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President Trump says he'll finish hydroxychloroquine treatment 'in a day or two'

President Trump has defended his use of the anti-malaria drug, despite experts saying it hasn't been proven to be an effective treatment against COVID-19.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday that he plans to finish his preventative hydroxychloroquine treatment this week. 

"I think the regimen finishes in a day or two — yeah, I think it's two days, two days," Trump said during a White House meeting with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Kansas Governor Laura Kelly.

The president revealed Monday that he was taking the anti-malaria drug to prevent against the coronavirus, despite warnings from his own health experts that it can have deadly side effects. 

Trump said he had been taking the drug daily, along with a zinc supplement, for "about a week and a half." The president said his doctor did not recommend the drug to him, but he requested it from the White House physician.

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.

Credit: AP
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump dismissed reports of side effects, saying, “All I can tell you is, so far I seem to be OK.”

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At least two White House staffers tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, sparking concerns about the steps taken by the administration to protect the president and sending Vice President Mike Pence and other officials into varying forms of self-isolation.