The New York Times reports:
President Trump said on Saturday that the federal government was placing millions of doses of a malaria drug in the federal stockpile of emergency medical supplies to make it available for coronavirus patients, even though the drug has not been approved for Covid-19 treatment and his top coronavirus advisers have warned that more study is needed to determine its safety and efficacy.
Though advisers, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have cautioned many times that more data is needed on the drug, hydroxychloroquine, Mr. Trump, in a White House briefing, went so far as to urge patients to take it. “What do you have to lose? Take it,” the president said. “I really think they should take it. But it’s their choice. And it’s their doctor’s choice or the doctors in the hospital. But hydroxychloroquine. Try it, if you’d like.”
President Donald Trump sparked confusion Saturday by claiming a study suggested that people with the autoimmune disease lupus were not as affected by coronavirus—presumably because they commonly use the drug hydroxychloroquine—but then immediately backtracked, saying “maybe that’s correct, maybe it’s false, you’re going to have to check it out,” and his own medical advisor downplayed any connection.
Trump said Saturday that hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to treat lupus, “could be a game changer” in treating coronavirus, which so far has no known cure. Trump seemed to infer that people with lupus were not becoming infected with coronavirus because they were already taking hydroxychloroquine for lupus. In fact, according to The Lupus Foundation of America, people with lupus are more vulnerable to infections like coronavirus.
President Trump on hydroxychloroquine: “What do you have to lose?” pic.twitter.com/ADKTc65Yo0
— The Hill (@thehill) April 5, 2020
Dr. Fauci contradicts Trump and says that there’s not enough data to say that people taking a lupus drug haven’t gotten the coronavirus.
Trump then comes in and says: “I hope they use hydrochloroquine.” He adds: “What do you have to lose?”
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 4, 2020
Donald J. Trump’s misinformation campaign contd in today’s presser, jeopardizing lives in the process. I wish I had counted how many times he recklessly played Dr. today, prescribing Rx cocktails for people against COVID-19, asking “What do you have to lose?” Really? Their lives!
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) April 4, 2020
Trump on the use of hydroxychloroquine by people in “bad shape” from the coronavirus: “What do you have to lose?”
He says that “it’s passed the safety test” since it’s been used for years for other illnesses. Just not how this works.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 4, 2020
Trump again touting hydroxychloroquine with a Z-Pak because “what do you have to lose?”
The last time Trump promoted chloroquine on air, a Phoenix-area couple ingested the similarly-labeled “chloroquine phosphate.” The man died and his wife ended up in critical care.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) April 4, 2020
Trump, who says he tested negative for virus twice, says he may start take hydroxychloroquine, anti-malaria drug he thinks may be a “game changer” for treating coronavirus.
He said: “I may take it. I have to ask my doctors about that.”
(No FDA approved treatment for virus)
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) April 4, 2020
An early trial shows hydroxychloroquine is NOT effective at treating Coronavirus, but the drug does have deadly side-effects for many patients.
Trump just told the entire country to take this.
Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. https://t.co/r2kKxjAScN
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) April 5, 2020
Why would Trump take an anti-malaria drug that is unproven to treat COVID if he has tested negative twice for COVID? I just don’t follow this.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) April 4, 2020