Chloroquine Effectiveness vs. Coronaviruses Was Documented in 2005

Of all the sad aspects of the current COVID frenzy, one of the saddest is liberals’ determination to deny the effectiveness, in some cases at least, of chloroquine-based treatments against the virus. This is entirely due to the fact that President Trump has said he is optimistic that such treatments could prove effective. If Trump had expressed skepticism and urged everyone to forget about using chloroquine, liberals would be touting its virtues nonstop.

In 2005, an article was published in Virology Journal titled “Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread. The eight authors were associated with the Centers for Disease Control and Montreal’s Clinical Research Institute. The study described in the article was conducted in the wake of the SARS epidemic:

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is caused by a newly discovered coronavirus (SARS-CoV). No effective prophylactic or post-exposure therapy is currently available.

We report, however, that chloroquine has strong antiviral effects on SARS-CoV infection of primate cells. These inhibitory effects are observed when the cells are treated with the drug either before or after exposure to the virus, suggesting both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage. In addition to the well-known functions of chloroquine such as elevations of endosomal pH, the drug appears to interfere with terminal glycosylation of the cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. This may negatively influence the virus-receptor binding and abrogate the infection, with further ramifications by the elevation of vesicular pH, resulting in the inhibition of infection and spread of SARS CoV at clinically admissible concentrations.

Like COVID-19, SARS was a coronavirus. The article concluded:

Chloroquine is effective in preventing the spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. Favorable inhibition of virus spread was observed when the cells were either treated with chloroquine prior to or after SARS CoV infection. In addition, the indirect immunofluorescence assay described herein represents a simple and rapid method for screening SARS-CoV antiviral compounds.

Note that this study found chloroquine to be effective prophylactically, as well as as a treatment. The drug should have been on CDC’s radar from the beginning.

The site from which I linked to the 2005 study also quoted this comment on an InstaPundit post:

As most know, the media/Democrat politicians/FDA want the use of the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin/zinc combination to be restricted until late in the course of the infection, when the patient’s infection is well-advanced. As a physician, this baffles me. I can’t think of a single infectious condition — bacterial, fungal, or viral — where the best medical treatment is to delay the use of a anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, or anti-viral until the infection is far advanced.

The Washington Post is still smearing those who advocate wider use of chloroquine-based treatments, as of today. When the history of this sorry historical episode is written, one of the sorriest elements will likely be the left’s politically-motivated effort to block use of treatment regimen that has proved effective for many patients.