Donald Trump said on Saturday that he “may take” the drug he has touted as a “game changer” against coronavirus despite experts warning that it is not properly tested and some countries have cautioned against people taking it without being prescribed by a doctor.
As Business Insider reported, Trump said during Saturday’s daily White House briefing on the spread of the coronavirus that he “may take” hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug that he had previously touted as a “game changer” in treatment of COVID-19.
“If it were me — in fact, I might do it anyway. I may take it, okay? I may take it,” Trump said at a press briefing.
“And I’ll have to ask my doctors about that, but I may take it.”
The drug has reportedly shown some promise in the treatment of COVID-19 among some patients, but top White House medical expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has warned that it still needs to undergo rigorous testing before it can be used on a wider scale. There is also no evidence that the drug works to prevent infection from the coronavirus, so it is not clear if there is any benefit to the president taking it. Trump has twice been tested for the virus after coming into close contact with people who tested positive, but the president tested negative both times.
Trump’s promotion of hydroxychloroquine has led to some controversy and pushback from medical experts. As The Inquisitr reported, Nigerian health officials reported a rise in cases of chloroquine poisoning after Trump incorrectly stated the drug as being “approved” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Banner Health, an Arizona-based health care system, announced that the couple, both in their 60s, were both taken to the hospital after taking the drug. The man later died at the hospital, and local medical officials warned people not to take it.
“Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but self-medicating is not the way to do so,” said Dr. Daniel Brooks, Banner Poison and Drug Information Center medical director.
“The last thing that we want right now is to inundate our emergency departments with patients who believe they found a vague and risky solution that could potentially jeopardize their health.”