Navarro urges FDA to reconsider hydroxychloroquine as treatment for coronavirus

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Tuesday reiterated the Trump administration’s calls for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize use of hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug touted publicly by President Trump, to treat COVID-19 patients. 

Navarro told pool reporters that the FDA should approve a request from several Detroit doctors to grant emergency use authorization to the drug, which it granted and then rescinded earlier this year after several studies pointed to the drug not being helpful to treat or prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Other conflicting studies have pointed to the drug possible reducing the mortality rate among COVID-19 victims.

“Yesterday, the four doctors at the Detroit hospital system, led by William O’Neill, filed a request for an emergency use authorization for the medicine known as hydroxychloroquine,” Navarro said.

“The FDA decisions that they made, which I think were precipitous, and based on bad science, had a tremendously negative effect on two things — one is the ability for American people to use this medicine to protect themselves and two, the ability for hospitals, like the Detroit hospital system, to recruit patients for the kind of randomized blind clinical trials that everybody wants to settle once and for all the questions of efficacy and safety,” he added.

Navarro chastised journalists for spreading “hydroxy hysteria,” referring to negative reporting about the drug’s possible side effects or overall effectiveness for treating and preventing coronavirus.

Trump has touted the use of the drug numerous times on social media and announced in May that he was taking it himself to prevent contracting the disease.

The FDA ruled in mid-June that it would withdraw emergency use authorization for the drug, stating at the time that recent data showed no difference in patients with COVID-19 who took the drug and those who did not.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Hydroxychloroquine Peter Navarro

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