WASHINGTON—Monday, MAY 18, President Donald Trump announced around 1:00 p.m. ET at a press conference that he has been taking an anti-malaria drug, Hydroxychloroquine for a week and a half to prevent Coronavirus infection.
Trump claims, “A lot of good things have come out of Hydroxychloroquine . You would be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front line workers before they catch it. I happen to be taking it.” He followed up with, “It’s been around for 40 years for Malaria, Lupus, for other things.” He confirmed that the White House doctor asked if he would like to take the drug.
Trump addressed the rumors that this was a political stunt as some were suspicious that he “owns the company.” His response was, “I don’t own the company, I want the people of this nation to feel good and there is a good chance that this has an impact, especially early on.”
The Veterans Affairs, (VA) tested Hydroxychloroquine and came out with “bad results” who Trump claims aren’t his biggest fans. According to the president, the VA was the only negative report he heard regarding Hydroxychloroquine.
Dr. Stephen Smith of Smith Center for Infectious Disease called the VA study a “sham”, stating that the dosages were not listed, cumulative or daily, of Hydroxychloroquine or azithromycin and that the doctors hadn’t worked with covid-19 patients.
Robert Wilkie, Secretary of Veteran Affairs stated that the drug combo has been working. However the VA test was given to 368 elderly patients already on the last stages of life and had a small hope to recover. Doctors have claimed you must administer the drugs prior to patient being put on a ventilator. So the study, which was not clinical, just merely an observation, was skewed and unreliable.
When President Trump was asked what evidence he had of Hydroxychloroquine being effective he stated, “I got a letter from a doctor the other day from Westchester New York.” Trump reiterated his conversation with the doctor to reporters, stating that this doctor has hundreds of patients. He prescribed them them Hydroxychloroquine along with a Z-Pak and Zinc. Out of his alleged 300 patients he has, “not lost one.”
The pharmaceutical company, Moderna, has been working on a potential vaccine against COVID-19. At 6:30 am PST, Moderna stocks opened at $86.15 with a 20% increase after Moderna announced that a phase 1 study of its vaccine was able to produce COVID-19 antibodies.
Trump made the announcement of his Hydroxychloroquine intake, around 1:10 p.m. ET the stock since dropped to about $80.00.
The F.D.A. cautions against the use of Hydroxychloroquine due to a risk of heart rhythm problems.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order banning all doctors from prescribing Hydroxychloroquine to covid-19 patients, and other states quickly followed. The concern was that regularly prescribing patients would have a difficult time getting their regular dose.