South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem announced this week that her state will begin the nation’s first clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent COVID-19.
Hydroxychloroquine is typically used to treat malaria, but has shown some promise as a remedy for the coronavirus as well. CEO of Mend Urgent Care Dr. Anthony Cardillo says that she’s prescribed hydroxychloroquine in tandem with zinc to cure patients in less than one day.
“Every patient I’ve prescribed it to has been very, very ill and within 8 to 12 hours, they were basically symptom-free,” she told ABC 7 Eyewitness News. “So clinically I am seeing a resolution.”
Noem says a primary goal of her state’s experiments with the drug is to advance what Dr. Cardillo and other have anecdotally discovered.
“Our goal is to meaningfully advance the science around COVID-19 so physicians can be better prepared to respond to and treat this novel virus in the future, especially for our populations most at-risk,” she says, according to The Hill.
The South Dakota Governor has also reached out to President Donald Trump to secure a large enough supply of hydroxychloroquine to conduct a meaningful trial.
“I made direct requests to President Trump and Vice President Pence to supply us with enough hydroxychloroquine so that it could be made available for every hospitalized person the state may have as well as for those healthcare workers on the frontlines and those in the most vulnerable populations,” she says, reports Fox Business.
South Dakota’s clinical trials may vindicate Trump, who has spoken optimistically about hydroxychloroquine, much to the chagrin of left-leaning news outlets and self described fact checkers. Trump’s opponents have also cited a small Brazilian study of the drug that failed to show efficacy to discredit hydroxychloroquine and the president. South Dakota’s study will likely provide more conclusive results due to its increased scale.
South Dakota has also been remarkably conservative in their response to coronavirus. The state has not enacted a stay at home order as of April 15. Despite this, South Dakota experienced 2.3 times fewer COVID-19 related deaths per capita than Minnesota, which has enacted severe restrictions on public life, according to the most recent data as of April 15.