The state purchased the hydroxychloroquine stockpile in early April, days after Trump began to tout it as a treatment. While many acknowledged at the time that reports of the drug’s effectiveness were purely anecdotal, Trump said at a briefing in March, “What do we have to lose? I feel very good about it.”
Health officials nationwide immediately began to caution people against using the drug, throwing water on the idea that it could cure a coronavirus infection and cautioning that it could have serious side effects, including irregular heart rhythms and even the possibility of death. The drug was ultimately discredited as a treatment option and the National Institute of Health released a report in November that the drug had “no clinical benefit to hospitalized patients.”
Though more than 20 states ultimately bought hydroxychloroquine drugs for potential use against COVID-19, Oklahoma, along with Utah, was one of only two states who purchased the drug from private wholesalers, according to the Associated Press.