Different reactionsDrug Recommended by Trump May Have Saved One Man in Florida, May Have Killed One Man in Arizona

Published 24 March 2020

President Donald Trump last week said he was instructing the FDA to fast-track testing of hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, as treatment for COVID-19. Tamar Lapin reports in the New York Post that Rio Giardinieri, 52, who was being treated at the Memorial Regional Hospital in South Florida for coronavirus and pneumonia, was told by a friend about Trump’s recommendation. He took the drug and all his symptoms disappeared. His doctors believe, however, that the episodes he experienced were not a reaction to the medicine but his body fighting off the virus.
CBS News reports that according to CBS affiliate KPHO, a Phoenix-area man has died and his wife was in critical condition after the couple took chloroquine phosphate, . The additive used to clean fish tanks that is also found in an anti-malaria medication that’s been touted by Trump as a treatment for COVID-19. CBS News notes that at a news conference last week, Trump falsely stated  that the FDA had just approved the use of an anti-malaria medication called chloroquine to treat patients infected with coronavirus. Even after the FDA chief clarified that the drug still needs to be tested for that use, Trump overstated the drug’s potential upside in containing the virus.

On Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. top infectious disease expert, called Trump’s assertions about hydroxychloroquine “anecdotal” and said there is no evidence that it is effective for COVID-19 patients. But the next day, Trump was still touting the drug on social media.