MAY 23, 2020: Hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug US president Donald Trump has said he is taking because it has “positive benefits”, has been found by a study to in fact have no benefits to treat Covid-19 patients.
According to the Lancet medical journal, the study found a higher risk of a Covid-19 patient dying if given the drug, which is used to teat malaria or lupus, but warned that it should not be used outside of clinical trials for Covid-19 patients.
The study involved 96 coronavirus patients in six continents, of whom nearly 15,000 were given hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine alone or with an antibiotic.
When asked about the study, White House coronavirus taskforce co-ordinator Deborah Birx said the US Food and Drug Administration had been very clear about concerns in using the drug as either a coronavirus prevention or as a treatment course.
Trump has been touting the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for last two months at least, at one point saying “What have you got to lose…. take it”. At a press conference today he refused to answer questions on the drugs.