another Valley doctor who has successfully treated COVID patients with the cocktail is Dr. George Fareed. Fareed has been trying to attract the attention of national policy makers to right the unjustified opinion on hydroxychloroquine. Recently he related his meeting with Senator Rand Paul and Representative Louie Gohmert Tuesday, September 15. He said he spoke to them as a front-line doctor with hundreds of COVID patients who he has seen the HCQ cocktail cure patients
Speaking of the meeting, Dr. Fareed said, "It went fine. We got the message across well. I hope they will act."
Here is the full statement made by Dr. Fareed to Senator Paul and Congressman Gohmert:
· I have experience treating COVID patients in the flu stage as outpatients.
· Like everything else in medicine, the goal is to treat early-- COVID patients are difficult to treat when they get very sick
· The Imperial Valley became the COVID epicenter for California in June and July.
My clinic and The All Valley Urgent Care Clinic in the Imperial Valley where I also work have seen over two thousand suspected COVID patients. Among these were 455 high risk patients that were treated with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).
· I use a triple HCQ cocktail: HCQ, azithromycin or doxycycline and especially zinc, which is often left out in the studies. The cocktail is best given early within the first 5 to 7 days while the patient is in the flu stage and when virus replication is maximal ( I have had success treating even as late as 14 days when patients have been sent home untreated from the ER) .....my goal is to prevent hospitalization
· I use it especially in high risk individuals (over 60 or with co-morbidities and anyone with moderate to severe flu symptoms)---the healthy do not need the treatment
I placed 31 very vulnerable patients on HCQ when a COVID outbreak occurred in my local nursing home in June and 29 made full recoveries. I also treated many of the 43 staff infected caring for these recovering patients there. I treated a very symptomatic 74 man with COVID-19, lung collapse, diabetes and heart disease sent home from the ER because he wasn’t sick enough. He fully recovered on HCQ in 10 days at home.
· The results are consistently good, often dramatic, with improvement within 48 hours
· I have seen very few hospitalizations, and one death in treated outpatients. The vast majority of 308 people who have died from COVID in the Imperial Valley did not receive the HCQ cocktail as outpatients.
· I have not seen a single negative cardiac event and few other side effects, despite what we hear in the media
My experience is in-line with all the studies regarding early use of the HCQ cocktail
· I believe that this would be an effective strategy to use on a national level, which motivated me to write a letter to the President, a letter to congress, a letter to California health department, an Open Letter to Dr. Fauci, and a National Plan for COVID-19 (which I worked on with a few colleagues). No response has yet been received to these letters.
· I believe that the public has been misled regarding the dangers of HCQ. HCQ is effective in COVID when properly given--I have witnessed the complete recovery of hundreds. Many lives have been saved due to HCQ. The latest CDC guidelines regarding HCQ are absolutely cruel-pharmacies block the prescriptions and doctors continue to ignore the truth. Politicians ignore their constituents. More will die or suffer collateral health damage.
Our national health leaders need to be publicly questioned.
· As we describe in the National Plan, this approach would have been and still would be the solution to the pandemic---protect the vulnerable, and if high risk individuals get sick, there is a solution for them with early treatment with the triple cocktail."