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Japan, China Vie to Supply Unproven Coronavirus Drug

TOKYO—A drug called favipiravir has set off a diplomatic tug of war between geopolitical rivals Japan and China, both of which are offering it to other nations as a gesture to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

What makes the rival diplomacy unusual is the lack of solid evidence that either country’s pills can help virus victims. No peer-reviewed research suggests the drug’s efficacy in fighting Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and previous studies show favipiravir could cause birth defects if taken by pregnant…

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