President Trump on Tuesday resumed his push for coronavirus patients to take hydroxychloroquine.
Trump spoke at length during a White House press briefing about the anti-malaria drug, including his experience taking it for two weeks as a COVID-19 prophylactic.
“Many doctors think it is extremely good and some people don’t… I happen to believe in it. I would take it. As you know, I took it for a 14 day period and I’m here, right? I’m here,” Trump said.
“I happen to think it works in the early stages. I think frontline medical people believe that too — some, many. So we’ll take a look at it,” he continued.
Trump resumed the daily coronavirus press briefings last week. During an initial stretch of briefings in March and April, he was routinely peppered with questions from reporters about whether the drug is safe, or if there’s proof it works against COVID-19.
A small Brazilian study using high doses of a related drug, chloroquine, was canceled this year after some patients developed irregular heartbeats.
On Monday night, Trump retweeted some messages of support for the drug’s use.
“It’s safe. It doesn’t cause problems. I had no problem. I had absolutely no problem — felt no different, didn’t feel good bad or indifferent,” Trump said Tuesday. “It didn’t get me and it’s not going to hopefully hurt anybody.”
He added: “Politically it doesn’t seem to be too popular. You know why? Because I recommend it. When I recommend something, they like to say don’t use it.”
Trump said he’s not aware of White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci’s views on hydroxychloroquine and that he has a “good relationship” with Fauci, despite an overnight retweet of a message, which was later removed, criticizing the infectious disease expert.
Trump said “I’ve read a lot about hydroxy” and that “there was a group of doctors yesterday, a large group, that were put on the internet. And for some reason the internet wanted to take them down. And took them off, I guess. I guess Twitter took them off. And I think Facebook took them off. I don’t know why.”
The president said “there was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it, and she’s had tremendous with it. And they took her voice off… maybe they had a good reason, maybe they didn’t.”
A reporter asked Trump whether he was aware that the same female doctor, Stella Immanuel, reportedly claimed that doctors make medicine using DNA from aliens.
“Well, maybe it’s the same and maybe it’s not,” Trump said. “I can tell you this, she was on air along with many other doctors. They were big fans of hydroxychloroquine and I thought she was very impressive in the sense that from where she came — I don’t know which country she comes from — but she said she’s had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients, and I thought her voice was an important voice. But I know nothing about her.”
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