- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2020

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Tuesday said some of the reactions after President Trump announced he is taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure against COVID-19 were “apoplectic” and that members of her communication team have also taken it in the past.

Ms. McEnany said she spoke on Tuesday morning with Dr. Stephen Hahn, the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who told her the malaria drug has been approved for several other uses.

“We have a lot of information about the safety of this drug, though ultimately you make that decision with your doctor,” she said on “Fox and Friends.” “So some of the misreporting on other networks - these apoplectic [analyses] of hydroxychloroquine - ignore the fact that tens of millions of people around the world have used this drug for other purposes.”

She noted that several people on her communications team have used it as a preventative measure against malaria before traveling to other parts of the world.

Mr. Trump on Monday said he started taking hydroxychloroquine a few weeks ago - a timeline that could theoretically line up with the news that his personal valet tested positive for the coronavirus.

Ms. McEnany said she didn’t have information on the exact rationale for his taking it.

“The president has said pretty widely that this is a drug that he had looked at with optimism,” she said. “But nevertheless he said that this is a decision that must be made with a doctor, as he’s repeatedly said.”

The FDA last month had warned patients against using the drug for COVID-19 treatment outside of a hospital setting or clinical trial, pointing to potentially fatal side effects.

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