A decades-old anti-malarial drug has received increased attention in recent weeks as a possible treatment for the coronavirus.
The medication made headlines again Monday after President Donald Trump made the surprise announcement that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure against COVID-19, the Washington Examiner reported.
Trump makes surprise revelation
The president revealed the news about his use of hydroxychloroquine to reporters during a White House round table event that featured executives from the restaurant industry, according to Fox News.
“A lot of good things have come out. And you’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers, before you catch it. The front-line workers — many, many are taking it. I happen to be taking it,” the Washington Examiner quoted Trump as saying.
“I think it’s good,” the president continued, going on to add that he had “heard a lot of good stories” concerning the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in preventing and treating coronavirus.
The drug is only available by prescription, and Trump stressed that his use of the maedication was taking place under the supervision of a White House physician.
Not everyone reacted positively to the announcement, however, and that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). During an interview with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, the Democrat expressed concern over what effect hydroxychloroquine might have on Trump.
“As far as the president is concerned, he’s our president, and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and in his, shall we say, weight group,” Pelosi said.
The longtime California congresswoman then described Trump as “morbidly obese” and characterized his use of the drug as being “not a good idea.”
At the time of his last physical examination, the president weighed 243 pounds and stood at 6 foot 3 inches tall, giving him a body mass index (BMI) of just over 30, the New York Post reported.
According to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, “An individual is considered morbidly obese if he or she is 100 pounds over his/her ideal body weight, has a BMI of 40 or more, or 35 or more and experiencing obesity-related health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.”
Fox News contributor Dr. Janette Nesheiwat says she has treated patients for coronavirus, and she characterized the president’s decision as “smart,” adding that hydroxychloroquine “is not going to be good for everyone, but it may be beneficial and potentially life-saving for others.”