Appearing Tuesday on CNN, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a longtime cardiologist to former Vice President Dick Cheney, speculated that President Donald Trump faces a “15 to 20 percent risk” of dying if he contracted the Chinese coronavirus.
A partial transcript is as follows:
ALISYN CAMEROTA: There are side effects to hydroxychloroquine. You don’t just take this on a lark. I have a friend who took hydroxychloroquine a few years ago because she was going on a trip and would be exposed possibly to malaria and she said it caused the craziest dreams, horrible sleep, and I read that some of the side effects are mood swings. How would that not be affecting the President of the United States’ judgment? There are also psychological consequences or emotional from this drug.
DR. JONATHAN REINER: Right, I think the last thing we need is this president to have mood swings. The drug’s most consequential side effect is a malignant cardiac arrhythmia that can kill you. Now, the White House doesn’t really use the kinds of rules that we use out in the community. They have 24-hour access to their patient and they can do things that doctors in the community can’t do. So, they have ways of actually mitigating that risk. I agree with [CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta] completely, this drug is unproven and the data we have suggests it doesn’t work or can be harmful. No one in this country should use it in the manner that the president is using it. The White House medical unit obviously made a calculated decision that they considered his risk of taking the drug lower than his risk of actually contracting the virus. My calculations, I think his risk, based on all the co-morbidities you mentioned in the lead-in, he probably has a 15 to 20 percent risk of dying of this virus should he contract it.