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Fox News Channel senior managing editor for health news Dr. Manny Alvarez said Monday that President Trump was being "highly irresponsible" for taking the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventive against contracting coronavirus.
"I found it to be highly irresponsible for the president to have come out and make that statement," Alvarez told "Special Report with Bret Baier." "And I would like to hear from the White House physician, to come out tomorrow and explain to me what has changed in a week and a half or two weeks for the president to take this medication when all the data that has been coming out, you know, very repetitively has shown that there's really not a major benefit in most hospitals, including mine."
Trump told reporters earlier Monday he's been taking one hydroxychloroquine pill every day for about a week and a half and added that he consulted with the White House physician before starting to take the drug.
In a statement Monday evening, Physician to the President Sean Conley said that he and Trump had "numerous discussions" about "the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine." Conley said the pair ultimately concluded "the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks."
Alvarez said his hospital, Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, is not using the drug to treat coronavirus patients despite the large number of virus admissions.
The doctor also said all the good news he heard regarding the pandemic Monday "plummeted" for him after the president made the admission.
"The number of COVID cases around the country are dipping dramatically and we're now getting into a new vaccine modality, which I think is great," Alvarez said. "So all the good news, as far as I'm concerned today, that really boosted the stock market really plummeted in my heart at ... 4:30 this afternoon when he gave ... that statement, I just found it to be quite irresponsible."
Alvarez explained there are currently no case review studies showing the drug to be "effective" and warned about side effects.
"These medications do have side effects. If you're going to use it, you have to have a physical, perhaps an EKG," Alvarez warned. "So you have to have a conversation with your doctor."