Marcia Burick: Cringes when Trump promotes untested drugs

  • President Donald Trump listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Alex Brandon

Published: 4/20/2020 9:05:53 AM

Even as a nonmedical person, I cringe at the sight and sound of Donald Trump promoting the wide use of a drug, hydroxychlorquine, that has not yet been approved as a cure for the coronavirus.

I worked briefly in Nigeria in the spring of 1999 as part of a team of eight Americans, who joined with 24 Nigerian civil society representatives, to do good — government training for new democratically elected officials throughout the country. On the first day of our arrival at our group training site, the American team was provided with a form of hydroxychloroquine as a preventive for malaria, and we were told to take a pill each evening.

There were three women among our team, and none of reported any ill effects from the drug. Not so with the men. Four of the five reported at breakfast that they had everything from nightmares to hallucinations from the drug during the night.

Since we weren’t there on a health mission, I don’t believe anyone reported our nonscientific gender-related findings. It was a long time ago, and I’ve read that the drug has been used successfully for years now for malaria and lupus. Perhaps it soon will be one of the sought-after cures for this terrible virus.

But I would hope we listen to our medical professionals, especially the brilliant Dr. Anthony Fauci in the meantime and avoid taking chances with prescriptions touted by President Trump.

Marcia Burick


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