Trump Walks the Walk on Hydroxychloroquine

(p. A6) WASHINGTON—President Trump said he is taking hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that he has cited as a possible defense against the novel coronavirus but that some scientists have cautioned needs further study and could be dangerous.

“I happen to be taking it, hydroxychloroquine,” he told reporters at the White House on Monday. He said he had consulted with the White House doctor and suggested he is taking the drug as a preventive measure. Mr. Trump said he has been checked regularly for Covid-19, has tested negative and has no symptoms. He said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine for about a week and a half.

. . .

On Monday [May 18, 2020], Mr. Trump continued to stress anecdotal evidence in favor of the drug and told reporters, “I was just waiting to see your eyes light up when I said this.” He also expressed confidence in the drug’s safety. “I’m not going to get hurt by it. It’s been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus, for other things.”

For the full story, see:

Catherine Lucey, Jared S. Hopkins. “President Trump Says He Is Taking Hydroxychloroquine as Preventive.” The Wall Street Journal (Tuesday, May 19, 2020): A6.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed year, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date May 18, 2020, and has the title “Trump Says He Takes Contested Drug for Prevention.”)

The key reference on advocates of a drug who take it first themselves, without confirmation from randomized double-blind clinical trials, is:

Altman, Lawrence K. Who Goes First?: The Story of Self-Experimentation in Medicine. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998.

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