Donald Trump has told reporters at the White House that for "a couple weeks" he has been taking a malaria drug as a defense against Covid-19 - despite warnings from his administration that it is risky.
"My physician has not recommended that but I wouldn't hesitate to take the counsel of my doctor, any American should do likewise", Pence said during an interview with Fox News.
Yet Trump has made clear that, at least when it comes to hydroxychloroquine, he has prioritized anecdotal evidence, including a letter he told reporters he'd received from a doctor in Westchester, New York, claiming success with the drug.
The White House rejected that thinking, noting that Trump has followed his administration's public health officials' recommendations through much of the crisis.
"The frontline workers, many, many are taking it", Trump said at a roundtable event Monday at the White House.
"You'd be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the frontline workers, before you catch it". I take it, ' he said. "In the meantime, we suggest these drugs should not be used as treatments for COVID-19 outside of clinical trials." he said. Under the Emergency Use Authorization, the FDA authorized the drug's use as a potential treatment "only in hospitalized patients under careful heart monitoring".
When used in combination with one of the antibiotics, the study said the death rate rose to more than one in five for chloroquine, and nearly one in four for hydroxychloroquine. "I think it's just a political hit job, you want to know the truth".
He said he has "zero symptoms" of the coronavirus, is tested daily and has tested negative.
Trump appeared to brush off these concerns and revealed he took it, along with zinc.
"I'm not going to get hurt by it, it's been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus".
'If you look at that phony report that was put - in that report or the hydroxy was given to people that were an extraordinarily bad condition, extraordinary bad people that were dying.
"They are being studied in clinical trials for COVID-19".
"As far as the president is concerned, he's our president and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientist", she said.
'At some point I'll stop, ' he added.
They compared outcomes from four groups: those treated with hydroxychloroquine alone, with chloroquine alone, and then two groups given the respective drugs in combination with antibiotics.
The government has requested 16 million tablets of Hydroxychloroquine, a drug that has not been proven to prevent coronavirus, and has possible risky side effects.
While hydroxychloroquine has generally fewer side-effects than its cousin chloroquine, which was also researched as a possible Covid-19 treatment, it was generally declared as ineffective against the novel coronavirus, based on several studies.
Two large observational studies, each involving around 1,400 patients in NY, however, also recently found no benefit from the drug.
But larger studies on hydroxychloroquine don't confirm any benefits for prevention or treatment.
Dr. Adrian Hernandez, professor of Medicine in Cardiology at Duke who started the program to study health care workers, told CNN the trial is expected to conclude this summer but could go into the fall.
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