Roger Marshall, Kansas Republican and doctor, taking hydroxychloroquine to fend off coronavirus

A pharmacy worker shows pills of hydroxychloroquine used to treat the coronavirus disease at the CHR Centre Hospitalier Regional de la Citadelle Hospital in Liege Belgium

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"I would encourage any person over the age of 65 or with an underlying medical condition to talk to their own physician about taking hydroxychloroquine and I'm relieved President Trump is taking it", Marshall told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the congressman's use of the drug. Trials are ongoing and there have been more promising reports on using hydroxychloroquine, the antibiotic azithromycin and zinc supplements, but the study must be peer reviewed.

One of the co-hosts of The View, Joy Behar, was shocked at the lawmaker's admission, saying: "Wow".

"I was speaking to my parents last night and my dad suddenly pipes up because he's been on hydroxychloroquine", he recounted.

"You're a representative in Congress".

The US Navy officer added: "After numerous discussions he and I had regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks".

Trump, known for his love of fast food, has a history of mocking other people's physiques. "I came out of it within about nine days, and then I self-quarantined for another month on top of that", he said.

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"I don't think there's anything stupid about that". "It's gotten a bad reputation only because I'm promoting it".

"I was only quoting what doctors had said about him". Mr Trump has been taking it for two weeks on a prophylactic, or preventative, basis. Will it kill you?

He said to those at high-risk of Covid-19 who may think about taking the drug against coronavirus that "it will kill you", adding: "I can not stress enough".

Trump is seeking reelection in the November 3 presidential poll.

Hydroxychloroquine, as well as the closely-related cloroquine, is a drug which is most commonly used to treat malaria and lupus.

Media captionWhat's it like to fast for Ramadan as a healthcare worker during the pandemic? In fact, the FDA cautioned against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for Covid-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems.

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"We have a lot of information about the safety of this drug, though ultimately you make that decision with your doctor", she told Fox and Friends.

Now there is no convincing evidence that hydroxychloroquine helps fight the virus and it can cause unpleasant and harmful side effects in some people.

However, experts continue to cast doubt on the drug's effectiveness in treating COVID-19.

"The sense of most of my colleagues is that hydroxychloroquine is useless", Otto Yang, an infectious disease specialist at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California, told USA Today Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

Mr Trump was apparently referring to a preliminary study from April of Covid-19 patients in U.S. government-run hospitals for military veterans that suggested hydroxychloroquine had no benefit and may have even caused a greater rate of deaths.

On Tuesday, at a news briefing, Trump called the high number of US Covid-19 cases a "badge of honor" because it means the US is testing more people.

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