House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the latest federal official to speak out on President Donald Trump's use of hydroxychloroquine. During an appearance Monday night on Anderson Cooper 360, Pelosi also addressed the president's weight, which she stated technically puts him in an at-risk group for coronavirus.
"I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and in his, shall we say, weight group, morbidly obese, they say," Pelosi said, via The Hill. "So, I think that it's not a good idea." Her remarks come just hours after Trump had openly admitted to reporters that he was currently taking the drug daily, even though its merits in treating coronavirus are not widely embraced. "I take a pill every day," Trump told reporters on Monday, adding, "at some point, I'll stop."
The president has been regularly speaking out about the merits of the drug since March, which is primarily used to treat lupus and malaria. Along with Pelosi's remarks, Sean P. Conley, the Physician to the President, wrote a letter confirming his taking of hydroxychloroquine. After insinuating that he's aware of the potential side effects, "we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risk."
Previously, the World Health Organization has warned about the possible misuse of hydroxychloroquine on the "myth buster" section of its website, which "can cause serious side effects and illness and even lead to death." Dr. Anthony Fauci, who's a member of Trump's coronavirus response team, also testified to the Senate on May 12 that there wasn't enough evidence to consider the drug useful.
Despite the risks to individuals' health, certain countries have loosened restrictions around the drug, which has made it easier for doctors to prescribe to patients who test positive for COVID-19. However, along with the risks to individuals' health, the increased use has caused widespread shortages of the drug. This means those who need it to treat diseases like Lupus are suddenly unable to find the medicine they need.
Among them is Sons of Anarchy alum Kristen Renton, who took to Twitter to criticize the president for repeatedly claiming it as an effective treatment for coronavirus back in April. "People like myself, who need the drug daily to survive due to my lupus, can no longer obtain the drug because it's 'out of stock," she wrote.