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Pence hopeful anti-malaria drug works for coronavirus

Vice President Pence on Tuesday touted the use of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to fight coronavirus symptoms — saying doctors nationwide are authorized to prescribe the drug as testing continues.

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“The FDA is approving off-label use for hydroxychloroquine right now. Doctors can now prescribe chloroquine for that off label purpose of dealing with the symptoms of coronavirus,” the veep said from the White House in response to a question from Fox’s Dr. Mehmet Oz during a televised Fox News Town Hall.

Pence cited anecdotal information that the drug can be effective and that President Trump was “very optimistic, very hopeful that these anecdotal results were true.”

But Pence hesitated when asked if he himself would take the drug before replying that he would take the advice of his personal physician.

Trump and one of his top researchers have different views on whether the drug would be effective in treating the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

Trump said again on Monday that he believed the drug could be a “game-changer,” while Dr. Anthony Fauci said it still needed to undergo testing.

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