Trump says he’ll finish taking hydroxychloroquine ‘in two days’


President Trump on Wednesday said he will stop taking hydroxychloroquine in the next couple of days amid criticism and skepticism about his announcement that he was taking the anti-malaria drug to guard against the coronavirus.

“I think the regimen finishes in a day or two. I think it’s in two days,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with the governors of Arkansas and Kansas.

The president previously said he started taking the drug more than a week ago, meaning he would have been on it for roughly two weeks. It’s unclear why Trump would stop taking the drug if he believed it worked as a prophylactic to prevent the virus.

Trump first told reporters on Monday that he had started taking hydroxychloroquine after championing it as a potential treatment for the coronavirus despite limited evidence from the medical community. The president said at the time that he had asked his doctor about taking it but that it was not explicitly recommended for him.

Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told CBN News on Wednesday that White House physician Sean Conley did prescribe the drug for Trump after the two discussed its efficacy.

But the White House has been tight-lipped about any specifics of the president’s intake. It has not provided any details about his dosage or a specific timeline for how long he’s been taking the drug. The lack of information has bred skepticism about whether the president is actually taking hydroxychloroquine.

Still, Trump spent the last few days defending his use of the drug, which is often used to treat lupus. 

“I think it gives you an additional level of safety,” Trump said Tuesday, downplaying warnings that the drug can cause heart problems in certain patients and dismissing studies that showed it had no benefit for patients hospitalized with the coronavirus.

Trump and some media figures touted the drug’s potential use in preventing or treating the coronavirus after some initial studies from Europe showed success in treating patients with the drug. But enthusiasm has since dampened as further trials cast doubt on its efficacy and raised concerns about dangerous side effects.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning last month that hydroxychloroquine should not be taken outside of a hospital or clinical trial because of the risk of severe heart rhythm problems.

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Hydroxychloroquine malaria drug White House

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