Trump’s Hydroxychloroquine Cocktail Connected to 45 Percent Increased Risk of Death

“What do you have to lose?” the president recently asked.

Yuri Gripas/ZUMA

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

“What do you have to lose?” President Donald Trump asked reporters last week while, once again, promoting the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential coronavirus treatment. 

It turns out, as experts have repeatedly warned, a whole lot.

A new Lancet study released on Friday and first reported by the Washington Post revealed that taking hydroxychloroquine to combat COVID-19 was connected to a significantly increased chance of death. The study, which examined 96,032 patients and is the largest to investigate the antimalarial drug’s potential in fighting the virus, had even more alarming news for taking hydroxychloroquine with an antibiotic, the combination once touted by Trump as a “gamechanger” in the fight against coronavirus. “For those receiving hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic—the cocktail endorsed by Trump—there was a 45 percent increased risk of death and a 411 percent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias,” the Post reported. The study doesn’t necessarily extend to those taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure, as Trump claimed this week to be doing.

The astounding findings come on the heels of a study published last month that reported more deaths among US veterans treated with hydroxychloroquine than those who received standard care. Trump initially claimed that he hadn’t seen the veterans’ study—a curious assertion considering his aggressive campaign to promote the drug—but then on Tuesday accused the medical researchers of political motivation. “That was a false study done,” he said at a White House event. “It was given by obviously not friends of the administration.”

The president has not yet offered a conspiratorial angle with which to discredit the Lancet study, but something tells me that’s inevitable.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate