President Donald Trump on Thursday revealed that scientists are looking at a malaria drug called chloroquine as a possible treatment for coronavirus — and he even went so far as to say that “we know it’s not going to kill anybody.”
As Bloomberg reports, however, that is not necessarily true.
Although the Chinese government initially recommended using chloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus patients, it quickly rolled back the scope of allowable usage due to concerns about patient safety.
In particular, the government reportedly decided to cut back on using the drug after “a Wuhan Institute of Virology study found that the drug can kill an adult just dosed at twice the daily amount recommended for treatment, which is one gram.”
As it turns out, the drug has many potentially harmful side effects for people with assorted conditions.
“China Health Commission revised the dosage in a Feb. 29 notice tightening chloroquine use,” Bloomberg reports. “The drug cannot be given to pregnant women, those with heart disease, terminal liver and renal disease, retina and hearing loss and patients on antibiotics such as azithromycin and steroid. It can now be given only to patients between 18 to 65 years of age for a seven-day treatment course.”
Trump on Friday sparred with Dr. Anthony Fauci about the effectiveness of the drug in treating coronavirus, as Fauci went out of his way to repeatedly tamp down any notion that chloroquine would be approved for treatment of the disease at any point in the near future, if ever.