‘Potential benefit outweighed the risk’: Trump’s doctor pens letter in defense of HCQ, Twitter still unconvinced he’s taking it
Trump’s admission late Monday that he has been taking the experimental drug, originally designed to treat malaria and several other conditions, has caught many off-guard, spawning a torrent of reactions online.
The White House physician says he and the president “concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.” The FDA says there’s no evidence hydroxychloroquine treats or prevents coronavirus. Dr. Conley says Trump has no symptoms and is still negative. pic.twitter.com/o9DQrfSjJH— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 19, 2020
While some began to fear the worst, citing medical experts who have argued that the drug might have dangerous and even potentially fatal side-effects, others were skeptical that the president is taking HCQ at all.Also on rt.com ‘I’m still here’: Trump reveals he’s been taking Hydroxychloroquine against Covid-19
One of the direst warnings came from Fox News host Neil Cavuto, who suggested on air that the drug could “kill” Trump, prompting an angry rebuke from the commander-in-chief himself, saying that he is now “looking for a new outlet."
Some detractors went as far as to suggest that Trump, who previously extolled the presumed virtues of the drug, has touted the medicine only to profit off of it – reviving conspiracy-minded speculation about his financial interests in the drug, which has been cheap for years.
“After numerous discussions [Trump] and I had regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine . . .”AGAINST: It doesn’t work and can give you heart attacks and mental problems.FOR: Donald invested in a company that makes it. https://t.co/sy70AZ41l2— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) May 19, 2020
Apparently looking to squash the conjecture floating around social media, White House physician Sean Conley released a statement endorsing the treatment.
After numerous discussions he and I had regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.
The statement still failed to set the record straight, however, with Trump’s critics insisting the loosely worded memo left room for interpretation, as it did not explicitly confirm whether the president had been taking HCQ.
This doctor letter the White House just released doesn’t actual include the doctor saying he prescribed Trump hydroxychloroquine pic.twitter.com/i17UUe976v— Sam Stein (@samstein) May 19, 2020
This letter does not actually say he prescribed the drug to Trump and he's taking the drug.— Chidi®️ (@ChidiNwatu) May 19, 2020
This is worded carefully to show this dr didn’t necessarily prescribe him this. How long Americans gonna tolerate this shit?— Henrynathanmia (@henrynathanmia) May 19, 2020
The use of hydroxychloroquine, which has been known for decades as a treatment for malaria and lupus, as a Covid-19 cure remains a contentious issue, as clinical trials aimed at studying its effects on coronavirus patients are still ongoing. Despite some anecdotal evidence in its favor, preliminary studies carried out on severely ill patients suggest the drug is not effective, with the US Food and Drug Administration warning against using it outside of trials.
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