President Trump stunned reporters on Monday when he announced that he’s been taking Hydroxychloroquine, a drug he has frequently touted as a promising treatment for coronavirus despite limited evidence from the medical community, as a preventative measure against COVID-19.
The FDA issued a warning last month that the unproven drug should only be taken in hospitals because of the risk of heart complications. There has been no substantiated evidence that taking hydroxychloroquine prevents COVID-19 infections.
Trump said he consulted with the White House doctor about taking the drug, but said it was not recommended for him.
“I asked him what do you think. He said, ‘Well if you’d like it.’ I said, ‘Yeah I’d like it. I’d like to take it,'” Trump said during a roundtable event.
“So far, I seem to be ok,” Trump said, saying he’s “not gonna get hurt by it. It’s been around for 40 years.”
“A lot of good things have come out. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers. Before you catch it. The front-line workers, many, many are taking it,” he said.
“I have been taking it for about a week and a half,” Trump told reporters.
“Every day?” a reporter asked the president.
“Yeah, every day,” he confirmed. “I take a pill every day. Uh, at some point I’ll stop. What I’d like to do is I’d like to have a cure and or the vaccine and I think that’ll happen very soon.”
"I happen to be taking it … right now, yeah" — Trump claims he's taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug he's touted as a potential coronavirus treatment despite a lack of evidence that can lead to potentially fatal heart problems pic.twitter.com/zxiNxlyfEs
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 18, 2020
Journalists reacted with shock at the president’s revelation.
President Trump just said he is taking hydroxychloroquine.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) May 18, 2020