Hydroxychloroquine helps Michigan state lawmaker ‘recover from coronavirus’
Michigan Democratic state Representative Karen Whitsett has said that she and her husband could save their lives from coronavirus only after they started taking hydroxychloroquine. She has thanked US President Donald Trump for promoting the drug.
Michigan Democratic state Representative Karen Whitsett has credited anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and US President Donald Trump for her speedy recovery from COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine has been touted by the Trump administration as a potential key to treating the novel coronavirus which has so far killed more than 12,800 in the US, including a record over 2,000 in just one single day on Tuesday.
The President said that Whitsett thanked him for promoting the drug.
Amidst an intense debate on side effects of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19, Trump has been actively promoting the drug as an option when there is no viable treatment for the deadly virus.
However, critics of the potential treatment note the drug has not been widely tested for its effectiveness on COVID-19 or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to some, the President's broadcasting of the drug as a potential coronavirus treatment could result in a shortage for those who need it for other ailments it is used to treat.
Thanking Trump for promoting hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19, Whitsett said: "It has a lot to do with the President ... bringing it up… He is the only person who has the power to make it a priority."
When asked by the Free Press if she thinks Trump may have saved her life, Whitsett said: "Yes, I do" and "I do thank him for that." The politician said she began taking the drug, prescribed by her doctor, on March 31 after she and her husband sought treatment for symptoms on March 18.
She was tested for the coronavirus and learned on Monday her results were positive. She said that “less than two hours” after taking hydroxychloroquine, she began to feel relief.
Trump tweeted the story from the Free Press, telling Whitsett he’s "so glad you are getting better!"
Congratulations to State Representative Karen Whitsett of Michigan. So glad you are getting better! https://t.co/v6z46rUDtg— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 6, 2020
Later, the President told reporters at the White House: “This is a woman I thought she was going to die. I mean, she is a Democrat representative, highly respected woman, African-American woman. ...the way she told the story was beautiful. I asked my husband to go and get it. He got it. She is now okay. I mean, she was interviewed last night on television, and she thanked me.”
“She thanked me even in a tweet. She said I want to thank President Trump. He saved my life. Look, I don't say that happens with everybody, but that's a beautiful story. There are many of those stories. And I say try it (hydroxychloroquine),” he said in response to a question.
The US Food and Drug Administration has given temporary approval of the malaria drug in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. It is being experimented on more than 1,500 coronavirus patients in New York.
Anticipating it will work, the Trump Administration has procured more than 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine. It has also placed a major order from three Indian companies. After an initial hold on its export, the Indian government has now allowed its export to the US.
Responding to questions, Trump said he has been hearing great results about it. But the drug has to be prescribed by a doctor, he added.
“Doctors have to recommend it. I'm not a doctor. I'm just saying we hear great results. And some people say let's go to a laboratory, let's test it for a couple of years. No. We got people dying in this country and all over the world right now, not in a couple of years. They're dying. As we speak there are people dying,” Trump asserted.
“I appreciate that woman. She was great. You have to see it to believe it, the way she spoke. It was like a miracle. And this was not a fan of mine, but she's a fan of mine now and I'm very honoured by it,” Trump told reporters.