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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Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.

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New Zealand confirmed Thursday there are 13 local cases linked to the four who tested positive for COVID-19, ending 102 days of no community spread. Auckland locked down Wednesday for 72 hours and the rest of NZ is under lesser restrictions.

By the numbers: Over 751,000 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and another 20.7 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. More than 12.8 million have recovered from the virus.

House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed"

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) on July 31. Photo: Erin Scott/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats on the committee charged with overseeing the federal government's response to the coronavirus announced an investigation Thursday into "Operation Warp Speed," the Trump administration's efforts to accelerate the development and distribution of a vaccine.

Why it matters: In an effort to quickly distribute a vaccine, the Trump administration has bought initial batches from a handful of pharmaceutical companies before knowing whether they are safe and effective, Axios' Bob Herman reports.