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Hydroxychloroquine Shouldn’t Be Used To Treat Coronavirus Yet, Pritzker Says

President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted the drug as a treatment for coronavirus, though that's unproven.

Gov. JB Pritzker at the McCormick Place Convention Center in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Chicago, Ill., April 3, 2020.
U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Jay Grabiec
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CHICAGO — Hydroxychloroquine shouldn’t be used by coronavirus patients until there’s confirmation it actually works, Gov. JB Pritzker said at a Sunday press conference.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted hydroxychloroquine as a potential cure to coronavirus, though research has yet to show that’s true. Despite that, Trump continues to push the drug and demand has risen — leading to a shortage for people who actually do need to use hydroxychloroquine to treat ailments like lupus.

The Lupus Society of Illinois has even created a petition asking Pritzker to limit the dispensing of hydroxychloroquine to ensure lupus patients don’t have to go without it.

So far, the Lupus Society’s petition has more than 2,500 signatures with a goal of getting 5,000.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about hydroxychloroquine by the president,” Pritzker said. “He’s pushed it a lot. It therefore is being overused without a lot of testing to back it up.

“I don’t disagree that it shouldn’t be used off-brand unless you know that it works, and right now we don’t know that it works.”

At the same briefing, Pritzker told Illinoisans they can find hope in early trials of remdesivir. The University of Chicago reported positive results using that drug to treat coronavirus, though testing is ongoing, Pritzker said.

“The idea that there’s something that’s gotten positive results and at least is rumored to be one of the main treatments that may be available, I think that is some really great news,” Pritzker said. “Having a treatment makes an enormous difference.”

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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