President Donald Trump has been publicly refuting coronavirus claims made by medical experts. Specifically, his repeated assertions that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment, according to Yahoo. The president first made claims about the drug back in March, which has been widely disputed, and recently said that he was taking the drug himself.
"If you look at the one survey, the only bad survey, they were giving it to people that were in very bad shape," Trump said Tuesday about a federally-funded study from National Institutes of Health that found fatalities were higher among COVID-19 patients who had taken the drug, which is normally used to treat malaria and lupus. "They were very old, almost dead," he added about the deceased. "It was a Trump enemy statement."
The FDA had previously issued a warning about the dangers of hydroxychloroquine on its website in April. On May 15, the medical journal Lancet published findings from another study with similar results. The study found that more than 61 percent of COVID-19 infections and 55 percent of reported deaths might have been prevented with better social distancing practices. Nonetheless, Trump followed that up on Thursday with a similar sentiment, refuting findings from Columbia University because they're "an institution that's very liberal." He also claimed their findings were "just a political hit job, you want to know the truth."
After Trump's most recent claims about taking the drug on a "daily" basis, the World Health Organization updated its website with warnings about the potential longterm and even fatal side effects the drug can have. Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, addressed that neither hydroxychloroquine nor chloroquine have been "found to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19 or in the prophylaxis against coming down with the disease." After warning of the side effects, he added that the WHO is advising "that for COVID-19, these drugs be reserved for use within such trials."
Just hours after Trump's remarks on hydroxychloroquine, Physician to the President Sean P. Conley addressed the comments, as well as his general health. In an official letter, Conley asserts that the president "is in very good health and has remained symptom-free." As far as the controversy behind the drug itself, Conley stated that "we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risk."