A host of President Donald Trump's allies have publicly announced they are taking an experimental drug to combat coronavirus after Trump said he is taking it.
Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., told the Wall Street Journal he and his entire family is taking the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure to keep the coronavirus away.
Marshall, an obstetrician, told the newspaper that he was “relieved” that Trump was taking the drug as well.
“I would encourage any person over the age of 65 or with an underlying medical condition to talk to their own physician about taking hydroxychloroquine, and I’m relieved President Trump is taking it,” he said.
Trump announced earlier this week that he has been taking the drug, that he touts as an effective treatment for COVID-19, for about a week and a half. The drug can potentially cause significant side effects, including heart issues in some patients, and has not been proven to combat the new coronavirus.
Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., said he began taking the drug within one day of being diagnosed with the virus back in March.
He told ABC’s "The View" on Tuesday he isn’t sure if the drug helped in his recovery, but he said he never developed any respiratory issues.
"In my case, I can't say definitively that's what cured me, but I can say definitively that I took it, and I can say that I went through a period of time that I was sick. I came out of it within about nine days, and then I self-quarantined for another month on top of that," he said.
He said his decision to take the medication was based on his doctor’s recommendations.
"I don't think there's anything stupid about that. I am still a relatively pretty intelligent guy but I don't tell anybody there is a one-size-fits-all [policy]. I say go to the doctor ... listen to what they say, if the doctor says 'don't take it,' then don't take it.”
Sebastian Gorka, who served in the White House as a deputy assistant to Trump in 2017, also said he has been taking the drug for more than a month. He tweeted a video of himself holding up the drug on Tuesday. He teased his use of the controversial drug in the video as a plug for his radio show.
"This is hydroxychloroquine,” he says in the video. “Yesterday the president admitted that he's been taking it against the coronavirus for two weeks. I've been taking it for more than a month. Will it kill you? Will it save you from the Chinese virus? Tune in today to America First on the Salem radio network.”
Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News that he is not currently taking the medication. He added he wouldn’t hesitate to take the drug if his doctor recommended it.
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