Dr. Oz calls on Cuomo to lift restrictions on potential coronavirus treatments

Dr. Mehmet Oz called on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday to reverse an executive order prohibiting doctors to prescribe two antimalarial drugs touted as potential coronavirus treatments outside of state-approved clinical trials or Food and Drug Administration-approved uses.

"I suspect there were concerns for the folks with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus who are dependent on chloroquine and couldn't get it," Oz told "Hannity" of Cuomo's order, which limits prescriptions of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to a 14-day supply with no refills.

"I think ... Cuomo passed that law to prevent people from taking it and putting it in their cupboards just in case," he added.

"I have more confidence in Americans than that. It's an old malaria drug. We'll have enough of it. We ought to lift the ban."

— Dr. Oz, 'Hannity'

"I have more confidence in Americans than that," Oz added. "It's an old malaria drug. We'll have enough of it. We ought to lift the ban."

Over the weekend, the FDA issued an emergency-use authorization to treat coronavirus patients with the drugs, which have been touted by President Trump as potential treatments.

Last week, researchers in France issued a statement detailing how a combination of the antimalarial medications combined with antibiotics such as Zithromax, or azithromycin, could be a vital weapon in the battle against coronavirus.

The drugs have yet to be tested in a controlled clinical trial, but early data shows it to be a strong potential treatment to combat the novel virus.


"Many doctors are prescribing it. Until we get randomized clinical data, which I'm hoping we'll have over the next months, we are not going to know for sure," Oz said, "but there are centers all over the world. France and China are researching this actively, as we are in America.

"We probably have 100 reasonable candidates for solutions that could impact whether you can block the virus before it gets into your nose ... or block it from getting in the cells in your nose or lungs or block it from replicating what's in your cells or just stop the bad side effects that it causes," Oz said.


"Any of those places we can attack it ... we will win," he concluded. "That's what I'm confident about. Our battle is more the short-term issue. What we do over the next month? Can we reach our peak in New York in the next two weeks?

"And can, in 30 days, we look around and say, 'My goodness, we're actually coming down everywhere, social distancing is working'? Other tactics like masks ... are going to come to the forefront. We're going to be looking for ways of living our lives and still staying effectively distant from everyone else."

As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, New York state had nearly 76,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 1,550 deaths. Of those deaths, 1,096 occurred in New York City.