Donald Trump says he feels ‘perfect’ after a two-week course of anti-malaria medication hydroxychloroquie and would happily take it again.
The drug was being researched as a potential treatment for coronavirus but trials were suspended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) after two months over safety concerns. Side effects include fatal heart problems, nausea, stomach pain, skin rash, itching and hair loss.
Officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warn against its use outside of hospitals for these reasons, but that hasn’t stopped the country’s president.
When asked how Trump was doing after his course of medication, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded: ‘He said, quote, he’s feeling perfect, quote, he’s feeling absolutely great after taking this regimen and, quote, he would take it again if he thought that he was exposed. So he is feeling very good.’
This was despite one of the Government’s top infectious disease experts saying the drug is not effective in treating Covid-19. Speaking to CNN on Wednesday Dr Anthony Fauci said: ‘The scientific data is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy for it.’
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That same day the French government banned the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. When asked if the US should follow suit, he said: ‘I’m not so sure it should be banned.’
It follows a study on the drug involving 96,000 patients was published in medical journal The Lancet. It concluded that hydroxychloroquine had no effect on Covid-19 and could even do more harm than good in some cases.
Trump said he was taking the drug in combination with a zinc supplement as a preventative measure against the bug and said he felt fine.
As the WHO announced its suspension of hydroxychloroquine trials, the organisation’s director general Dr Tedros Adhanom said findings suggested a higher mortality rate among Covid-19 patients receiving the drug.
McEnany said the President plans to finish his annual physical after taking part of it in November. She didn’t give an exact date, but in March the POTUS said he would complete it within the next 90 days.
He stressed that the medication can continue to be used safely by patients with autoimmune disease or malaria.
On April 31 the FDA put out a warning about hydroxychloroquine, claiming it caused heart problems and said it should only be used to treat coronavirus on patients already in the hospital.
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