WASHINGTON:The White House Director of Strategic Communications has confirmed that Trump was prescribed hydroxychloroquine and is taking it.
Donald Trump has told reporters at the White House that for “a couple weeks” he has been taking a malaria drug as a defense against Covid-19 – despite warnings from his administration that it is dangerous.
Trump said he was taking hydroxychloroquine – a drug approved to treat malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis – in response to the coronavirus threat Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, released a memorandum stating that he and the doctor had discussed the use of the drug, but did not confirm in the memo that the US president was actually taking the drug.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been warning since April that the drug should not be used for that purpose because it could cause irregular heartbeats and other cardiac trauma.
The coronavirus death told in the US passed 90,000 Monday, and the number of cases climbed above 1.5m, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
The milestone came as more states seek to loosen restrictions and the president tweeted, “REOPEN OUR COUNTRY!”
In Washington, President Donald Trump attacked the World Health Organization as a Chinese “puppet” on Monday and confirmed he is considering slashing or canceling US support.
“They’re a puppet of China, they’re China-centric to put it nicer,” he said at the White House.
Trump said the United States pays around $450 million annually to the World Health Organization, the largest contribution of any country. Plans are being crafted to slash this because “we’re not treated right.”
“They gave us a lot of bad advice,” he said of the WHO.
New Zealand has recorded another day of no new cases of Covid-19.
The country’s confirmed number of cases went up by four on Tuesday, due to several recorded cases in people who returned to New Zealand while infected with the virus in April. All have since recovered.
As they had tested positive for the illness while they were in Uruguay, there had been some uncertainty about which country’s total they should be added to, according to Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand’s director-general of health.
There are two people in New Zealand hospitals with Covid-19. Neither are in intensive care units.
Brazil cases overtake UK
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil stands at 255,368, according to Johns Hopkins University figures, making the country the third-worst affected in terms of cases.
There are 16,792 officially confirmed deaths in Brazil, which is lower than the UK, Italy, Spain and France.
The Johns Hopkins figures come from official data, however, and are likely to be higher in some countries due to underreporting.
These are the ten worst-affected countries worldwide according to that data:
US cases: 1,508,168 (deaths: 90,338)
Russia cases: 290,678 (deaths: 2,722)
Brazil cases: 255,368 (deaths: 16,853)
United Kingdom cases: 247,709 (deaths: 34,876)
Spain cases: 231,606 (deaths: 27,709)
Italy cases: 225,886 (deaths: 32,007)
France cases: 180,051 (deaths: 28,242)
Germany cases: 176,551 (deaths: 8,003)
Turkey cases: 150,593 (deaths: 4,171)
Iran cases: 122,492 (deaths: 7,057)
The global economy will take much longer to recover fully from the shock caused by the new coronavirus than initially expected, the head of the International Monetary Fund said, and she stressed the danger of protectionism.
Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the Fund was likely to revise downward its forecast for a 3% contraction in GDP in 2020, but gave no details. That would likely also trigger changes in the Fund’s forecast of a partial recovery of 5.8% in 2021.
Saint Peter’s Basilica reopens. Visitors are allowed to return to Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican after more than two months of lockdown. A handful of visitors queue up, observing social distancing rules and under the watch of police officers wearing face masks, before having their temperatures taken to enter the church.
A total of 14,790 people died in April in Belgium. It’s the worst daily toll since the second world war, according to a study.
Spain reports lowest death toll for two months. Monday’s overnight death toll in Spain is 59, the lowest figure in two months, the country’s government says. The cumulative death toll rises to 27,709, while the number of confirmed cases increases to 231,606 from 231,350 the previous day, according to health ministry figures.
( Image: Covid-19 patients are treated at the municipal field hospital Gilberto Novaes in Manaus, Brazil.)