Donald Trump continued to pressure the American public to take a malaria drug to treat the symptoms of Covid-19 despite the lack of evidence to date that the drug could have an impact.
The president’s praise for the drugs returned again during his daily press briefing on Saturday.
“What have you got to lose? Said Mr. Trump. “It has been around for a long time. What do you have to lose? I hope they use it. “
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” I can take it. I have to ask my doctors, ”he added.
Clinical trials were launched last month for hydroxychloroquine, a variant of chloroquine, but no definitive studies have shown that the drug can prevent or decrease symptoms of Covid-19. It was previously approved for use in patients with malaria and to help people with lupus.
The Mayo Clinic issued a warning to health professionals last week about the dangers the drug may pose to some patients, which could lead to sudden cardiac death when taken. The European Commission also announced on Tuesday that there is no evidence that hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, also used for malaria, could treat coronavirus.
“The efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of Covid-19 patients has not yet been proven,” said a spokesman for the European Commission.
But on Sunday, the FDA authorized emergency use of the drug on Covid-19 patients.
“The question I most hate the answer to is what happens if you have a fan?” What are your chances? I just hope hydroxychloroquine wins, “Trump told the audience on Saturday.
Patients on respirators have been concerned about the virus because of the way it attacks the upper respiratory system. Once a patient uses a ventilator, their chances of survival decrease.
Scientists are therefore working to find drug therapies, such as hydroxychloroquine, to relieve the symptoms created by Covid-19.
“Hydroxychloroquine. Try it. If you want, “added the president, saying that people should talk to their doctors about the potential benefits. ” Take it. “
President’s response to drug sharply contrasts with infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said at the press conference that scientists had yet to find “data to say anything” definitively ”on the benefits of the drug.
Clinical studies are testing whether hydroxychloroquine could be preventive, which means it could prevent someone from contracting the virus and whether it could reduce symptoms of Covid-19 in patients who are already infected.
Scientists at the University of Minnesota, which runs two clinical trials, previously said The independent that there will be no data on the potential benefits of hydroxychlorquin, if any, for another month.