President Donald Trump's decision to take the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure against coronavirus was a "personal health decision," and there is a great deal of misinformation about the drug, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday.
"The president just wanted to be transparent about his personal health decision he made in consultation with his doctor," McEnany told Fox News' "Fox and Friends," adding that she does not know if Trump made his decision to start taking the medication about 10 days ago after two people in the West Wing, the president's valet and Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller, both tested positive for coronavirus.
"Let me emphasize strongly that any use of hydroxychloroquine has to be in consultation with your doctor," McEnany said. "You have to have a prescription."
She added that she spoke with Food and Drug Commissioner Steven Hahn, and there is a great deal of information available about the drug's safety.
"Some of the misreporting on other networks, these analyses of hydroxychloroquine ignore the fact that tens of millions of people around the world have used this drug for other purposes, including some people in my communications office who used it for malaria prophylaxis before traveling to other parts of the world," said McEnany.
She also discussed Monday's call between Trump and governors, including information received from a mental health expert, who noted that some 20,000 people die every year because of suicide and drug overdoses.
"Those numbers can become exacerbated in an extended quarantine situation," said McEnany, quoting Health and Human Services' Secretary Alex Azar's contention that "this is not health versus the economy this is health versus health because it is a sustained quarantine too."
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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