Tags: robert wilkie | hcq | va test | veterans

VA Sec. Wilkie: Veteran Malaria Drug Test Not a Clinical Study

By    |   Wednesday, 22 April 2020 04:07 PM

A study in the nation's veteran hospitals of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which has been touted by President Donald Trump in the fight against coronavirus, was an "observational study," not a clinical one, Department of Veteran's Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said Wednesday.

It also was conducted on the people "in the last stages of life," but the results are different for younger people, he told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle, adding that he is okay with Trump's "aspirational" comments on the medication. 

"It was done on a small number of veterans," Wilkie told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle. "We know the drug has been working on middle-age and younger veterans. And the governor of New York was just in the Oval Office yesterday asking for more of the drug...the president's comments have been aspirational."

Such comments can be useful, he said.

"In the military, we have for every operation, we have contingency plans," he said. "We have aspirations built into our operational planning."

 The study, released on Tuesday, showed that out of 368 patients, there were more deaths among those given the drug versus those who received just standard care. 

"We're not hiding anything," said Wilkie. "It's just another tool in the toolbox that doctors can use when they talk with patients and families about the best possible approach for care for veterans who have the virus."

Veteran's hospitals have not been overrun by patients with coronavirus, as less than half of the 14,000 beds in the system are occupied overall, Wilkie said.

"We have 5,500 veterans who have tested positive, but we only have 38% of the 14,000 beds in the VA system occupied," Wilkie said. "Most of those are actually occupied by patients being treated for cancer and other maladies."

The death toll among veterans treated through the VA has climbed to 361, and 19 employees also have lost their lives, said Wilkie, but most of the deceased employees did not work in healthcare. More than 60,000 veterans have been tested.  

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A study in the nation's veteran hospitals of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which has been touted by President Donald Trump in the fight against coronavirus, was an "observational study," not a clinical one, Department of Veteran's Affairs Secretary Robert . . .
robert wilkie, hcq, va test, veterans
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2020-07-22
Wednesday, 22 April 2020 04:07 PM
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