WASHINGTON – Talking to reporters as he was leaving the nation’s capital for Michigan on Thursday, President Donald Trump said he “tested positively toward negative” for coronavirus.
Trump’s roundabout answer came after being questioned whether he was still taking hydroxychloroquine as part of his preventative regimen against COVID-19.
“And I tested very positively in another sense. This morning,” Trump said. “Yeah, I tested positively toward negative, right? So I tested perfectly this morning. Meaning I tested negative.”
The president had indicated Wednesday that he would finish taking the drug “in a day or two.” He announced Monday that he had already been taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug that he’s repeatedly touted as a treatment for coronavirus despite warnings about its effectiveness, as a prophylaxis against the coronavirus for a week and a half
Hydroxychloroquine is an arthritis medicine that can also be used as a prevention or treatment of malaria, as well as treatment for lupus, according to the Mayo Clinic. It’s available in the U.S. under prescription only.
The FDA has cautioned that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, a related drug, be limited to people in clinical trials, which are carefully overseen, or who are hospitalized, due to concerns about the potentially dangerous adverse effects, including abnormal heart rhythms and a dangerously rapid heart rate.
Trump also told reporters that he hasn’t taken a coronavirus antibody test, which could show if someone has been infected and recovered to the virus, building up a resistance.
Those in Trump’s inner circle have been taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of the president and his staff after a few administration aides tested positive for the coronavirus.
Trump has been receiving daily diagnostic tests for COVID-19, as well as anyone who comes into contact with him.