U.S President, Donald Trump revealed to reporters on Monday that he’s been taking the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in an effort to prevent getting coronavirus.
“I’m taking it – hydroxychloroquine,” the president told reporters during a roundtable with restaurant leaders in the White House’s State Dining Room.
He added: “I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories. And, if it’s not good, I’ll tell you right, I’m not going to get hurt by it.”
President Trump said he has taken the drug for “about a week and a half now”, adding: “I take a pill every day” and has had “zero symptoms”.
He said he was taking the drug because “I’ve gotten a lot of calls” from medical professionals praising it. According to Independent, president Trump’s revelation comes several weeks after the New York Times reported the Trump family has a financial tie to the parent company of one of the firms that makes hydroxychloroquine.
The president added that he consulted with the White House physician before starting to take the drug. Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, announced in a statement Monday night, “After numerous discussions he and I had about regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.”
But, the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine for treating coronavirus has been a subject of debate. A recent analysis of the use of the drug to treat Coronavirus patients in U.S. veterans’ hospitals found no benefit to using the drug and that there were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care.
The nationwide study was not a rigorous experiment. But with 368 patients, it’s the largest look so far of hydroxychloroquine with or without the antibiotic azithromycin for COVID-19.
The study was posted on an online site for researchers and has not been reviewed by other scientists. Grants from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Virginia paid for the work.