The decades-old medicine that U.S. President Trump has persistently touted as a potential weapon against COVID-19 has within a few weeks become a standard of care in areas of the country hit hard by the pandemic — although doctors prescribing it have no idea whether or not it works.
Doctors and pharmacists from over half a dozen large healthcare programs in New York, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Washington and California said they’re routinely utilizing hydroxychloroquine on sufferers hospitalized with COVID-19. At the same time, several stated they’ve seen no evidence that the medicine, used for years to treat malaria and autoimmune issues, has any impact on the virus.
The use of hydroxychloroquine has jumped as the U.S. has rapidly become the epicenter of the pandemic. Over 355,000 people in the U.S. have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and greater than 10,000 have died. The federal government forecasts that as many as 240,000 people in the nation may die from the illness before the outbreak is over.
Facing those numbers, and in the absence of any known efficient treatments, doctors on the frontlines stated they started utilizing hydroxychloroquine and the related chloroquine on sufferers who’re deteriorating based on a couple of small studies suggesting a potential benefit. Some stated they’d come under pressure from sufferers to use the therapies widely promoted by Trump and other supporters.