A United States man died and his wife fell seriously ill after they ingested chloroquine, a medicine used to treat malaria and was suggested by President Donald Trump to be a possible cure for COVID-19 infection.
The wife told NBC they were anxious about contracting the coronavirus, and watched the president tout chloroquine as a possible cure for Covid-19 (even though it hasn't been tested yet). However, the potion is also used to clean fish tanks at aquariums. In a statement to media, hospital system Banner Health wrote that the couple, who are in their 60s, ingested the drug and within half an hour "experienced immediate effects requiring admittance to a nearby Banner Health hospital".
The couple had used chloroquine previously as a treatment for their koi fish and still had some remaining in their home.
At the start of Monday's briefing, he brought it up again, citing an unspecified news report about a man getting better from taking chloroquine. As U.S. federal health authorities fumbled the availability of virus testing out the gate-issues that have yet to be fully resolved-and the number of confirmed cases across the U.S. soared into the tens of thousands, Trump downplayed the severity of the coronavirus outbreak. "My husband started developing respiratory problems and wanted to hold my hand". Within 20 minutes, both of them became ill.
When the husband was taken to the hospital he was pronounced dead a short time later.
As per reports, Dr Daniel Brooks, Banner Poison and Drug Information Center medical director in a statement said that while the new virus is shrouded in mystery, people should not try to self-medicate.
Brooks said the couple had read about chloroquine phosphate on the internet, which he said was cluttered with a lot of misinformation about treatments for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Right after that press briefing, the FDA issued a statement clarifying that although the drugs are under investigation for treating COVID-19, they should not be used for that goal until they've been thoroughly tested in clinical trials.
As Slate noted, Trump tweeted on Saturday that he believes hydroxychloroquine, a less toxic analogue of the drug, should "be put in use IMMEDIATELY", and on Tuesday linked to an article citing a man who believes hydroxychloroquine helped him beat the coronavirus.
The woman, who was able to throw up the chemicals, is likely going to survive, said the spokesperson. And that's where the FDA has been so great.
Anthony Fauci, the nation's top disease expert appointed to the White House Coronavirus Task Force said the therapy must be tested before its safety and efficacy could be assumed.
But Trump demonstrated no such restraint at a White House press briefing on Monday.
After Trump's claims, three people in Nigeria have so far overdosed on the medicine.
Trump has made it clear that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine should be deployed quickly against the coronavirus even as the US Food and Drug Administration is hesitant. The former has led to at least 194 deaths in Iran due to poisoning.