President Trump announced that he was no longer taking the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, according to a May 24 interview he had with reporter Sharyl Attkisson on “Full Measure.”
During that interview, Trump said that he had finished a two-week trial of hydroxychloroquine and said, “I am still here,” in dismissing some of the health risks associated with the drug.
Trump announced that he and Melania contracted coronavirus on October 1.
White House memos on his treatment have led many on Twitter to note that — despite espousing its potential as a cure for coronavirus for months – hydroxychloroquine was not one of the medicines that Trump was taking for the disease, according to a memo reported by the Associated Press.
Here is what the AP reported from the memo:
Following PCR-confirmation of the President’s diagnosis, as a precautionary measure he received a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail. He completed the infusion without incident. In addition to the polyclonal antibodies, the President has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin.
According to a White House memo sent on October 2, “The President and First Lady are both well at this time.”
Trump Announced That He Had Finished Taking Hydroxychloroquine in May
Trump was a strong supporter of using hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus, encouraging doctors to use it via Twitter as early as March and telling reporters that he was using it on May 18, according to CNN.
After Trump’s announcement, government agencies moved quickly to procure the drug. Now, however, 63 million doses of the drug have been languishing in stockpiles now that they are unable to be used as coronavirus treatments, The New York Times reported.
Here is the exchange Trump had with Attkisson during his “Full Measure” interview:
Sharyl: Many people are taking the government guidance on the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine to basically ward them off of using it and trying it. On the other hand, there are current experiments going on by National Institutes of Health and academic institutions, including for preventive uses possibly, you’re finishing your two-week course of hydroxychloroquine, correct?
President Trump: Finished, just finished, yeah.
In that interview, Trump went on to say, “Well, I’ve heard tremendous reports about it. Frankly, I’ve heard tremendous reports. Many people think it saved their lives … Look, if somebody else were promoting it other than me, call it a promotion because I want people to get better . . . I believe in it enough that I took a program because I had two people in the White House that tested positive. I figured maybe it’s a good thing to take a program. You know, we take a little bit of a period of time, I think it was two weeks. But hydroxy has had tremendous, if you look at it, tremendous, rave reviews.”
Dr. Fauci & Studies Have Discredited Hydroxychloroquine as a Coronavirus Cure
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and a member of President Trump’s coronavirus task force, said in July that hydroxychloroquine was an ineffective treatment. “We know that every single good study – and by good study, I mean randomized control study in which the data are firm and believable – has shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of Covid-19,” Fauci said, according to BBC News.
Reuters reported in late September that a study on healthcare workers found that hydroxychloroquine did not reduce coronavirus infections compared to a placebo.
After approving the drug for emergency use in late March, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement roughly a month later in which it admitted, “Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have not been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing COVID-19.”
On the health risks, the FDA said “we are aware of reports of serious heart rhythm problems in patients with COVID-19 treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine” The FDA also added, “We are warning the public that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, either alone or combined with azithromycin, when used for COVID-19 should be limited to clinical trial settings or for treating certain hospitalized patients under the EUA.”
Some Have Urged Trump & White House Staffers to Restart Trials of the Drug
Republican Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs said that Trump and Melania should start taking the drug again, tweeting, “I encourage them to take hydroxychloroquine to assist with their recoveries, & I am confident that they will be resuming their normal routines in the very near future.”
“This is probably the first medicine that we’ve had health care bureaucrats prohibit off-label prescriptions for a medicine that the FDA said is safe, and that many, many doctors have said seems to have some salutary effect,” Biggs said, according to Arizona Central.
Stella Immanuel, the woman who became famous for supporting hydroxychloroquine took to Twitter to say that Trump should start retaking the drug.
Immanuel also said that she was upset that Trump had stopped taking the drug. “Whoever told the president to stop taking HCQ should be punched in the face,” she wrote. “This did not have to happened. I am so upset. This is our president for crying out loud. No one need to get sick or pcr positive.”
She also wrote a tweet saying, “President Trump you originally advocated HCQ. Your instincts have never been wrong. Get on HCQ ASAP sir. Don’t let those bozo doctors around you that don’t see patients convince you otherwise. I have treated over 1500 patients. Please sir we need you well ASAP. @realDonaldTrump.”
In another tweet, Immanuel offered senators hydroxychloroquine treatments: “Senators in DC! Cheap, effective treatment and prevention is available. Do not panic. Get #HCQ4prevention. Do not wait to get sick. Our doctors are ready to take care of you. Visit http://frontlinemds.com. @SenateGOP @SenateDems.”
In the past, Trump had said about Immanuel, “She was very impressive. I don’t know which country she comes from, but she said that she’s had tremendous success with hundreds of patients and I thought her voice was an important voice,” Newsweek reported.
READ NEXT: Trump Aide Hope Hicks Tests Positive for Coronavirus: Report