World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu announced on Monday that the organization is temporarily suspending its drug trial of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug President Donald Trump has persistently claimed to treat COVID-19 despite having no scientific evidence.
Ghebreyesu said during a press briefing that researchers heading the WHO’s Solidarity Trial will stop the trial to hold a review after the Lancet’s sweeping study on hydroxychloroquine found that not only did the drug fail to yield any benefits in the 96,000 COVID-19 cases in the study, it actually caused an increased mortality rate among hospitalized patients.
“The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and in particular robust randomised available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug,” the WHO leader said.
“The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board,” he continued.
Despite even his own Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning Americans to refrain from taking hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 due to heart complications, Trump told reporters last week that he was taking the drug with zinc.
“And all I can tell you is, so far I seem to be okay,” he said.