Political News

Republican congressman says he's taking hydroxychloroquine too

Posted May 20, 2020 10:53 a.m. EDT

— A Republican congressman from Kansas, who is also a physician, says he is taking the same drug President Donald Trump has long touted as a potential coronavirus cure, despite warnings of potentially harmful side effects and limited data on its efficacy to fight Covid-19.

Rep. Roger Marshall told The Wall Street Journal that he and his family are taking the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine "prophylactically."

"I would encourage any person over the age of 65 or with an underlying medical condition to talk to their own physician about taking hydroxychloroquine and I'm relieved President Trump is taking it," he told the Journal this week.

Last month, Marshall told The Kansas City Star that "in many cases, patients have a lot to gain and little to lose if they consider taking it."

CNN has reached out to spokespeople for Marshall.

Few Republicans on Capitol Hill have expressed approval of Trump's surprise announcement earlier this week that he's taking the drug. Marshall is running in a closely watched Republican primary for US Senate, and his comments come as one of his opponents, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, has touted his close ties with Trump as a selling point of his candidacy.

Trump said Monday he started taking daily doses of hydroxychloroquine -- which is used to treat or prevent malaria and to treat autoimmune conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis -- after consulting the White House doctor. Trump has been promoting the drug for weeks, casting it as safe and suggesting coronavirus patients have little to lose by trying it. Trump is expected to finish taking the drug in the coming days, two sources familiar with the matter have told CNN.

The Food and Drug Administration has cautioned that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine should only be used in hospitals or clinical trials because they can kill or cause serious side effects, including serious heart rhythm problems. The National Institutes of Health has also issued a warning about using the drug for Covid-19 patients.

At least one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown the drug does not work against Covid-19 and could cause heart problems.

Trump, however, has continued to make false and baseless claims about hydroxychloroquine. At a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Trump falsely denied the existence of the FDA warning about the use of hydroxychloroquine for the coronavirus. And he claimed without any evidence that a study on veterans who were given the drug was conducted by political foes who had set out to hurt him.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.