President Trump standing by decision to take hydroxychloroquine

BartekSzewczyk/iStock(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- President Donald Trump is bucking advice from top medical experts concerning anti-malarial medication hydroxychloroquine and is taking the drug to prevent COVID-19, despite the fact the drug has not been found to help patients and could lead to negative side effects.  Nevertheless, the president on Tuesday said he will continue to take the drug.

"I think it's worth it as a line of defense, and I'll stay on it for a little while longer. I'm just very curious myself," the president told reporters.

President Trump's decision to take the controversial treatment comes as two White House staffers have tested positive for COVID-19.  He says he consulted a White House physician first, and denied that he's taking it because he's been exposed to the virus.

The president also declared, without providing details, that data showing hydroxychloroquine was ineffective in treating COVID-19 was the result of "a false study done where they gave it to very sick people, extremely sick people, people that were ready to die."  Trump also claimed a political motivation behind the study, adding "It was given by obviously, not friends of the administration."

The president said that in addition to hydroxychloroquine, he is also taking zinc and dose of the antibiotic azithromycin.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has continued to say there is no "definitive information" about hydroxychloroquine's effectiveness against COVID-19.  The Food and Drug Administration has cautioned against using hydroxychloroquine, saying it could cause abnormal heart rhythm and lead to cardiac arrest.

However, the president was adamant that the drug "doesn't hurt people" and added, "people are going to have to make up their own mind."

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