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The Arizona woman who said she and her husband drank fish-tank cleaner to ward off coronavirus has donated heavily to Democrats and acknowledges she's not a President Trump supporter -- despite news reports that she ingested the dangerous drug because she trusted what she thought was the president's advice.
The 61-year-old woman, whose first name is Wanda but has asked for her full identity to be withheld, survived the ordeal. Her 68-year-old husband, Gary, did not. Wanda has said that she and her husband each took a "teaspoon" of the fish-tank cleaner; medical toxicology results and a police investigation were pending.
"I saw it sitting on the back shelf and thought, 'Hey, isn't that the stuff they're talking about on TV?'" Wanda told NBC News, referring to the chloroquine phosphate in her fish-tank cleaner.
On March 19, Trump had touted anecdotal evidence that the antimalarial drug chloroquine could be used as a treatment for coronavirus during a White House briefing, calling it a possible "game-changer." In fact, the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] has approved the drug on an emergency basis, even though various media reports had mocked Trump's suggestion. However, the woman and her husband ingested the additive chloroquine phosphate as used in aquariums to kill microscopic organisms that might harm fish and other aquatic animals.
Several media organizations that confused the chloroquine medication with chloroquine phosphate used in fish tanks later issued corrections. Some have not, however, and continue to incorrectly insist that the fish tank cleaner could treat coronavirus.
Nevertheless, Wanda drew national attention by claiming that Trump had suggested she consume the fish-tank cleaner with her husband, and that she did so to avoid "getting sick."
"My advice is don’t believe anything that the president says and his people because they don’t know what they’re talking about," Wanda told NBC News' Vaughn Hillyard.
Wanda added, overstating the president's remarks: "We saw Trump on TV—every channel—and all of his buddies and that this was safe [sic]. ... Trump kept saying it was basically pretty much a cure."
She claimed that within "20 minutes" of taking the chemical, she felt "dizzy and hot" and started "vomiting," and her husband "started developing respiratory problems and wanted to hold my hand."
Queried by Hillyard on what advice she would give the American people, she reiterated, "Oh my God. Don't take anything. Don't believe anything. Don’t believe anything that the president says and his people ... call your doctor."
The Washington Free Beacon quickly unearthed evidence that NBC News did not, including Wanda's numerous donations to Democrats as recently as February. In that month, Wanda donated to the PAC 314 Action Fund, which has called itself the "pro-science resistance" to the White House.
Federal Election Commission records reviewed by the outlet revealed numerous other recipients of Wanda's cash, including Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the pro-choice EMILY's List.
Speaking to the Free Beacon, Wanda acknowledged she was a Democrat and put less emphasis on Trump's guidance: "We weren't big supporters of [Trump], but we did see that they were using it in China and stuff," Wanda said.
"We didn't think it would kill us," she added. "We thought if anything it would help us, 'cus that's what we've been hearing on the news."
Wanda has not responded to requests for comment from Fox News, including by phone.
Additionally, Fox News has reviewed a Facebook page apparently belonging to Wanda, which was first identified by the Twitter user Techno Fog.
"Your psycho prez is in [t]own, are you going to see him?" Wanda wrote on Facebook on Feb. 19, by way of wishing a friend a happy birthday. Trump was in town at a rally in Phoenix, Ariz., on that day.
Wanda deleted her Facebook page shortly after Fox News sent a message to the account.
Some media outlets have faced criticism for appearing to suggest Trump's comments contributed to her husband's death.
"Not everything in this vast and populous nation is a referendum on the president," concluded The National Review's Charles Cook.
In a statement, the Department of Health and Human Services this week allowed both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to be "donated to the Strategic National Stockpile to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible."