Coronavirus crisis: Donald Trump’s COVID-19 cure linked to deaths

Henrietta Strickland
May 24, 2020

They then played a clip of the president's "reckless" promotion of the drug, during which he calls hydroxychloroquine "a gift from heaven" but admits he is not a doctor.

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were linked with an increased risk of mortality in hospitals, researchers said. This is stated in the results of a study published by the medical journal The Lancet, as CNBC reports. Sean Hannity read a letter from a doctor recounting his own experience using the drugs as a treatment on air.

- A 34% increase in risk of death for those given hydroxychloroquine, and a 137% increase in risk of serious heart arrhythmias.

Dr Marcos Espinal, director of the Pan American Health Organization - part of the World Health Organization - has stressed that no clinical trials have recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus.

Of all the patients, approximately 15,000 patients were given hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, or one of those drugs combined with an antibiotic.

Those who were treated with hydroxychloroquine had a mortality rate of 18 percent. One in six of those taking one of the drugs died, while one in five died if they were taking chloroquine with an antibiotic, and one in four if they were on hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic.

"Each of these drug regimens was associated with decreased in-hospital survival and increased frequency of ventricular arrhythmias when used for treatment of COVID-19", the researchers wrote.

Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said more research was needed, but added: "A definitive answer still awaits the results of the randomised trials, but it is clear that the drugs should not be given for treatment of Covid-19 other than in the context of a randomised trial".

In Switzerland, 17 hospitals are now participating in a World Health Organization (WHO) solidarity study to test the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.

The Lancet study looked at data from 671 hospitals, where 14,888 patients were given either hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, with or without the antibiotic macrolide, and 81,144 patients were not on any of the treatment regimens.

That veterans study, funded by grants from the NIH and the University of Virginia, was not a rigorous experiment, but a retrospective analysis by researchers at several universities looking at the impact of hydroxychloroquine in patients at veterans' hospitals across the nation.

Newsweek reports a Wisconsin woman, identified only as Kim, tested positive for Covid-19 after taking hydroxychloroquine for 19 years to treat lupus. "However, we now know from our study that the chance that these medications improve outcomes in COVID-19 is quite low", co-author of the study Dr. "These findings highlight the importance of awaiting the results of ongoing prospective, randomized, controlled studies before widespread adoption of these drugs".

The new study comes just days after Trump told reporters that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine daily for over a week in an effort to prevent Covid-19 infection.

Demand for hydroxychloroquine surged in the United States after Mr Trump first promoted its use as a coronavirus treatment in early April, with sales of the drug doubling according to an analysis of sales from March of this year and sales in March 2019.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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