Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Tuesday evening that he is taking hydroxychloroquine to treat his coronavirus infection and that it was making him feel “a lot better.”
Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist with close ties to President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE, announced that he has tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
“Today I’m a lot better, so certainly it’s working,” the 65-year-old said in a Facebook video posted Tuesday night, where he is seen taking a dose of the drug.
Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, has been touted by Trump as a treatment for COVID-19, though the medical community has been largely hesitant to approve it.
In mid-June, the FDA ruled that it would withdraw emergency use authorization for the drug, citing at the time that recent data showed no difference in patients with COVID-19 who took the drug and those who did not.
It also cautioned against using the drug outside a hospital or clinical setting to treat COVID-19, saying there were safety issues including the possibility of serious heart rhythm problems, blood and lymph system disorders, kidney injuries and liver problems and failure.
The drug is also used and has been approved by the FDA for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Like Trump, Bolsonaro has been skeptical of the severity of the virus, calling it “a little flu.” He said he trusted his use of hydroxychloroquine.
“We know today there are other remedies that can help fight the coronavirus,” Bolsonaro said. “We know none of them have their efficacy scientifically proven, but I’m one more person for whom this is working. So I trust hydroxychloroquine. And you?”
The U.S. and Brazil have the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the world and figures in both countries have continued to rise in recent weeks.