Saturday, May 16, 2020

Drug promoted by Trump as coronavirus ‘game changer’ increasingly linked to deaths

White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, left, and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony S. Fauci listen as President Trump participates in a vaccine development event in the Rose Garden on Friday (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

By Toluse Olorunnipa, Ariana Eunjung Cha and Laurie McGinley

For two months, President Trump repeatedly pitched hydroxychloroquine as a safe and effective treatment for coronavirus, asking would-be patients “What the hell do you have to lose?”

Growing evidence shows that, for many, the answer is their lives.

Clinical trials, academic research and scientific analysis indicate that the danger of the Trump-backed drug is a significantly increased risk of death for certain patients. Evidence showing the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating covid-19 has been scant. Those two developments pushed the Food and Drug Administration to warn against the use of hydroxychloroquine outside of a hospital setting last month, just weeks after it approved an emergency use authorization for the drug.

Alarmed by a growing cache of data linking the anti-malaria drug to serious cardiac problems, some drug safety experts are now calling for even more forceful action by the government to discourage its use. Several have called for the FDA to revoke its emergency use authorization, given hydroxychloroquine’s documented risks.  Read more >>