President Donald Trump on Monday said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine anti-malaria drug to protect himself against the coronavirus, although scientists have warned about its fatal side effects.
Trump told reporters about his use of the drug and a zinc supplement daily “for about a week and a half.”
The US President has been pushing the drug as a potential cure for COVID-19 for weeks, contrary to cautionary advice from top medical professionals working with him.
According to Trump, his doctor did not recommend the drug, but he requested for it from the White House physician, saying; I started taking it, because I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories.
The physician, Dr. Sean Conley, in a statement released, said after “numerous discussions” with Trump about the evidence for and against using hydroxychloroquine, “we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.”
Trump had earlier promoted the drug as a potential treatment based on a positive report about its use against the virus, but subsequent studies found that it was not helpful.
Last month, the Food and Drug Administration warned health professionals that the drug should not be used to treat COVID-19 outside of hospital or research settings, due to fatal side effect like “serious heart rhythm problems in patients with COVID-19.”
Trump, however dismissed this report, saying; “All I can tell you is, so far I seem to be OK.”
Several prominent doctors and other health practitioners have taken to Twitter to lash out at Trump over his actions, saying it sets a bad example for Americans and the world as a whole.
See reactions below;
No, #hydroxychloroquine is NOT an effective treatment for COVID-19.
In vulnerable groups, it increases mortality rate.
— PharmaFactz (@PharmaFactz) May 19, 2020
Glad to see @realDonaldTrump is taking #Hydroxychloroquine. This is a smart move by a very smart guy who knows all media is lying & that all medical doctors are wrong & that scientists oppose him; Nevertheless he persisted. He should get tough & triple the dose, just to be sure.
— Claire Foxx (@QueercoreTrash) May 19, 2020
Trump admitting to taking hydroxychloroquine is reckless and extremely dangerous.
NO HUMAN BEING SHOULD TAKE THIS DRUG!!!!!!!#Hydroxychloroquine #COVID19 #Covid_19 @piersmorgan pic.twitter.com/E8dmy5NTw2
— Robert J F Barnes #stayhomeandstaysafe (@RobertJFBarnes1) May 19, 2020
I’m sick to my stomach about what Trump did today to promote #Hydroxychloroquine
There’s already a shortage of this medication available to the patients with auto-immune who need it.
I am one of those patients.
The stress has been savage.
What does Trump have VESTED in this?
— Peter Morley (@morethanmySLE) May 19, 2020
Speaker Pelosi: I would rather he not be taking that which has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group, and in his, shall we say, weight group: #morbidlyobese.
— Lindy Li (@lindyli) May 19, 2020
Trump says he’s been taking #Hydroxychloroquine for almost 2 wks. Don’t do as Trump does or suggests. Any disinfectant, like bleach or Lysol, & ultraviolet light are not remedies. His unhinged notions could cause your death. He’d just say you sacrificed your life for the economy!
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) May 19, 2020
Some of the side effects of taking #Hydroxychloroquine are psychosis, paranoia, blurred vision, agitation, irritability, suicidal thoughts, and severe depression. Sound familiar? Did I mention loose skin and deep set eyes? Oh, and it INCREASES your chances of dying from #COVID19
— FineViolins (@FeinViolins) May 19, 2020
Since the outbreak of the virus, Trump has made numerous misguided assertions which led to him been the subject of worldwide vilification.
He was recently criticised for not wearing face masks at public gathering, even though it has been recommended by health bodies.
Last week, he downplayed the dangers of coronavirus, saying the virus only threatened a small number of people.
His statement however, is a huge contrast to current figures. As at May 19th, there are 1,554,272 confirmed cases, and 92,188 deaths – the highest figures in the world.