‘I happen to think it works.’
July 28, 2020 |
Politico – President Donald Trump on Tuesday doubled down on his promotion of hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 despite no evidence of the malaria drug’s efficacy in doing so.
“Many doctors think it is extremely successful, the hydroxychloroquine coupled with the zinc and perhaps the azithromycin,” Trump asserted at a White House briefing, though there is no evidence from at least five rigorous clinical trials that hydroxychloroquine has any impact in preventing the virus or treating mildly to severely ill cases.
“I happen to think it works in the early stages,” the president continued, repeating his past claim, “I think front-line medical people believe that, too — some. Many.”
Trump initially revived the issue in a flurry of social media posts late Monday, tweeting more than a dozen times in defense of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Covid-19.
Debate over the drug has resurfaced after a study run by the Henry Ford Medical Center suggested this month that the pill could help mildly ill patients recover faster.
While Trump and trade adviser Peter Navarro touted the research, experts swiftly pointed out that patients were not randomized, that there was no placebo to compare with, and that many were on steroids — which are known to help with inflammation.
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Still, Trump reminded reporters that he himself had taken a course of the drug prior to the FDA’s revoking its emergency-use authorization in light of data showing that it proved ineffective against the novel coronavirus and could even be unsafe. The president had markedly toned down his promotion of hydroxychloroquine for several months before resuming his advocacy this week, with coronavirus cases in the U.S. continuing to rise.
“I had no problem. I had absolutely no problem,” the president said on Tuesday. “Felt no different. Didn’t feel good, bad or indifferent, and I tested — as you know, it didn’t get me and it’s not going to — hopefully — hurt anybody.” He added that he’d read up “a lot” on the drug. Read more.