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College Life

Florida Man Discovers Cure for Coronavirus

Using a catchy headline is one way to grab a reader’s attention. The title in a news article is oftentimes out of context to the inside content. Though a cure for Coronavirus is still nonexistent, the spread of misinformation is equally as rampant. My assignment for Applied Scientific Thinking (critical thinking) was to compare news articles to scholarly journals.

In July 2020, an article was published from The Irish Sun, titled, “‘NOT BIGGER THAN GOD’ Trump Twitter doc Dr Stella Immanuel says Jesus will destroy Facebook if it doesn’t put her coronavirus vid back online,” by Jack Williams. A Houston, Texas doctor named Stella Immanuel posted on Facebook and Twitter after they removed her viral video: “Hello Facebook put back my profile page and videos up or your computers with start crashing till you do. You are not bigger that God. I promise you. If my page is not back up face book will be down in Jesus name.” The President of the United States of America shared her post via Twitter. 

The viral video was footage filmed during the “White Coat Summit” in Washington D.C., where Stella stood with a group of doctors praising that Trump’s claim on hydroxychloroquine can combat coronavirus. Dr. Stella Immanuel practices medicine at Rehoboth Medical Center and is a licensed pediatrician and religious minister known for making bold claims. Instagram had removed the viral video for making false claims about cures and prevention for COVID-19. An article from BBC titled, “Coronavirus: Outcry after Trump suggests injecting disinfectant as treatment,” provides a video with the president’s statement. President Trump states, “And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?”  An article by Will Feuer published on CNBC shares that after Trump’s speech, there was a 20% increase in poison control calls for cleaning and disinfectant products for three months. 

Due to the claims that hydroxychloroquine can combat coronavirus, with the president’s support of these claims, many Arthritis and Lupus patients were running low on their medications. An article by Mike Arsendault published in CTV News discusses the shortage in hydroxychloroquine due to an increased demand. The consequences of false claims have a dominos effect on many.  When reading news articles online, it is always important to follow up with research and scholarly articles rather than believe everything you read on the Internet. Many people tend to read the headlines only and hit the share button. When doing research, you will want to check peer-reviewed journals that are published within the last five years.  CRAAP is an acronym for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. Using the CRAAP test criteria is a great way to evaluate information and sources. 

A scholarly article by Sebastian Ibanez et al titled “Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19: should they be used as standard therapy?” was one of several peer reviewed journals published after the claims were made. The nation was urged to find therapies to combat the virus that turned into a global pandemic in 2020, especially after an uproar of claims. The study stated, “Although due to the proposed mechanism of action, it could be postulated that the use of these antimalarials should be in the early stages of the disease; there is no clinical evidence to support this, and it could lead to serious problems in the availability of these drugs for patients with diseases in which the usefulness of these antimalarials is confirmed, not to mention the cardiovascular risks to which we would expose patients by indicating high doses of antimalarials without adequate monitoring.“

Another scholarly article titled, “A Randomized Trial of Hydroxcychloroquine as Postexposure Prophylaxis for Covid-19” found that “After high-risk or moderate-risk exposure to Covid-19, hydroxychloroquine did not prevent illness compatible with Covid-19 or confirmed infection when used as postexposure prophylaxis within 4 days after exposure.” When searching the National Library of Medicine for “coronavirus treatment,” 27,438 articles within the last year populate. Researches, physicians, clinicians, pathologists, and scientists are working hard to find adequate ways to treat coronavirus as we approach the one year anniversary (February 11) in which the SARS-Cov-2 got named Covid-19. 

References:

1.    https://www.thesun.ie/news/5722122/dr-stella-immanuel-jesus-destroy-facebook-coronavirus-video/

2.    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52407177

3.    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/24/coronavirus-lysol-maker-says-dont-ingest-disinfectants-after-trump-asks-whether-injecting-it-will-work.html

4.    https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/arthritis-and-lupus-patients-running-low-on-meds-due-to-misinformation-about-covid-19-1.4875061

5.    Ibáñez, S., Martínez, O., Valenzuela, F., Silva, F., & Valenzuela, O. (2020). Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19: should they be used as standard therapy?. Clinical rheumatology39(8), 2461–2465. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10067-020-05202-4

6.    Boulware, D. R., Pullen, M. F., Bangdiwala, A. S., Pastick, K. A., Lofgren, S. M., Okafor, E. C., Skipper, C. P., Nascene, A. A., Nicol, M. R., Abassi, M., Engen, N. W., Cheng, M. P., LaBar, D., Lother, S. A., MacKenzie, L. J., Drobot, G., Marten, N., Zarychanski, R., Kelly, L. E., Schwartz, I. S., … Hullsiek, K. H. (2020). A Randomized Trial of Hydroxychloroquine as Postexposure Prophylaxis for Covid-19. The New England journal of medicine383(6), 517–525. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2016638

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