WASHINGTON, D.C. — Citing questions related to what the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has done — and is doing — with its supply of chloroquine drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, which is often used to treat malaria, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer is seeking answers on whether vets are being used for clandestine COVID-19 testing.
On Monday, Schumer’s office released a statement claiming that the department recently purchased a bulk order of the drugs and saying that the order has veterans groups seeking answers about the usage of the medicines.
“When it comes to the testing and treatment of vets with these chloroquine drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, families are left with more questions than answers,” Schumer said. “The VA needs to provide full details on the recent bulk order, the status of any testing and the notification process to families....If vets are being given this risky drug, New York families — and all families — have a right to know what is going on and what’s intended for the future.”
Schumer said that if vets in New York, or anywhere else, are being given this risky drug(s) then families and the public have a right to fully know. He detailed questions he wants the VA to answer on behalf of veterans groups by June 1 and he cited New York’s 79 VA facilities as he made the case for transparency. Schumer added that any testing and treatment of vets for COVID-19 must be rooted in medical science above all else.
The Daily Sentinel contacted the VA’s Western New York office for comment but had not received information as of presstime today.
“Veterans need access to as much information as possible. And we need VA to provide that information,” Chanin Nuntavong, the executive director for government and veteran affairs at the American Legion, told the Washington Post last week.
And the Veterans of Foreign Wars also told the Washington Post it was “very disturbed” that the VA is still administering the drug for covid-19 treatment. “We request the immediate halt of this drug for our veterans until further information on its true impact is determined,” William Schmitz, the national commander of the veteran service organization, told that newspaper.
on May 1.