Peter O’Brien: Fake news at The Australian

A piece appeared in today’s Australian that I would like to nominate as Fake News Story of 2020

On the subject of chloroquine, here is an extract from a WSJ article that appears in today’s Australian:

Since March 27, the French Regional Centre of Pharmacovigilance in Nice, which is in charge of tracking hydroxychloroquine cases across the country, has received notifications about 54 COVID-19 patients who developed serious heart problems while taking the drug, according to the head of the centre, Milou-Daniel  Drici. Seven of those patients suffered cardiac arrest and four died, Dr Drici said. In most cases, the heart issues were clearly linked to the use of hydroxychloroquine, which is well known to cause specific heart malfunctions, he said.

The Australian’s version of the article is titled:

Donald Trump’s drug of choice killing the sick.  

I looked at WSJ on-line to see if that breathtakingly mindless TDS headline came from the original WSJ article or if it is all the work of The Oz.

French Drug-Surveillance Specialist Highlights Hydroxychloroquine Risks

The Oz headline alone should give anyone pause before placing any credence in this claim, which, frankly, beggars belief. Millions of people have been taking chloroquine for over 50 years and yet 54 heart problems, linked to chloroquine, emerge in just a three week period in a population of only thousands?   Would we not expect a percentage of patients who are almost certainly old and burdened with co-morbidities to suffer from the odd heart attack?

There is another agenda at work here.  I am astounded, not that the WSJ published this article, but  that The Australian saw fit to re-print it. I suspect that this story will be debunked in very short order.

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29 Responses to Peter O’Brien: Fake news at The Australian

  1. Jon says:

    I tried to comment on this article in The Oz, tagging it as Fake News, and my comment was rejected:
    “Hydroxychloroquine is used by millions as an anti-malarial. It is one of the most trialed and tested drugs on the planet. This is just anti-Trump fake news. ”

    One suspects there is an agenda being pushed at The Oz.

  2. stackja says:

    Fake news everywhere.
    I am shocked!
    TDS no vaccine!

  3. bemused says:

    I’ve said before that The Australian is now no better than any of the other garbage media. Why anyone subscribes is beyond me.

  4. Chris M says:

    Yep, fake as North Korean democracy.

    “In most cases, the heart issues were clearly linked to the use of hydroxychloroquine”

    Not buying this at all, the Wuhan virus is known to mess with the cardiac system, blood viscosity and clotting. The only thing the article proves is that Trump retardation syndrome is always displaying fresh symptoms. Don’t want the medication, fine don’t take it.

  5. Colonel Bunty Golightly says:

    The Australian once was a centre right publication. What happened?

  6. Bela Bartok says:

    The Trump-haters don’t care about their lies being debunked. That the headline was in the paper is all they want.
    Now other Trump-haters can use that headline as ‘proof’ Trump= evil and use the press reportage as proof.
    When the whole newspaper/news channel is filled with such lies, it makes it that much harder to avoid believing there is *some* truth to it all.
    If it’s debunked, no-one will read about it, or hear it, and by then the Trump-Derangement is onto another target.
    The Australian’s TDS is fatal- no ventilator will help.

  7. Roger says:

    The Australian once was a centre right publication. What happened?

    The centre right got rebadged as the extreme right…and who wants to be on the extreme right?

    (To be fair, The Weekend Australian has some excellent op-ed pieces on The Pell Affair.)

  8. Rob MW says:

    There is another agenda at work here.

    There’s always another agenda at work when incompetence and bloody-mindedness is out in open for all to see. Covering one’s ass is the bureaucratic oath of allegiance.

    India shut down all exports (except to the U.S) of the drug and the next thing you know, apparently, Oz doesn’t need the drug because it causes heart attacks because, wouldn’t you know, we don’t have any left all because we didn’t take any notice of the potential effectiveness of the drug treating SARS 1 in 2003/04 so we didn’t stock pile it, you know just in case the Chinese communists kept eating fucking bats at best, or their military kept incompetently fucking around with bat-virus in the lab at worst. Who knew, apart from a couple of billion people world wide ?

  9. miltonf says:

    Despicable paper. Don’t give them your money. BIRM.

  10. Tony says:

    The progressive side don’t want Trump to master CV and more than they wanted the conservatives to usher in SSM. The progs resent anyone but their own doing good things on their turf.

  11. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare says:

    In addition, there is increasing evidence that,Covid 19 is a vascular disease as well as a respiratory one. Thus patients with existing CHD should have assessment as to the suitability of Hydroxychlorine for their individual case. No need to deny its life-saving efficacy in others to whom prior restrictions may not apply.

