President Donald Trump said the medical community’s widespread warnings against using the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 patients were politically motivated to damage him.
“I think it could have a very positive impact in the early stages,” Trump said Tuesday during a news conference at the White House. “And I don’t think you lose anything by doing it, other than politically it doesn’t seem to be too popular. You know why? Because I recommend it. When I recommend something, they like to say ‘don’t use it.’”
Trump has repeatedly promoted hydroxychloroquine even though a number of studies have shown that it is not an effective treatment for Covid-19, and can have serious side effects, such as heart rhythm problems and kidney and liver damage. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month pulled an order that allowed the drug to be used as an emergency treatment.
Eastman Kodak Co. shares more than tripled Tuesday on a $765 million U.S. government loan to help produce ingredients used in key generic medicines to fight the coronavirus.
The development bank loan is the first of its kind under the Defense Production Act in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense. It’s intended to speed production of drugs in short supply and those considered critical to treat Covid-19, which may include hydroxychloroquine, the controversial antimalarial drug touted by President Donald Trump.
Trump, speaking Tuesday afternoon in a news conference at the White House, said the deal was “a breakthrough in bringing pharmaceutical production back to the United States.” About 10% of the national generic drug supply is manufactured in the country. Kodak shares, after closing the regular trading session with a 203% gain, rose another 40% in extended trading after the president’s remarks.