Your cites make a good case that VFW factors may play a role in the pathology of COVID-19. They make almost ZERO case for the use of Hydroxychloroquine as a COVID cure, in fact neither of your cites even mention Hydroxychloroquine.
Your first cite mentions chloroquine in one paragraph. The second cite does not mention either drug and I don’t know why it was included. The premise of both articles is that it may fight VFW factors by slowing or stopping a process called autophagy.
In plain language, autophagy is one of the processes by which the body cleans out damaged cells in order to generate newer, healthier cells. It’s a buzzword that gets thrown out a lot as a pseudoscientific explanation for the benefit of fasting and it is one of the reasons turmeric and curcumin are touted as beneficial.
An agent that boosts autophagy could be beneficial in the treatment of conditions and it may play a factor in cancer, autoimmune disorders, liver disease, CNS disorders , inflammatory disorders and even mental illness. Cancer was at the top of that list, pre-COVID, and there was a theory that it could make standard chemotherapy more effective.
While some preliminary in vitro studies showed promise, it failed to pan out in actual clinical studies. This paper indicates that one of the reasons might have been the inability of patients to tolerate a dosage that allowed for an clinically effective serum concentration.
And here is a plain language article addressing the clinical history of Hydroxychloroquine as an anti-cancer agent. It calls the results underwhelming.
So, while Hydroxychloroquine has been studied extensively as an autophagic agent in many other disorders, there haven’t been any clinical successes. These studies mirror what I found when looking into other HCQ studies - while it may be an effective agent in a test tube, there’s a dosing problem. You can’t reach the serum concentrations that proved effective in vivo without a dangerously high dose.
Maybe COVID will be different, that’s the refrain. I think the fact that no one has ever made it work clinically as an autophagic agent against any condition ever means that it’s highly highly unlikely to work as one against COVID-19. This does not change my mind.