More than 1.5 million people have been affected by the coronavirus in the USA, the most in the world. A vaccine to cure and prevent COVID-19 is still under research by scientists. Amidst this, the US President is popping hydroxychloroquine pills to stay away from the deadly infection, despite medical warnings about the use of the malaria drug.
"I'm taking hydroxychloroquine," Trump said during a question-and-answer session at the White House. "I've been taking it for the last week and a half. A pill every day."
Notably, Trump had earlier promoted the drug as a potential treatment based on a positive report about its use against the virus, but subsequent studies found that it was not helpful. The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about its use.
Trump's misguided revelation despite expert warnings has become a topic of mockery on microblogging site Twitter, where critics couldn't stop taking digs at the US President.
Tomorrow: “I take hydroxychloroquine sarcastically.” — Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) May 19, 2020
My "truth sandwich" lede: There's no evidence that hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, protects against the Coronavirus. President Trump said today he's taking it, but his doctor would not confirm that, and medical experts have said it could have dangerous side effects. — Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) May 19, 2020
Did you write this letter before or after you started taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug that causes paranoia and hallucinations? — Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) May 19, 2020
What Trump didn't tell you is that Putin is hiding the Hydroxychloroquine pills in peanut butter so he'll eat it — Rogue WH Snr Advisor (@RogueSNRadvisor) May 19, 2020
I can't believe I have to say this, but please don't take #Hydroxychloroquine without a doctor's supervision. — Peter Morley (@morethanmySLE) May 19, 2020
A note from a physician to Trump from the White House regarding the anti-malarial drug also did the rounds of Twitter.
A doctor on Twitter advised Trump against the consumption of hydroxychloroquine.
Dear Trump, I don’t like you. In fact, I consider you to be my enemy. And I’m rooting for Joe Biden to beat you in November. But as a doctor, I sincerely care about your health. Hydroxychloroquine can really hurt you, and I urge you to stop taking it. Sincerely, Your Reply Guy — Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) May 19, 2020
The letter ended up raising more questions regarding the authenticity of Trump's claim.
Trump has, in the past, faced severe flak from all corners of social media for saying disinfections could be injected inside people's bodies to fight COVID-19. Only later did he assert that he was being "sarcastic" about his statement.
"It knocks (the virus) out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs," he said.
Trump has also been constantly vocal about lockdown restrictions in his country, social distancing be damned. Recently, the US chief praised anti-lockdown protestors, who had turned up to urge authorities to reopen the United States. Trump has also backed Elon Musk in his fight against opening Tesla production factory in California despite the lockdown restrictions in place. On Monday, Trump tweeted this:
REOPEN OUR COUNTRY! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2020