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The headline of the Russian state media outlet RIA Novosti read, “Russia Created the Treatment for Coronavirus.” The article went on to boast about the remedy based on the drug mefloquine, an antimalarial drug created in fact at the U.S. Army’s Walter Reed Medical Center shortly after the Vietnam War and widely known as Lariam.
Mefloquine was created to replace chloroquine, another anti-malarial, which was President Donald Trump’s recent drug of choice in his dubious battle against COVID-19. It is still prescribed in many countries to prevent and treat malaria, but it is known to have severe and sometimes shocking side effects. A study conducted from 2001-2003 “confirmed mefloquine’s potential for causing psychological illness.”
Facing a wave of ridicule in social media, Russian state media changed the headline, which now reads: “Russia Offered a Drug for Treating the Coronavirus.”
Read more at The Daily Beast.