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Malaria Drug Taken by Trump Provides No Covid-19 Protection

  • Hydroxychloroquine failed to cut infection rates in key study
  • Study finds no sign of serious heart-rhythm complications
A pharmacy tech holds pills of Hydroxychloroquine.

A pharmacy tech holds pills of Hydroxychloroquine.

Photographer: GEORGE FREY/AFP
Updated on

A malaria drug that was touted and then taken by President Donald Trump in hopes of preventing coronavirus infection failed to offer patients any protection in the first scientifically rigorous study of its potential to ward off the pathogen.

The study involved 821 health-care workers, first responders and people living with infected patients. Half were given hydroxychloroquine for five days, while the other half received a placebo pill that contained the vitamin folate. After two weeks, 12% of those taking hydroxychloroquine had developed an infection, compared with 14% given placebo, a difference the researchers said could have been due to chance.