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19 May, 2020 01:52

‘Potential benefit outweighed the risk’: Trump’s doctor pens letter in defense of HCQ, Twitter still unconvinced he’s taking it

‘Potential benefit outweighed the risk’: Trump’s doctor pens letter in defense of HCQ, Twitter still unconvinced he’s taking it

With media and online pundits going into a full-blown meltdown after US President Donald Trump said that he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a prophylaxis against coronavirus, his doctor issued a statement in support of the drug.

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.

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.

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.

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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