Extraordinary news

The Guardian is startled by Trump’s news.

Extraordinary news emerging from the White House – the president has mentioned that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine. This is the dubious treatment for coronavirus that Trump had fiercely touted in the past but which was found to have a very mixed effect on patients.

Mixed, perhaps, but also non-coronavirus-preventing. I think there’s no more reason to think hydroxychloroquine will prevent the virus than there is to think marshmallow fluff will, or varnish, or gypsum, or brine, or the urine of a rabid bat.

The US Food and Drug Administration cautions against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for Covid-19 outside of a hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems.

Yes but what have you got to lose? Can’t answer that, can you.

But the FDA can.

The FDA has warned against using hydroxychloroquine or a related compound, chloroquine, for treating or preventing Covid-19 without medical supervision in a hospital, or as part of a clinical trial.

“While clinical trials are ongoing to determine the safety and effectiveness of these drugs for Covid-19, there are known side effects of these medications that should be considered,” the FDA commissioner, Stephen M Hahn, said in a statement issued in late April. “The FDA will continue to monitor and investigate these potential risks and will communicate publicly when more information is available.”

Blah blah blah, but Trump knows better.

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