The controversial medicine hydroxychloroquine, which former President Donald Trump promoted, helped very ill coronavirus patients live longer, a new study shows.

According to the observational study published on medRxiv, the antimalarial medicine hydroxychloroquine, combined with zinc, could enhance the coronavirus survival rate by about 200 percent in ventilated patients with a severe form of the illness if given at larger doses, Washington Examiner reported.

“We found that when the cumulative doses of two drugs, HCQ and AZM, were above a certain level, patients had a survival rate 2.9 times the other patients,” the study concludes.

The study also states:

 “By using causal analysis and considering of weight-adjusted cumulative dose, we prove the combined therapy, >3 g HCQ and > 1g AZM greatly increases survival in COVID patients on IMV and that HCQ cumulative dose > 80 mg/kg works substantially better. These data do not yet apply to hospitalized patients not on IMV. Since those with higher doses of HCQ had higher doses of AZM, we cannot solely attribute the causal effect to HCQ/AZM combination therapy. However, it is likely AZM does contribute significantly to this increase in survival rate. Since higher dose HCQ/AZM therapy improves survival by nearly 200% in this population, the safety data are moot.”

The study, conducted on 255 patients, was authored by Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey.

Several other studies published since last year have concluded that hydroxychloroquine can be effective against the coronavirus in certain situations, including one published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents in December that found 84 percent fewer hospitalizations among patients treated with the drug.

Another research, undertaken by Hackensack Meridian Health, found positive effects in patients treated with the medication who had minor symptoms.

Last April, then-President Donald Trump enthusiastically praised the drug’s efficacy and even took it himself. This action drew criticism from medical specialists, including Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House coronavirus team, as well as political pundits who disputed his assertions and claimed that the medicine was worthless.

Last year, Twitter suspended Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., after he tweeted a video of experts praising the drug’s success. The social platform accused him of “spreading misleading and potentially harmful misinformation” about the coronavirus.

The World Health Organization recommended against using the medicine to prevent the coronavirus in March of this year, citing data that suggested it was useless.

Some conservatives, including Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, have used the report to defend Trump on social media, citing Fauci’s prior comments regarding the medicine.

“How many people died bc Dr. Fauci said trust the science and Hydroxychloroquine isn’t effective?” Greene tweeted. “New study shows: Hydroxychloroquine + Azithromycin therapy at a higher dose improved survival by nearly 200% in ventilated COVID patients. Trump was right.”

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