Today, at a media event, President Donald Trump revealed he was taking hydroxychloroquine and zinc as a prophylactic measure to avoid getting COVID-19.
“A lot of good things have come out about the hydroxy. A lot of good things have come out. You would be surprised by how many people are taking it, especially the frontline workers, before you catch it.”
“The frontline workers: many many are taking it. I happen to be taking it … I am taking it. Hydroxychloroquine.”
Asked if the White House doctor recommended it, he said:
“I asked him, what do you think. He said, if you would like it. I say yeah. I would like to take it.”
“I want the people of this nation to feel good. I don’t want them feeling sick. And there is a very good chance this is having an impact.”
“So I am taking the two: the zinc and the hydroxy.”
“All I can tell you: so far I seem to be OK.”
Trump’s declaration, which was apparently not planned, made immediately the headlines.
The mainstream media seemed instantly very concerned about the health of the president, saying the “unproven and controversial treatment” could “cause dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities” and “could significantly increases the risk of death.”
CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta was very clear: “He shouldn’t be taking it.”
Fox News’s Neil Cavuto was even more concerned: “This will kill you.”
Here are some first reactions:
The strongest warning came unexpectedly from Fox News. Reporter Neil Cavuto said: “If you are in a risky population, and you were taking this, as a preventative treatment to ward off the virus, or in a worst case scenario you were dealing with the virus, and you are in this vulnerable population, it will kill you. I cannot stress it enough. This will kill you.
CNN: “Trump says he is taking hydroxychloroquine though health experts question its effectiveness.” “The admission was a dramatic development in Trump’s attempts to promote hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus, which began earlier in the outbreak and has been met with resistance from medical professionals.” “The FDA has warned against the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat the novel coronavirus and said they should only be used in hospitals or clinical trials because they can kill or cause serious side effects.”
CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta: “He shouldn’t be taking it. His own FDA has said it is still something under investigation. It should not be taken outside a clinical trial. Only hospitalized patients should be getting it.“
(note here that Dr Sanjay Gupta demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of Hydroxychloroquine-Based treatments for COVID-19)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could not agree more, especially given the age and “morbidly obese” weight of the president … (hilarious) … CNN’s Anderson Coopers seems ok with Pelosi’s analysis.
MSNBC: “Despite FDA warnings, Trump says he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine for weeks. President Donald Trump on Monday said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an unproven and controversial treatment for COVID-19 that he has vigorously promoted, for weeks. The FDA has warned against using the drug outside of hospital settings.”
NY Times: Trump Says He Takes Drug Against Covid-19. There’s No Proof It Works. … The F.D.A. has warned that the drug can cause dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities in coronavirus patients. … Mr. Trump has in recent weeks stopped talking about the drug that he had been touting as a possible miracle cure. But on Monday, he appeared to relish telling reporters that he was taking it, with approval from the White House physician.
USA Today: Trump “is taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that he’s repeatedly touted as a treatment for coronavirus, despite warnings about its effectiveness.” Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have not been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing COVID-19,” the FDA warned.
Washington Post: “Trump, dismissing safety concerns, says he is taking hydroxychloroquine. There are indications that the anti-malaria drug significantly increases the risk of death for some covid-19 patients, particularly those with heart problems.”
WSJ: “President Trump Says He Is Taking Hydroxychloroquine
The antimalarial drug that he has cited as a possible treatment for the coronavirus needs further study and could be harmful, some scientists have cautioned.”
BBC News: “Trump taking unproven drug hydroxychloroquine.” The President “is taking hydroxychloroquine – which health officials have warned may be unsafe – to ward off coronavirus.” “The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says there are no approved drugs or therapeutics to prevent or treat Covid-19. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month issued an advisory that hydroxychloroquine has “not been shown to be safe and effective”. It cited reports that the drug can cause serious heart rhythm problems in Covid-19 patients.”
We will cover this in more details once more reactions are available