Yes, I agree with you. The authors of that original study annoy me to no end for exactly the reasons you state, they threw out data that perhaps should not have been thrown out. And yes, the new study is not without flaws either. My main point, though, was that the NIH site was updated just yesterday with new info, and specifically recommending against the combination of drugs that was being given to my aunt.Yeah, there is a lot of reason to be skeptical of that original study. It contained very few patients. Patients were excluded from the hydroxychloroquine arm who really should have counted as failures. And I have yet to find a good scientific reason for how azithromycin got involved at all. (If anyone sees anything, point me to it, because i really want to know why there is an antibiotic being used to treat this *****.)
That being said, the new study doesn't show much either. It's an observational study, not a randomized control trial, so it's entirely possible that doctors are giving hydroxychloroquine to patients they view as the most serious which results in a higher death rate. It's also possible that the side effects from hydroxychloroquine actually are resulting in a higher death rate. But there's no way to know from that study.