Vice President Mike Pence added his voice to the conversation around hydroxychloroquine Tuesday, one day after President Donald Trump said he was taking the drug. Pence is not taking it, he said, but would if it were recommended by a doctor.
“I’m not but I would never begrudge any American taking the advice of their physician,” he told Fox News’ Kristin Fisher.
He went on,”Hydroxychloroquine is a drug that’s been around for more than 40 years for the treatment of malaria but early in this process, the FDA approved what’s called off-label use that physicians could prescribe hydroxychloroquine and terms that they deemed appropriate and so, my physician has not recommended that but I wouldn’t hesitate to take the counsel of my doctor. Any American should do likewise.”
Fisher’s colleague, Neil Cavuto, responded Monday to Trump’s statement that he’s taking the drug — intended for malaria and lupus treatment — by reminding his viewers it hasn’t been proven to prevent or treat the coronavirus and, in fact, has been shown in at least one study to be linked with death in at-risk populations. Trump railed against Cavuto as a result Monday night, as Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham cheered the drug.
The vice president told Fisher he’s heard “anecdotal” stories of people — including frontline workers — taking the medication during the coronavirus crisis and finding it “made a real difference.”