Trump reveals he is taking hydroxychloroquine
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by Sebastian Smith
President Donald Trump on Monday made the surprising revelation that he is taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that his own government experts say is not suitable for fighting the novel coronavirus.
Trump, noting that he has tested negative for the virus and shows no symptoms, said he’d been taking the drug as a preventative measure “for about a week and a half.”
“I take a pill every day,” he said, adding that he combines this with zinc.
Asked why, he said: “Because I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories.”
Trump has shown interest for weeks in promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine, even if some doctors think it does not work for coronavirus patients and US government regulators warn it has “not been shown to be safe.”
Trump’s latest remarks came out of the blue, immediately grabbing headlines on a day when US deaths from COVID-19 topped 90,000 people — almost a third of the total world toll.
“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. I happen to be taking it,” he let slip to reporters attending a White House meeting devoted to the struggling restaurant industry.
“I’m taking it, hydroxychloroquine, right now, yeah. A couple of weeks ago, I started taking it,” he said.
Trump has often played down the dangers of coronavirus, including last week when he said it threatened only a small number of people. He also pointedly refuses to wear a mask, despite federal recommendations to do so and the fact that most of his staff have taken to covering their faces in public.
A personal valet to Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus, as has Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary. (AFP)