President Donald Trump has touted the potential of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 since the early weeks of the outbreak in the U.S. Now, he’s taken it to another level.
On Monday, President Trump stunned the nation by announcing that he is, in fact, taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure.
The president said he has been taking the drug for over a week along with daily doses of zinc, and has received an initial dose of the antibiotic azithromycin.
‘I’m taking it’
Trump can never be accused of not putting his money, or in this case, his health, where his mouth is.
The president has been a fan of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, from the early days of the pandemic. He pushed for trials and those trials eventually took place in New York as well as a few other states.
The only problem was that while there were widespread reports on social media that hydroxychloroquine was helping patients, the studies conducted so far have proved inconclusive at best. Furthermore, the drug can have significant negative side effects.
Even so, as coronavirus cases have begun to pop up in the White House, Trump said that he asked his doctor if he could take the drug and now he is.
President Trump’s doctor later confirmed that Trump was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive treatment.
“After numerous discussions he and I had about regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks,” Dr. Sean Conley stated.
As of now, it’s going well, according to Trump. “I’m not going to get hurt by it. It’s been around for 40 years. For malaria, for lupus, for other things. I take it. Front-line workers take it. A lot of doctors take it … I take it,” he said.
FDA weighs in
In response to Trump’s stunning announcement, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn told CNBC, “The decision to take any drug is ultimately a decision between a patient and their doctor. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are already FDA-approved for treating malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.”
Last month, the FDA warned Americans against taking hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine outside of a hospital or clinical trial, citing the risk of “serious heart rhythm problems.”