Trump says he 'finished' his hydroxy regimen, defends taking unproven drug saying it got 'rave reviews'
President Donald Trump has revealed that he has finished his regimen of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug he has been taking for the past couple of weeks as a "line of defense" treatment against the coronavirus. During an interview with 'Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson' that aired Sunday, May 24 on Sinclair Broadcasting, Trump said he had "just finished" the course. “And by the way, I’m still here. To the best of my knowledge, here I am," he added.
Host Sharyl Attkisson asked the president if his promotion of the drug gave "mixed messages" to the public when the government is telling people "to be very careful" and not use it "while researchers are studying it actively."
"Well, I've heard tremendous reports about it", Trump responded. "Many people think it saved their lives. Doctors come out with reports. You had a study in France, you had a study in Italy that were incredible studies. Look, if somebody else were promoting it other than me, call it a promotion because I want people to get better."
"I don't get anything. I don't gain anything other than if it's something that helps, that's a good thing," he continued. "That's what I want. That's all I want. I believe in it enough that I took a program because I had two people in the White House that tested positive," he said, adding that "hydroxy has had tremendous, if you look at it, tremendous, rave reviews."
Trump revealed last Monday how he had started taking the controversial drug "a couple of weeks ago." According to the president, he had received a flurry of letters and calls from doctors outlining the drug's benefits and that the White House physician had consented to the treatment. “I’ve heard a lot of good stories. And if it is not good, I will tell you, right. I’m not going to get hurt by it. It has been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus, for other things,” Trump said at the time.
However, the Food and Drug Administration had warned about using hydroxychloroquine outside of hospitals or closely monitored clinical trials owing to coronary risks. Medical journal The Lancet also warned in a study published Friday that the drug could cause heart arrhythmias in Covid-19 patients. Attkisson also asked the president if the coronavirus crisis had been as "transformative to our country" as 9/11.
"Well, I think the concept of 9/11 was, it was a little more direct. It was a hit by terrorists. But this is a hit. It came out of China, whether we like it or not, it came out of China. It could have been stopped," Trump said, before explaining how he had to "turn off" the "greatest economy in world history." The commander-in-chief described it as the "toughest decision" of his life.
"We had the best unemployment numbers. We had the best financial numbers, best stock market numbers, the best of everything," he said. "And we had to turn it off one day, just like magic. It turned off, a horrible thing, the toughest decision of my life. But if we didn't do it, you see what's happening to countries that tried to go the other way. They're losing numbers that are incredible. And we did the right thing and now we're doing the right thing by getting it going, getting it open, we have to open."