Lawmakers get heated in debate on the use of Hydroxychloroquine

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — State Senator Jason Rapert has been open about his battle with COVID-19 including the fact that he says he was denied treatment with the use of Hydroxychloroquine and that was a heavily discussed topic Monday at the capitol.

Monday’s joint ALC Health Insurance oversight subcommittee meeting got a little heated at time.

The center of the discussion was the usage or lack thereof of Hydroxychloroquine in Arkansas. Both those for and against its usage agree they wanted the information out in public.

“If you go on Facebook or Twitter all those things we have all this misinformation out there,” said State Representative Deborah Ferguson.

“Some people even think purposeful misinformation being put out as it regards COVID treatments,” said State Senator Jason Rapert.

Senator Rapert brought in doctors from around the country to give their testimony to the committee on the effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine, but not every lawmaker was sold on that testimony.

“Cause and correlation mean something,” said Ferguson.

Both sides of the issue do believe that this issue has been politicized.

“There’s no cure for something and people grasp at snake oil and that’s why I hate to see you know this politicized,” said Ferguson.

“Unfortunately this occurred in a presidential election year. I want Arkansas residence America’s Health access to treatment without people politicizing the process,” said Rapert.

Ferguson says people should listen to the advice of medical professionals and not force the issue of using Hydroxychloroquine.

“I know people are frustrated and they want a treatment, they want a vaccine, they want something to prevent it, but I mean doctors went to medical school for a reason,” said Ferguson.

Rapert echoes that same sentiment despite being a proponent of the drug and feels that many doctors are caught in the middle of the political game.

“I need to let doctors practice medicine and what’s happening is you have doctors afraid to practice medicine for fear of losing their jobs,” said Rapert.

Dr. Jose Romero was also questioned about his thoughts on the use of the drug and he says that he is not endorsing its use but also says it is not being denied by doctors in the state.

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