President Donald Trump made the startling revelation on Monday that he is taking hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that, according to his government experts, is not suitable for fighting the new coronavirus.
Trump, noting that he tested negative for the virus and shows no symptoms, said he had been taking the drug "for about a week and a half".
"I take a pill every day," he said, adding that he also takes zinc as a preventive measure.
Asked why, he said "because I think it's good. I've heard a lot of good stories."
Trump often downplayed the dangers of coronavirus, including last week, when he said it threatened only a small number of people. He also refused to wear a mask, despite federal recommendations and the fact that most of his team took their faces in public.
On the other hand, he has shown interest for weeks in promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine, even though many doctors think it does not work for patients with coronavirus and US government regulators warn that it "has not been shown to be safe".
Trump's extensive remarks about using hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure came out of nowhere.
"You will be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the frontline workers, before catching it. The frontline workers – many, many are accepting. I happen to take it, I take it for taking it," Trump left escape the reporters attending a White House meeting dedicated to the struggling restaurant industry.
"I'm taking hydroxychloroquine now, yes. A few weeks ago, I started taking it," he said.
Trump said the use of the drug was approved by the White House doctor. However, he insisted that he, not the doctor, took the first step.
“I asked him, what do you think? He said that if you want. I said yes, I would like.
"It seems to have an impact, and maybe it will, maybe it won't, but if it doesn't, you won't get sick or die," said Trump. “I take a pill every day. At some point I will stop. "
Why Trump is taking the contested drug when he often insists he is not in danger with COVID-19 is unclear.
Some people in the White House tested positive for the virus. But Trump said again on Monday that he said "showing zero symptoms".
“Every other day they want to test me, you know, for obvious reasons. I want to say that I'm the president, so they want to test me. I don't want to take the test, but they want to test me, "he said." I've always been negative. "