Rome News-Tribune

World Health Organizati­on advises against using hydroxychl­oroquine as COVID-19 treatment

- By Jessica Schladebec­k

A World Health Organizati­on panel has officially advised against the use of hydroxychl­oroquine, an anti-inflammato­ry drug previously touted by the Trump administra­tion, for patients infected with COVID-19.

The internatio­nal health agency revealed that a group of experts recently concluded with “high certainty” that the drug, typically used to treat malaria, ”had no meaningful effect” on deaths or admissions to hospitals, and “moderate certainty” that it actually increases the risk of adverse effects.

The WHO’S findings were published Monday in the medical journal BMJ and were based on clinical trials of more than 6,000 people.

“The panel considers that this drug is no longer a research priority and that resources should be used to evaluate other more promising drugs to prevent COVID-19,” the WHO said in a statement.

It added that more than 80 trials slated to enroll at least 100,000 participan­ts for additional research are unlikely to uncover any benefits and should be canceled.

Hydroxychl­oroquine was launched into the spotlight last year, amid the surging coronaviru­s pandemic in the United States. At the time, there was little known about the fast-spreading disease, and the drug initially seemed to quell some symptoms.

It was also heavily touted by then-president Donald Trump.

The Food and Drug Administra­tion last march authorized the drug for emergency use authorizat­ion, but it was withdrawn by the agency several months later — after it similarly determined it was

“unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses.”

Medical experts have also previously warned against its use due to side effects, including heart rhythm problems.

WASHINGTON — The United States and the European Union are preparing to sanction Russia for the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader who was recently jailed, according to senior officials from President Biden’s administra­tion.

Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent Aug. 20, then spent months recovering in Germany. When he returned to Russia on Jan. 17, he was detained and sentenced to prison on what U.S. officials described as spurious charges.

“We’re sending a clear signal to Russia,” said one of the officials, who requested anonymity to discuss the announceme­nt of sanctions, expected to come Tuesday. “There are consequenc­es for the use of chemical weapons.”

Former President Trump had previously declined to join European countries in punishing Russia for its targeting of Navalny. An official said Biden’s approach would be “very different than what you saw in the previous administra­tion.”

The sanctions for Navalny’s poisoning are the first of several actions that the Biden administra­tion is considerin­g. Officials are also debating how to respond to the Solar Winds cyberattac­k, election interferen­ce and Russian bounties for the death of American

soldiers in Afghanista­n.

“We expect this to be a challengin­g relationsh­ip,”

the official said. “We’re prepared for it to be a challengin­g relationsh­ip.”

 ?? Dreamstime/tns ?? A World Health Organizati­on panel advised that hydroxychl­oroquine, a drug promoted by Donald Trump, should not be given to patients infected with COVID-19.
Dreamstime/tns A World Health Organizati­on panel advised that hydroxychl­oroquine, a drug promoted by Donald Trump, should not be given to patients infected with COVID-19.
 ?? Omer Messinger/getty Images Europe/tns ?? Protesters hold a banner reading “FREE NAVALNY” as some 2,500 supporters of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny march in protest to demand his release from prison in Moscow on Jan. 23 in Berlin, Germany.
Omer Messinger/getty Images Europe/tns Protesters hold a banner reading “FREE NAVALNY” as some 2,500 supporters of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny march in protest to demand his release from prison in Moscow on Jan. 23 in Berlin, Germany.

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