Donald Trump told reporters Monday that he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine for several weeks, despite a lack of evidence the controversial drug is in any way effective at treating COVID-19.
The president’s disclosure was met by a baffled Neil Cavuto on Fox News, who told viewers in no uncertain terms they shouldn’t follow the president’s advice.
Cavuto referenced a handful of research studies, including analyzing patient data from Veterans Health Administration medical centers last month that concluded the drug shows no real benefit for treating coronavirus, and may actually be harmful.
A second study, conducted at Columbia University in New York, reached a similar conclusion earlier this month.
“If you are in a risky population here, and you are taking this as a preventative treatment to ward off the virus … it will kill you,” Cavuto said. “I cannot stress this enough: This will kill you.”
The drug is more conventionally used as an anti-malarial and as a treatment for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Hydroxychloroquine’s potentially serious side effects are well-known and include altering heartbeats in a way that could lead to sudden death.
One of Cavuto’s guests, Dr. Bob Lahita, also advised viewers against taking the drug, saying “we have had no evidence whatsoever” it works against COVID-19.
The United States Food and Drug Administration has not approved the drug for use against the coronavirus.
A spokesperson for Fox News, which has repeatedly echoed Trump’s promotion of hydroxychloroquine, did not immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment on Cavuto’s remarks.