President Trump recently touted the benefits of taking the malaria drug chloroquine or its close cousin hydroxychloroquine along with azithromycin to fight coronavirus. The malaria drugs have been around for decades and taken by many in the military.
Trump’s statements, along with the spreading knowledge that the drugs have proven at least somewhat effective, have led many people to seek them out at pharmacies as well as look for the compounds in other products.
Much to their detriment, one couple found chloroquine in a chemical used to clean fish tanks. But it’s not the same compound as what is used in drugs for human consumption. Instead, the tank cleaner was chloroquine phosphate, and not meant for human consumption.
Within an hour of ingesting it, both the husband and wife fell ill, and she called 9-1-1. The husband died at the hospital and the woman remains in critical care and is blaming the president for their illness.
The woman, who remains anonymous, said:
“We saw Trump on TV—every channel—and all of his buddies said that this was safe. Trump kept saying it was basically pretty much a cure.”
That’s sort of true. Trump did mention chloroquine very favorably. But he didn’t recommend people find items not meant for human consumption that contain some of the compounds and then guzzle them.
While this couple meant well, trying to protect themselves from the virus, the responsibility for their poor choices lies entirely with themselves.