State Watch

Malaria drug touted by Trump now being tested in New York as coronavirus treatment

New York is moving at breakneck speed to test antimalarial drugs that have previously been touted by President Trump as a “game changer” on critically ill coronavirus patients in hopes of finding an effective treatment against the deadly virus.

Such an undertaking “is something that normally would have been done in six to nine months and we’re doing it in three or four days,” a New York state health official told The Washington Post.

According to the state, three drugs will be used: hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine — both antimalarial drugs — and the antibiotic azithromycin. The first group of patients will receive hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, a combination that proved effective in a small, controversial study in France.

Some states, like Nevada, have filed executive orders banning prescriptions of the drugs to fight COVID-19 until more comprehensive studies are established.

“We must deal with facts, not fiction,” Nevada’s chief state medical officer, Ihsan Azzam, told the paper.

These states are also trying to stop the hoarding of the drugs, which has caused a shortage for the people who actually rely on the drugs now, namely lupus patients.

Through an executive order of his own, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) limited new prescription of the antimalarial drugs to patients with previously approved FDA conditions and to coronavirus patients who are participating in the state’s study.

New York has been the hardest-hit state by the coronavirus, with more 30,000 confirmed cases and more than 400 deaths.

Tags Andrew Cuomo Coronavirus Donald Trump Hydroxychloroquine New York
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