Trump to Stop Taking Hydroxychloroquine ‘In 2 Days’

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI  AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump has told reporters at the White House that for "a couple weeks" he has been taking a malaria drug as a defense against Covid-19 - despite warnings from his administration that it is unsafe.

"Every sovereign nation, particularly those with effective regulatory authorities, is in a position to advise its own citizens regarding the use of any drug", Michael Ryan said Wednesday, just days after US President Donald Trump said that he was taking hydroxychloroquine prophylactically.

The drug, hydroxychloroquine, has been around for decades but was thrust into the spotlight this spring when Trump began mentioning its name dozens of times during coronavirus briefings.

The president and many White House staffers are being regularly tested for COVID-19.

HCQ, sold under the brand name Plaquenil among others, is a medication used to prevent malaria in areas where the disease remains sensitive to chloroquine.

Britain has ordered £35 million ($42 million) worth of hydroxychloroquine, despite numerous studies showing it is ineffective in treating COVID-19 and may even be more risky than doing nothing. Evidence for such use now lacks with concerns of potential harms from side effects.

The White House physician wrote on Monday that Trump is "in good health and has remained symptom-free".

On Monday, Trump called Bright a hypocrite and then riffed on the supposed benefits of the drug, which the FDA advised has "not been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing COVID-19".

She insisted no one should be taking the drug without a prescription from their doctor.

ABC News  Ipsos
ABC News Ipsos

Trump appeared to brush off these concerns and revealed he took it, along with zinc.

The US Food and Drug Administration warned against use of the medication outside hospitals, where the agency has granted temporary authorisation for its use in some cases, or clinical trials.

"You'd be surprised at how many people are taking it ..."

"Especially in his age group and in his - shall we say - weight group, what is morbidly obese they say - so, I think it's not a good idea".

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Sales of drug touted by Trump have been soaring". Right now, yeah. A couple weeks ago I started taking it.

He aims to recruit thousands of frontline health workers, starting in Brighton and Oxford, to test the malaria treatment that President Trump swears by.

Thirty percent of black adults and 26% of Latino adults in the country said they know a victim of the coronavirus, who died either from the disease or from complications related to the virus.

Yet Trump has made clear that, at least when it comes to hydroxychloroquine, he has prioritized anecdotal evidence, including a letter he told reporters he'd received from a doctor in Westchester, New York, claiming success with the drug.

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