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Drug that Trump called a ‘miracle Covid cure’ is linked to 17,000 deaths in new study

Former president called anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine a ‘miracle cure’

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 05 January 2024 20:22 GMT
Trump says he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine for a ‘few weeks’

A drug infamously touted by Donald Trump has been linked to nearly 17,000 Covid deaths in a new scientific study.

Researchers say that the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine was prescribed to patients during the first wave of Covid-19 “despite the absence of evidence documenting its clinical benefits.”

The French study estimated that 16,990 patients in the US, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Turkey may have died as a result of the drug.

The study has been published in the February issue of Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy.

Researchers say the data used comes from a study published in the Nature scientific journal, which reported that there was an 11 per cent increase in mortality rate linked to the drug’s prescription.

This increase was driven by effects like heart rhythm disorders and its use in place of other effective treatments, the study concluded.

Scientists in France and Canada say they used that figure to analyse hospitalisation data in the six countries, the use of the drug and the increase in the relative risk of death linked to the drug.

The researchers say that the number of deaths may actually be significantly higher given their study only looked at six countries between March and July 2020.

Mr Trump once branded the drug a “miracle cure” and admitted in May 2020 that he was taking it as a preventative measure, reported The New York Times.

“All I can tell you is so far I seem to be OK,” Mr Trump told reporters at the time.

“I get a lot of tremendously positive news on the hydroxy,” Mr Trump added, before asking, “What do you have to lose?”

Mr Trump’s announcement was immediately criticised by a string of medical experts and came just a month after the Food and Drug Administration issued a safety warning about the drug.

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