Cuomo: Use of antimalarial drug in New York hospitals 'anecdotally' positive

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoHochul raises .6 million since launching gubernatorial campaign Former aide says she felt 'abandoned' by Democrats who advanced Garcetti nomination as ambassador to India De Blasio says he won't run for New York governor MORE (D) said Monday that early responses to the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine “anecdotally” suggest its use in the coronavirus fight has been “effective,” but that official data was still forthcoming.

Asked about the progress of the trials at his daily press briefing, Cuomo noted that state officials have allowed use of the drug in combination with the antibiotic Zithromax in hospitals “at their discretion.” He said the federal government would increase supplies to New York pharmacies, but that New York has imposed a 14-day limit to protect the supplies for people who rely on it to treat other medical conditions.

“The tests in the hospital, they’re too short a period of time to get a scientific report,” Cuomo said. “Hospital administrators, doctors want to have a significant data set before they give a formal opinion. Anecdotally, you’ll get suggestions that it has been effective. But we don’t have any official data yet from a hospital or a quote-unquote study, which will take weeks if not months.”

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“There has been anecdotal evidence that it is promising; that’s why we’re going ahead,” he added, noting that some patients have a pre-existing condition or medication regimen that prevents them from taking it.

An increase in the supply from the federal government, Cuomo added, would allow New York to lift the 14-day restriction.

President TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll MORE has repeatedly promoted the drug as a treatment for the virus despite lack of approval by the Food and Drug Administration for that use in the long-term or comprehensive clinical trial data, although the agency has granted emergency approval for use with a prescription. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony FauciAnthony Fauci Auschwitz Memorial says RFK Jr. speech at anti-vaccine rally exploits Holocaust tragedy Thousands descend on DC for anti-vaccine mandate rally Sunday shows - Russia standoff over Ukraine dominates MORE have reportedly been at odds over whether to promote the drug as an effective treatment for the coronavirus.

"The data are really just, at best, suggestive. There have been cases that show there may be an effect, and there are others to show there's no effect," Fauci said on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday. "So I think in terms of science, I don't think we could definitively say it works."