The American Medical Association (AMA), the largest medical association in the country, responded to President Donald Trump’s claim that “thousands” of frontline workers are taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure against COVID-19 by saying that they’re not aware of any surveys that are tracking the use of hydroxychloroquine by frontline workers, NBC News reported on Tuesday. In other words, Trump’s claim cannot be verified by any study the AMA is aware of. According to NBC News, when pushed for evidence to back up this claim, the White House stated that Trump was referring to trials that are in process.
Trump made the assertion that essential workers — including doctors and nurses — were taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure against COVID-19 after revealing that he was taking the drug himself, NBC News reported. He reiterated this claim on Tuesday after he defended his use of the drug. Trump was widely criticized for taking the drug, which has serious side effects and has not been proven to be effective at preventing coronavirus.
‘Highly irresponsible,’ ‘A beautiful distraction,’ ‘This will kill you.’ — Trump’s latest endorsement of hydroxychloroquine has medical experts and pundits warning Americans to tune out their president pic.twitter.com/gb6ZW6lqi1
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 20, 2020
NBC News spoke to doctors in the New York City area about whether they were using hydroxychloroquine themselves or on patients and the answer was a resounding “no.” The drug was widely used in NYC hospitals back at the very beginning of the city’s outbreak, but when dangerous and even fatal side effects were discovered, doctors stopped using and prescribing the drug. One doctor who spoke anonymously to NBC News said that he believes hydroxychloroquine may have killed some patients during the early days of the pandemic.
Another doctor who spoke to NBC News said that he was aware that some doctors might have taken hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure in March, but they stopped once evidence showed that the drug wasn’t effective at preventing coronavirus.
“There is zero evidence for it as prophylaxis [and] questionable evidence for taking it very very early in the course of an infection, but that’s a stretch now based on what we’ve learned.”
President Trump has long insisted that hydroxychloroquine could be a miracle drug for the prevention and treatment of coronavirus, but preliminary studies have shown that the drug is not effective at treating or preventing coronavirus.
NBC News reported that several studies have confirmed the ineffectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, and some studies showed that patients given the drug actually had worse health outcomes than patients who weren’t given the drug. None of the studies done so far have shown any benefits to taking hydroxychloroquine.