Tuesday, 19 May 2020


Donald Trump has said he is taking a malaria drug to protect against coronavirus, despite warnings from his own government that it should only be administered for Covid-19 in a hospital or research setting due to potentially fatal side effects.

The president told reporters he has been taking hydroxychloroquine and a zinc supplement daily "for about a week and a half now".

He spent weeks pushing the drug as a potential cure for Covid-19 - against the advice of many of his administration's top medical professionals.

The drug has the potential to cause significant side effects in some patients and has not been shown to combat coronavirus.

Mr Trump said his doctor did not recommend the drug to him but he requested it from the White House physician.

"I started taking it, because I think it's good," Mr Trump said. "I've heard a lot of good stories."

The White House physician Sean Conley said in a statement released through the White House press office that after "numerous discussions" with Mr Trump about the evidence for and against using hydroxychloroquine "we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risk.

Trump also claimed ‘many, many’ frontline workers ‘are taking it’ and ‘a lot of doctors take it’. He said: ‘I take it. I hope to not be able to take it soon because, you know, I hope they come up with some answer. But I think people should be allowed to.’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN: ‘He’s our president, and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and his, shall we say, weight group … morbidly obese, they say.’
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called Trump’s remarks ‘dangerous’. He said on MSNBC: ‘Maybe he’s really not taking it because the president lies about things characteristically. ‘I don’t know whether he is taking it or not. I know him saying he is taking it, whether he is or not, is reckless, reckless, reckless.’


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