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

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoFlorida health officials agreed to receive remdesivir from New York before DeSantis dismissed offer Cuomo says Northeast will likely see rise in COVID-19 cases due to surge in other parts of country Overnight Health Care: Coronavirus deaths rise again amid mounting outbreaks | The Trump-Fauci divide is getting more apparent | New York to deliver remdesivir to Florida after DeSantis dismisses offer for help 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 John TrumpDeSantis on Florida schools reopening: 'If you can do Walmart,' then 'we absolutely can do schools' NYT editorial board calls for the reopening of schools with help from federal government's 'checkbook' Mueller pens WaPo op-ed: Roger Stone 'remains a convicted felon, and rightly so' 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 FauciDeSantis breaks with Fauci, says Florida didn't rush reopening Overnight Health Care: Coronavirus deaths rise again amid mounting outbreaks | The Trump-Fauci divide is getting more apparent | New York to deliver remdesivir to Florida after DeSantis dismisses offer for help BioNTech CEO confident vaccine will be ready for regulatory approval by end of 2020 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."