The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has been administering the controversial antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to as many as 1300 veterans as a treatment for COVID-19 despite a repeated warning by the health officials and researchers concerning the risks of fatal cardiac events.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that despite increasing evidence against the use of hydroxychloroquine, the VA will continue to administer the drug to veterans for the treatment of COVID-19.

U.S. President Donald Trump has been always in support of the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment despite having no evidence of its efficacy or safety against the novel coronavirus. In fact, he confessed early last week that he has been taking a drug cocktail of hydroxychloroquine and zinc supplementation to prevent himself against the disease.

However, there is no scientific evidence that clearly proves that hydroxychloroquine, otherwise used for the treatment of malaria and certain inflammatory conditions such as lupus, is effective and safe for use against coronavirus. On the contrary, several studies suggest that hydroxychloroquine increases the risk of fatal cardiac events arising out of cardiac rhythm disorders resulting due to consumption of the anti-malarial drug.

In a TV show aired on Sunday, May 24, Trump was seen confessing that he has completed the hydroxychloroquine regimen and was proud to boast that he is still there and everything is working as normal. His confession was directed at the scientific community and mounting evidence that taking hydroxychloroquine may increase the risk of death due to fatal cardiac events.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has paused the use of the controversial drug in its global study of COVID-19 treatment following the publication of an observational study in the journal Lancet on Friday, May 22. The study results emphasize the increased risk of cardiac events and death in people taking chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus disease treatment.

The WHO officials announced that the pause may last for a week or two and during this time, the officials intend to review the data that has already been collected concerning the safety of hydroxychloroquine.

veterans day cigar
Above: Vietnam War veteran Vincent Bochicchio from New York City smokes a cigar as he stands in uniform to watch the Veterans Day parade on 5th Avenue in New York November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.