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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday called out CNN’s Chris Cuomo for taking a “less safe version" of hydroxychloroquine during his recent bout with the coronavirus.
"You had Chris Cuomo saying, ‘The president knows that hydroxychloroquine is not supported by science. He knows it has been flagged by his own people and he has been using it.’ Well, Cuomo mocked the president for this,” McEnany said.
She then compared hydroxychloroquine -- which President Trump recently said he is taking to prevent catching the virus -- to the one that Cuomo claims to be using.
“Hydroxychloroquine, of course, is an FDA-approved medication with a long-proven track record for safety," she continued, "and it turns out that Chris Cuomo took a less safe version of it called quinine which the FDA removed from the market in 2006 because of its serious side effects, including death. So, really interesting to have that criticism of the president."
Cuomo’s wife, Cristina Cuomo, recently addressed her husband's coronavirus recovery, explaining on her website he’s taking “potenized quinine,” which she called a “natural antibiotic.”
On Monday, President Trump told reporters he has been using hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic against the coronavirus for a little more than a week.
Trump has been extolling the potential benefits of hydroxychloroquine since the beginning of the crisis, but medical experts and health officials have debated how effective the anti-malaria drug is for either preventing or treating the coronavirus.
The Food and Drug Administration approved use of the drug in March as an emergency treatment for the virus but warned it can cause “life threatening” heart problems.
McEnany agreed the drug should be used only as prescribed.
Trump said he had requested the drug from his doctor and McEnany confirmed it had been prescribed to the president.