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'I've heard a lot of good stories': Trump tells reporters he's been taking hydroxychloroquine

It has not been proven the anti-malaria drug is effective at preventing or helping to treat Covid-19.
May 18th 2020, 10:07 PM 53,609 118

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump made the surprising revelation that he is taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that has divided medical experts over its suitability for fighting the novel coronavirus.

Trump, noting that he had tested negative for the virus and showed no symptoms, said he’d been taking the drug “for about a week and a half”.

“I take a pill every day,” he said, adding that he also takes zinc as a preventative measure.

Asked why, he said “because I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories”.

He claimed that “many” frontline workers are taking the drug and a “lot of good things have come out about it”. 

“If it’s not good, I’ll tell you right, I’m not going to get hurt by it,” Trump said.

Although the US President has praised hydroxychloroquine repeatedly and said it can be an effective treatment for Covid-19, that has so far not been borne out by scientific studies or recommended by his own health officials.

Top infectious diseases expert Dr Tony Fauci has categorically said there’s no evidence to suggest hydroxychloroquine can prevent Covid-19.

Research published last week in the British Medical Journal showed that hospitalised patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 who received hydroxychloroquine did not recover from the virus quicker than those receiving standard care, and adverse effects were higher in those who received hydroxychloroquine.

Another study published last week by French researchers gave 84 hospital patients the drug and 97 others the usual care. There were no differences in the odds of death, need for intensive care or developing severe illness.

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorisation to allow the drug be provided to certain patients in hospital at the onset of the crisis. However, the organisation has since cautioned against the drug’s use outside of a hospital setting or a clinical trial due to the risk of heart rhythm problems. previously debunked a widely shared social media post that claimed hydroxychloroquine and ‘zpac’, otherwise known as the antibiotic azithromycin, would help a patient to full recovery from the virus within 12 hours.

Although it has been suggested Trump could benefit financially if sales of the drug were to rise, US fact checkers Snopes have found this claim to be “mostly false”. 

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US today exceeded 1.5 million and over 90,000 people are now confirmed to have died. 

With reporting from Órla Ryan's coronavirus newsletter cuts through the misinformation and noise with the clear facts you need to make informed choices. Sign up here

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Sean Murray


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