President Donald Trump on Monday evening blasted the Fox News Channel after host Neil Cavuto warned of possible health dangers associated with taking hydroxychloroquine. Earlier, the president announced that he is taking the anti-malaria drug as a preventative measure against the Chinese coronavirus.
“.@FoxNews is no longer the same. We miss the great Roger Ailes. You have more anti-Trump people, by far, than ever before. Looking for a new outlet!” President Trump tweeted
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2020
Speaking to reporters at the White House, President Trump revealed that he’s been taking a hydroxychloroquine pill daily for roughly a week and a half, along with a dose of zinc. Shortly after the announcement, The Your World with Neil Cavuto anchor called the president’s remarks “stunning” and warned that the drug could kill certain individuals who consume the drug.
A number of studies, those certainly vulnerable in the population have one thing to lose, their lives. A VA study showed that among a population of veterans in a hospital receiving this treatment, those with vulnerable conditions, respiratory conditions, heart elements, they died.
Those who took it, in a vulnerable population, including those with respiratory or other conditions, they died. I want to stress again — they died. If you are in a risky population here and you are taking this as a preventative treatment to ward off the virus or, in a worst-case scenario, you are dealing with the virus, and you are in this vulnerable population, it will kill you. I cannot stress that enough. This will kill you.
So again, whatever benefit the president says this has — and certainly has had for those suffering from malaria, dealing with lupus — this is a leap that should not be taken casually by those watching at home or assuming, ‘well, the President of the United States says it’s okay.
In addition to Cavuto, Fox News medical contributor Dr. Manny Alvarez criticized President Trump’s announcement, describing it as “highly irresponsible.”
Alvarez told Special Report host Bret Baier:
I found it to be highly irresponsible for the president to have come out and made that statement, and I would like to hear from the White House physician to come out tomorrow and explain to me what has changed in a week and a half or two weeks for the president to take this medication, when all the data that has been coming out very repetitively has shown that there’s really not a major benefit. In most hospitals, including mine, we’re not using chloroquine in the treatment of COVID patients in the present time.
Adding zinc to hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin might help the drug combination resolve some COVID-19 symptoms, a study posted online this week said, though experts say the two-drug treatment’s benefit is questionable and carries health risks.
The findings breathe new life into a treatment regimen that has been touted by political and business leaders even before the results of clinical trials were in, experts said Wednesday.
Studies to date have indicated that the combination offers limited benefits at best, with potentially dangerous side effects.
“There is currently no highly effective agent for COVID-19 that we are aware of,” Dr. Joseph O. Rahimian, an infectious disease specialist at New York University Langone Health and co-author of the zinc study, told UPI.
“It may end up that optimal treatment will include multiple agents and that zinc may be a part of a treatment ‘cocktail,’” he said.
Historically, hydroxychloroquine has been used to treat malaria, while azithromycin is a commonly used antibiotic. Both have been studied in numerous clinical trials since the start of the outbreak of the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
To date, research has yielded mixed results. Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about “life-threatening” side effects associated with hydroxychloroquine and advised that the drug only be used in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.
The UPI contributed to this report.