Appearing Monday on CNN, network chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said President Donald Trump “shouldn’t be taking” Hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment for the Chinese coronavirus, claiming his announcement is “going to cause a lot of confusion.”
—@drsanjaygupta on Trump taking hydroxychloroquine: “He shouldn’t be taking it” pic.twitter.com/o1L8fqGyTo
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) May 18, 2020
A partial transcript is as follows:
WOLF BLITZER: Listen to how the president describe why he decided a weekend ago to start taking Hydroxychloroquine.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: The frontline workers, many, many of them are taking it. I happen to be taking it, I happen to be taking it. I’m taking it, Hydroxychloroquine. Few weeks ago I started taking it. I think it’s good, I’ve heard a lot of good stories. I’m not going to get hurt by it. It’s been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus, for other things. I take it, lot of frontline workers take it, doctors take it.
BLITZER: What do you think Sanjay?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA: He shouldn’t be taking it. He’s own FDA has said this is still something under investigation and it should not be taken outside of a clinical trial, and only hospitalized patients should be getting it. What [Trump] said about the fact that it’s been used for malaria prophylaxis for decades is true. What we have found more recently is that in people who already have COVID, that there are some real concerns about the impact on the heart, possibly causing these heart arrhythmias. He said there’s a lot of healthcare workers that are taking it. There is a trial that is going on still, most of the data we’ve been talking about is, which was not at all impressive regarding Hydroxychloroquine was in people who already had the disease or already quite sick.
There has been this lingering question if it could be used as a prophylaxis to prevent the virus from entering cells in the first place, but there’s no evidence to suggest that. But as we try to be very responsible, we want to present the evidence as we get it. There’s no evidence to say that works in that way. That trial is ongoing. It’s for healthcare workers who have significant exposure. Obviously, President Trump doesn’t fit either of those categories. This is one of those things that I think is going to cause a lot of confusion.