Trump Pushes Unproven COVID Treatment

U.S. President Donald Trump is again pushing a successful treatment for malaria, lupus, and arthritis to use against the new coronavirus despite its unproven effectiveness for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.   

“What have you got to lose?” Trump asked at a Sunday White House briefing in which he touted hydroxychloroquine.  

He said there are 29 million doses of the drug stockpiled, calling it a “very strong and powerful medicine…that doesn’t kill people.”  

Trump said people are dying and there is no time to take a couple of years to test it out.  

The Food and Drug Administration says it made an emergency approval for the drug to be prescribed because it says there are no alternative treatments for COVID-19.  

But White House task force member and the country’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday there is nothing that scientifically proves it has any benefit against the coronavirus.  

“The data are really just, at best, suggestive. There have been cases that show there may be an effect and there are others to show there’s no effect,” Fauci said.   

When a reporter at Sunday’s briefing tried to ask Fauci to comment on hydroxychloroquine, Trump jumped in and wouldn’t let the doctor answer the question that Trump said was already asked “15 times”. 

Other medical experts say it may not be advisable for someone who is not a doctor, like Trump, to give out such advice because of possible dangerous side effects.  

Despite Surgeon General Jerome Adams’ warning Sunday to Americans to prepare for a week he calls “Our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment,” task force member Dr. Karen Birx said declines in deaths and number of cases in Italy and Spain – two of the world’s COVID-19 hot spots — gives U.S. experts hope.   

Task force leader Vice President Mike Pence said he is seeing “glimmers of hope” and said the cooperation by Americans in social distancing and listening to other expert advice means the country will “get through this a lot sooner than we thought.”    

Sunday, former Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril died of the coronavirus in a Cairo hospital, his Facebook page and Egyptian officials announced. He was 67.   

Jibril was briefly Libya’s leader after longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi was toppled and killed in 2011.  

Meanwhile, the Bronx Zoo in New York City says Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger, has tested positive for coronavirus.  

Veterinarians tested her after she and six other big cats developed dry coughs. Nadia and the others are said to be doing well, have strong appetites, and are fully expected to recover.  

The zoo is closed to visitors and it didn’t say how the tiger came down with the virus. But vets say there is no evidence that cats and dogs can pass coronavirus to their owners. 

Source: Voice of America

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