WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Chuck Schumer is accusing the V.A. of using veterans as guinea pigs to test the President’s COVID-19 drug of choice: hydroxychloroquine.
NewsChannel 34’s Morgan Wright says this comes on the same day as a report on a study that shows using hydroxychloroquine on hospitalized coronavirus patients makes them more likely to die.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer says the VA is using hydroxychloroquine to treat veterans hospitalized with coronavirus.
“What the heck was the VA doing?”
Schumer says he fears veterans are being used as guinea pigs to test the anti-malarial drug as a treatment for COVID-19.
“Did the veterans give permission, did the families give permission, and why the heck is the veterans administration using our veterans who have risked their lives for us in a test that could be really harmful for them.”
Schumer says the VA has treated 1,300 veterans with the drug, more than 10 percent of those hospitalized for COVID-19.
A British medical journal, “The Lancet” Friday published a study that showed hospitalized coronavirus patients treated with hydroxychloroquine are more likely to die.
Jeremy Butler, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, says he knows the drug well.
“I used it when I was on active duty as an anti-malaria deployed to a spot where malaria is common. It’s very common.”
But Butler wants to know what the VA has learned about the safety and effectiveness of the drug against coronavirus.
The Department of Veterans Affairs says in a statement:
“VA only permits use of the drug after ensuring Veterans and caretakers are aware of potential risks associated with it…”
Schumer says he wants to know what happened to the 1,300 who got the drug before the VA gives it to more veterans.
Reporting in Washington, I’m Morgan Wright.