(CNSNews.com) - Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the “Dr. Oz” show, told Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” on Tuesday that the French infectious disease specialist he spoke to said the complications from the use of the drugs hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin were “trivial like rashes.”
Host Sean Hannity said that despite arguments to the contrary, Dr. Daniel Wallace, a board-certified rheumatologist practicing at Cedars-Sinai medical center in Los Angeles, wrote that “hydroxychloroquine is a very safe drug” and has been given to “tens of millions” of people around the world since it was approved 65 years ago “and as monotherapy has not been associated with any deaths in the recommended dose.”
Wallace wrote, “In 42 years of practice, no patient of mine has ever been hospitalized for a complication,” Hannity said.
“He’s not alone. A lot of his colleagues agree with him,” Oz said. “When I spoke to [Dr.] Didier Raoult, the famous infectious disease specialist from France. He’s now acquired 1,000 patients on the combination of the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.
“He also says the complications have been trivial, things like rashes, any minor issues, but this man was born in Africa and knows this drug very well because of the malaria he has faced in his practice and he says there's been a billion doses prescribed,” he said.
“It's not what they worry about, but Dr. Wallace said what was interesting and might catch the attention of the viewer is that in their protocols, they don't ever mention complications from hydroxychloroquine because they are so uncommon,” Oz said.
“That stated, a doctor has to be involved. They should be checking out the possible issues that may come up, but the issues I keep hearing are heart problems, blindness. Blindness by the way, the eye issues occurred at 0% in five years, 1% of people at 10 years of chronic use. We’re talking about a week or maybe 10 days of use maximum, so those issues aren’t real. I don't want to create more problems for people when we have enough already,” he added.
Oz said he wants to hear from anyone diagnosed with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis who take hydroxychloriquine to treat it and who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. He asked his viewers to share their story with his show.
Oz said he wanted to know whether any of Wallace’s lupus patients on hydroxychloroquine got COVID-19.
“My interest was to find out could it actually prevent people from getting sick because normally, you’d think lupus patients are immunodepressed. They'd be more likely to get sick from COVID-19 but he has no patients in his practice, and he is part of this experience we are looking at,” Oz said.
“We’ve now run 9 million insurance records through, identified 14,000 people who are like these patients. They have lupus. They’re taking hydroxychloroquine. Zero of those patients so far have COVID-19. I don't want to over interpret that. This is a tiny little biopsy of America, but working together with CMS, and we've gotten a lot of support from their leadership. Seema Verma’s fantastic. “The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, they’ve gotten together,” he said.
“Our partners at Share Care are writing the numbers, and I want to get to 100 million Americans and confirm what the rheumatologists are observing, which is it doesn't seem right, but their patients aren't getting COVID-19, and maybe there's something there that’s a clue to us, because if that's true, we might consider using this at the trials with doctors and nurses and people who are at risk of getting this infection,” Oz said.