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Tipsheet

'Game Changer': Trump Announces Drug Will Soon Be Available For Wuhan Coronavirus Use

Claudio Furlan/LaPresse via AP

Editor's note: Based on President Trump's comments, an earlier version of this post stated the drug had already been cleared by the FDA but that is not the case, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn made clear. Hahn said the drug would need to go through a clinical trial to determine its safety and efficacy.

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Update: President Trump said Thursday that Hydroxychloroquine should soon be available by prescription for treatment of COVID-19. 

“We slashed red tape to develop vaccines and therapies as fast as it can possibly be done, long before anybody else was even thinking about doing this,” he said. “As we race to develop a vaccine we’re also pursuing anti-viral therapies…and to me that’s even more important. The vaccine by its nature you have to have long tests…the therapies are something we can move on much faster potentially.”

"Clinical trials are already underway for many new therapies," he said, noting that if treatments have been known to be safe in other countries, they will consider them. "Nothing will stand in our way."

But as for the use of chloroquine, or hydroxychloroquine, Trump said it's "been around for a long time, and it's very powerful."

"The nice part is it's been around for a long time so we know if things don't go as planned it's not going to kill anybody...It's shown very, very encouraging early results," he said. "We're going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately and that's where the FDA has been so great... We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately."

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Original Post:

As the Wuhan coronavirus is ravaging countries across the globe, there may be some promising news on the horizon. According to Gregory Rigano, an advisor to Stanford University School of Medicine, a world renowned French researcher tested a promising COVID-19 treatment option with hydroxychloroquine, a drug that’s been around for decades and is typically used to treat malaria. 

“As of this morning…a well-controlled peer reviewed study carried out by the most eminent infectious disease specialist in the world—Didier Raoult, MD, PhD—out of the south of France, in which he enrolled 40 patients…that showed a 100 percent cure rate against coronavirus," Rigano told Fox News's Tucker Carlson. 

Carlson, looking shocked, said he “only knows what you’re telling me” but that it is “very unusual for a study of anything to produce results of 100 percent.”

Did he miss something, he wondered. 

“That is remarkable. In fact to be able to cure a virus was said to be mathematically impossible,” Rigano said, noting that a small company did in fact create a cure for Hepatitis C. 

“What we’re here to announce is the second cure to a virus of all time,” he said. 

Carlson said that while it’s his job to be “skeptical of all and any claims” he said he certainly wants to believe this news and hoped the federal government could find out “if it’s true.”

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“We included everyone who was in agreement [to be treated], which was almost everyone. Two towns in the protocol, Nice and Avignon, gave us [infected] patients who had not yet received treatment," Raoult said, according to The Connexion.

“We were able to ascertain that patients who had not received Plaquenil (the drug containing hydroxychloroquine) were still contagious after six days, but of those that had received Plaquenil, after six days, only 25% were still contagious.”

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