WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump and his administration kept up their out-sized promotion of an malaria drug not yet ofﬁcially approved for ﬁghting the new coronavirus, even though scientists say more testing is needed before it’s proven safe and effective against COVID-19.
Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro championed hydroxychloroquine in television interviews a day after the president publicly put his faith in the medication to lessen the toll of the coronavirus pandemic.
“What do I know, I’m not a doctor,” Trump said Sunday. “But I have common sense.”
Trump held out promise for the drug as he grasps for ways to sound hopeful in the face of a mounting death toll and with the worst weeks yet to come for the U.S. The virus has killed more than 10,000 in the U.S., and measures meant to contain its spread have taken a painful economic toll and all but frozen life in large swaths of the country.
But medical ofﬁcials warn that it’s dangerous to be hawking unproven remedies, and even Trump’s own experts have cautioned against it.
The American Medical Association’s president, Dr. Patrice Harris, said she personally would not prescribe the drug for a coronavirus patient, saying the risks of severe side-effects were “great and too signiﬁcant to downplay” without large studies showing the drug is safe and effective.