WASHINGTON — A national veterans group has accused the Department of Veterans Affairs of using patients as “human testing subjects” for an anti-malaria medication that some believe could be useful against the coronavirus.
The VA is giving hydroxychloroquine to some patients as a “last resort,” the department said Thursday, even though it’s unproven to work.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America took issue with the department doling out an unproven treatment for the coronavirus after a study was published this week that determined the drug had no benefit for VA patients.
“This is incredibly troubling for a number of reasons and raises so many questions that we need answered,” said Jeremy Butler, CEO of IAVA.
There is no proven treatment for the coronavirus, which has killed more than 45,000 Americans and infected nearly 845,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. Hydroxychloroquine, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, entered the public spotlight after optimistic claims by President Donald Trump that it could be a “game changer” against the virus.