Twitter has suspended an account dedicated to news about hydroxychloroquine, after outgoing U.S. president Donald Trump retweeted it. The tweet in question came from a page named Hydroxychloroquine News and was of a graph claiming to reflect coronavirus "fatality rate." The graph claims to show "the ratio between confirmed deaths and confirmed cases" of Covid-19, and indicates that these rates are higher in other countries than in the United States.
Trump has long touted hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus, though has been a controversial opinion. In June, the Food and Drug Administration "revoked the emergency use authorization" for "hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19 in certain hospitalized patients when a clinical trial is unavailable or participation is not feasible." The department explained that it "made this determination based on recent results from a large, randomized clinical trial in hospitalized patients that found these medicines showed no benefit for decreasing the likelihood of death or speeding recovery."
The "Hydroxychloroquine News" account Trump RTed this morning was just suspended by Twitter. pic.twitter.com/KjHQUjdt9T— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) November 20, 2020
"This outcome was consistent with other new data, including those showing the suggested dosing for these medicines are unlikely to kill or inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19," the FDA further stated. "As a result, we determined that the legal criteria for the EUA are no longer met." Ultimately, the basis for this decision was due to indications that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine led to a "risk of heart rhythm problems" in some individuals.
An excellent thread by Dr. @ashishkjha on his testimony at a hearing on hydroxychloroquine. Yes, hydroxychloroquine.
Many thanks to Dr. Jha for representing the scientific consensus - despite being extensively studied, we know that hydroxychloroquine just doesn’t work for COVID. https://t.co/dOts3nldu1— Craig Spencer MD MPH (@Craig_A_Spencer) November 20, 2020
Weeks later, the FDA released a new report explaining more in-depth the cause for its hydroxychloroquine use revocation. "A summary of the FDA review of safety issues with the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is now available," the FDA wrote in a statement. "This includes reports of serious heart rhythm problems and other safety issues, including blood and lymph system disorders, kidney injuries, and liver problems and failure."
Notably, many medical professionals have also decried the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus. I have admitted COVID-19 patients already taking hydroxychloroquine for lupus and arthritis," tweeted Dr. Jeremy Faust, an ER physician who has seen many coronavirus patients. "It didn’t help them avoid infection."