US President Donald Trump has again defended the use of hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus, contradicting his own health officials.
He argued that malaria drugs were rejected only as a treatment for Covid-19, because it was he who suggested it.
His remarks come a day after Twitter banned the eldest son from posting a clip praising hydroxychloroquine.
There is no evidence that the drug can fight the virus, and regulators warn that it can cause heart problems.
Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned against using the drug to treat coronavirus, after reporting “serious heart rhythm problems”; and other health problems.
Last month, the FDA revoked the approval for emergency use of the drug for the treatment of Covid-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is “currently no evidence” that it is as effective as treating or preventing Covid-19.
Hydroxychloroquine was first addressed by Mr. Trump in March regarding Covid-19.
The president told reporters at the White House on Tuesday: “When I recommend something, they like to say ‘don’t use it.’
The 73-year-old president surprised reporters in May by saying he had started taking unproven drugs. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump said he had been taking hydroxychloroquine for 14 days and had no side effects, reiterating that the drug was effective in treating the coronavirus.
“I can only say that, from my point of view, and based on a lot of reading and a lot of knowledge about it, I think it can have a very positive effect in the early stages,” he said. “I don’t think you’re losing anything by doing it other than politically, it doesn’t seem too popular.”
In a now-banned video, doctors have shown that hydroxychloroquine is a “cure for Covid” and that “you don’t need a mask” to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The video was shared by 84 million followers on Mr. Trump’s Twitter. and has been viewed more than 17 million times on Facebook.
Answering reporters’ questions, Mr. Trump said he believed the group represented in the video were “highly respected doctors.”
“I made no claims,” Mr Trump said of the tweet. “These are the recommendations of many other people, including doctors.”
Asked about hydroxychloroquine earlier Tuesday, a leading US expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fochi, said the drug was not an appropriate treatment for Covid-19.
A White House coronavirus expert told ABC News’s morning show on Tuesday that the drug was “not effective in coronavirus disease.”
At Tuesday’s briefing, Mr. Trump asked why Dr. Fautsi and his cameraman, Dr. Deborah Birks, were popular, but his administration was not.
“He got this high rating of approval, so why shouldn’t I have a high rating of approval for this virus?
He added: “And yet they think a lot about them, but no one loves me. It can only be my personality, that’s all.”
There are currently more than 4.3 million Covid-19 cases and more than 149,000 deaths in the United States.