An Arizona man has died and his wife is in critical condition after ingesting an anti-malaria drug in an attempt to treat the novel coronavirus, according to a press release from Banner University Medical Center. The couple, both in their 60s, self-medicated with chloroquine phosphate, which is related to one of the drugs that President Trump said is being tested in clinical trials. Trump said during a White House briefing on Friday that he has a “good” feeling that two anti-malaria medications, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, have the potential to treat the virus. “And we’re going to see. You’re going to see soon enough,” the president added. However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, clarified there is only “anecdotal evidence” that the drugs can be used to treat COVID-19.
“Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but self-medicating is not the way to do so,” said Dr. Daniel Brooks, the medical director of Banner Poison and Drug Information Center. “The last thing that we want right now is to inundate our emergency departments with patients who believe they found a vague and risky solution that could potentially jeopardize their health.”