WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- During a White House briefing on Tuesday, President Donald Trump touted again the use of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug to treat COVID-19.
- Trump praised Stella Immanuel, a doctor in an online video, who advocated the use of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment.
- Health experts have continuously claimed that the hydroxychloroquine drug is not effective in curing COVID-19.
Despite substantial proof that hydroxychloroquine cannot treat the novel coronavirus disease, President Donald Trump on Tuesday further justified his idea to use the drug, saying that the discussion had become “very political.”
Trump also praised Stella Immanuel, the female doctor who was featured in an online-circulating video that advocated hydroxychloroquine as a potential COVID-19 cure. He also described all the other featured doctors in the video as “very respected” and wondered why social media platforms took it down online.
The president has repeatedly touted the controversial drug, an anti-malarial medicine that is used for over six decades. For months, he pushed its potential usage which reportedly brought mounting pressures to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to urgently have it authorized during the initial stage of the outbreak.
The agency decided to pull back its authorization amid massive evidence from multiple clinical researches that showed that hydroxychloroquine is not helpful in treating the disease and could rather produce harmful effects.
Citing his 14-day period of taking the drug a couple of months ago, Trump on Tuesday told reporters at the White House briefing: “It’s safe. It doesn’t cause problems. I had no problem. I had absolutely no problem. It didn’t get me, and it’s not going to, hopefully, hurt anybody.”
The president continued later that the use of the drug became a taboo since he has promoted it. “Many doctors think it’s extremely good, and some people don’t,” he said. “I think it’s become very political.”
Citing Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System study that showed fatality rates were lower for patients who took hydroxychloroquine, the White House pressed the FDA to reauthorize the drug’s use.
Trump said that the Henry-Ford research was a “very good test,” and defended the controversial video that promoted the drug.
However, scientists claimed that the research was highly flawed and mediocre compared to other studies that said otherwise.
Asked later on the statements made by Immanuel, the president said that she was “impressive” but he knew “nothing about her.”
Health experts have continuously said that the hydroxychloroquine is not effective in treating COVID-19.
In his interview with Good Morning America early Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said: “The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease.”
Aside from promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19, the video also claimed that people do not need to wear face masks. it was turned down from various platforms since it violated certain policies about misinformation.
Source: The Hill