FILE PHOTO: A nurse shows a Hydroxychloroquine pill, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Nossa Senhora da Conceicao hospital in Porto Alegre, Brazil, April 23, 2020. REUTERS/Diego Vara/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

A study published by The Lancet on Friday showed a link between hydroxychloroquine and an increased risk of death when used as a treatment for COVID-19. Additionally, there was an increased prevalence of irregular heartbeats, or arrhythmia, when used as a coronavirus treatment. Of the patients given the drug, 34% had an increased risk of death and 137% had an increased risk of arrhythmia. There were no explicit benefits for patients who took the drug either independently or with an antibiotic such as Azithromycin. The study involved nearly 96,000 hospitalized patients over six continents. It is the largest analysis of the drug as a treatment for COVID-19 to date.

Hydroxychloroquine is generally used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as treating and preventing malaria. The FDA has warned against using hydroxychloroquine outside formal studies for coronavirus treatment, especially concurrent with antibiotics. The Lancet researchers, as well as several other medical groups, gave the same advice. A Wisconsin woman, who has taken hydroxychloroquine for 19 years to treat lupus, warned that the drug does not necessarily prevent the novel coronavirus after she contracted the disease in mid-April.

White House press secretary Kaleigh McEnany confirmed Wednesday that President Donald Trump was prescribed hydroxychloroquine in a preventative capacity. McEnany cited the “right to try” legislation – which gives terminally ill patients the ability to use experimental medical treatments – as the reasoning behind President Trump taking the drug. The president said Thursday his regimen would end “in a day or two.”

President Trump contradicted two medical studies this week, dismissing the findings and suggesting the scientists conducting them were politically motivated, despite no evidence proving such claims. Many of his claims surrounding the drug have been disproven.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Experts Worry Trump’s Hydroxychloroquine Claims Could Have Major Consequences – HuffPost – 5/21/2020
President Donald Trump and his administration may not be worried about the grave risks associated with taking hydroxychloroquine as a way to potentially prevent catching the coronavirus. However, experts are. Dr. Megan Ranney, a professor of emergency medicine at Brown University, told HuffPost that she would not prescribe hydroxychloroquine — sometimes called HCQ — to treat or prevent COVID-19.

Dr. David Samadi to Newsmax TV: No Harm in Trump Taking Hydroxychloroquine – Newsmax – 5/21/2020
Dr. David Samadi, the Director of Men’s Health at St. Francis Hospital, says there’s no harm in President Donald Trump taking hydroxychloroquine to try to prevent a COVID-19 infection. Samadi, a board-certified urologic oncologist and expert in robotic prostate surgery, also slammed the media for playing “political football” with news of Trump taking the antimalaria drug.

Trump’s Taking Of Hydroxychloroquine May Be Tied To Family’s Stake In The Company That Makes It – Hill Reporter – 5/20/2020
It came to light on Monday that Trump has a financial interest in the company that makes hydroxychloroquine. The report was filed by The New York Times. Sanofi is the name of the French company that makes hydroxychloroquine better known by its brand name, Plaquenil. The Trump family has a small stake in Sanofi and they stand to make a nice financial gain should the drug become a standard treatment.

Neil Cavuto Stunned by Trump Taking Hydroxychloroquine: ‘It Will Kill You’ – Breitbart – 5/18/2020
President Trump told reporters at the White House that he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug, saying that he’s been consuming one tablet daily for about a week and a half. The president also revealed that he is taking zinc. “A number of studies, those certainly vulnerable in the population have one thing to lose, their lives,” Cavuto said on his program following President Trump’s announcement. “A VA study showed that among a population of veterans in a hospital receiving this treatment, those with vulnerable conditions, respiratory conditions, heart elements, they died.”

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

Hillary Clinton on Twitter, 5/22/2020: A study of 96,000 coronavirus patients found that those who received a drug Trump has promoted as a treatment had a “significantly higher risk of death compared with those who did not.” The president needs to stop playing a doctor on TV.

David Brody on Twitter, 5/22/2020: JUST RELEASED: @PressSec @kayleighmcenany on @realDonaldTrump & Hydroxychloroquine: “The doctor did prescribe it for him and he took it after having several discussions with Dr. Conley about its efficacy…” The Doctor says, “the benefits outweigh the risks for the President.”

Grant Stern on Twitter, 5/22/2020: It’s truly unfortunate that Dr. Birx has to toe Trump’s line about his advocacy for a drug that today’s Lancet study of 96,000 #COVIDー19 patients which showed a strong correlation between death and those patients using hydroxychloroquine.

Tim W. Jones on Twitter, 5/22/2020: Libs owning libs! Senator ⁦@amyklobuchar⁩ Reluctantly Admits #Hydroxychloroquine Saved Her Husband’s Life #OpenAmericaNOW

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