Mayo Clinic takes down webpage after ex-Trump official cites it

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic removed information on hydroxychloroquine from its website after a former Trump administration official said the health system validated its use as a COVID-19 treatment, the Post Bulletin reported Sept. 26.

"From Mayo Clinic website grudging admission of glaring truth: 'Hydroxychloroquine may be used to treat coronavirus (COVID-19) in certain hospitalized patients,'" Peter Navarro, who directed the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy under President Donald Trump, posted Sept. 24 on X, formerly known as Twitter. For those "who spread lies about hydroxy, this one's for u."

Mr. Navarro included a link to Mayo Clinic's hydroxychloroquine page that has since been taken down. COVID-19 information was added to Mayo's page for the drug as early as May 2020, the Post Bulletin reported. By mid-June of that year, the following statement was included: "(h)ydroxychloroquine should only be used for COVID-19 in a hospital or during clinical trials. Do not take any medicine that contains hydroxychloroquine unless prescribed by your doctor."

Early in the pandemic, the FDA authorized the emergency use of the antimalarial drug for treating COVID-19. But the agency revoked the authorization in June 2020, citing a lack of benefits and the risk of serious heart problems. President Trump said in May 2020 he was taking the drug to prevent getting the virus even after the FDA warned it shouldn't be used outside of hospital settings or clinical trials.

A Mayo Clinic spokesperson told the newspaper Sept. 26 it removed the page and is "updating it to make it clear that hydroxychloroquine should not be used to treat COVID-19 patients."

"Mayo Clinic is aware that inaccurate information about hydroxychloroquine was included on one of our web pages," the health system said in a statement to the Post Bulletin. "This content was provided by a vendor. Hydroxychloroquine is not part of Mayo Clinic's prescribed treatment algorithms for COVID-19. Mayo Clinic does not endorse the use of hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19 patients. We are also taking steps to prevent the introduction of errors in content supplied to Mayo Clinic for use on our web pages."


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