Dr. Mehmet Oz is pushing back on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his recent ban of anti-malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.
Under a new executive order, Cuomo is prohibiting doctors from using the drugs to combat the coronavirus—limiting prescriptions of the drug to just 14-day supplies and without refills.
As BizPac Review reports, Dr. Oz told Fox News host Sean Hannity that the order was probably intended to prevent people from hoarding the medication from those who actually need it.
“I suspect there were concerns for the folks with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus who are dependent on chloroquine and couldn’t get it,” Oz said during the interview. “I think Cuomo passed that law to prevent people from taking it and putting it in their cupboards just in case.”
But, Dr. Oz said he had more trust in the American people to do what was right in this global time of need.
“I have more confidence in Americans than that,” Oz continued. “It’s an old malaria drug. We’ll have enough of it. We ought to lift the ban.”
DR OZ on HANNITY: FDA ‘Did the Right Thing’ in Allowing Doctors to Prescribe Hydroxychloroquine https://t.co/NRA7EoLFHG
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) March 31, 2020
Dr. Oz also said health care facilities around the world are using the medication effectively to combat the coronavirus, so it should be allowed by the governor.
“Many doctors are prescribing it,” he said. “Until we get randomized clinical data — which I’m hoping we’ll have over the next months — we are not going to know for sure. But there are centers all over the world in France and China who are researching this actively, as we are in America.”
Dr. Oz argued the U.S. was successfully fighting back the spread of the coronavirus, saying the country would ultimately “win.”
“We probably have 100 reasonable candidates of solutions that could impact whether you can block the virus before it gets into your nose or block it from getting in the cells in your nose and your lungs or blocks it from replicating what’s in your cells or just stop the bad side effects that it causes. Any of those places we can attack it and we will win,” he continued. “I’m confident about that.”
BizPac Review reports the doctor added: “Our battle is more the short-term issue. What do we do over the next month? Can we reach our peak in New York in the next two weeks? And in 30 days, can we say, ‘We’re actually coming down everywhere and social distancing is working?’ Other tactics like face masks are going to come to the forefront. We’re going to be looking for ways of living our lives and still staying effectively distant from everyone else.”
The drug raised some concerns in recent weeks when a couple in Arizona consumed a fish cleaner because it had a form of the drug in it. Not only was the drug not prescribed or medically induced, but it was also chloroquine phosphate— a toxic chemical and not actual medication.