Trump says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus symptoms

President Donald Trump of the United States revealed to reporters on Monday he’s taking the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in an effort to prevent getting coronavirus, saying he’s been taking a pill every day for about a week and a half, according to a Fox News report.

“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 good stories. And if it’s not good, I’ll tell you right, I’m not going to get hurt by it.”

The president added that he consulted with the White House physician before starting to take the drug.

Hydroxychloroquine is a widely used anti-malarial drug that the president has touted as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

But it’s effectiveness for treating coronavirus has been a subject of debate: A recent analysis of the use of the drug to treat COVID-19 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, which was released last month, 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.

Despite the study, Trump has continued to defend the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the novel coronavirus and slammed the demoted government scientist who filed a whistleblower complaint claiming he was removed from his post for disagreeing with the Trump administration’s push to use the drug.

Trump said last week that there was a “tremendous response” to hydroxychloroquine and called Rick Bright — the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority – a “disgruntled person.”

During a congressinal testimony last week, Bright criticized Department of Health and Human Services leadership for their response to the pandemic and claimed that he was relegated to a lower position because he disagreed with the Trump administration’s push to tout “drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit.”

Trump’s comments on Monday came during a wide-ranging Q&A with reporters, where he also said he was “surprised” to hear that Attorney General William Barr does not plan to open investigations into former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden in regards to the origins of the Russia probe.

“I’m surprised,” Trump said, adding that he had “no doubt Obama and Biden were involved” in the formation of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Earlier on Monday, Barr said he does not expect U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review into the origins of the Russia probe to lead to a “criminal investigation” of either former Obama or Biden – noting, instead, that their concern of “potential criminality” in the conduct of that probe is “focused on others.”

“As for President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement based on what I know, I don’t expect Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man,” Barr said. “Our concern of potential criminality is focused on others.”

 

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