A series of conversations President Trump has had with tech billionaire Larry Ellison have helped convince him that two old anti-malarial drugs may be game-changing treatments for covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, according to four people familiar with the conversations.
Trump has said he has “a good feeling” about the drugs based on anecdotal reports, even though there is scant data showing they benefit people with covid-19. Now, Ellison — who recently held a high-profile fundraiser for Trump — has helped arrange a partnership between Oracle, the software company he co-founded, and the federal government to crowdsource that idea by collecting data in real time from doctors trying out those and other unprove drugs on covid-19 patients.
While the antimalarial drugs are also being tested in clinical trials, the primary purpose of Oracle’s new website and mobile app is to help gather information on patients prescribed the medications outside of trials and more quickly assess whether the drugs — or any others that may emerge as possible treatments — are effective against covid-19 for which there is no proven treatment. The company plans to donate the site to the government.