President Trump's revelation Monday that he's taking hydroxychloroquine to ward off the coronavirus drew sharp criticism from experts, politicians, and a Fox News anchor. "If you are in a risky population and you are taking this as a preventative treatment to ward off the virus—or, in a worst-case scenario, you are dealing with the virus—and you are in this vulnerable population, it will kill you," Neil Cavuto told viewers. "I cannot stress enough: This will kill you." Dr. Leana Wen, former Baltimore health commissioner, saw a couple of problems with Trump's announcement, the Washington Post reports. "There is NO evidence" it can prevent the disease, Wen tweeted. Plus, it has serious side effects, she added. "I am very concerned about @realDonaldTrump continuing to model behavior that could harm many Americans."
That sort of endorsement concerned other medical experts, per the New York Times. The drug's powers against the coronavirus—if any—aren't known, but the risks of taking it are. "Trump taking it himself is up to him," said Dr. Scott Solomon of Harvard Harvard Medical School. "But what is irresponsible is the example he is setting." Another doctor said patients of his had developed arrhythmia, which the drug can cause and which can be fatal. It's "not an innocent therapy," he said. The risk of arrhythmia isn't limited to people with heart conditions. "It can happen in people who are healthy,” a cardiologist said. Sen. Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, tweeted about his experience with the drug. "I took hydroxychloroquine too," he posted. "For malaria, 28 years ago. Because I am not a lunatic." (Read more hydroxychloroquine stories.)