Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday told Margaret Brennan on "Face the Nation" that scientific evidence does not support President Donald Trump's repeated claim that  hydroxychloroquine can prevent the coronavirus. (Photo: Alliance for Health Policy/Flickr/cc)

'This President Has Blood on His Hands': Trump Again Urges Public to Take Anti-Malaria Drug for Coronavirus, Despite Reports of Danger

"'What do you have to lose?'" Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) asked. "They can lose their life, you imbecile."

The nation's top expert on infectious diseases was forced once again on Sunday to negate President Donald Trump's latest claim that an anti-malaria drug can treat coronavirus, which the president made at his Saturday evening press conference.

On CBS's "Face the Nation," National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci told host Margaret Brennan that "in terms of science, I don't think we could definitively say it works," regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine for the virus.

"As I've said many times, Margaret, the data are really just at best suggestive," Fauci said. "There have been cases that show there may be an effect and there are others to show there's no effect."

At his press briefing the previous evening, Trump said the federal government is adding millions of doses of hydroxychloroquine to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), which states have desperately been attempting to draw from in order to obtain supplies recommended by medical experts, including ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare providers.

"What do you have to lose? Take it," Trump said of the drug. "I really think they should take it. But it's their choice. And it's their doctor's choice or the doctors in the hospital. But hydroxychloroquine. Try it, if you'd like."

As Common Dreams reported last month, three people in Nigeria were hospitalized after overdosing on the drug following Trump's earlier claims about hydroxychloroquine. A man in Arizona died after ingesting chloroquine phosphate, after his wife cited the president's televised briefings as evidence that it could prevent the coronavirus, officially called COVID-19. 

"'What do you have to lose?'" Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted after Trump's briefing. "They can lose their life, you imbecile."

Critics on social media warned others against heeding the president's advice.

Some laboratory studies of a small number of cases have suggested hydroxychloroquine could stop the coronavirus from invading cells, and according to the New York Times, "some researchers think its ability to dial back an overactive immune system—the reason it is used for autoimmune diseases—might help relieve the life-threatening inflammation that develops in some coronavirus patients."

But researchers say far more evidence is needed for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the drug for anti-coronavirus use. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

'Bolsonaro Out!': Massive Protests as Brazil's Covid-19 Death Toll Tops 500,000

"We are on the street to defend our country, our people, our lives, our culture, our education, our economy. We can no longer die of Covid."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Summit Participants Embrace 'Vaccine Internationalism' to End Pandemic

"Our goal is simple: to end the pandemic as quickly as possible by securing Covid-19 vaccines for all," says the coordinator of Progressive International's four-day virtual summit.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


As Iran Elects New President, Experts Urge Biden to Rejoin Nuclear Deal, Lift Sanctions

"The Biden administration must remain resolute and seek a break from the disastrous conditions that helped contribute to this result."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


UN General Assembly Condemns Myanmar Junta Violence, Urges Arms Embargo

Member nations voted 119-1 in favor of the resolution, which also calls for a return to the country's fragile democracy.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Dems Introduce Abolition Amendment to Scrap Constitution's 'Slavery Clause'

"The loophole in our Constitution's ban on slavery not only allowed slavery to continue, but launched an era of discrimination and mass incarceration that continues to this day," said Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·