A Michigan state Democratic lawmaker who was suffering from the coronavirus credited President Donald Trump with saving her life, saying on Monday that his constant touting of hydroxychloroquine is what led her to ask her doctor for the malaria drug.
Rep. Karen Whitsett (Detroit) “said she started taking hydroxychloroquine on March 31, prescribed by her doctor, after both she and her husband sought treatment for a range of symptoms on March 18,” The Detroit Free Press reported. “‘It was less than two hours’ before she started to feel relief, said Whitsett, who had experienced shortness of breath, swollen lymph nodes, and what felt like a sinus infection.”
Whitsett said that she had taken the drug before for a separate medical issue but would not have thought to ask her doctor about it unless Trump had been repeatedly talking about it.
“It has a lot to do with the president … bringing it up,” Whitsett said. “He is the only person who has the power to make it a priority.”
When The Detroit Free Press asked her if she thought that Trump may have saved her life, she responded, “Yes, I do. I do thank him for that.”
Trump sent out a link to the report, writing, “Congratulations to State Representative Karen Whitsett of Michigan. So glad you are getting better!”
Congratulations to State Representative Karen Whitsett of Michigan. So glad you are getting better! https://t.co/v6z46rUDtg
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 6, 2020
Last week, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an “Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to permit the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine sulfate supplied from the Strategic National Stockpile to treat adults and adolescents who weigh 50 kg or more and are hospitalized with COVID-19 for whom a clinical trial is not available, or participation is not feasible.”
While experts are still waiting on clinical trials and additional testing to officially determine the efficacy of using the drug to treat coronavirus, many doctors have said that it works very well.
Los Angeles based Dr. Anthony Cardillo, CEO of Mend Urgent Care, praised the drug over the weekend during an interview with ABC 7 news anchor Jory Rand.
“What we’re finding clinically with our patients is that it really only works in conjunction with zinc. So the hydroxychloroquine opens the zinc channel, zinc goes into the cell, it then blocks the replication of the cellular machinery,” Cardillo said. “So, it has to be used in conjunction with zinc. We are seeing some clinical responses in that regard. There are people that take it regularly for other disease processes, we have to be cautious and mindful that we don’t prescribe for patients who have COVID that are well. It really should be reserved for people that are really sick, in the hospital, or at home very sick that need that medication, otherwise we’re going to blow through our supply for the patients that take it regularly for other disease processes.”
“Every patient I’ve prescribed it to has been very, very ill and within 8-12 hours they were basically symptom free and so, clinically I am seeing a resolution that mirrors what we saw in the French study and some of the other studies worldwide,” Cardillo continued. “But what I am seeing is that people that are taking it alone, by itself, it’s not having efficacy.”
During an interview on Fox News last week, Dr. Stephen Smith, an infectious disease doctor, said, “It’s a game changer. It’s an absolute game changer. I think this data will go to really support the French data. … I think this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic. I’m very serious.”