U.S. President, Donald Trump, on Monday said he is taking hydroxychloroquine along with zinc as preventative measures against the coronavirus.
“I get a lot of tremendously positive news on the hydroxy and I say, hey, you know the expression I’ve used … what do you have to lose?” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump said he has been taking a pill “every day” for about a week and a half, and “I’m still here.”
In a statement, White House doctor Sean P. Conley said that after numerous discussions about hydroxychloroquine, he had concluded “the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.”
Conley said he will continue to monitor studies into COVID-19 treatments.
A White House staffer tested positive for the coronavirus, and Mr. Trump, who is regularly tested, has tested negative, Conley confirmed.
U.S. regulator, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said hydroxychloroquine has been linked to serious and even fatal heart risks in some patients. The largest study on the drug to date showed it did not improve the condition of coronavirus patients and was tied to a greater number of deaths. Other studies are looking into the potential impact of using the drug in combination with zinc or azithromycin, an antibiotic.
Asked earlier Monday if a White House doctor had recommended that he take the drug, the president said, “I asked him, ‘Well, what do you think?’ And he said, ‘Well, if you’d like it.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’d like it.'”
Mr. Trump said he has not had any symptoms of coronavirus infection and is tested for it regularly. He said he decided to take hydroxychloroquine because “I hear good things about the drug.”