President Donald Trump said Monday that he is taking a malaria drug to lessen symptoms should he get the new coronavirus, even though the drug is unproven for fighting COVID-19 and has led to some disappointing test outcomes.
Trump told reporters he has been taking the drug, hydroxychloroquine, and a zinc supplement daily “for about a week and a half now.”
As the White House physician said in a letter released Monday, the president decided on the course of treatment after weighing risks and benefits.
The letter follows:
MAY 18, 2020
MEMORANDUM FOR: KAYLEIGH MCENANY
ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY
FROM: SEAN P. CONLEY, DO, FACEP
PHYSICIAN TO THE PRESIDENT
COMMANDER, U.S. NAVY.
As has been previously reported, two weeks ago one of the President's support staff tested positive for COVID-19. The President is in very good health and has remained symptom-free. He receives regular COVID-19 testing, all negative to date.
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.
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, and I anticipate employing the same shared medical decision making based on the evidence at hand in the future.
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