Hospital Official in China Demoted for Criticizing Use of Unproven Drugs on Virus Patients

April 27, 2020 Updated: April 28, 2020

The deputy director of a hospital at the Chinese epicenter of the CCP virus outbreak was recently demoted after he criticized the treatments being used for virus patients in China.

Dr. Yu Xiangdong was removed from all his leadership roles at the Huangshi Central Hospital in Huangshi city, Hubei Province on April 1 after he wrote several social media posts in February, which were subsequently removed by internet censors.

“I posted lots of articles on social media to discuss treatment from academic angles,” Yu said in an interview with The Epoch Times. “Maybe my posts didn’t match with the [authorities’ official] tone,” Yu said.

Yu was deputy director of Huangshi Central Hospital and director of the quality control department at Edong Medical Group. Edong Medical Group is an agency of the city government that manages three state-run hospitals: Huangshi Central Hospital, Huangshi Chinese Medicine Hospital, and Huangshi Maternal and Child Health Hospital.

Treatment at China’s Hospitals

As a doctor in the hard-hit region of Hubei, Yu said that he has treated many CCP virus patients since the outbreak began.

Yu published an article titled, “The Collapse of Evidence-Based Medicine,” in early February, which was read by more than a million netizens. Many posted the article onto other websites, and archived the article after censors deleted it.

In the article, Yu explained that Chinese hospitals widely use Umifenovir (an antiviral drug not yet FDA-approved), Darunavir (sometimes used to treat HIV/AIDS), Oseltamivir (used to treat influenza virus type A and B), and a large amount of Vitamin C to treat virus patients. But all these medicines have not been tested for their efficacy in treating the CCP virus.

Yu emphasized that a medicine can only be used after repeated testing, such as in vitro experiments, animal experiments, clinical trials, and so on.

But so far, “I only saw one medicine that adheres to the philosophy of evidence-based medicine, which is Remdesivir,” Yu wrote.

Remdesivir was developed by the U.S. biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences. It is a medicine designed to treat Ebola and Marburg virus infections.

It has been effective for treating some COVID-19 patients, and is now being studied in clinical trials.

drug-remdesivir.
A vial of the investigational drug remdesivir is visually inspected at a Gilead manufacturing site in the United States in March 2020. (Gilead Sciences via AP)

After his article was removed, Yu published another one, titled “Does No Evidence-Based Medicine Mean One Can Only Wait to Die?” on Feb. 17.

Yu said Chinese hospitals were “abusing the use of antimicrobial drugs.”

“These aren’t candy. They are medicines. Every medicine has its toxicity impact,” he wrote.

Yu mentioned that Chinese hospitals also widely use Lopinavir/Ritonavir, a medicine used to treat HIV/AIDS, on COVID-19 patients.

“From clinical observations, we can see that Lopinavir/Ritonavir can cause diarrhea and severe liver damage. It’s unknown whether it can treat the coronavirus,” Yu wrote.

He then suggested: “Oxygen therapy, having good rest, taking enough nutrition, getting comfort and support, having informed knowledge, not abusing drugs, close monitoring, and quarantine—these are the kind of treatments modern medicine can provide to patients.”

Epoch Times Photo
People are waiting to be tested for the CCP virus at the Wuhan No. 8 Hospital in Wuhan, China on April 10, 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)

In another article published on Feb. 18, Yu reviewed epidemics throughout human history and which ones were contained with the use of medicine and vaccines.

Yu explained that the medicines Chinese hospitals are currently using can have serious side effects when given in heavy doses: “Hormonal drugs can cause femoral head avascular necrosis. Antibiotics may lead to double infections. Antiviral drugs can damage the gastrointestinal system. Plasma [from recovered patients, which is sometimes used to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients] have the potential to spread other microbes. Many other medicines also damage the liver and kidney.”

Drug Side Effects

Chinese media have recorded examples of some virus patients who had serious side effects after treatment.

State-run newspaper Health Times reported on April 19 that Hu Weifeng and Yi Fan, two doctors from Wuhan Central Hospital, recovered from COVID-19.

Hu and Yi were infected more than two months ago, and were treated at an intensive care unit (ICU) and placed on ventilators.

During the interview, Hu and Yi’s skin color was noticeably very dark.

Epoch Times Photo
Hu Weifeng and Yi Fan, two doctors from Wuhan Central Hospital, have a dark skin after cured from CCP virus in Wuhan, China on April 18, 2020. (screenshot)

Song Jianxin, director of the infection department at the Wuhan Tongji Hospital, explained that most patients in critical condition also had the same side effect, with the skin turning dark, peeling, and cracking.

Doctors from Hubei General Hospital explained that this was due to liver damage, as a result of the virus attacking the body, medicines that the patients are taking, and the interaction between multiple organs that have been damaged due to respiratory distress.

“Iron is metabolized and stored by the liver. When the liver cannot work well, the iron will enter the blood, which can cause the skin to become darker,” one doctor said.

The report did not specify which, if any, medications Hu and Yi were treated with.

Researcher Wang Fusheng and his team at the Fifth Medical Center of the PLA General Hospital (a military hospital) published a study in The Lancet on March 4, which found that “2–11% of patients with COVID-19 had liver comorbidities…Patients with severe COVID-19 seem to have higher rates of liver dysfunction.”