Trump Touts “Game Changer” Drugs For Coronavirus Not Approved By FDA

Donald Trump was unfit to lead before COVID-19, but in a pandemic, his dangerousness is particularly visible. From the beginning, the president has wanted to keep testing and numbers of official cases low, even though finding out who is sick and quarantining them is the best hope of stopping the virus from spreading. He initially encouraged people to go to work, saying the virus would disappear one day “like a miracle.” He has not taken action on building emergency hospitals, providing relief for the thousands of people now unemployed, and seems to just be holding press conference after press conference with no solution in sight.

The press conferences and his Twitter account are where Trump has been floating ideas about a potential cure for coronavirus appearing out of thin air. Without clinical trials, there is no vaccine or cure approved for COVID-19. That hasn’t stopped the president from suggesting that people take unregulated doses of powerful medicines, as he did in a series of tweets:

Hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic Azithromycin in combination have shown some early promise against COVID-19, according to the Huffington Post. This mix has not been approved as safe or effective by the federal Food and Drug Administration, however, and it can kill those who take it. Doctors, including Trump’s top science adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have warned this is a terrible thing to try and consume.

When Fauci was asked at a press conference is Trump should be offering medical advice on Twitter, Fauci responded that there is anecdotal evidence that a cure from these meds could be possible, but it has not been fully tested nor confirmed yet.

“If you really want to definitively know if something works, you got to do the kind of trial that [gives you] the good information,” he said. “The president is talking about hope for people.”

The president also told people that a vaccine was imminent, saying at a press conference, “It’s been approved…they took it down from many, many months to immediate.”

And the combo he is suggesting can cause a deadly heart arrhythmia, which doctors rushed to Twitter to warn against:

This level of misinformation spread from someone who is supposed to be a world leader is terrifying. Nigeria has reported two chloroquine poisonings since Trump’s tweets and had to send an emergency warning to citizens to not attempt self-treatment at home.