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Houston-area doctor agrees with use of controversial drug to treat COVID-19

KATY – “You should use hydroxychloroquine early.”

This statement is just one of many Dr. Stella Immanuel told KPRC 2 Investigates Joel Eisenbaum during an eyebrow-raising interview featured Thursday.

“If they put everybody on hydroxychloroquine, schools would open back up,” said Dr. Immanuel.

Dr. Immanuel passionately touted the positives she says she has seen surrounding the drug hydroxychloroquine.

“We see patients day one. We put them on hydroxychloroquine. They come back day seven and day 10, and they are negative. It eradicates the virus. It is a cure,” she said,

Dr. Joseph Varon is another Houston doctor that believes in the controversial drug, hydroxychloroquine.

“I use it for every patient,” said Dr. Varone at his north Houston medical facility, United Memorial Medical Center. “I have no problem telling people about this is a drug. I would take myself if I were to get ill and required to be in the hospital.”

Dr. Varon says he has experienced success in over 300 patients. The drug is a component in his recipe for success.

“I tell them this is part of a cocktail that we are going to do,” he said.

Dr. Varon believes in it because of what he has seen from patients who were never provided the drug prior to seeing him.

“We’ve had patients that actually get better when we give hydroxychloroquine,” he said.

When asked if these are patients that went to other hospitals first, Dr. Varon quickly responded: “That is correct.”

Since KPCR 2 Investigates first highlighted Dr. Varon’s facility and his use of hydroxychloroquine in May, national media has visited his facility and chronicled his success. It comes during a time when there has been much debate over the drug.

“It is a drug that has been politicized up the wazoo,” said Dr. Varon.

Varon was quick to admit he is uncertain of the drug’s ability all on it own.

“Does this by itself make a difference in survival? This the bottom line is I don’t know,” said Varon.

Varon admits to having concerns over the fallout from some of Dr. Immanuel’s comments, considering the success he has seen with his cocktail approach.

“The small amount of credibility you had with hydroxychloroquine, because of some of the statements she made, may go away.”

Varon made one thing clear during his interview with KPRC 2: Hydroxychloriquine should only be administered if a COVID patient is in a hospital receiving medical treatment.

On Friday afternoon, the Texas Medical Board put out a statement reminding the public there is no definitive cure for the coronavirus at this time.