Democrat Credits Trump's Touting of Malaria Drug for COVID-19 for Saving Her Life
Michigan State Rep. Karen Whitsett says she recovered from coronavirus with drug
A Democratic Michigan state lawmaker has credited President Donald Trump with saving her life after she was prescribed the malaria drug for COVID-19 that he has been touting as a treatment.
Rep. Karen Whitsett of Detroit said Monday that the president's constant touting of potential "game-changer" drug hydroxychloroquine is what led her to ask her doctor for it.
Whitsett “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,” according to The Detroit Free Press.
“‘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.”
Whitsett says she has previously the drug for a separate medical issue but would not have thought to ask her doctor about it unless Trump had been repeatedly talking about it.
“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.”
When The Detroit Free Press asked Whitsett if she thought Trump may have saved her life, she responded, “Yes, I do. I do thank him for that.”
After hearing the news, Trump tweeted a link to the report, writing, “Congratulations to State Representative Karen Whitsett of Michigan. So glad you are getting better!”
Congratulations to State Representative Karen Whitsett of Michigan. So glad you are getting better! https://t.co/v6z46rUDtg— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 6, 2020
Whitsett's husband is an engineer at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and the two believe they were exposed to COVID-19 through his job, according to Fox News.
Whitsett said she started experiencing shortness of breath, sinus issues, and swollen lymph nodes and tested positive for the virus on Monday.
Her doctor prescribed hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to prevent and treat malaria and also used to treat lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and medical conditions.
Trump has touted the use of hydroxychloroquine during his daily coronavirus briefings despite push back from health experts who warn that the drug could potentially be dangerous and its effectiveness against COVID-19 hasn't been proven.
Whitsett began taking the drug in combination with antibiotics on March 31 and said she started receiving relief in "less than two hours."
She now believes that Trump saved her life by raising awareness of the drug's potential.
Trump tweeted at the freshman lawmaker on Monday, congratulating her on her recovery.
Whitsett's husband is still awaiting test results from his COVID-19 exam.