The facts about Trump’s ‘game changer’ drug hydroxychloroquine

Lately on The Trump Show, Trump appears fixated hydroxychloroquine to treat patients with COVID-19, despite scant scientific evidence that it’s an effective treatment. Apparently before Saturday’s episode, The Coronavirus Warriors had its biggest fight yet over “how enthusiastically should the White House tout the prospects of an antimalarial drug to fight COVID-19?”

“What do I know? I’m not a doctor. But I have common sense. The FDA feels good about it, as you know, they approved it.”

“We don’t have time to say, ‘Gee, let’s take a couple of years and test it out, and let’s go and test with the test tubes and the laboratories,” Trump said Sunday, claiming that even if it’s not effective against the coronavirus, there’s no harm in trying because “it doesn’t kill people.”


The FDA has not approved hydroxychloroquine, a popular malaria and lupus treatment, to treat COVID-19, though it has granted it limited emergency-use authorization. But medical experts warn that reports of the drug’s benefits for COVID-19 patients are anecdotal and small-scale, and there is little scientific evidence yet that it works against the coronavirus.

It actually could, though. Medical experts warn of its potentially severe side effects, which can include impaired vision, hearing loss, paranoia and cardiac arrhythmias, which could be fatal for patients with heart problems or who are taking certain anti-depressants. “It is not like water. It is not harmless,” one emergency room doctor and research scientist said.

“There is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved product available to treat COVID-19.”

A study just published in a French medical journal provides new evidence that hydroxychloroquine does not appear to help the immune system clear the coronavirus from the body. The study comes on the heels of two others – one in France and one in China – that reported some benefits in the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for COVID-19 patients who didn’t have severe symptoms of the virus.

***Read more from Katherine Seley-Radtke, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and President-Elect of the International Society for Antiviral Research, University of Maryland, Baltimore County here:

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health was asked March 24 whether the drug was considered a treatment for the novel coronavirus.

“The answer is no,” he said, “and the evidence that you’re talking about … is anecdotal evidence.”

-Dr. Anthony Fauci

Touting Virus Cure: ‘Simple Country Doctor’ Becomes a Right-Wing Star:

  • Dr. Vladimir Zelenko’s clinics “treated people with coronavirus-like symptoms, and he had developed an experimental treatment consisting of an antimalarial medication called hydroxychloroquine, the antibiotic azithromycin and zinc sulfate.”
  • The ‘doctor’ treated those with mild or moderate symptoms.
  • Claimed “100 percent of them had survived the virus with no hospitalizations and no need for a ventilator.”
  • Sean Hannity started pimping the doctor’s claims and this new wonder drug cocktail.

“It’s a very surreal moment,” said Dr. Zelenko, who has been practicing medicine for 16 years. “I’m a simple country doctor, you know. I don’t have connections.”

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