KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 – US president Donald Trump has shied away from promoting hydroxychloroquine as a potential cure for the coronavirus.
This comes after a recent US trial of the drug did not go as expected. A senior doctor who led efforts to create a vaccine also alleged that he was terminated from his job as he pursued testing of the supposed treatment.
“Obviously there have been some very good reports,” Trump said in a media briefing, according to The Guardian.
“Perhaps this one’s not a good report, but we’ll be looking at it.”
“It’s a very strong, powerful medicine. But it doesn’t kill people.”
The president has previously been pushing for the drug to be used in treatment of the disease, and was known to have questioned those who have recovered whether they were treated with it.
“So, you took the hydroxy? Why did you take the hydroxy? Why did you do that? You saw it on television?” he was quoted as asking.
A trial of the anti-malaria drug at US veteran hospitals did not provide any positive results, as nearly a third of veterans at US military hospitals died when treated with the medication. This was higher than patients who received the standard treatment.
“These findings highlight the importance of awaiting the results of ongoing prospective, randomized, controlled studies before widespread adoption of these drugs,” researchers of the trial wrote.
But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, Dr Stephen Hahn, said that the trial was still limited and the conclusions were not peer-reviewed.
“This study is a small retrospective study at the VA [veterans affairs department],” he said.
‘This is something that a doctor would need to consider as part of a decision in writing a prescription for hydroxychloroquine.”
Previously, Trump allies including top Fox News Personalities have pushed for the usage of the drug.
“According to the progressive watchdog Media Matters, Fox News personalities and guests mentioned hydroxychloroquine nearly 300 times between 23 March and 6 April,” said The Guardian.