President Donald Trump on Saturday said he might take the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine that is being currently assessed for its impact on Americans suffering from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Trump has aggressively pushed for the drug’s potential to be evaluated, based on initial findings that it can be very effective in treating individuals who have the disease.
The topic of the drug was raised during Saturday’s briefing given by the White House coronavirus task force.
“And I hope they use the hydroxychloroquine,” Trump said, later noting that any medicine should be used “subject to your doctor’s approval and all of that.”
“But I hope they use it because, I’ll tell you what, what do you have to lose? In some cases they’re in bad shape. What do you have to lose? It’s been out there for a long time and I hope they use it and they’re going to look at the … With doctors, work with doctors, get what you have to get,” Trump said.
“But we have it stockpiled and we have a lot of it and we’re getting more of it,” he said, noting that he had spoken with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to secure more of the drug to help treat Americans.
“We’re getting more of it, but we have a lot of it and I hope they use it because it’s been used for a long time and, therefore, it’s passed the safety test,” Trump said.
“And there’s also other studies with the malaria, that the malaria countries have very little … People that take this drug for malaria, which is very effective for malaria, that those countries have very little of this virus. I don’t know,” Trump said.
“But I think people should … If it were me, in fact, I might do it anyway. I may take it. OK? I may take it, and I’ll have to ask my doctors about that, but I may take it,” Trump said.
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Later in the briefing (about the 1:30:45 mark) Trump noted that he focuses on the drug because he wants to keep Americans from being so sick they need a ventilator.
“One of the reasons that I keep talking about hydroxychloroquine is that the question that nobody ever asks, and the question that I most hate the answer to is, ‘What happens if you do have a ventilator? What are your chances?’ I just hope that hydroxychloroquine wins,” he said.
“Because you know the answer to that question. If you do have the ventilator, you know the answer to that question. I hate giving the answer, so I don’t want to get them there. I don’t want to get them there,” Trump said.
In some cases where hydroxychloroquine has been tried, the results have been game-changing.
Trump said the drug should be given a chance.
“There’s a possibility, a possibility, and I say it. What do you have to lose? I’ll say it again. What do you have to lose? Take it. I really think they should take it, but it’s their choice, and it’s their doctor’s choice or the doctors in the hospital. But hydroxychloroquine. Try it, if you’d like,” he said.
Although Trump made no announcement about easing the existing restrictions on Americans, he indicated that he is anxious to do so.
“We’re not going to destroy our country,” Trump said (about the 1:19:40 mark). “We have to get back, because, you know, at a certain point, you’ll lose more people this way, through all of the problems caused, than you will with what we’re doing right now.”
“What we’re doing right now, I think it’s going to be very successful. But you know what? I don’t know. We have a big decision to make at a certain point. OK? We have a big decision to make. We went this extra period of time, but I said it from the beginning. The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself, and we cannot let that happen,” Trump said.
“We have an incredible country. We were having the greatest period in our country’s history from an economic standpoint in many other ways. We cannot let this continue. So at a certain point, some hard decisions are going to have to be made,” he said.
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