Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden called President Donald Trump’s claim that the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine can be used as an effective treatment for the novel coronavirus “absolutely irresponsible” during last night’s virtual Yahoo News event with chef Jose Andres.
“Look, this is absolutely irresponsible. There’s no serious medical personnel out there saying to use that drug, it’s counterproductive, it’s not going to help,” Biden said, noting that there are studies of the drug that show “it does much more harm than good” in dealing with the coronavirus.
Biden added that Trump’s comments, including his claim this week that he’s taking the drug himself, are “Just like saying maybe if you injected Clorox into your blood, it may cure you. Come on. What is he doing? What in God’s name is he doing?”
You can watch footage of Biden’s remarks below.
Joe Biden just compared President Trump taking Hydroxychloroquine, a drug that has been prescribed to people for 65 years by doctors, to injecting himself with Clorox. pic.twitter.com/EaLbQwlZP5
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) May 20, 2020
Last month, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned doctors not to prescribe hydroxychloroquine or the related drug chloroquine. The drugs are restricted for hospital and research uses only.
Regulators “flagged reports of sometimes fatal heart side effects among coronavirus patients” taking the drugs, according to the Associated Press. Other side-effects include heart rhythm problems, severely low blood pressure, and muscle or nerve damage.
“It is important that health care providers are aware of the risks of serious and potentially life-threatening heart rhythm problems that can occur with these drugs,” the FDA said in a statement after several early studies have suggested the drugs cause problems or yield no benefits.
Yesterday, the president denied the FDA had ever issued a warning.