During an interview on Friday's edition of SiriusXM's Breitbart News Tonight, Dr. Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician and the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, spoke about chloroquine and its potential for treating coronavirus.
As reported by Breitbart, Redlener echoed Dr. Anthony Fauci and noted that all evidence of chloroquine's effectiveness for treating COVID-19 is anecdotal.
"Any of evidence that we have is very anecdotal, and we can't have doctors just prescribing it, because it may actually be very unsafe for these conditions."Redlener also warned of misinformation being spread on social media and the internet about coronavirus treatments. He noted that all possible treatments must undergo verifiable studies to determine their safety and efficacy for treating any particular disease.
"If we don't have that, we're completely flying in the dark and potentially exposing people to a lot of a lot of real dangers," he said.
Former Lost star Daniel Dae Kim recently revealed that he is in recovery from coronavirus after a combination of azithromycin and chloroquine — which Donald Trump recently touted for treating COVID-19 before being corrected by Fauci — as well as a glycopyrrolate inhaler and Tamiflu.
Despite some favorable anecdotal evidence of coronavirus treatments, Redlener recalled the smallpox vaccine that was administered to 500,000 American healthcare workers before using it on the rest of the population. After the test treatment, Redlener said a significant number of people developed acute heart disease, and several people died.
Redlender warned of jumping to a treatment that could eventually do more harm than good.
"I think we have to be very careful about leaping into the great unknown here with a drug that's not proven safe and effective for the coronavirus. I don't mean to be grim here."As reported by The Globe and Mail, at least two Nigerians were hospitalized after being poisoned from using hydroxychloroquine, a form of chloroquine, following Trump's promotion of the anti-malarial drug for COVID-19 treatment. According to the report, chloroquine tablets can be purchased with relative ease in Nigerian pharmacies and other shops without a prescription.
After the poisonings, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control urged against self-medication in a tweet.
"Please DO NOT engage in self-medication," they wrote. "This will cause harm and can lead to death."
As of now, neither the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially approved chloroquine for the treatment of coronavirus. Still, some early research has suggested it could be effective when used with azithromycin.