American doctor Jennings Staley pleaded guilty on Monday to selling hydroxychloroquine as a “miracle cure” against the coronavirus, profiting from malicious pandemic marketing. Mr. Staley could face a 20-year jail sentence if charged by the courts. The Brazilian government had also promoted the drug as part of its so-called “Covid kit.”
Dr. Staley sold hydroxychloroquine kits to patients using outlandish claims, describing them as an “amazing weapon” and a “100 percent” cure that was “almost too good to be true.”
Drugs such as hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and azithromycin have been proven ineffective against treating Covid-19, but this has not stopped actors — such as the Brazilian government — from promoting them as potential cures.
The Jair Bolsonaro administration touted the efficacy of a cocktail of hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and azithromycin as a central part of its pandemic strategy, despite the lack of scientific backing. Recently, the Brazilian Health Ministry admitted that its “Covid kit” is ineffective in treating the coronavirus, potentially fearing retribution from the Senate’s Covid inquiry.