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US VA acknowledges unproven drug Trump touted used on veterans

03:25  23 may  2020
03:25  23 may  2020 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Whistleblower Rick Bright to testify before House lawmakers Thursday

  Whistleblower Rick Bright to testify before House lawmakers Thursday Dr. Bright, who was leading the government's efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, claims he was ousted from his position after raising concerns about a treatment touted by President Trump.He's testifying Thursday before the Subcommittee on Health for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce about the whistleblower complaint he filed about being removed from his job as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Bright claims that he was ousted from his position after raising concerns about a coronavirus treatment supported by President Trump.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie on Wednesday defended the use of an unproven drug on veterans for the coronavirus, insisting they were Major veterans organizations are calling on VA to explain under what circumstances VA doctors initiate discussion of hydroxychloroquine with veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs has said it will not stop using an unproven anti-malaria drug touted by President Donald Trump on veterans with The VA acknowledged to Congress that it had placed bulk orders for hydroxychloroquine from February 1 to April 23 for 6.3 million tablets worth

A top Senate Democrat on Friday accused the Trump administration of treating military veterans as “guinea pigs,” after the Department of Veterans Affairs disclosed treating 1,300 coronavirus patients with hydroxychloroquine – a drug widely being used in clinical trials and touted by President Donald Trump, but that hasn’t yet been shown to be effective.

Chuck Schumer wearing a suit and tie: Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer speaks during a news briefing at the Capitol Hill, May 12, 2020 in Washington. © Alex Wong/Getty Images, FILE Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer speaks during a news briefing at the Capitol Hill, May 12, 2020 in Washington.

“In the vast majority of cases at VA, we are prescribing hydroxychloroquine at the final stages of a Veterans’ life in the hope that it has some positive effect,” Wilkie said in a letter responding to allegations made by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “It is being provided when requested by the family as a final treatment option when all other treatments have failed.”

Covid-19: A dismissed scientist testifies against the Trump administration

 Covid-19: A dismissed scientist testifies against the Trump administration © SHAWN THEW / POOL / AFP Doctor Richard Bright before the Congress, May 14, 2020. Rick Bright was dismissed on April 20 of his functions of director of the American government agency responsible for the development of treatments for coronavirus. Heard on Thursday May 14 by Congress, he accused the Trump administration of having ignored his warnings. Until the end of April, Dr.

Saying that the drug is “being tested now,” Mr. Trump said “there are some very strong, powerful signs” of its potential, although health experts say the data On Saturday, Dr. Fauci had privately challenged rising optimism about the drug ’s efficacy during a meeting of the coronavirus task force in the White

President Donald Trump continues to defend his use of hydroxychloroquine, a drug he's touted as a potential coronavirus cure despite no evidence it is effective against the virus and as medical experts warn of potentially harmful side effects CNN's Jeremy Diamond has more.

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President Trump has touted hydroxychloroquine as a potential “game changer” in the race to develop treatments for COVID-19. Typically prescribed for malaria, lupus and certain types of arthritis, the drug has not been proven an effective treatment against coronavirus.

The FDA has said doctors can use the antimalarial drug for other, or off-label, purposes, including to treat COVID-19. The drug has been on the market since the 1940s and doctors are familiar with its side effects. The FDA, though, also has warned patients not to use the drug outside a clinical setting or hospital because it can cause serious heart problems in some patients.

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© Getty President Trump has enthusiastically promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine. It comes just days after US President Donald Trump told reporters that he had been taking the unproven The Food and Drug Administration has warned hydroxychloroquine can cause heart rhythm problems

Trump has touted the drug as a potential cure or vaccine for coronavirus, which has infected more than 1.5 million Americans in the last three months. Facing growing criticism, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Friday that it will not halt use of an unproven malaria drug on veterans with

a man holding a glass of wine: Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie listens during a cabinet meeting in the East Room of the White House on May 19, 2020 in Washington. © Alex Wong/Getty Images, FILE Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie listens during a cabinet meeting in the East Room of the White House on May 19, 2020 in Washington.

A paper published in the Lancet medical journal Friday added to those concerns after finding that people with coronavirus treated with the drug had a significantly higher risk of death and irregular heart rhythms.

“We need to know what the basis was for using this drug against the consensus of science, which called into question its effectiveness in treating COVID-19,” Schumer said in a statement Friday. “We also need to know who is authorizing these new trials, what facilities are participating and what families are being told.”

The VA said it plans to continue using the drug while at the same time studying whether it’s effective in helping stem the spread of a coronavirus infection. A trial at VA facilities is expected for the end of May.

The danger in Trump's decision to self-medicate

  The danger in Trump's decision to self-medicate The fragile foundation of evidence-based reality shoring up Donald Trump's life and presidency just got even more tenuous. Trump's admission that he was dosing up on hydroxychloroquine, an unproven and possibly harmful therapy to ward off the coronavirus, appears to conflict with the codes of medical science and is a stunning development given his position."Here's my evidence: I get a lot of positive calls about it," Trump told shocked reporters when he made the disclosure about a malaria drug he has all but dispensed from the bully pulpit.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned about potential serious side effects with the use of the drug in COVID-19 patients. Weeks ago, Trump had promoted the drug as a potential treatment based on a positive report about its use against the virus, but subsequent studies found that it was not

Trump has touted the anti-malaria drug as a possible "game changer" treatment for COVID-19 and Trump continues to attack study of hospitalized veterans , Azar and Wilkie come to his defense. When asked about the Trump using the unproven drug Tuesday, Pelosi said it was "not a good idea."

MORE: VA health care workers sound alarms over hospital reopening plans

Several hydroxychloroquine clinical trials with front-line health workers and COVID-19 patients are ongoing in the U.S. and around the world.

A cursory review of the drug’s use at VA hospitals earlier this year found no positive effects on COVID-19 patients. It indicated a possible connection between hydroxychloroquine and higher mortality rates, but the paper was largely inconclusive and not a peer-reviewed scientific study.

Earlier this week, the president dismissed that review, without evidence, as a “Trump enemy statement.”

The VA has previously ordered shipments of the drug. Federal contracts reviewed by Connecting Vets show the agency placed orders in 2007, 2012 and 2015.

A federal watchdog in March found insufficient stockpiles of hydroxychloroquine at some facilities. VA said these findings lacked “merit” and suggested in response that “active investigations” into the drug’s effectiveness were behind the supply shortages.

ABC New's Trish Turner and Eric M. Strauss contributed reporting.

What to know about coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself:coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms:coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the US and Worldwide: coronavirus map

Clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients paused-WHO .
A clinical trial of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients has been suspended amid safety concerns, World Health Organization (WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - This Monday, April 6, 2020 file photo shows an arrangement of hydroxychloroquine pills in Las Vegas. According to a study released on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, the malaria drug widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus showed no benefit in an analysis of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals.

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