CNN’s John Harwood Goes After Trump’s ‘Reckless’ Promotion of Hydroxychloroquine (UPDATED)


Update 06/04: The Lancet study mentioned in this post was retracted today. Read more here.

Original story below:

CNN’s John Harwood went after President Donald Trump for “extending false hope” and “recklessly” touting unproven coronavirus treatment hydroxychloroquine, after a study published Friday revealed the drug is linked to “increased risk of death and increased risk of heart issues.”

Medical journal The Lancet’s study found that there was a 34 percent increase in death and a 137 percent increased risk of heart arrhythmias in those who received hydroxychloroquine alone. There was also a 45 percent increased risk of death and a 411 percent increased risk of heart arrhythmias for those given the drug with and an additional antibiotic.

CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explained that although other studies exposed the potential dangers linked to the drug, the Lancet’s is much larger.

“This new one looks at 671 hospitals over six continents. The one before was looking at 25 hospitals,” Cohen said. “This is a very, very large study. And what they found was increased risk of death and increased risk of heart issues. Now, these were hospitalized patients, some quite ill.”

She reiterated Trump’s claim that these studies look at sick people taking the drug, while he is healthy and taking it as a preventative measure, but questioned that if hydroxychloroquine has any positive effect at all if does not help the infected.

They then played a clip of the president’s “reckless” promotion of the drug, during which he calls hydroxychloroquine “a gift from heaven” but admits he is not a doctor.

“Increasingly, this study gives the impression that this president was extending false hope to people and he has gotten negative judgment from the American people for his handling of coronavirus, this is not going to make that any better,” CNN White House correspondent John Harwood added after the clip aired.

Infectious disease expert at Dr. Colleen Kraft added that despite desperately wanting to give good news amid the pandemic, health experts still have a responsibility to ensure their patients are safe.

“It is a risk whenever you give a medication that has a side effect and that has maybe no benefit,” Kraft added in response to whether there was a risk in prescribing the drug to the president.

“So that’s what we do all day long in our clinical care patients … we balance the risk of the drug, of the therapy, with the benefit. And in this case, there seems to be very little benefit from all of the studies we already have seen and really you’re left with risk.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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