  12. Bob says:

    When I last looked at the official figures, 162 people died from paracetamol in Australia each year. Everything has risks depending on the health of the person who takes it. The Australian should have binned that disgraceful tapestry of lies, trying to mask the TDS of the lefty millennial editor filling in over the long weekend.

  13. Goanna says:

    The Australian newspaper is as a stinking fish head; the rot has set in.

    I no longer buy this paper.

  14. JohnJJJ says:

    So far the death toll in France is 14000. According to the article 4 may have died from the drug – “linked!” . Did anyone actually read the article before they put it in the Oz. Perhaps they could research how may recovered from the virus due to the drug.

  15. Richard JH says:

    As I have mentioned here before regarding my own cancellation of the OZ, was mainly because of the ongoing & relentless political bias of their US correspondent who has spent the last 4 years reporting in complete lockstep with the Trump haters in the US MSM. The Left Regressives should be so pleased that Rupert is no longer personally phoning each of his editors to instruct them on what news to print?

  16. CameronH says:

    The information on Hydroxychloroquine and it’s side effects are so well known that the person writing this is obviously engaged in deliberate misinformation. A good explanation on why this happens:

    The last paragraph: “So when you ask yourself what the hell is wrong with these people, deep down we already know. To progressives, individuals have always been disposable, whether it’s one, several thousand, or 100 million like in the last century. They likely don’t even recognize it in themselves anymore, but we can’t lose sight of it. Because if this is how they behave out of power, imagine what they’d do with it”.

  17. Lutz says:

    Coronavirus is linked to heart problems and clotting. Refer to JoaAnn Nova’s article: on 12 April.

  18. Boambee John says:

    Hilary had her “deplorables” in 2016, the MSM has its despicables in 2020.

  19. Leo G says:

    “In most cases, the heart issues were clearly linked to the use of hydroxychloroquine”

    “Clearly linked” does not imply “causally linked” unless the issue is political at heart, it appears.

  20. nb says:

    Lysenko award for newspaper writing.

  21. win says:

    The Australian was a centre right publication. What Happened? Paul Kelly became Editor in the Keating era.

  22. Boz says:

    As I understand it Hydroxychloroquine is given for five days as treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection. As a treatment for autoimmune diseases it is taken for many years. Side effects are few. Ophthalmic surveillance used to be thought necessary, but even that is of questionable benefit.

  23. Colonel Bunty Golightly says:

    And yet Victorians still vote for this corrupt piece of human offal!

  24. chaamjamal says:

    My golf friend Chris Woollams says that since hydroxychloroquine is now off patent there is no financial incentive for big pharma to push it and some incentive for them to oppose it and that we should take that into consideration.

  25. Radman says:

    Yeah, and guess what? There are innumerable drugs which, when used in critically ill patients as a last ditch effort, are associated with serious or fatal side effects. Anaphylaxis, cardiac arrhythmia, bronchospasm, thrombocytopenia, neutropaenia, liver failure etc etc. are hardly unknown side effects.

    To put in perspective, it is estimated human error in prescribing and dispensing causes 250,000 medication deaths per annum in the US. That’s regardless of those who have an adverse outcome when correctly dosed. Hydrochlorquine cardiotoxity is a rare but potentially serious condition, exacerbated by age, duration of therapy and pre-existing health conditions.

    The Mayo Clinic stated in March: “ In a small number of patients it has the potential to lead to a prolonged QTc , which can result in an abnormal heart rhythm.”

  26. jupes says:

    I took chloroquine for a few weeks back in the ’80s.

    I survived. Nil heart problems. Still got malaria but.

  27. Bad Samaritan says:

    Once again; apart from the aggravation,what effect will such idiocies have when it comes to unseating Donald? he’s doing a fine job…and everybody in the US knows it. whether they admit it or not, there’s a massive Trumpslide on the way. So….

    It may put some few people off taking it, but I’ve linked a hundred times to what doctors in Oz think about HCQ (never got a single comment from a Cat) so we know they’ll be prescribing it.

    Really don’t know why this is worth a thread.

  28. Delta says:

    And here’s a useful insight into prolonged use of chloroquine from WUWT. “Of Quinine And Chloroquine”

    I’d sooner take notice of the WUWT story – it’s far more credible. It supports the link above from John L, #3409185. Interestingly his link goes to the way back machine because that story has been attacked, taken down, and labelled as fake. Surprise surprise, the story offers a plausible way out of the issue but it doesn’t support a leftist agenda of doom. Also this morning I watched little of Trump’s press conference to hear him say that there had been good results in treating patients with plasma from recovered people.

    Go figure.

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