When Harvey Risch, M.D., Ph.D., published an article in the American Journal of Epidemiology in May 2020 about the safe and effective use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as an early treatment in COVID patients, he was criticized and attacked by some in the medical industry, including some of his own colleagues.
Risch, a professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, told Children’s Health Defense Chairman Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., on the “RFK Jr The Defender Podcast,” how 20 of his Yale colleagues signed a letter expressing their “grave concern” about Risch and his recommendation for doctors to start treating COVID patients with HCQ.
The letter argued while Risch is a “respected cancer epidemiologist,” he is “not an expert in infectious disease epidemiology” and therefore had no business discussing HCQ as a COVID treatment.
When asked how he responded to the criticism, Risch told Kennedy:
“Well, they did not do due diligence. They didn’t do their homework about me. They failed to understand that my Ph.D. was in mathematical modeling of infectious epidemics. When I published about the efficacy of the medication, it had nothing to do with infectious diseases at all. It’s about drug efficacy, and I’ve done plenty of those kinds of analyses in all of my studies that are cancer-related studies. So, for them to extrapolate from infectious epidemic processes of viruses to worrying about whether a drug is effective is a misrepresentation of what was being analyzed in that paper.”
Risch says HCQ works as an early treatment in preventing hospitalizations and death in high-risk COVID patients.
In a statement Risch penned in November 2020, he said:
“Hydroxychloroquine is exceedingly safe. Common sense tells us this, that a medication safely used for 65 years by hundreds of millions of people in tens of billions of doses worldwide, prescribed without routine screening EKGs, given to adults, children and pregnant women and nursing mothers, must be safe when used in the initial viral-replication phase of an illness that is similar at that point to colds or flu.”