Donald Trump endorsed a drug called chloroquine as a treatment for #coronavirus, and Nigerian researchers just found it to be poisonous.
Three people in Lagos, Nigeria overdosed on chloroquine, a drug Trump recently claimed is a treatment for the COVID-19 virus. Now, Nigerian health officials are warning against using the drug in a new statement. Last week, Trump stated at a White House briefing that the Food and Drug Administration had approved the “very powerful” drug chloroquine to treat coronavirus.
“It’s shown very encouraging — very, very encouraging early results. And we’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately. And that’s where the FDA has been so great. They — they’ve gone through the approval process; it’s been approved. And they did it — they took it down from many, many months to immediate. So we’re going to be able to make that drug available by prescription or states. Normally the FDA would take a long time to approve something like that, and it’s — it was approved very, very quickly, and it’s now approved, by prescription,” said Trump.
However, the FDA released a statement immediately after the brief calling Trump’s words fake news, saying it did not approve the drug as a cure or treatment for coronavirus. As a result of Trump’s misinformation, the purchase of the drug rose in the Nigerian community. However, Nigerian journalist and Chief Press Secretary to Lagos State Governor Gboyega Akosile, tweeted on Friday that Nigerian doctor Oreoluwa Finnih warned against the use of the drug. “Please note: Hospitals Now Receiving Patients Suffering From Chloroquine Poisoning, Says Gov jidesanwoolu’s SSA on Health, Dr. Oreoluwa Finnih. She urged people against massive consumption of Chloroquine as a measure to fight #coronavirus.”
CNN reports that Chloroquine is actually used to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Chloroquine can cause side effects like severe itching, and people who have used it say it leaves a longstanding bitter taste in your mouth.