Three Nigerians Overdose on Drug That Trump Said Could Help Fight Coronavirus
Three people in Nigeria are being treated in hospital after overdosing on a drug that President Donald Trump recently claimed could help combat the Covid-19 global pandemic. The African nation confirmed that three people in the city of Lagos had taken choloroquine and been hospitalized.
President Trump last week claimed that chloroquine could be useful for treating Covid-19 and that the Food and Drug Administration was looking into its’ use.
“It’s shown very encouraging — very, very encouraging early results,” Trump said.
Asked about using chloroquine for this, Trump says, "Why should we be testing it in a test tube for a year and a half when we have thousands of people that are very sick, very, very sick, and we can use it on those people?" (Clinical trials are not done via "test tube"…)
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 22, 2020
“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.”
However, the FDA quickly issued a statement saying the drug had not been approved for use and that its’ effects were still being studied. Trump also made claims about the drug on Twitter, despite the fact that it is not supported by evidence.
The Lagos State Ministry of Health was forced to issue a brief statement denying that chloroquine was an effective treatment, saying “We do not have any hard evidence that chloroquine is effective in preventing or managing Covid-19.”
"We do not have any hard evidence that chloroquine is effective in preventing or managing #COVID19" – @ProfAkinAbayomi@NigeriaGov@followlasg @jidesanwoolu @toluogunlesi @ogundamisi@NCDCgov@Fmohnigeria@NafdacAgency@WHONigeria pic.twitter.com/qtBAsAniTp
— LSMOH (@LSMOH) March 21, 2020
Nigerians have shown an increased interest in the drug since Trump endorsed it. Some have been stockpiling chloroquine and the price has shot up, in some cases by 400%, according to a CNN report. The drug is used to treat malaria, a widespread disease in the country.