President Donald Trump announced yesterday that he is taking hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic to prevent the Coronavirus. The President stated that he has been taking the drug for a couple of weeks with no adverse side effects. President Trump has encouraged use of the drug since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, but he has been criticized for touting a drug that the FDA describes as “not been shown to be safe and effective.” The President’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley stated that the President has been taking hydroxychloroquine along with zinc and a single dose of the antibiotic, azithromycin. The President is correct that hydroxychloroquine has been used as an anti-malarial drug for decades and is considered relatively safe.
Responses on the Right have been mixed. Fox News host Neil Cavuto warned that there could be serious consequences, including death, for folks who use the “unproven” drug. Others have argued that the drug has a proven track record at fighting viral infections and has a very small chance of side effects. One source we discovered notes that Dr. Fauci’s NIH found hydroxychloroquine was effective for the treatment of SARS-CoV, a precursor to the current virus. While this is not proof that the drug would be effective against Covid-19, the two viruses share a similar profile. India has advised all its frontline healthcare workers to take the drug as a prophylactic since March of 2020. Independent Conservative journalist, Mike Cernovich, investigated Trump’s potential ties to one of the manufacturers who makes hydroxychloroquine, and found that he owns between $29 and $435 of the company’s stock.
The Left has consistently criticized the President for touting the drug. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, expressed to CNN reporter Anderson Cooper that she was concerned about the President taking the drug stating, “He’s our president and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and his, shall we say, weight group — morbidly obese, they say.” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer warned doctors in the state against prescribing the drug, warning that they could face, “professional consequences.” The Left has also criticized the President for touting hydroxychloroquine because they argue that he has a financial incentive to promote the drug.