Daily US Times: Contradicting his own public health officials, US President Donald Trump has again defended the use of hydroxychloroquine to ward off coronavirus.
He said that the malaria medication was only rejected as a Covid-19 treatment because he had suggested it.
His remarks come after Twitter banned his eldest son Donald Trump Jr for posting a clip touting hydroxychloroquine.
Regulators warn the drug may cause heart problems and there is no evidence it can fight the virus.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautioned against the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of the coronavirus, following reports of “serious heart rhythm problems” and other health issues.
The FDA also revoked its emergency-use authorisation for the drug to treat Covid-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) also says “there is currently no proof” that it is effective as a treatment or prevents Covid-19.
Studies commissioned by the US National Institutes of Health, the WHO and other medical researchers around the world have found no evidence that hydroxychloroquine – when used with or without the antibiotic azithromycin, as repeatedly recommended by President DonaldTrump – helps treat coronavirus.
The drug was first touted in March by Mr Trump, in relation to Covid-19. Two months later, he surprised journalists by saying he had begun taking the drug to ward off the virus.
The president told reporters on Tuesday at the White House: “I can only say that from my standpoint, and based on a lot of reading and a lot of knowledge about it, I think it could have a very positive impact in the early stages.”
“I don’t think you lose anything by doing it, other than politically it doesn’t seem too popular,” he added.
“When I recommend something, they like to say ‘don’t use it.'”
President Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr were among social media users who shared video late on Monday of a group called America’s Frontline Doctors advocating hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment.
Twitter and Facebook removed the content, flagging it as misinformation, but not before more than 17 million people had seen one of the clips.
Twitter also banned Donald Trump Jr from tweeting for 12 hours as a penalty for sharing the clip.
The video in question showed doctors speaking outside the US Supreme Court at an event organised by Tea Party Patriots Action, a group that is not required to disclose its donors and has helped fund a pro-Trump political action committee.
Dr Stella Immanuel, a physician from Houston, says in the video that she has successfully treated 350 coronavirus patients “and counting” with hydroxychloroquine.
On Tuesday, the president said: “I think they’re very respected doctors. There was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it.”
You may read: World faces major setbacks in containing coronavirus