Trump should be tried for ‘crimes against humanity’ over coronavirus response, lawmaker says

Despite warnings, president told Americans he might take anti-malarial drug still unproven to treat coronavirus

Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 07 April 2020 15:33
Trump prevents Dr Fauci from answering question

An Ohio state representative has said that Donald Trump’s promotion of an anti-malarial drug that is unproven against coronavirus should see the president tried for ‘crimes against humanity’.

The president suggested on Sunday that hydroxychloroquine, which has only been approved for emergency use against the coronavirus, could be a “way out” of the growing crisis.

The president has continued to promote the drug despite the advice of White House medical experts, and its effects against Covid-19 are unproven.

“What do you have to lose? I’m not looking at it one way or another. But we want to get out of this. If it does work, it would be a shame if we didn’t do it early,” said Mr Trump.

Democrat Tavia Galonski said Sunday night’s press conference was the last straw. “I can’t take it anymore. I’ve been to The Hague. I’m making a referral for crimes against humanity tomorrow.

“I know the need for a prosecution referral when I see one.”

As US cases of the coronavirus passed the 300,000 mark, President Trump said on Sunday that he himself “may take it”, after telling Americans to do the same.

Mr Trump went on to suggest that “if you don’t have a heart problem, let your doctor think about it”.

The president’s diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, has however expressed a different view on hydroxychloroquine.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) director told reporters in March that evidence supporting the drug’s use “is anecdotal evidence”. On whether or not the anti-malarial drug was a treatment for coronavirus, Dr Fauci has previously said: “The answer is no”.

On Sunday night, the NIAID director was blocked from responding to a reporter’s question on the drug’s potential. President Trump intervened, saying: “You know how many times he’s answered that question? Maybe 15 times. You don’t have to ask that question”.

Dr Fauci later commented on the president’s remarks on CBS’s Face The Nation, saying that trials of hydroxychloroquine against coronavirus “are really just at best suggestive”, adding: “I don’t think we can definitively say it works”.

In the hope that Mr Trump’s claims are realised, the US now has a stockpile of 29m hydroxychloroquine pills to treat coronavirus patients.

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