The use of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine has been a political hot potato ever since President Donald Trump touted it as a potential game-changer in the fight against the coronavirus during the pandemic’s earliest days.
Trump announced earlier this month that he was taking the drug himself as a preventative measure against COVID-19, and said on Wednesday that he will stop taking hydroxychloroquine when “the regimen finishes in a day or two,” according to The Hill.
Based on the timing of his announcements, it appears that Trump used the medication for roughly two weeks.
Controversial decision from the start
When the president first revealed his decision to use hydroxychloroquine in a prophylactic manner, a firestorm erupted among journalists and medical commentators alike, with many questioning the wisdom of such a move, citing mixed results from research trials, as NPR noted.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for her part, condemned Trump’s choice, suggesting that he had no business taking something “that has not been approved by the scientists” while also making fun of the president’s weight, according to The Hill.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough piled on as well and accused Trump of lying to the American people about his use of the drug, claiming that there is little chance the president would take a medication “that his own FDA said will kill you,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Notably, not all of the criticism of Trump on this issue came from the usual suspects, as even Neil Cavuto of Fox News expressed shock and outrage at the president’s announcement, claiming that not only is hydroxychloroquine not effective for treating COVID-19, but that in certain vulnerable patient populations, “this will kill you,” as Business Insider noted.
Doctor touts medication’s benefits
However, the president’s use of hydroxychloroquine was not universally greeted with skepticism. Fox News contributor Dr. Janette Nesheiwat appeared on the network to provide a different point of view, according to Breitbart.
Reminding viewers that the medication itself is in fact FDA approved for emergency use in coronavirus patients and has been used safely for decades to treat a range of other conditions, Nesheiwat characterized Trump’s use of the drug as a prophylactic safeguard against contracting the illness as “very smart to do.”
The doctor went on to point out that she has personally prescribed the drug to coronavirus patients, and while some did not benefit from its use, others did, and she reiterated the fact that each patient needs to be considered in relation to his or her own unique health status and history.
McEnany joins the fray
Firebrand White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany did her part to hit back following the media meltdown over Trump’s medication revelation, pointedly answering the criticisms from Scarborough.
McEnany tweeted her relief that the president “is NOT listening to the fake Dr. Scarborough,” is taking the anti-malarial drug in consultation with a “real medical doctor,” and that he remains in “great health.”