White House confirms Trump is taking anti-malarial drug to ward off COVID-19

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: May 19, 2020, 06:57 AM(IST)

US President Donald Trump speaks from the White House Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been warning since April that the drug should not be used for that purpose because it could cause irregular heartbeats and other cardiac trauma.

The White House Director of Strategic Communications has confirmed that US President Donald Trump was prescribed hydroxychloroquine and has been consuming the anti-malarial drug for a week and a half.

Earlier, 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.

His remarks on Monday immediately grabbed headlines. US deaths from COVID-19 has topped 90,000 people, almost a third of the total world toll.

Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, released a memorandum stating that he and the doctor had discussed the use of the drug, but did not confirm in the memo that the US president was actually taking the drug.

Trump has shown interest in promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine for weeks, 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."

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been warning since April that the drug should not be used for that purpose because it could cause irregular heartbeats and other cardiac trauma.

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.

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