A malaria drug President Donald Trump took to try to prevent COVID-19 proved ineffective for that in the first large, high-quality study to test it in people in close contact with someone with the disease.
Results published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine show that hydroxychloroquine was no better than placebo pills at preventing illness from the coronavirus. The drug did not seem to cause serious harm, though — about 40% on it had side effects, mostly mild stomach problems.
“We were disappointed. We would have liked for this to work,” said the study leader, Dr. David Boulware, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Minnesota. “But our objective was to answer the question and to conduct a high-quality study,” because the evidence on the drug so far has been inconclusive, he said.
In other developments:
- At least two U.S. senators said that China hid data from the World Health Organization that could have altered the course of the coronavirus outbreak, even as a Chinese official denied delays in sharing information and said the government acted openly and transparently.
- Emergency room visits in the U.S. for chest pain and heart attacks fell early this spring, according to a study that supports fears that the coronavirus outbreak scared away people from going to the hospital. ER visits were up for respiratory illnesses and pneumonia, but were down for nearly every other kind of injury or ailment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
- The Trump administration moved to block Chinese airlines from flying to the U.S. in an escalation of trade and diplomatic tensions between the two countries. The decision was in response to China's failure to let United Airlines and Delta Air Lines resume flights to China this month.
- The metal detectors every sports fan has become accustomed to at the gate might soon be accompanied by thermal body scanners as part of the gargantuan task of preventing the spread of the new coronavirus and other airborne diseases. And that might be just one thing the public will need to be comfortable with in order to bring games back for in-person viewing.
- The NBA has told the National Basketball Players Association that it will present a 22-team plan for restarting the season to the league’s board of governors on Thursday. The teams that will be going to the ESPN Wide World Of Sports complex on the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida, would play eight games to determine playoff seeding starting around July 31 before the postseason begins.
- Major League Baseball rejected the players' proposal for a 114-game schedule in the pandemic-delayed season with no additional salary cuts, telling the union that teams have no reason to think 82 games is possible and now will discuss even fewer.
For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for helpful tips, charts tracking testing and more.
This coverage is being provided free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus pandemic. Please support local journalism by subscribing.
Concerned about COVID-19?
Sign up now to get the most recent coronavirus headlines and other important local and national news sent to your email inbox daily.