Few days after Nigerian US-based doctor, Stella Immanuel claimed that hydroxychloroquine cures COVID-19 in a viral online video, the US President, Donald Trump has again defended the use of hydroxychloroquine to ward off coronavirus, contradicting his own public health officials.
He said the malaria medication was only rejected as a COVID-19 treatment because he had recommended its use.
His remarks comes after Twitter banned his eldest son for posting a clip promoting hydroxychloroquine.
However, there is no evidence the drug can fight the virus and regulators warned that it might cause heart problems.
Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautioned against using the drug to treat coronavirus patients, following reports of serious heart rhythm problems and other health issues.
FDA also revoked its emergency-use authorisation of the drug to treat COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had said that there is currently no proof that it’s effective as a treatment or prevention of COVID-19.
Studies commissioned by the WHO, the US National Institutes of Health and other researchers around the world found no evidence that hydroxychloroquine, when used with or without the antibiotic, azithromycin as repeatedly recommended by President Trump helps in the treatment of coronavirus.
Hydroxychloroquine was first touted by Mr Trump in March. Two months later, he surprised journalists by saying he had begun taking the unproven medication to ward off the virus.
However, on Tuesday, the president told reporters at the White House that, “I can only say that from my standpoint, and based on a lot of reading and a lot of knowledge about it, I think it can have a very positive impact in the early stages”.
“I don’t think you will lose anything by doing it, other than politically which doesn’t seem too popular.”
He added, “When I recommend something, they like to say, ‘don’t use it.’”
On wider situation in the US, the president said large number of masks and gowns were being produced, as 55 million tests had been carried out, more than anybody in the world”.
The comments were made as he prepared to visit Odessa, Texas for a fundraising event on Wednesday, despite concerns over the surge of COVID-19 cases in the State.
President Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr were among social media users who shared a video late on Monday from a group called America’s Frontline Doctors advocating the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment.