Ignoring the scientific data

 

Sir, – The extraordinary capacity of the human mind to see confirmation of existing prejudices in every outcome is encapsulated well by Lara Marlowe’s encounter with a supporter of the controversial virologist Didier Raoult (“France bans hydroxychloroquine for treatment of Covid-19”, News Agenda, May 28th).

Having advocated a drug strategy involving hydroxychloroquine recently, Prof Raoult is now dismissive of data in the Lancet spanning six continents, and nearly 100,000 patients.

It suggests that the drug in question roughly triples the risk of death when compared with no treatment at all.

What is astonishing is his supporter, whom Lara Marlowe quotes as saying that he views Prof Raoult as standing “up to the government and the big money machine that gets in the way of public health”.

The belief that the nefarious interests of capitalism, or “Big Pharma”, are served by a study showing the benefit of giving no drug treatment is bizarre in the extreme. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN O’BRIEN,

Kinsale,

Co Cork.