‘Chloroquine is game changer, face mask unnecessary’ — Trump’s COVID-19 claims - Uju Ayalogu's Blog for News, Reviews, Articles and More

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Friday, 2 October 2020

‘Chloroquine is game changer, face mask unnecessary’ — Trump’s COVID-19 claims


‘Chloroquine is game changer, face mask unnecessary’ — Trump’s COVID-19 claims

President Donald Trump on Friday announced that he and Melania Trump, his wife, have contracted COVID-19.

Trump made the disclosure in a tweet, and said they would go into quarantine.

The US president has made controversial claims about the virus since its outbreak  in November last year in the Hubei province of Wuhan, China.

From downplaying the importance of using face masks to insinuating the use of disinfectants to fight the infection, we take a look at Trump’s COVID-19 controversies.


At a time the US had about five COVID-19 cases, Trump dismissed the threat posed by the virus, saying it would one day disappear — even after the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it has “pandemic potential”.

“We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine. It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear,” Trump said.

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Trump announced in May he had been taking hydroxychloroquine daily as a preventive measure against COVID-19.

Chloroquine is an oral artemisinin-based monotherapy (oAMT) for the treatment of malaria.

He earlier claimed in March that the drug had been approved to treat COVID-19 and gone through the approval process — a statement contrary to that of Stephen Hahn, the commissioner for Food and Drug Administration who maintained that chloroquine would still need to go through clinical trials.

Trump said the drug could be a “game changer” in the quest to rid the world of the infection.

“HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine,” he had said.

TheCable reported how the drug became scarce and its price inflated following Trump’s statement.

In April, A Brazilian study on the effectiveness of chloroquine against COVID-19 ended abruptly after patients developed heart complications.

WHO stopped its trial on the use of chloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients after evidence showed it does not reduce the mortality rate of COVID-19.


Trump played down the importance of using face masks for several months after the pandemic broke out.

He claimed that it should be used voluntarily and appeared in public wearing one for the first time in July after saying earlier that he would not use it.

“The C.D.C. is advising the use of non-medical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure. So it’s voluntary. You don’t have to do it. They suggested for a period of time. But this is voluntary. I don’t think I’m going to be doing it. I don’t know, somehow I don’t see it for myself. I just, I just don’t,” he had said.


Answering a question on the shortages of masks during one of his briefings with the coronavirus task force in March, Trump suggested that it is possible to use scarves instead of face masks.

“A lot of people have scarves, and you can use a scarf. And my feeling is if people want to do it, there’s certainly no harm to it,” he said.

Trump said he suggested the use of scarves so that the available masks could go to the hospitals.

“I mean, one of the things that Dr. [Anthony] Fauci told me today is we don’t want them competing, we don’t want everybody competing with the hospitals. We really need them. So you can use scarves. You can use something else over your face,” he said.

In another instance in May, Trump claimed scarves were better than masks.

“In many cases the scarf is better; it’s thicker. I mean you can — depending on the material, it’s thicker,” he said.


In what may be described as his most controversial COVID-19 claim, Trump suggested the use of disinfectants to clean up the lungs as part of measures to fight the coronavirus.

During a White House coronavirus task force briefing in May, an official presented the results of US government research that indicated coronavirus appeared to weaken more quickly when exposed to sunlight and heat.

The study also showed bleach could kill the virus in saliva or respiratory fluids within five minutes and isopropyl alcohol could kill it even more quickly.

Commenting on the presentation, Trump said: “And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?

“Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that. I’m not a doctor. But I’m, like, a person that has a good you-know-what.”

Less than 24 hours after his remarks, New York reported 30 cases of exposure to disinfectants.

Trump’s claims and controversies resulted in his branding as “likely the largest driver of the COVID-19 misinformation” — according to researchers from the Cornell Alliance for Science.

The US has recorded over 7 million COVID-19 cases and 203,000 deaths.

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