You may have noticed that Trump is no longer touting the virtues of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a miracle cure for Covid-19. While not in the same class of insanity as suggesting the injecting of disinfectants, this was still dangerous and has resulted in there being a run for this unproven treatment, resulting in those patients who need it to treat their lupus and rheumatoid arthritis not getting it. In a preliminary study conducted by the Veterans Administration with 368 patients that has not been peer-reviewed, no benefits were observed and there seemed to be extra deaths.
About 28% who were given hydroxychloroquine plus usual care died, versus 11% of those getting routine care alone. About 22% of those getting the drug plus azithromycin died too, but the difference between that group and usual care was not considered large enough to rule out other factors that could have affected survival.
Hydroxychloroquine made no difference in the need for a breathing machine, either.
Researchers did not track side effects, but noted a hint that hydroxychloroquine might have damaged other organs. The drug has long been known to have potentially serious side effects, including altering the heartbeat in a way that could lead to sudden death.
It turns out that Fox News, which had been vigorously promoting this drug earlier as a Covid-19 treatment, has quietly stopped touting it, which may be the reason Trump has also dropped it because tends to repeat things that he hears on his favorite media sources.
Here is a supercut of Fox News personalities and their guests breathlessly promoting this drug earlier.
Amid the news that hydroxychloroquine is actually more dangerous than beneficial, this video might come in handy when the lawsuits start rolling in.pic.twitter.com/nC4Ve1NBNQ
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) April 21, 2020