Man Dies After Taking Drug Promoted by Trump To Treat COVID-19

Wife remains in critical care after couple took chloroquine, a drug Trump touted as a “game-changer”.

A Phoenix, Arizona man has died and his wife is in critical condition after the couple took chloroquine phosphate after they heard President Donald Trump say the drug could be effective at treating the coronavirus.

What We Want:

  • Banner Health said on Monday that the couple in their 60s got sick within half an hour of ingesting the additive. The man couldn’t be resuscitated when he arrived at a hospital, but the woman was able to throw up much of the chemical, Banner said.
  • It’s unclear if the couple took it specifically because of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, but now Banner Health is warning everyone to avoid self-medicating.

“Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but self-medicating is not the way to do so.” — Dr. Daniel Brooks, Banner Health’s Poison and Drug Information Center Medical Director

  • During his daily White House briefings and in subsequent tweets, President Trump has promoted chloroquine as a possible “game changer” for treating COVID-19, while health officials warn it is too premature to draw any connection to the drug’s effectiveness in treating the coronavirus.
  • “It’s shown very encouraging…very, very encouraging results. 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,” Trump said about chloroquine on March 19.

  • NBC News interviewed the wife and was told that the couple didn’t have a prescription for the medication, but instead ingested the stuff that she once fed her Koi fish. The wife said she and her husband watched the White House daily briefing when Trump touted the medication’s potential effectiveness and decided to give it a try.
  • NBC News reports the couple mixed a small amount of the fish tank cleaner in with another liquid and drank it to prevent the coronavirus.
  • In addition to the Arizona death, Nigeria health officials are also issuing a strong warning about chloroquine, after three people in the country have overdosed on the drug, CNN reported.

It marked the third COVID-19 death in Arizona. Two men, one in his 70s and one in his 50s, died previously from the disease. Both had underlying conditions.




Dominique Browder is a Digital Intern at UnmutedCo.