President Donald Trump announced during a Thursday press briefing that the anti-malarial drug chloroquine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a possible treatment for the coronavirus.
The announcement comes the day after Breitbart News reported that the medical establishment has known about chloroquine’s effectiveness in treating the virus since at least the 2005 SARS coronavirus outbreak.
“Clinical trials are already underway for many new therapies and we’re working on scaling these to allow many more Americans to access different drugs that have shown really good promise,” President Trump said.
“A drug called chloroquine – and some people would add to it hydroxy, hydroxychloroquine – this is a common malaria drug. It’s also a drug used for strong arthritis. It is known as a malaria drug and it’s been around for a long time and it’s very powerful, but the nice part is it’s been around for a long time so we know that if things don’t go as planned it’s not going to kill anybody. When you go with a brand new drug you don’t know if that’s going to happen,” he added.
The president said his administration is going to make the drug available “almost immediately” and believes it has shown “tremendous promise.”
FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said that the drug will be used in a clinical trial for patients with COVID-19.
“I have great hope for how we’re going to come out of this situation,” said Hahn. “The American people have great resiliency.”
President Trump said he is “very excited” about the drug and thinks it “could be really incredible.”
The medical journal Clinical Infectious Diseases released a study earlier this month claiming that Plaquenil, a brand-name form of chloroquine, was effective in treating the coronavirus in experiments, according to Forbes.
A recent clinical trial in France found chloroquine has had a 100 percent cure rate for treating the coronavirus, though it did have a small sample size.
“100 percent of patients that received a combination of HCQ and Azithromycin tested negative and were virologically cured within 6 days of treatment,” states the study. “In addition, recent guidelines from South Korea and China report that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are effective antiviral therapeutic treatments for novel coronavirus.”
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