The promise of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug that has been hyped up by right-wing politicians, is not materializing. A new study conducted in the United States shows that the drug is “associated with an increased risk of mortality.”

The results were clear enough for the researchers to conclude that using the anti-malaria drug contributes to higher mortality. The patients who received hydroxychloroquine experienced a 28% death rate, whereas those getting regular care experienced an 11% death rate.

While the study is not a randomized controlled trial (the gold standard of medical experiments), it is the largest to look at hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.

The drug has become infamous due to U.S. President Trump’s aggressive championing of hydroxychloroquine as a possible COVID-19 cure. In Canada, Jason Kenney followed Trump’s lead and pitched the drug as well. The Alberta Premier even threatened to bypass Health Canada approvals to introduce FDA-approved drugs like hydroxychloroquine in his province.

Conservative leadership hopeful Marilyn Gladu has also trumpeted the drug. The Conservative MP falsely claimed that treatments like hydroxychloroquine have been tried on “thousands of COVID patients” with “nearly 100 percent recovery rate.”

A separate Brazilian trial of the drug had to be halted due to risks of fatal heart complications and 11 patient deaths.

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