Doctors are criticizing a hearing held this week by U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, about controversial treatments for COVID-19, including hydroxychloroquine — a drug that studies have found to be ineffective and in some cases dangerous when treating the disease.
During the hearing, Johnson pushed a baseless theory that the medical community was working to deny patients drugs such as hydroxychloroquine because they were cheaper than other treatments.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration revoked the emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine in June because of its lack of effectiveness and cited its potential for serious cardiac adverse events and other potential serious side effects.
Michael Carome, a former FDA advisory committee member, slammed Johnson over the hearing.
"Facts don’t matter," Carome said of the hearing's approach. "Evidence doesn’t matter. It is just outrageous that they continue to cling to this notion that hydroxychloroquine can be effective."
Johnson, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, also raised questions during the Thursday hearing about the response of federal agencies to the coronavirus pandemic.