US President Donald Trump has said he is taking hydroxychloroquine to combat the coronavirus pandemic , despite the fact that public health officials have warned it may be unsafe.
Speaking at the White House, he told reporters "I'm taking it for about a week and a half now and I'm still here, I'm still here," was his surprise announcement. There is no evidence hydroxychloroquine can fight coronavirus, and regulators warn the drug may cause heart problems.
The 73-year-old president was hosting a meeting devoted to the struggling restaurant industry on Monday, when he shocked reporters by revealing he was taking the drug. "You'd be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the frontline workers before you catch it, the frontline workers, many, many are taking it," he told reporters. "I happen to be taking it."
Mr Trump was referring to a preliminary study from April of Covid-19 patients in US government-run hospitals for military veterans that suggested hydroxychloroquine had no benefit and may have even caused a greater rate of deaths. "I get a lot of tremendously positive news on the hydroxy," the president told reporters, adding: "What do you have to lose?" According to doctors, the drug has the potential to cause symptoms including heart failure, suicidal thoughts and signs of liver disease.