President Donald Trump recently revealed that he is taking the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventative against coronavirus. The president's doctor, Sean Conley, says the risks the drug poses to Trump are less than those created by the virus, while other medical professionals have warned against its dangers.
"There is one thing you cannot conclude here: that it's going to kill you," Hannity said recently on Premiere Radio Network's The Sean Hannity Show.
Hannity's comment conflicts with the recent study of patients at Veterans Health Administration medical centers, which found that the majority of coronavirus patients treated with the hydroxychloroquine ended up either dying or on mechanical ventilation.
On Fox News, Hannity continued his defense of Trump and suggested that he adequately stocked hospitals with the equipment necessary to combat the pandemic.
"Trump built the hospitals, manned the hospitals and sent them all the medical equipment they needed. Now, the president himself — he's made the decision along with his doctors to take hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment."Hannity pointed to research from rheumatology expert Dr. Daniel Wallace of the Cedars-Sinai hospital, who has written about the results of his use of the drug on lupus patients.
"He knows more about this than anybody else but the money line that he makes," Hannity said of Wallace, who is not an infectious respiratory disease expert.Hannity claimed that the risk of taking hydroxychloroquine at 400 mg daily with a 600 mg dose at the beginning of the 60-day period is "nil" unless the patient has an upset stomach or allergic rash. Despite Hannity's claims, Wallace's research did not conclude that the side effects of hydroxychloroquine are nonexistent or even mild. Instead, Wallace advised patients to talk to physicians about any symptoms they experience, which can include mood swings, paranoia, and psychosis.
As reported by Reuters, over 40,000 health care workers across Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America are currently involved in a study to determine if hydroxychloroquine is effective at combating coronavirus. Nicholas White, a professor at the University of Oxford and the study's co-principal investigator, told the publication that it is still not known if the medication holds benefit for treating COVID-19.
"The only way we can find out if things are beneficial overall is to do large, well-conducted clinical trials," he said.
Trump is allegedly taking hydroxychloroquine along with the antibiotic azithromycin and a supplement of zinc. Research suggests that zinc increases hydroxychloroquine's effectiveness against coronavirus.