TAMPA (WFLA) – White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended the president’s use of hydroxychloroquine by pointing to a study currently being conducted at Tampa General Hospital.
President Trump announced on Monday he has been taking the drug, hydroxychloroquine, and a zinc supplement daily “for about a week and a half now.”
Trump said his doctor did not recommend the drug to him, but he requested it from the White House physician.
“I started taking it, because I think it’s good,” Trump said. “I’ve heard a lot of good stories.”
NBC News reporter Kristen Welker during a news conference on Wednesday asked White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany why Trump said “thousands” of front line workers are using it when the American Nurses Association released the following statement saying otherwise:
“The American Nurses Association has not received reports from nurses or other frontline healthcare workers utilizing Hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment for COVID-19. Furthermore, to date, research has not shown clear evidence that Hydrocychloroquine has a preventative effect for COVID-19 “
McEnany said there are 190 workers at Tampa General Hospital taking hydroxychloroquine “to look at its use as a prophylaxis”
The study McEnany referred to involves front line workers at Tampa General being enrolled in the Healthcare Worker Exposure Response & Outcomes (HERO) Registry to see the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine to treat patients with COVID-19.
According to a TGH spokesperson, some workers are taking hydroxychloroquine while others are taking a placebo to determine if the drug can help prevent COVID-19 infections.
The president spent weeks pushing the drug as a potential cure for COVID-19 against the cautionary advice of many of his administration’s top medical professionals. The drug has the potential to cause significant side effects in some patients and has not been shown to combat the new coronavirus.
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