US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed concern over President Donald Trump’s revelation of taking hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. During an interview on CNN, Pelosi said that the US President should not be taking a drug that has not been approved by the scientist, especially in his “morbidly obese” weight group.
“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, morbidly obese, they say,” commented Pelosi.
Earlier on May 18, Trump disclosed that he has been taking HCQ with a zinc supplement for a week and a half. Trump’s physician Sean P. Conley had said in a statement that after much discussion, the doctors concluded that the benefit from HCQ “outweighed the relative risks” of the virus. He added that the US President is in very good health and has remained symptom-free.
“In consultation with our inter-agency partners and subject matter experts around the country, I continue to monitor the myriad studies investigating potential COVID-19 therapies,” said Conley.
However, HCQ has repeatedly failed to show efficacy in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, according to several studies. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found no “significant association” between the treatment using HCQ and the patients’ need for breathing assistance or the risk of death.
Earlier, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had issued a safety communication regarding the known side effects of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. FDA said that the side effects include serious and potentially life-threatening heart rhythm problems. It added that the drug has received Emergency Use Authorisation for the treatment with risks already in the drug labels.
“The FDA will continue to monitor and investigate these potential risks and will communicate publicly when more information is available,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn in a statement.