DONALD Trump has said he is "no longer" taking the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine to ward off coronavirus.
"Finished, just finished," the president said during a Full Measure interview that aired on Sunday.
"And by the way, I'm still here," Trump remarked, "to the best of my knowledge, here I am."
The president then went on to back the controversial drug further.
"I believe in it enough that I took a program because I had two people in the White House that tested positive.
"I figured maybe it's a good thing to take a program. You know, we take a little bit of a period of time, I think it was two weeks.
"But hydroxy has had tremendous, if you look at it, tremendous, rave reviews."
Last week, the president revealed he has been taking the malaria pill every day for over a week to stave off coronavirus.
Trump said he'd been taking it for a "couple of weeks" after receiving a letter from a New York doctor based in Westchester, who supposedly used it to treat over 300 COVID-19 patients.
Though the drug was the first coronavirus treatment to be approved, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have since issued a warning due to the increased risk of heart problems.
Recent studies have shown hydroxychloroquine is not effective in treating coronavirus, despite some early indications which prompted the President to order the purchase of 29 million doses of the drug.
Trump appeared to brush off these concerns and revealed he took it, along with zinc.
"I started taking it, because I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories," said the president.
"Frontline workers take it, a lot of doctors take it, I take it.
"I'm not going to get hurt by it, it's been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus. I'm taking the two – the zinc and the hydroxyl. So far I seem to be okay.
"I hope to be able to not take it soon because I hope they come up with some answer but I think people should be allowed to [take it]. I take a pill every day. At some point I'll stop.”
However, as the week went on Trump started to receive backlash for his decision.
On Monday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised her concerns about the president's prescription.
"As far as the president is concerned, he's our president and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientist," she said.
"Especially in his age group and in his – shall we say – weight group, what is morbidly obese they say – so, I think it's not a good idea."
However, on Tuesday, Trump insisted the unproven drug gives him "an additional level of safety" and dismissed Pelosi's assessment of his health risks.
He described the House Speaker as "a waste of time" and a "sick woman" for saying he shouldn't be taking the medication prescribed by the White House doctor.
"I work with a lot of doctors," Trump insisted. "If you look at the survey, at the only bad survey, they were giving it to people in very bad shape.
"They were very old, almost dead. It was a Trump enemy statement.
The president reiterated his claim that a lot of medics, doctors, and frontline workers took the drug and that it "doesn't hurt people."
But doctors across the globe urged people not to take the malaria medication as it could be deadly, causing heart problems in patients with underlying conditions.
"It's been out on the market for 60 or 65 years for malaria, lupus, and other things," he insisted. "I think it gives you an additional level of safety.
"You can ask, many doctors are in favor of it — many frontline workers won't go there unless they have the hydroxy."
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