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My 'decision to make': Trump defends criticized use of drug

U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions before boarding Marine One while departing the White House on October 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump is scheduled to address a rally in Minnesota later in the day. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Posted at 5:07 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 17:07:48-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is emphatically defending himself against criticism from medical experts that his announced use of a malaria drug against the coronavirus could spark wide misuse by Americans.

The drug, hydroxychloroquine, has potentially fatal side effects, and the government says it should not be tried against COVID-19 outside research or hospital settings.

But the White House says doctors can write prescriptions for the drug, and Trump declared on Tuesday, “This is an individual decision to make.”

He said, without evidence, that a study of veterans showing possible negative effects was an “enemy statement” meant to embarrass him.