President Donald Trump sent liberals into a tizzy this week when he informed the media that he has been taking daily doses of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine in hopes of avoiding contracting the coronavirus, which has already infected a handful of White House staffers as well as some 1.5 million Americans, according to Deadline.
But while the media may have pounced on Trump’s decision, at least one top doctor says the move is actually “very smart.” In a discussion that all but vindicated the president, Dr. Janette Nesheiwat told Fox News on Monday that it’s a good thing Trump is taking hydroxychloroquine as what she called a “prophylactic preventative measure.”
“You have to have a discussion with your doctor to decide if it is best for you,” the doctor added, according to Fox. “It is not going to be good for everyone, but it may be beneficial and potentially life-saving for others.”
Nesheiwat also characterized the drug as a good tool to have “in our toolbox” to fight COVID-19.
A “smart” move
It’s no secret that scientists around the world are working toward treatments for the novel coronavirus. In the meantime, doctors are trying medications that are currently available — including hydroxychloroquine, which Trump first touted in April as a “game-changer” in the fight against COVID-19, as The New York Times reported.
“I think it is good to have this medication in our toolbox along with remdesivir while we wait for a vaccine to become approved,” Nesheiwat commented Monday, according to Fox.
Still, she warned against people taking the drug without consulting their physicians.
“Now, if you have underlying cardiac arrhythmia, we need to be careful. We might not want to put you on that unless you are on your deathbed and it is your last resort,” she told Fox.
Does it work?
Of course, there is still much debate in the medical world over whether hydroxychloroquine even has any impact on COVID-19.
The internet is rampant with doctors claiming they have treated patients with this drug and have had great success, but these “unofficial” reports have been matched by other doctors claiming the opposite.
As far as official reports go, they are inconclusive at best, with studies saying that overall, the drug has no effect on the virus. These studies have also come under fire, though, because the drug was only being used in extreme cases as a last resort, not in early detection or as a preventive measure.
It seems only time will tell whether Trump is making the right call here — but Nesheiwat, for her part, appears optimistic.