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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."

Julia Conley

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. 


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'Witness Intimidation. Clear as Day': Jan. 6 Panel Teases Evidence of Cover-Up Effort

"Add witness tampering to the laundry list of crimes Trump and his allies must be charged with," said professor Robert Reich.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Bombshell After Bombshell' Dropped as Jan. 6 Testimony Homes In On Trump Guilt

"Hutchinson's testimony of the deeply detailed plans of January 6 and the inaction of those in the White House in response to the violence show just how close we came to a coup," said one pro-democracy organizer.

Brett Wilkins ·


Mark Meadows 'Did Seek That Pardon, Yes Ma'am,' Hutchinson Testifies

The former aide confirmed that attorney Rudy Giuliani also sought a presidential pardon related to the January 6 attack.

Jessica Corbett ·


UN Chief Warns of 'Ocean Emergency' as Leaders Confront Biodiversity Loss, Pollution

"We must turn the tide," said Secretary-General António Guterres. "A healthy and productive ocean is vital to our shared future."

Julia Conley ·


'I Don't F—ing Care That They Have Weapons': Trump Wanted Security to Let Armed Supporters March on Capitol

"They're not here to hurt me," Trump said on the day of the January 6 insurrection, testified a former aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Jake Johnson ·

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