The Moving Curve: Episode 65

Hello and welcome to The Moving Curve. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist based in Chennai. Every night on this mini-cast, I consider one question around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. Tonight I’m considering this one — why is all discussion around hydroxychloroquine so polarised?

Here’s the Lancet study at the centre of the controversy: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31180-6/fulltext

Here’s an article about the WHO’s response: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/who-halts-hydroxychloroquine-testing-after-safety-warning-67573

This is a good article summarising some of the problems with the registry: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/disputed-hydroxychloroquine-study-brings-scrutiny-to-surgisphere-67595

The letter by Indian doctors to The Lancet about India’s use of HCQ as prophylaxis is here: https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/laninf/PIIS1473-3099(20)30313-3.pdf

The AIIMS doctors’ response is here: https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/laninf/PIIS1473-3099(20)30430-8.pdf

The open letter by members of the CSIR against the WHO’s decision is reported on by The Hindu here: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/coronavirus-csir-chief-flays-hcq-trial-suspension/article31712065.ece

Bolsonaro’s right-winger comment is here: https://www.france24.com/en/20200520-bolsonaro-bets-big-on-right-wing-drug-against-virus

Alex Shepard’s article for The New Republic on Trump’s magical thinking is here: https://newrepublic.com/article/157214/hydroxychloroquine-became-conservative-medias-coronavirus-miracle-drug

The government and some in the media seem to think that a reassuring voice telling people that everything is going to be ok and going to be fixed soon is what the people need. This would actually be incalculably dangerous, because calibrating our lives to live with uncertainty and risk is what we most need to do.

Thank you for listening. This episode was edited by Anand Krishnamoorthi. Tomorrow — a new question.

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I am a data journalist based in Chennai, India.

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