Schumer Questions Whether Trump Is Actually Taking Hydroxychloroquine

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to the media about his decision not to attend a meeting with President Donald Trump, during a press conference at the US Capitol on November 28, 2017. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
May 19, 2020 11:36 a.m.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Tuesday morning cast doubt on President Donald Trump’s claim to be taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, to ward off COVID-19 infection.

“This president doesn’t tell the truth,” Schumer said during an interview on “Morning Joe.” “He may be taking this, he may not.”

The Democratic leader suggested that Trump may have had an ulterior motive when he told reporters on Monday about supposedly taking the drug, which has not been scientifically proven to prevent COVID-19.

“Maybe he has family or friends who own part of the company. It’s not unlike this president,” Schumer said. “Someone at Mar-A-Lago or someone on the phone tells him ‘oh this is a good company’ and he just talks about it.”

Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

The New York senator had expressed similar skepticism of Trump’s claim the night before.

“Who knows if it’s true?” Schumer said during an interview with MSNBC anchor Steve Kornacki on Monday. “He may not have been taking it, for all we know.”

Indeed, Trump physician Dr. Sean Conley’s memo to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on the drug doesn’t definitively state that the President is actually taking it, only that the two of them “concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.”

The other half of the memo merely notes that Conley will “continue to monitor the myriad studies investigating potential COVID-19 therapies,” and that he anticipates “employing the same shared medical decision making based on the evidence at hand in the future.”

Schumer slammed Trump’s comment as “reckless” on Tuesday given that not only have studies failed to prove that hydroxychloroquine cures COVID-19, Trump’s own Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned of reported “serious heart rhythm problems” associated with the drug.

Read Conley’s letter below:

Latest News
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Audience Development Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: