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Detroit rep says hydroxychloroquine, Trump helped save her life

,  April 6, 2020

LANSING – A Democratic state representative from Detroit is crediting hydroxychloroquine — and Republican President Donald Trump who touted the drug — for saving her in her battle with the coronavirus.

State Rep. Karen Whitsett, who learned Monday she has tested positive for COVID-19, said she started taking hydroxychloroquine on March 31, prescribed by her doctor, after both she and her husband sought treatment for a range of symptoms on March 18.

“It was less than two hours” before she started to feel relief, said Whitsett, who had experienced shortness of breath, swollen lymph nodes, and what felt like a sinus infection. She is still experiencing headaches, she said.

Whitsett said she was familiar with “the wonders” of hydroxychloroquine from an earlier bout with Lyme disease, but does not believe she would have thought to ask for it, or her doctor would have prescribed it, had Trump not been touting it as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

Trump, at his daily coronavirus briefings, has repeatedly touted the drug in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin, despite criticism from health professionals that it is unproven and potentially dangerous. There have also been complaints that Trump’s remarks have resulted in a shortage of the drug for those people who normally use it for its recommended purposes.

But Whitsett said Trump’s comments helped in her case.

“It has a lot to do with the president … bringing it up,” Whitsett said. “He is the only person who has the power to make it a priority.”

Asked whether she thinks Trump may have saved her life, Whitsett said: “Yes, I do,” and “I do thank him for that.”

Hydroxychloroquine is used to prevent and treat malaria and also used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, among other ailments.

Whitsett said she has been taking it in combination with antibiotics.

Trump tweeted a link to the Free Press story about Whitsett’s experience on Monday and congratulated her. “So glad you are getting better!” Trump tweeted.

Read more here: Detroit Free Press

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