President Trump on Thursday touted chloroquine, a decades-old drug used to fight malaria, as a promising treatment for people infected with COVID-19.
During a briefing at the White House Thursday morning, Trump stressed that the drug has been around for awhile, therefore, its safety has already been tested.
“So we know that if things don’t go as planned, it’s not going to kill anybody,” the president told reporters. “It’s shown very, very encouraging early results,” he added. “We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately.”
President @realDonaldTrump: A common Malaria drug has shown very encouraging early results against #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/EK6BaRdBhs
— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) March 19, 2020
Research studies have shown that chloroquine, or hydroxychloroquine, is effective at preventing and treating the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which is in the same coronavirus family as COVID-19.
“There is evidence that chloroquine is effective when they looked at SARS in vitro with primate cells,” Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonologist and internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told ABC News. “The theory of the experiment with primate cells was that chloroquine could be for preventing viral infection or as a treatment for viral infection after it had occurred.”
The World Health Organization announced Wednesday that it is launching multicountry clinical trials for potential coronavirus drugs, including chloroquine, to treat Covid-19.
The other drugs are the antiviral drug remdesivir; a combination of two HIV drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir; and lopinavir and ritonavir plus interferon beta.
All four of the drugs have shown potential to be effective against COVID-19, either in animal studies or in studies done in laboratories. Ten countries have already indicated they will take part in the trial — Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand.
Gautret et al (Marseille) have just reported open label trial with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin- dramatic reduction in viral counts. Caveats / work in progress but they felt they should share the data because the first results were ‘so significant’. Look at the green line. pic.twitter.com/M4IGnh6zaD
— Luke O'Neill (@laoneill111) March 19, 2020
Another therapy that is being touted by doctors as a potential treatment for coronavirus is Quercetin, a zinc ionophore (like chloroquine) that blocks viral production.
Below is a MedCam medical lecture on the potential benefits using of chloroquine and Quercetin to treat COVID-19.
Quercetin is promoted as “a free radical scavenger that supports healthy seasonal immune system function” and is readily available for purchase online.