Piers Morgan reveals his dad is taking controversial Donald Trump drug hydroxychloroquine for rheumatoid arthritis – The Sun

PIERS Morgan revealed his dad has been taking hydroxychloroquine for rheumatoid arthritis for six years – the same controversial medication he criticised Donald Trump for using to ward off coronavirus.

The GMB host, 55, slammed the US President for taking the anti-malaria medication to prevent the contraction of coronavirus after it was found to have potentially dangerous side effects.

However, Piers keenly stressed that he didn't want to put off people with lupus, malaria and rheumatoid arthritis from taking the drug, for which it is effective.

Speaking this morning, he said: "I was speaking to my parents last night and my dad suddenly pipes up because he's been on hydroxychloroquine.

"So my dad had a few outbursts of rheumatoid arthritis and he got put on this hydroxychloroquine for that, and he's been really good with it.

"Six years he's been on it, and he's not had an attack of the arthritis ever since. It's interesting, isn't it. We don't want to tell people who should be on it that because Donald Trump is taking it irrationally and wrongly for Covid-19, where it appears to have no effect.

"We don't want people who have Lupus or malaria or in my father's case rheumatoid arthritis… because it's a very effective drug when used properly for things it's supposed to be treating."

The NHS classifies rheumatoid arthritis as a long-term autoimmune condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in joints – particularly the hands, feet and wrists.

There is no cure for the condition but medication can be used to relieve pain and ease flare-ups, while physiotherapy and surgery are also used to manage it.

Yesterday Piers slammed Donald Trump's "extraordinary" decision to take hydroxychloroquine for the coronavirus.

The President said he'd been taking the anti-malaria drug for a "couple of weeks" after receiving a letter from a New York doctor who supposedly used it to treat over 300 Covid-19 patients.

Though the drug was the first coronavirus treatment to be approved, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have since issued a warning due to the increased risk of heart problems.

Trump brushed off these concerns and revealed he took it, along with zinc to prevent Covid-19.

"I started taking it, because I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories," said the President.

"Frontline workers take it, a lot of doctors take it, I take it."

The GMB presenter tweeted “WTF??????????????” in reaction to the President’s revelation.

Along with co-presenter Susannah Reid and Dr Hilary Jones, he discussed the drug this morning with the medic saying it was “toxic” and potentially fatal if used wrongly.

Piers then slammed the President, pointing out that trials showed that those who had taken it had done worse than those who hadn’t and said the President’s stance was “incredible”.

“What an extraordinary state of affairs when the President of the United States is now telling people he’s taking something which you Hilary think is potentially harmful," he said.Piers said that even Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto had broken ranks and condemned the President.

“This is a network that’s normally very supportive of the President trump and one of their leading anchors feels compelled to tell his viewers, most of whom are Trump fans, ‘do not do what the President says he’s doing because it may kill you’."

Dr Hilary said that though there were some initial suggestions the drug may work in tacking the reproduction of the virus, this has been dispelled by clinical trials.

The drug has “not shown any benefit” and “may do more harm than good”, research has shown, he said, adding the President was “three weeks behind” the latest evidence.

“It’s extraordinary that the President of the United States could be taking a drug which hasn’t shown any benefit in any carefully controlled scientific trials,” he said.

Recent studies have shown hydroxychloroquine is not effective in treating coronavirus, despite some early indications  which prompted the President to order the purchase of 29 million doses of the drug.

The president revealed that White House doctor Sean Conley had prescribed it for him after he inquired about the potential treatment, also used to treat lupus and arthritis.

"I'm not going to get hurt by it, it's been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus," he said.

"I'm taking the two – the zinc and the hydroxyl. So far I seem to be okay.

"I hope to be able to not take it soon because I hope they come up with some answer but I think people should be allowed to [take it].  I take a pill every day. At some point I'll stop.”

Miracle cure? What is hydroxychloroquine?

THE drug, which is typically used to treat malaria, has become the first to be approved to treat coronavirus in the US.

Hydroxychloroquine has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and is available for prescription.

However, there are doubts about the anti-malarial drug's effectiveness – and safety.

The Food and Drug Administration warned health professionals last month that the drug should not be used to treat COVID-19 outside of hospital or research settings, due to sometimes fatal side effects.

Regulators issued the alert for the drug, which can also be used to treat lupus and arthritis, after receiving reports of heart-rhythm problems, including deaths, from poison control centers and other health providers.

Two large observational studies, each involving around 1,400 patients in New York, recently found no benefit from hydroxychloroquine.

Two new ones published Thursday in the medical journal BMJ reached the same conclusion.


Dr Conley said him and the President had discussed the potential benefits and dangers of taking the drug.

"After numerous discussions, he and I regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from the treatment outweighed the relative risk," he said in a statement released by the White House.

But Fox News host Cavuto warned viewers: "It will kill you. I cannot stress enough."

He added: "This is a leap that should not be taken casually by those watching at home, or assuming, well the president of the United States says it's OK…I only make this not to make a political point here, but a life-and-death point. Be very, very careful."

Recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine both concluded that hydroxychloroquine can't treat COVID-19.

Trump had previously stopped Dr Anthony Fauci from discussing the medication during an April press briefing after the US brought 29 million doses of it.

The top doc was reportedly concerned that the drug had not been proven to work — which Trump acknowledged "might be correct, it might be false."

Studies carried out in France and China have also found not benefit from  hydroxychloroquine when it comes to tackling the coronavirus.

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