Man dies after drinking fish tank cleaner mistaking it for Trump's Covid-19 'miracle drug' hydroxychloroquine

Gary Lenius and his wife Wanda, both in their 60s, drank chloroquine phosphate, believing it was the malaria drug touted by Trump in his press conferences

                            Man dies after drinking fish tank cleaner mistaking it for Trump's Covid-19 'miracle drug' hydroxychloroquine
(Getty Images)

PHOENIX, ARIZONA: An Arizona man has died after drinking fish tank cleaner after he confused it with a drug touted by US President Donald Trump as a "cure" for coronavirus.

Gary Lenius and his wife Wanda, both in their 60s, ingested chloroquine phosphate in March believing it was hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug that Trump hailed as a "miracle drug" that could potentially cure COVID-19.

However, the toxic chemicals in the tank cleaner killed Lenius on March 22 and left his wife in a critical condition. Wand said that she and her husband decided to take the chemical after hearing Trump’s briefings where he talked about the potential benefits of the drug. She added that they took the chemical after mixing it with soda in a hope that it would save them from contracting the deadly virus.

“We were afraid we were getting sick. We were getting really worried. We saw his [Trump's] press conference. It was on a lot, actually. Trump kept saying it was pretty much a cure,” the woman said.

“I was in the pantry and I saw it sitting on the back shelf and I said 'hey isn't that stuff they were talking about on tv',” Wanda said. But she added that within 20 minutes of them taking the substance, they both started feeling extremely ill - at first feeling "dizzy and hot."

“I started vomiting. My husband started developing respiratory problems and wanted to hold my hand,” she said. The woman then reportedly called 911 for help, but Lenius died shortly after reaching the hospital.

“Don't believe anything that the president says and his people, be so careful. Call your doctor,” Wanda added.

According to Gary’s wife, he was "beloved by everyone". Even friends of the 68-year-old man, who worked as a senior engineer at John Deere in Iowa, remembered him as "genuine", "patient" and "human".

“Every now and then you meet somebody that is kind, genuine, patient, intelligent, helpful, sincere, and friendly, and you know right away you like this guy,” one of his friends said.

Hydroxychloroquine has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as an anti-malaria treatment. However, it has not been approved as a treatment for Covid-19, according to experts.

However,this was not the first time, POTUS has suggested something to "cure" coronavirus.

Trump was highly criticized this week for his suggesting to researchers that people could be injected with disinfectants to kill the deadly virus. He later said he was being "sarcastic".

During the coronavirus press briefing on Thursday, April 23, Trump claimed that COVID-19 patients may be healed by injecting disinfectants like bleach or isopropyl alcohol. He also suggested that doctors could look into ways for inserting UV light into people to neutralize the virus.

British broadcaster, Piers Morgan, has slammed the Republican for his ‘ideas’. In an opinion piece, titled, ‘President Trump's batsh*t crazy coronavirus 'cure' theories are not just shockingly senseless and stupid - they're going to kill people’, written for MailOnline Morgan asked Trump to “SHUT THE F**K UP”.

“I just see a president pretending to be a medical expert and spewing theories that might have disastrous consequences,” the host of ‘Good Morning Britain’ said.

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