Trial of drug Trump promoted is stopped

The National Institutes of Health said Saturday that it had stopped a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug that President Donald Trump promoted to treat and prevent the coronavirus, because it was unlikely to benefit patients. The halting of the trial, which had aimed to enroll more than 500 patients, is the latest evidence that scientists are increasingly concluding that hydroxychloroquine has disappointed early hopes for it. "In effect, the drug didn't work," said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He said the medical community had been closely watching this trial because it was federally funded, placebo-controlled and run by respected investigators. "I think we can put this drug aside and now devote our attention to other potential treatments," Schaffner said.

Cases in Arizona continue to surge

Arizona's total number of coronavirus cases is approaching 50,000 as the state's surge in new cases continued to set daily records for hospitalizations, ventilator use and intensive care beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. The state Department of Health Services reported 3,109 new cases Saturday and 26 more virus-related deaths on Saturday, bringing the statewide totals to 49,798 confirmed cases and 1,338 deaths. Arizona has emerged as a hot spot for the coronavirus since Republican Gov. Doug Ducey lifted his stay-at-home orders in mid-May. Arizona set daily new-case records this week with 3,246 on Friday, 2,519 cases on Thursday and 2,392 on Tuesday.

Outbreak at U.S. embassy in Kabul

The U.S. State Department says COVID-19 infections have been reported at its embassy in the Afghan capital, and affected staff include diplomats, contractors and locals. The State Department did not say how many were affected. An official at the embassy in Kabul, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said up to 20 people were infected, the majority of them Nepalese Gurkhas, who provide embassy security. "The embassy is implementing all appropriate measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," the State Department said. The infected staff are in isolation in the embassy while the remainder on the compound are being tested, said the embassy official.

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