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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.

Go deeper

FDA authorizes Abbott's $5 rapid COVID-19 test

Results from the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card test will be available in roughly 15 minutes. Photo: Courtesy of Abbott Laboratories.

Abbott Laboratories said Wednesday it received emergency use authorization (EAU) from the Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 test that works without lab equipment.

The big picture: Abbott said it will ramp up production of its "highly portable," $5 tests to 50 million by the beginning of October.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Aug 26, 2020 - Health

Fauci says he was having surgery when CDC testing changes were approved

Anthony Fauci was in the operating room under general anesthesia last Thursday when the White House coronavirus task force approved the narrowing of CDC testing recommendations to exclude asymptomatic individuals, according to CNN's Sanjay Gupta.

Why it matters: Fauci, who had vocal cord surgery last week, told Gupta that he is "concerned about the interpretation of these recommendations and worried it will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern. In fact, it is."