Updated May 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump's physician explains hydroxychloroquine decision

President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable in the State Dining Room of the White House

President Trump during a roundtable at the White House on Monday. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images)

President Trump's physician said in a statement Monday it was decided that hydroxychloroquine could be beneficial to him after a White House staffer tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Trump said earlier Monday that he's been taking the antimalarial drug and a zinc supplement for "about a week and a half" as a preventative measure against the virus. The FDA warned last month that the drug should only be taken in hospitals because of the risk of heart complications. Its effectiveness against COVID-19 is unproven.

  • The president and many White House staffers are being regularly tested for COVID-19. Multiple West Wing staff members have tested positive for the virus, but Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have declined to enter quarantine.
  • The White House physician wrote on Monday that Trump is "in good health and has remained symptom-free."

What they're saying: "After numerous discussions he and I had regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks," physician Sean Conley said.

Read the letter:

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Sean Conley's last name.

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