After stunning reporters -- and the public -- by announcing he was taking a controversial drug in an effort to prevent getting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), President Donald Trump said he had received information regarding hydroxychloroquine from a Westchester County physician.
Trump made the announcement that he was taking hydroxychloroquine during a press conference on Monday, May 18 at the White House.
Speaking later in the Oval Office, the president reportedly told visitors that he had received a lot of positive information regarding the drug from many sources and referenced a Westchester County doctor several times.
The doctor, who has remained unnamed, apparently wrote to the president about the virtues of the drug as a treatment for COVID-19.
Hydroxychloroquine received some early attention during the COVID-19 pandemic as being an effective treatment but was later dropped after a study found high-risk side effects, including serious heart problems.
Following the revelation he was taking the drug, doctors around the country took to TV to warn the public against seeking a prescription for the drug which is often used to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
The Food and Drug Administration said hydroxychloroquine should only be taken under strict medical supervision and could cause abnormal and “dangerously rapid" heart rhythms.
In a statement, the FDA said: "Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have not been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing COVID-19."
Trump said during a press conference on Tuesday, May 19, that a study conducted by the Veterans Administration was on people "who were almost dead," and he said he felt fine taking the drug.
The announcement wasn't the first time Trump has made controversial suggestions about how to treat COVID-10.
In an April White House Coronavirus Task Force news conference, Trump suggested scientists should look into using disinfectants such as bleach to halt the virus.
That statement prompted the Clorox company to warn against ingesting their product.
The president's statements on hydroxochloroquine came after an aide to Vice President Mike Pence and Trump's personal valet both tested positive for the virus.
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