GOP lawmaker says his entire family is taking hydroxychloroquine

Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) revealed that he and his entire family are taking the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine “prophylactically” to ward off the coronavirus despite limited evidence from the medical community.

Marshall, an obstetrician who is running in the state’s heated Republican primary for an open Senate seat, told The Wall Street Journal that he was “relieved” to hear President Trump has also decided to take the drug as a preventative measure.

“I would encourage any person over the age of 65 or with an underlying medical condition to talk to their own physician about taking hydroxychloroquine and I’m relieved President Trump is taking it,” he said.

The president disclosed Monday that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, a controversial drug that he’s championed as a potential treatment for the coronavirus, for about a week and a half.

Presidential physician Sean Conley wrote in a White House memo that he discussed the pros and cons of taking the drug with Trump after one of his personal valets tested positive for the coronavirus.

Conley wrote that the two determined “the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.”

Hydroxychloroquine, whose brand name is Plaquenil, is approved to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. A similar drug, chloroquine, has also been used to treat and prevent malaria.

Scientists, however, have warned that the drug should not be taken outside a hospital or clinical trial because of the risk of severe heart problems.

The drug showed no benefit for patients in an analysis of those hospitalized in Veterans Health Administration medical centers. The study, released last month, found the two primary outcomes for COVID-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine were death and the need for mechanical ventilation. 

Marshall previously touted the drug to The Kansas City Star, saying last month that “in many cases, patients have a lot to gain and little to lose if they consider taking it.”

A spokesperson for Kansas state Sen. Barbara Bollier, a Democratic physician running for the U.S. Senate seat, said it is “potentially dangerous for a physician to promote unproven medicine.”

“It goes against medical advice from experts. This is not leadership,” Bollier campaign spokeswoman Alexandra De Luca told the outlet.

Marshall has been volunteering at clinics in his home state during the pandemic and frequently touts his medical background in campaign materials, the outlet noted.

The OB-GYN even requested that his name be listed as “Roger ‘Doc’ Marshall” on the Kansas ballot.

Tags Antimalarial medication coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 Donald Trump Donald Trump Hydroxychloroquine Roger Marshall

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