Trump spent months hyping the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronvirus patients and, at one point, even claimed he was taking it himself, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just taken steps to ensure that no one will use it for that purpose.
Hydroxychloroquine will still be prescribed to patients with other conditions like lupus, but the FDA has revoked their emergency approval for the drug for use in virus patients because it simply doesn't work.
The FDA said based on new evidence, it was no longer reasonable to believe that oral formulations of hydroxychloroquine and the related drug chloroquine may be effective in treating the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
The move comes after several studies of the drug suggested it was not effective, including a widely anticipated trial earlier this month showed it failed to prevent infection in people who have been exposed to the virus.
In March, Trump said hydroxychloroquine used in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin had “a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine”, with little evidence to back up that claim.
Big questions remain, like why it was ever deemed "reasonable" by the FDA to begin with. We currently have no good reasons to think that use of the drug was approved for anything other than political reasons; because the Trump White House wanted them to.
Use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients in the Department of Veteran's Affairs' hospital system resulted in more deaths than regular treatment alone and that trial was authorized under the most dubious circumstances.
We may not have the answers until the Trump regime is gone, but legal questions are going to linger for years. It seems reasonable to speculate that this entire process may have even included criminal behavior; if not in the process of approving the drug then at least among those who benefited from it.
From the outside looking in, it looks like Trump saw the drug hyped on Fox News or some other conservative media, the White House ordered FDA officials to approve it, and more people died as a result. People involved in every step of this may have also made a small fortune from it.
Damage to the FDA's reputation because of this may also linger for years and could be used by the anti-vaccine crowd to oppose coronavirus vaccination.