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Trump finishes controversial malaria drug course to combat virus

President Donald J. Trump listens to a reporter’s question at an update briefing on testing capacity Monday, May 11, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald Trump said he completed his course of treatment with hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug he’s promoted as a therapy for coronavirus despite an outcry from medical professionals about its unproven efficacy and potential side effects.

“Finished, just finished,” Trump said in an interview on Sinclair Broadcast Group program “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson” that was taped Friday and aired Sunday. “By the way, I’m still here to the best of my knowledge. Here I am.”

There’s scant evidence that hydroxychloroquine is effective against the coronavirus. The Food and Drug Administration on April 24 cautioned against its use for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, outside of a hospital setting or clinical trial, citing a risk of heart rhythm problems.

Trump, who at 73 is in an age group at which contracting COVID-19 can be especially dangerous, began the treatments in consultation with White House physicians after Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for coronavirus on May 8. A White House valet also contracted the virus around the same time.

“I believe in it enough that I took a program, because I had two people in the White House that tested positive, I figured maybe it’s a good thing to take a program,” Trump said.

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“You know we take a little bit of a period of time, I think it was two weeks, but hydroxy has had tremendous, if you look at it, tremendous, rave reviews.”

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©2020 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.