Jonathan Reiner, who was former Vice President Dick Cheney’s cardiologist for years, made a Tuesday appearance on CNN and touched on the risk President Donald Trump faces of dying if he contracts coronavirus.
As reported by Breitbart, Reiner spoke to host Alisyn Camerota about Trump’s recent revelation that he is taking the antimalaria drug hydroxychloroquine prophylactically. Camerota pointed to the drug’s possible side effects of mood swings and emotional changes and asked about the influence it could have on the president’s judgment.
“Right, I think the last thing we need is this president to have mood swings,” Reiner said.
The George Washington University Medical Center professor continued to highlight the drug’s most dangerous side effect, malignant cardiac arrhythmia, which can lead to death. Reiner noted that the White House operates by rules that diverge from the public, and doctors have 24-hour access to Trump, meaning they have unique ways of mitigating the risk that comes with the drug. Nevertheless, Reiner pushed back on Trump’s decision to take the medication, which has shown mixed results for treating COVID-19.
“I agree with [CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta] completely, this drug is unproven and the data we have suggests it doesn’t work or can be harmful,” he said. “No one in this country should use it in the manner that the president is using it.”
According to Reiner, the White House likely determined that Trump faces less risk taking hydroxychloroquine than he does from contracting coronavirus.
“My calculations, I think his risk, based on all the co-morbidities you mentioned in the lead-in, he probably has a 15 to 20 percent risk of dying of this virus should he contract it.”
According to The Guardian, the doctor who approved Trump’s request to use hydroxychloroquine, Sean Conley, indeed concluded that the potential benefit of the unproven regimen outweighed the risks Trump faces from coronavirus.
“I asked him ‘what do you think?'” Trump said of his interaction with Conley.
“He said ‘Well, if you’d like it.’ I said ‘Yeah, I’d like it. I’d like to take it.'”
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against using the drug outside of clinical trials or in emergency hospital settings due to its possible adverse effects on the heart.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, some health experts have expressed alarm at Trump’s decision to take hydroxychloroquine. Aneesh Mehta, an infectious disease doctor at Emory University, suggested that remdesivir would be a better alternative due to its promising early results for treating coronavirus.