July 8, 2020 at 12:25 AM EDT
A Pa. nursing home gave some veterans hydroxychloroquine even without virus testing
SPRING CITY, Pa. — They wrapped the dead in body bags and raced back to treat the living, crammed into a nursing home that, day after day, played the somber sound of taps over the speaker system so the veterans who lived there had the chance to say goodbye.
The nurses and aides at the Southeastern Veterans’ Center in the suburbs of Philadelphia had watched so much go wrong since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The communal dining that lasted into April, the nights that feverish patients were left to sleep beside roommates who weren’t sick yet. “Merry Christmas,” one nurse told another when they finally got N95 masks, weeks into the crisis and just before administrators stopped staffing the isolation rooms because too many people were feared infected.
But what worried some nurses most was what they called the “covid cocktail,” the widespread, off-label use of one of the antimalarial drugs touted by President Trump in March as a potentially game-changing treatment for covid-19.
By Debbie Cenziper and Shawn Mulcahy