“The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C”“It helps a tremendous amount, but it is not highlighted because it’s not a sexy drug.” A spokesman for Northwell — which operates 23 hospitals, including Lenox Hill Hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side — said vitamin C was being “widely used” as a coronavirus treatment throughout the system, but noted that medication protocols varied from patient to patient. “As the clinician decides,” spokesman Jason Molinet said. About 700 patients are being treated for coronavirus across the hospital network, Molinet said, but it’s unclear how many are getting the vitamin C treatment. The vitamin C is administered in addition to such medicines as the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, the antibiotic azithromycin, various biologics and blood thinners, Weber said. As of Tuesday, New York hospitals have federal permission to give a cocktail of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to desperately ill patients on a “compassionate care” basis. President Trump has tweeted that the unproven combination therapy has “a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine.” Weber, 34, said vitamin C levels in coronavirus patients drop dramatically when they suffer sepsis, an inflammatory response that occurs when their bodies overreact to the infection. “It makes all the sense in the world to try and maintain this level of vitamin C,” he said. A clinical trial on the effectiveness of intravenous vitamin C on coronavirus patients began Feb. 14 at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the pandemic.