Fact checkers debunk Trump's claim that hydroxychloroquine studies only gave drug to dying patients
President Donald J. Trump listens as Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas addresses his remarks at the signing of H.R. 266 – the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act Friday, April 24, 2020, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

During a recent press conference, President Trump claimed that he's been taking the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a means to avoid being infected by the coronavirus.


"Couple of weeks ago I started taking it," he said May 18. "Because I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories. And if it’s not good, I’ll tell you right. I’m not going to get hurt by it."

The following day, Trump tried to downplay research that says the drug hasn't shown any benefit to coronavirus patients.

"If you look at the one survey, the only bad survey, they were giving it to people that were in very bad shape," Trump said on May 19. "They were very old. Almost dead. It was a Trump enemy statement."

Trump was apparently referring to a study that featured Veterans Administration patients. But according to a fact check from Politifact, three studies "all reached the same conclusion that outcomes with hydroxychloroquine were the same as without it."

According to Politifact, Trump ignored larger, newer studies in order to make his claim.

"In early May, two studies emerged based on patients treated in the nation’s biggest COVID-19 hotspot, New York City. Both investigations were much larger than the study of VA patients," Politifact reports. "The study that appeared May 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at the medical records of 1,376 people who tested positive for COVID-19 and were admitted to the hospital. Their results echoed the first study on hydroxychloroquine."

Read the full fact check over at Politifact.