Trump says he’s taking unproven drug he believes could protect him against COVID-19

John Locher/The Associated Press

Date Published: May 18, 2020

Source: CBC

On Monday, US President Donald Trump reported that he had been taking hydroxychloroquine and a zinc supplement for “about a week and a half” with an “original dose” of azithromycin to prevent COVID-19, an unsubstantiated experimental drug combination that he has been touting as a potential cure for COVID-19. Top medical professionals outside and within the Trump administration have warned against the use of hydroxychloroquine, a drug used for malaria and lupus, except in a hospital or research setting due to potentially fatal side effects including heart-rhythm problems and even death. Two large observational studies in New York, each with 1,400 patients, as well as several international studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine has not proven to be effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Despite this evidence, US prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine have risen 80% in March. Earlier this month, at least two White House Staffers were found to have COVID-19, resulting in a mandate to wear masks in the West Wing as well as daily testing for the virus for the president and vice president. Trump states he continues to test negative. 

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Summary by: Sophia Duong