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FDA instantly fact-checks Trump claims about possible COVID-19 medicine

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The Food and Drug Administration was forced to issue a correction to President Donald Trump’s claim about a drug that could possibly treat COVID-19.

The president claimed Thursday during a news conference that the experimental malaria drug chloroquine had been approved to treat patients during the coronavirus outbreak with a doctor’s prescription, but that doesn’t appear to be true, reported Bloomberg.

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“It’s been around for a long time, so we know that if things don’t go as planned it’s not going to kill anybody,” Trump said.

But minutes later, FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said use of that drug would be tested in a clinical trial to determine a safe and effective dosage.

“We want to do that in a setting of a clinical trial,” Hahn told reporters.

French researchers found that a combination of hydroxychloroquine, a popular drug used to treat malaria, and the antibiotic azithromycin could be effective in treating COVID-19 and reduce the duration of the virus.

The researchers treated 30 confirmed COVID-19 patients hydroxychloroquine on its own or in combination with the antibiotic, and found the results promising.

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Their results were similar to previous reports from patients in China who were treated with the same drugs.

Doctors are permitted to prescribe drugs for non-approved uses, or off-label usage, but an FDA spokesman said chloroquine had not been approved for COVID-19.

Trump also said that the experimental drug remdesivir was “essentially approved,” but Hahn said afterward that the FDA had a responsibility to ensure drugs are safe and effective.

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The FDA has loosened some of its rules on regulation to meet the crisis, such as its decision to allow states to regulate tests to diagnose the virus so those kits can be rolled out faster.


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Trump mocked as a ‘gibbering lunatic’ for continuing to lie about how tariffs work at latest coronavirus briefing

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At Friday's coronavirus task force press briefing, President Donald Trump repeated, for the umpteenth time, his false claim that the government of China is paying the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods in the United States, as opposed to American businesses and consumers — something that he has repeatedly been corrected on. This time, he even went out of his way to note that people have debunked this claim, but saying that he still believes it anyway.

Commenters on social media exploded in frustration at the president's refusal to understand basic concepts of world trade.

Trump is repeating his false claim that China is paying most of the tariffs, specifically noting that people say it's not true and then rejecting this true point.

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Trump randomly takes a shot at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after he’s asked about re-opening the country on May 1

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During a press briefing addressing the nation's coronavirus response, President Trump took an opportunity to fire a shot at Alexandria Ocasio Cortez in repose to a question from CNN's Jim Acosta.

Acosta pointed out that Trump's own health officials seem to be "in doubt" as whether or not the country can reopen on May 1. Acosta asked Trump if he would listen to his officials if they decided reopening on May 1 was a bad idea.

Trump replied that he "listens to all of them" and has "great respect" for his medical advisers, adding that he told Dr. Anthony Fauci that he should "move to New York" and "run against AOC [Alexandria Ocasio Cortez]."

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Mike Pence uses latest coronavirus briefing to encourage Americans to donate to churches

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Vice President Mike Pence used the occasion of Good Friday to urge Christians to donate to their local churches. Speaking from the White House press briefing room Pence attempted to suggest gatherings of more than 10 people, even inside houses of worship, should be avoided.

But Pence, as he did last weekend, asked Christians to continue tithing.

“Allow me to remind you that even if you’re not in the pew this Easter Sunday if you are able it’s still a good idea to give,” Pence said. “Those ministries continue to go forward, and we encourage you to continue to support them.”

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