President Donald Trump promoted the use of the anti-malaria drug chloroquine at the White House on Thursday, the purpose of which is to treat people infected with the coronavirus.
“We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately,” Trump said at the White House press briefing on Thursday.
Trump said that chloroquine was already developed, tested, and widely available to American doctors.
“The nice part is it’s been around for a long time, so we know that if things don’t go as planned, it’s not going to kill anybody,” Trump said. The president also mentioned the anti-viral drug Remdesivir produced by Gilead as a possible treatment drug.
FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said that under the president’s direction he would move quickly for a chloroquine clinical trial to test its ability to treat the coronavirus.
In the meantime, doctors can ask for experimental drugs to use to treat their patients as part of a “compassionate use” program.
The president stated that anti-viral drugs had shown “very, very encouraging early results” in treatment tests.
“I think it’s going to be very promising. It could be a game-changer,” he said. “And maybe not. Based on what I see, it could be a game-changer. They’re very powerful.”