According to a report from ABCNews, the Texas Medical Board, which issues licenses to doctors, warned physicians that it may take measures against anyone who falsely advertises a cure for COVID-19.
In its statement, the Texas Medical Board said that, although some drugs and therapies treat COVID-19, there is no actual cure, and the medical community is “still learning, researching, and gaining understanding of the virus.”
The Board made the statement after a Houston-area pastor and doctor, Dr. Stella Immanuel, publicly touted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the disease caused by the coronavirus. Multiple studies have found that hydroxychloroquine doesn’t help against the virus, and the Food and Drug Administration has warned against using it to treat patients affected with the disease because of reports linking it with heart problems and other injuries and disorders.
In a video that went viral last week and grabbed the attention of President Donald Trump, Immanuel said that if everyone took hydroxychloroquine, it would stop the virus in its tracks within 30 days. She also called it “fake science” to say that the drug doesn’t work as a cure. The video was later removed by Twitter for sharing false information and by Facebook and YouTube soon after.
Immanuel said she has used the drug on more than 400 patients, including elderly, asthmatics and diabetics.
Trump has has repeatedly asserted that hydroxychloroquine is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19, only to be refuted by medical experts.
Dr. Robin Armstrong, a medical director of a Texas City nursing home and a state Republican Party officer, has said he has also provided hydroxychloroquine to 35 residents who tested positive for COVID-19, but had not shown any symptoms. And Dr. Joseph Varon, chief of staff at United Memorial Medical Center, has said the drug was part of a “cocktail” with which the medical center is treating patients and that it’s been working “like a charm.”
The Houston Chronicle reported that it was unclear whether Armstrong and Varon were still treating COVID-19 patients with the drug.