Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie Blasts ‘Phony’ Media on Hydroxychloroquine Study

Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert Wilkie testifies during a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee nominations hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie on Tuesday at the Whtie House shot down a media narrative surrounding hydroxychloroquine and a study opposing it.

“I want to knock down the phony story that this is somehow the VA going back on what the president told us to do, which was to use every means possible to protect and preserve the lives of our veterans,” Wilkie said. ”

Wilkie said that the researchers of the hydroxychloroquine study repeatedly cited by the press took Veterans Affairs numbers and they did not clinically review or peer review them, including the various co-morbidities of the elderly patients.

“That was not a VA study,” Wilkie said as the president took questions from reporters during a cabinet meeting at the White House.

He noted that the military had been using the drug for years, typically using 42,000 doses of the drug in a day.

“Those of us who have had a military life, some of us around this table, we’ve been taking this drug for years,” he said. As the president mentioned, the Department of Defense and the VA have been using it for 65 years.

Wilkie said that the Veterans Affairs department used the drug as part of Trump’s order to use “every means necessary to preserve life” for veterans and had consulted with veterans and their families on the use of the drug.

Trump said the drug got “tremendous reviews” from many doctors and that it was an important “first line of defense” in fighting the virus.

“I thought as a front line defense, possibly it would be good. I’ve had no impact from it. I feel the same. I haven’t changed I don’t think too much,” Trump said.


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