A new VA study found that more coronavirus patients died when given hydroxychloroquine then compared to being standard medical care.
A malaria drug widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus showed no benefit in a large analysis of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals. There were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care, researchers reported.
The nationwide study was not a rigorous experiment. But with 368 patients, it’s the largest look so far of hydroxychloroquine with or without the antibiotic azithromycin for COVID-19, which has killed more than 171,000 people as of Tuesday.
About 28% who were given hydroxychloroquine plus usual care died, versus 11% of those getting routine care alone. About 22% of those getting the drug plus azithromycin died too, but the difference between that group and usual care was not considered large enough to rule out other factors that could have affected survival.
Trump told his supporters that they should get prescriptions and take the drug, “They say take it. I’m not looking at it one way or the other, but we want to get out of this. If it does work, it would be a shame if we didn’t do it early. But we have some very good signs. You have to go through your medical people. I’ve seen things I sort of like. What do I know, I’m not a doctor. I’m not a doctor, but I have common sense.”
The Republican governor of South Dakota has jumped on board the unproven malaria drug treatment, as she refused to issue a stay at home order. One study is not definitive proof, but it is a counterpoint to Trump’s claims that people have nothing to lose by taking the drug.
People have a lot to lose. They could die, and if they have the virus, there is still no evidence that Trump’s touted malaria drug treatment actually works.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association