The FDA backs off a hasty — and dam­ag­ing — emer­gency OK for a po­ten­tial­ly dan­ger­ous Covid-19 drug

The FDA rushed in with an emer­gency au­tho­riza­tion less than 3 months ago to al­low anx­ious, fright­ened peo­ple the op­por­tu­ni­ty of us­ing two malar­ia drugs to ward off Covid-19. One of them, hy­drox­y­chloro­quine, ar­rived with the re­peat­ed en­dorse­ment of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump — who end­ed up tak­ing it him­self — and var­i­ous Fox News com­men­ta­tors. But with the ev­i­dence of its use­less­ness for guard­ing against coro­n­avirus grow­ing, as da­ta on po­ten­tial safe­ty risks mount­ed amid a cho­rus of ex­pert warn­ings, the agency re­versed it­self on Mon­day and re­voked the green light.

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