El Salvador president takes hydroxychloroquine to fight COVID-19, cites Trump’s use

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said on Tuesday he takes hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that U.S. President Donald Trump has promoted as a way to ward off the novel coronavirus, though experts have warned about its safety.

Bukele told reporters that El Salvador was not promoting it anymore as a treatment, following the recommendation of the World Health Organization, though patients would still be able to take it as a preventative measure if they wished.

READ MORE: WHO pauses hydroxychloroquine coronavirus trial over safety concerns

“I use it as a prophylaxis, President Trump uses it as a prophylaxis, most of the world’s leaders use it as a prophylaxis,” Bukele said.

1:54Coronavirus outbreak: Study finds hydroxychloroquine may be tied to higher fatality risk for COVID-19 patients

Coronavirus outbreak: Study finds hydroxychloroquine may be tied to higher fatality risk for COVID-19 patients

Bukele’s forceful response to the coronavirus, including moving to extend a national state of emergency without congressional approval, has prompted criticism that the 38-year-old has shown authoritarian tendencies and exceeded his powers.

Speaking at an event with Bukele, the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, Ronald Johnson, suggested that he approved of the leader’s handling of the pandemic.

READ MORE: ‘It doesn’t harm you’: Trump defends his hydroxychloroquine use as COVID-19 measure

“I believe that in crisis situations, oftentimes people must give up a little bit of their freedoms in order to favor the rights and freedoms of the majority and of the whole,” he said.

“This is only a temporary moment.”

(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; writing by Julia Love Editing by Robert Birsel)

2:44Trump defends use of hydroxychloroquine

Trump defends use of hydroxychloroquine

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