Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump, in a shocking revelation, revealed on Monday that he is taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medicine against the coronavirus despite warnings against the use of this malaria drug.
According to CNN, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory warning that the drug has not been “shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing Covid-19.”
It also warned that Covid-19 patients with heart disease may be at risk of abnormal heart rhythms and a dangerously rapid heartbeat if they take it, and may cause sudden death.
Trump, 73, has a common form of heart disease. Based on the results of his physical examination he appears to be overweight and has all risk factors for complications and an increased morbidity rate. Khaleej Times has reported.
Trump said he has ‘zero symptoms’ of the coronavirus and is tested daily. His reports are negative. He is taking this medicine as a precautionary measure. He shrugged off the reports of hydroxychloroquine side effects and said, “You’re not going to get sick or die. I’ve taken it about for a week and a half now. And I’m still here.”
He is also taking another medicine under the brand name Zithromax, or as a ‘Z-pack,’ to be used to treat the coronavirus. Trump said he is taking both the medications but has no side effects.
It may be remembered that PM Modi banned the export of hydroxychloroquine on March 25 as it was assumed to be a potent drug for treating Covid-19. President Trump urged PM Modi to lift the ban as he wanted to purchase the medicine for the growing Covid-19 patients in America. He threatened to retaliate if the ban was not lifted. PM Modi lifted the ban and Trump purchased more than 29 million tablets from India.
Trump’s medical choices and the risks he chooses to take are his personal business. But he is not an ordinary citizen, and his use of the therapy sends a conflicting message to Americans. It is not proven to work against Covid-19 and it could be counterproductive, says the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told CNN that “This risk is sending the wrong message to people. That could come at a serious cost to their health.”
He said that he had asked the White House physician if it was okay to take the drug, and the doctor told him, “Well, if you’d like it.”
A study released last Monday showed hydroxychloroquine does not work against Covid-19 and could cause heart problems.
Trump’s enthusiasm for the drugs was based on a French study of 20 patients in March that showed the drugs might work against the virus. But many scientists have questioned the methods that have been studied and said more research on the drugs are needed.
Trump triggered uproar last month when he suggested the doctors to inject the disinfectant to Covid-19 patients. His statement forced Reckitt Benckiser, the Britain-based manufacturer of Lysol and Dettol to issue a warning to the people that, “Under no circumstances should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body through injection, ingestion or any other route,” the warning read.