Nancy Pelosi is not signing off on President Donald Trump's personal health choices.
On Monday, the House speaker, 80, appeared on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, where she spoke about the president's controversial revelation that he's been taking hydroxychloroquine to protect himself from contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19), despite research that shows the anti-malarial drug has proved ineffective and is linked to a higher death rate.
"I happen to be taking it. I happen to be taking it — hydroxychloroquine," Trump, 73, told reporters on Monday, adding that he started taking the unproven drug "a couple of weeks ago."
"He's our president and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists," Pelosi told Cooper, "especially in his age group and his, shall we say, weight group: 'morbidly obese,' they say."
She added: "I think it's not a good idea."
In 2019, Trump's annual physical found he weighed 243 pounds, and that he is considered obese on the body mass index scale.
At the press briefing when Trump raised concerns by personally touting the drug, he said, "If it is not good, I will tell you right."
"I'm not going to get hurt by it. It has been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus, for other things. I take it," he shared, claiming that he has had "zero symptoms" and he has been taking the pill "every day."
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Trump said he asked the White House physician about the drug and said he would like to take it. When asked about the evidence of the drug actually working, Trump said, "Here we go. Are you ready? Here's my evidence: I get a lot of positive calls about it. The only negative I heard — was at the VA? People that aren't big Trump fans."
Trump has promoted the anti-malarial drug as a cure for the coronavirus, while health experts — including the head of the Food and Drug Administration — rushed to warn that the drug needs to undergo trials to see if it would work against the coronavirus and could potentially be dangerous.
Early research indicates the drug has poor results in protecting against COVID-19, and a recent Veterans Affairs study found that patients who took the drug died at a higher rate than those who did not.
More research into the drug is still needed, but their results indicate that hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment and should not be used on COVID-19 patients, said the study's authors. The study took into consideration several factors, including body mass index.
“An association of increased overall mortality was identified in patients treated with hydroxychloroquine alone,” the authors wrote. “These findings highlight the importance of awaiting the results of ongoing prospective, randomized, controlled studies before widespread adoption of these drugs.”
In a letter from the president's physician, Sean P. Conley, the doctor said that they "concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighs the relative risks" of hydroxychloroquine. Conley said, however, that he would continue to monitor studies.
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