President Donald Trump claimed he’s finished taking hydroxychloroquine, the controversial anti-malarial drug he’s been repeatedly criticized for touting as an effective coronavirus treatment against the recommendations and research from health and policy experts.
“Finished, just finished,” Trump said in an interview with Sinclair Broadcast’s program Full Measure With Sharyl Attkisson. “And by the way, I’m still here. To the best of my knowledge, here I am.”
The president added, without providing evidence, that hydroxychloroquine had “rave reviews” and “many people think it saved their lives.”
“I believe in it enough that I took a program because I had two people in the White House that tested positive,” he said. “But hydroxy has had tremendous, if you look at it, tremendous, rave reviews.”
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.
Last week, the president denied the FDA had ever issued a warning.