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‘Hydroxychloroquine, try it’: Study of 96,000 COVID-19 patients finds Trump-backed drug linked to higher risk of death

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Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug President Donald Trump pushed for weeks and admitted he was taking to try to prevent contracting coronavirus offers no benefit in COVID-19 patients and in fact is linked to a “significantly higher risk of death.”

The Washington Post reports on a just-released study published in the renowned medical journal the Lancet, which examined records of 96,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients. Those treated with hydroxychloroquine, a decades-old drug not approved in the U.S. by the FDA for treating coronavirus, “had a significantly higher risk of death compared with those who did not.”

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Patients treated with the drug “were also more likely to develop a type of irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmia, that can lead to sudden cardiac death, it concluded.”

Scientists are convinced the drug should not be used for COVID-19 patients.

“It’s one thing not to have benefit, but this shows distinct harm,” cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute Eric Topol told The Post. “If there was ever was hope for this drug, this is the death of it.”

David Maron, director of preventive cardiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, said that “these findings provide absolutely no reason for optimism that these drugs might be useful in the prevention or treatment of covid-19.”

President Trump has called using hydroxychloroquine off-label on coronavirus patients a “game changer,” and repeatedly asked, “what have you got to lose?” He also recently admitted he became interested in the drug because a physician he does not know and has “never heard of” sent him a letter touting its benefits.

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“Hydroxychloroquine, try it,” Trump said at a press briefing in April.

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New Zealand may postpone general election after 4 test positive for COVID-19: PM Jacinda Ardern

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New Zealand locked down nursing homes nationwide Wednesday after a 102-day streak without the coronavirus ended, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the outbreak could force her to postpone next month's general election.

Ardern said authorities were scrambling to trace anyone who had been in contact with four Auckland residents who tested positive Tuesday, ending the dream run in which the virus had been contained at New Zealand's borders.

A three-day stay-at-home order for Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city with a population of 1.5 million, was announced on Tuesday night and went into force at lunchtime on Wednesday.

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2020 Election

Android phones to get ‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake warnings — and phones may double as tremor detectors

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Android phones will receive warnings triggered by a "ShakeAlert" earthquake early-warning system implemented on the West Coast by the US Geological Survey and partners.

ShakeAlert uses signals from hundreds of seismometers across the state to trigger warning messages that "an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent," according to the system's website.

"We saw an opportunity to use Android to provide people with timely, helpful earthquake information when they search, as well as a few seconds warning to get themselves and their loved ones to safety if needed," principal software engineer Marc Stogaitis said in a blog post.

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2020 Election

‘Don’t talk about racism, racist’: Trump scorched after claiming Biden-Harris campaign has a ‘racism problem’

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President Donald Trump continued to lash out at Kamala Harris after the California Democrat was chosen to join the 2020 Democratic Party ticket as presumptive nominee Joe Biden's running mate.

At a news conference following the selection, Trump complained about Harris being "nasty."

After 10 p.m. on Monday, Trump tweeted out an attack ad claiming "Joe Biden has a racism problem."

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's line of attack:

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