The Lancet, a peer-reviewed medical journal that published a 96,000-subject study indicting the efficacy of the politically controversial hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 has retracted its findings that the malaria medication led to an increased risk of death.
“Today, three of the authors of the paper, ‘Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis”, have retracted their study,” The Lancet said in a retraction statement Thursday. “They were unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis. As a result, they have concluded that they ‘can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.”
“We deeply apologise to you, the editors, and the journal readership for any embarrassment or inconvenience that this may have caused,” the authors of the study wrote.
In an important moment for science and data transparency, @thelancet announces that its 96,000 observational study on hydroxychloroquine has been RETRACTED.— Jeremy Faust MD MS (@jeremyfaust) June 4, 2020
A sad story but an important one. https://t.co/qfPRsBDmP7 pic.twitter.com/GMDgP34tyb
The study was first published in May and was the largest ever conducted analyzing the impacts of hydroxychloroquine after President Donald Trump was reported to be taking the medication as a precautionary measure following possible exposure to the virus.
Legacy media meanwhile, with its animus for Trump, used the study to attack the president and his physician for taking a medication that had anecdotally shown potential promise in treatment of infection while posing few risks. Trump had previously touted the possible benefits of the medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use during press briefings to reporters who pinned the death of an uninfected man who drank fish tank cleaner outside of medical guidance on the president.
Hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug touted by President Trump, is linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients, according to analysis of 96,000 patients published in the Lancet.— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 23, 2020
Hydroxychloroquine is unproven for fighting coronavirus. https://t.co/m55Eja0ybo
Trump on hydroxychloroquine, April 4: "What do you have to lose? Take it."— Julian Borger (@julianborger) May 22, 2020
The Lancet: https://t.co/bdxmcvsDed
I asked Pentagon undersecretary for personnel if the military was prescribing hydroxychloroquine for COVID and he said “no.” Lancet study: Antimalarial drug touted by President Trump is linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients, study sa… https://t.co/BmR87SGJbZ— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) May 22, 2020
Antimalaria drugs that President Donald Trump has touted for treatment of COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, were linked to an increased risk of death and heart ailments in a study published Friday by The Lancet medical journal https://t.co/oI6wI2c2Dy— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) May 22, 2020
The Lancet medical journal has just published a study suggesting that treatment with a well-known antimalarial drug offers no benefit for patients with COVID-19. The study looked at chloroquine or its analogue hydroxychloroquine, which US President Donald Trump has been taking. pic.twitter.com/DKfbTc9WI4— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) May 22, 2020
"The scientific data is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy," Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said of using #hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19.— POLITICO (@politico) May 27, 2020
But he stopped short of calling for an outright ban of the drug https://t.co/8qezrmzorn pic.twitter.com/x8URfoL2zC
It's truly unfortunate that Dr. Birx has to toe Trump's line about his advocacy for a drug that today's Lancet study of 96,000 #COVIDー19 patients which showed a strong correlation between death and those patients using hydroxychloroquine.pic.twitter.com/8EvezwCI6r— Grant Stern (@grantstern) May 22, 2020
STUDY REVEALS DANGERS: A new Lancet study shows patients hospitalized for COVID-19 face a higher risk of death if they take hydroxychloroquine; President Trump revealed this week he was taking the drug to prevent an infection. @TomLlamasABC reports. https://t.co/0CmXz0M1gY pic.twitter.com/22a4MHEwJr— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) May 23, 2020
"Lancet Study on Hydroxychloroquine Shows Trump 'As Usual, Is Dangerously Wrong' on Covid-19 Guidance"https://t.co/3PKjx2h9xk— Alison Galvani (@Alison_Galvani) May 22, 2020
Dr Birx says The Lancet study “very clearly “ shows the danger of taking hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 medicine. As President Trump is doing and promoting tobthe country. She did not stay for follow up questions.— Sebastian Smith (@SebastianAFP) May 22, 2020
One has to wonder then, how many of the more than 100,000 people to die from the coronavirus in the United States could have been saved from the drug in the absence of the researchers’ negligence.
Tristan Justice is a staff writer at The Federalist focusing on the 2020 presidential campaigns. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.