Emails obtained by Vanity Fair indicate the Trump administration cooked up a plan to distribute the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine to millions of COVID-19 sufferers.Brett Giroir, the Trump adviser overseeing the coronavirus testing, emailed health officials on April 4 suggesting the drug should be made widely available outside of hospitals.Trump began pushing hydroxychloroquine as a “cure” for the coronavirus in late March. A controversial study had suggested a combination including the drug might be effective against the disease.But a later, larger study of more than 300 patients showed the drug had no benefit. Another Brazilian trial was halted after several patients died.Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Trump administration officials concocted a plan to distribute millions of doses of the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine to COVID-19 outpatients, according to emails obtained by Vanity Fair.Hydroxychloroquine is an effective anti-malarial drug, but despite being repeatedly touted by President Trump as a potential cure for the virus, there’s no robust evidence that it would work.Vanity Fair got hold of an email sent April 4 by Brett Giroir, the Trump adviser overseeing the coronavirus testing in the US, to a group of health officials.Vanity Fair said at least two officials from FEMA were included on the email.
It reportedly read: “WH call. Really want to flood Ny and NJ with treatment courses. Hospitals have it. Sick out patients don’t. And can’t get. So go through distribution channels as we discussed. If we have 29 million perhaps send a few million ASAP? WH wants follow up in AM. We can get a lot more of this. Right Bob? Millions per week?”The email, Vanity Fair reported, was sent hours after Trump hyped up hydroxychloroquine once again as a coronavirus treatment and boasted of the administration’s supplies.Trump said: “And the hydroxychloroquine is a — I hope it’s going to be a very important answer. We’re having some very good things happening with it, and we’re going to be distributing it through the Strategic National Stockpile. It’s going into the Strategic National Stockpile to treat certain patients. And we have millions and millions of doses of it; 29 million to be exact.”The potential use of chloroquine-based drugs has become a political issue in the US as much as a scientific one.
One top vaccine scientist, Rick Bright, was ousted this week as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Bright said he lost his position for refusing to tout unproven coronavirus treatments, and that he plans to file a whistleblower complaint.Trump first touted hydroxychloroquine as a potential coronavirus cure on March 23. A controversial French study had just found a combination of drugs that included hydroxychloroquine may be effective in combating the coronavirus. Although the study had yet to be replicated, it was repeatedly mentioned on Fox News — where it may have caught Trump’s eye.Subsequent studies have suggested that such anti-malarials have no impact on the coronavirus. One Brazilian study was halted after patients died. And the biggest patient study yet, conducted in the US, showed there was no benefit to using the drug.LoadingSomething is loading.