The Bureau of Prisons placed an order for $60,000 worth of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets in March, federal spending records show.
A Bureau of Prisons spokesperson told Insider the drugs were intended to treat COVID-19 patients.
The novel coronavirus has been spreading rapidly throughout federal prisons, and the BOP reported Monday that eight inmates have died so far, and at least 195 have tested positive.
The Trump administration has vigorously talked up hydroxychloroquine as a potential COVID-19 treatment or prophylactic, though no large-scale clinical trials have proven that it is effective.
The nation's top infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci has repeatedly warned that there is not yet enough evidence showing the drug can treat or prevent the virus.
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