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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence told a news briefing Sunday that hydroxychloroquine will be used in a 3,000-person study at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit to test the effectiveness of the anti-malarial drug in treating novel coronavirus patients.

Why it matters: President Trump has touted the drug as a potential game-changer, but there's no conclusive proof that it works in COVID-19 cases, per National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci.

  • The trial will be "the first major, definitive study in healthcare workers and first responders of hydroxychloroquine as a preventative medication," noted study organizer William O'Neill, an interventional cardiologist and researcher with Henry Ford Health System, in a statement.

Zoom in: The study will "look at whether the drug prevents front-line workers from contracting the virus," according to the statement.

  • Once health care workers and first responders enrolled in the trial provide a blood sample, they'll "receive vials with unidentified, specific pills to take over the next eight weeks," per Henry Ford Health System.
  • These will consist of a once-a-week dose of hydroxychloroquine, a once-a-day dose or a placebo. Participants won't know which group they're in.
"They will ... be contacted weekly and in person at week 4 and week 8 of the study to see if they are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, including dry cough, fever or breathing issues, as well as any medication side effects. At eight weeks, they will be checked again for symptoms, medication side effects, and have blood drawn. Results will be compared among the three groups to see if the medication had any effect."
— Henry Ford Health System statement

Of note: "The study medication was specially procured for this study [from the Food and Drug Administration] and will not impact the supply of medication for people who already take the medication for other conditions," Henry Ford Health System said.

Our thought bubble, per Axios' Sam Baker: Hydroxychloroquine has shown some promise against the coronavirus in a small French study, but it's not federally approved to treat COVID-19, as no official studies had been conducted to determine whether it's both safe and effective for those sick patients.

Go deeper: Inside the epic White House fight over hydroxychloroquine

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the study.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”