Dr. David Boulware, an infectious disease specialist from the University of Minnesota, is one of the first doctors to receive approval from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct a pair of clinical trials of the drug, which has been heavily promoted by President Trump as a potential antidote to the outbreak.
The first trial will be comprised primarily of healthcare workers and others with a high risk of exposure to the virus, while the second will be open to the general public who have already tested positive for COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine is being studied both as a way to prevent COVID-19 infection as well as a way to treat people who are already sick.
But one of his biggest problems? He needs volunteers, and lots of them. Boulware is seeking 1500 volunteers for the first trial, but in the week since he obtained FDA approval, he has managed to recruit only 411. Recruitment for the second trial, which is also seeking 1500 volunteers, is going even slower. As of this writing, he has only 25.