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No proof Trump touted drug is effective against coronavirus, EU says

BRUSSELS – The European Commission said on Tuesday there was no evidence that a drug touted by U.S. President Donald Trump as a potential miracle cure against COVID-19 was effective against the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Trump had said that hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, could be among “the biggest game changers in the history of medicine” for its potential effects against COVID-19.

“The efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19 patients has to date not been proved,” a spokesman for the European Commission said on Tuesday, relaying an internal opinion from the European Medicine Agency.

The spokesman said there was also no evidence either of the positive effects of chloroquine, another malaria drug, which is also being tested for its possible use against COVID-19.

The U.S. Health and Human Services on Thursday listed hydroxychloroquine as a protected medical resource after Trump signed an executive order to prevent its hoarding and price gouging.

Hungary, a European Union member, last week the commercial export of hydroxychloroquine.

“As Hungary is one of the world’s largest exporters of this ingredient, the protection and medical supply of the Hungarian population is now a priority,” the government said. 

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