As NPR reports, and it’s worth a mention in this space:
The National Institutes of Health has halted its study of hydroxychloroquine, a drug President Donald Trump has promoted as a possible treatment for COVID-19 and once claimed to be taking himself.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the agency said that although it did not appear hydroxychloroquine caused harm to patients in the study, it was also “very unlikely to be beneficial.”
“The data from this study indicate that this drug provided no additional benefit compared to placebo control for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients,” according to the NIH.
The end of the National Institutes of Health’s study of hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for COVID-19 comes a week after the Food and Drug Administration withdrew its emergency authorization to treat coronavirus patients with the drug, citing danger from side effects with no measurable benefit.
The ignominious conclusion of months of low-information hype about this particular drug comes after President Donald Trump’s enthusiastic promotion of it as a treatment for the COVID-19 pandemic, stunning medical experts in May by announcing in a press conference that has was taking the drug “preventatively.” Misinformation over the supposed efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in treating the disease in turn contributed to conspiracy theories on the far right that the COVID-19 pandemic was overblown–and even being exploited in the service of nefarious leftist geopolitical aims.
Well folks, that all looks pretty stupid now, doesn’t it? Donald Trump took a drug that could have killed him for no medically valid reason and encouraged Americans to do the same, the federal government stockpiled millions of doses that it doesn’t need–and here in Colorado, Republican congressional candidate Steve House wishes he could mash the delete button too, as the Colorado Times Recorder reported in April:
Colorado Republican Steve House is encouraging the use of the malaria and lupus drug hydroxychloroquine to treat people stricken with COVID-19. [Pols emphasis]
Via his Congressional campaign, the health care consultant and former chair of the Colorado Republican party also paid for Facebook ads for a virtual event promoting the drug. The ads were served primarily to Coloradans aged 65 and over: “We look forward to discussing the latest research surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic and the early positive medical data concerning the use of Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19,” stated one of House’s Facebook ads…
House invited a conservative activist and physician specifically to praise hydroxychloroquine as his guest for a Facebook townhall event. The physician, Dr. Kelly Victory, not only promoted the drug, but dismissed the two primary concerns about its use for COVID-19: making it harder for patients currently taking the drug for other diseases to fill their prescriptions, and a documented risk for those with certain heart conditions.
To be clear, Steve House is not a doctor. We knew House well enough before this to know not to take medical or most any other form of advice from him. We also know not to let him run anything important like a Republican state party organization, though Colorado Republicans have yet to learn that lesson it seems.
You can add bogus hydroxychloroquine hype to the list of reasons Mr. House won’t be going to Washington.