President Trump on Sunday forcefully touted the use of hydroxychloroquine as a potential means to combat or even prevent the onset of symptoms from coronavirus, wading further into a medical debate that has put him at odds with some of his top health experts.
Trump said the government has stockpiled 29 million pills of the drug, which is also used to treat lupus. For a second consecutive day, he suggested even those without symptoms of coronavirus might consider taking the drug despite limited evidence about its efficacy in treating the virus.
“I just think it’s something — you know the expression I’ve used it for certain reasons — what do you have to lose?” he said. “I’m not looking at it one way or another. But we want to get out of this. If it does work, it would be a shame if we didn’t do it early.”
“What do I know, I’m not a doctor,” he added. “But I have common sense.”
The president has for days opined on the potential efficacy of hydroxychloroquine when taken with azithromycin.
But Sunday’s comments marked the farthest he has veered into playing armchair doctor. He acknowledged the drug may not work, but suggested there was no time to wait and let clinical trials play out.
“I want people to live, and I’m seeing people dying,” he said. “And you know the expression when that’s happening. You should do it. What really do we have to lose?”
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