El Salvador president takes hydroxychloroquine to fight COVID-19, cites Trump’s use

Click to play video: 'WHO halts hydroxychloroquine clinical trials'
WHO halts hydroxychloroquine clinical trials
Canada is one of dozens of countries taking part in the World Health Organization's trials of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, to determine if it's a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19. But as Heather Yourex-West explains, those trials have now been suspended – May 26, 2020

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said on Tuesday he takes hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that U.S. President Donald Trump has promoted as a way to ward off the novel coronavirus, though experts have warned about its safety.

Bukele told reporters that El Salvador was not promoting it anymore as a treatment, following the recommendation of the World Health Organization, though patients would still be able to take it as a preventative measure if they wished.

“I use it as a prophylaxis, President Trump uses it as a prophylaxis, most of the world’s leaders use it as a prophylaxis,” Bukele said.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Study finds hydroxychloroquine may be tied to higher fatality risk for COVID-19 patients'
Coronavirus outbreak: Study finds hydroxychloroquine may be tied to higher fatality risk for COVID-19 patients

Bukele’s forceful response to the coronavirus, including moving to extend a national state of emergency without congressional approval, has prompted criticism that the 38-year-old has shown authoritarian tendencies and exceeded his powers.

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Speaking at an event with Bukele, the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, Ronald Johnson, suggested that he approved of the leader’s handling of the pandemic.

“I believe that in crisis situations, oftentimes people must give up a little bit of their freedoms in order to favor the rights and freedoms of the majority and of the whole,” he said.

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“This is only a temporary moment.”

(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; writing by Julia Love Editing by Robert Birsel)

Click to play video: 'Trump defends use of hydroxychloroquine'
Trump defends use of hydroxychloroquine

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