White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Tuesday that Americans should consult with their doctors before self-medicating with hydroxychloroquine, following President Trump’s announcement that he was taking it as a potential coronavirus treatment, which the Food and Drug Administration has cautioned against. McEnany said she discussed the drug with Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the FDA, which had issued warnings about potentially life-threatening side effects. “He told me that it has a good safety profile but should always be prescribed in the context of a doctor prescribing it to their patient, so that is ultimately how the decision should be made,” McEnany said. “It’s ultimately how President Trump made his decision.”
The president’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a memo on Monday that after he and Trump discussed the anti-malarial drug as a treatment for the virus, they decided that its “potential benefit” outweighed the “relative risks.” Conley, however, did not confirm that the president has been taking it, nor did he say whether he prescribed the drug for Trump’s use.