Rio Giardinieri, a Florida man who was on the brink of death because of the COVID-19 virus, claims that the drug touted by Trump saved his life.
In a press conference, President Trump announced that researchers are taking another look at hydroxchloroquine, commonly abbrevieted as chloroquine.
It is a prescription drug that has been FDA approved to treat malaria.
While it is not approved for treating COVID-19, there is a lot of research going into whether or not it works.
Giardinieri says that the drug, thanks to Trump's statement, has saved his life.
See more details below:
Giardinieri was on the brink of death and had even told his family and friends goodbye.
Doctors told him there was nothing else that could be done.
However, Giardinieri remembered an article covering Trump's statement on hydroxychloroquine and asked his doctors to put him on the medication.
The New York Post has more on Giardinieri's astonishing recovery:
A Florida man diagnosed with coronavirus claims he was saved from certain death by an anti-malaria drug touted as a possible treatment by President Trump.
Rio Giardinieri, 52, told Los Angeles’ Fox 11 that he struggled with horrendous back pain, headaches, cough and fatigue for five days after catching COVID-19, possibly at a conference in New York.
Doctors at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in South Florida diagnosed him with the coronavirus and pneumonia and put him on oxygen in the ICU, he told the outlet.
After more than a week, doctors told him there was nothing more they could do and, on Friday evening, Giardinieri said goodbye to his wife and three children.
“I was at the point where I was barely able to speak and breathing was very challenging,” Giardinieri said. “I really thought my end was there.”
Then a friend sent him a recent article about hydroxychloroquine, a prescription drug that’s been used to treat malaria for decades and auto-immune diseases like lupus.
Overseas studies have found it to be promising as a treatment for COVID-19, though it hasn’t been approved by health officials.
Trump last week said he was instructing the FDA to fast-track testing of hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, as treatment for COVID-19.
Giardinieri said he contacted an infectious disease doctor about the drug.
“He gave me all the reasons why I would probably not want to try it because there are no trials, there’s no testing, it was not something that was approved,” said Giardinieri.
“And I said, ‘Look, I don’t know if I’m going to make it until the morning,’ because at that point I really thought I was coming to the end because I couldn’t breathe anymore,” Giardinieri continued.
“He agreed and authorized the use of it and 30 minutes later the nurse gave it to me.”
At first, it appeared that Giardinieri was reacting poorly to the drug.
However, the negative effects quickly went away and Giardinieri was able to breathe a lot easier again.
Furthermore, his fever broke and his vitals went back to normal.
Many people have criticized President Trump for touting chloroquine.
It is important to note that Trump mentioned chloroquine to give hope to the public and to be transparent about the efforts and testing currently being done by the government.
Medical researchers and scientists continue to test the effects of chloroquine, which Rio Giardinieri credits with saving his life.
The Western Journal outlines how the fake news media slammed President Trump for even talking about chloroquine:
President Donald Trump said at Thursday’s White House news briefing that chloroquine could potentially be a “game-changer” if it is proven to be successful during COVID-19 trials.
“This is beyond right-to-try,” Trump said. “If treatments known to be safe in Europe, Japan or other nations are known to be effective against a virus, we’ll use that information to protect the health and safety of American people.”
“Nothing will stand in our way as we pursue any avenue to find what best works against this horrible virus,” he added.
Despite reported cases of success in using drugs such as chloroquine to combat COVID-19, Trump has been criticized for being optimistic about their potential.
NBC News reporter Peter Alexander went as far as to accuse Trump of giving “false hope” to the country during the Thursday briefing.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who announced his state will begin trials on the drug Tuesday, has not faced the same criticism.
Forbes reported New York, which is a hotspot for U.S. cases of coronavirus, has acquired 750,000 doses of chloroquine, 70,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine and 10,000 doses of the antibiotic Zithromax.
“The president is optimistic about these drugs, and we are all optimistic that it could work,” Cuomo said of the upcoming drug trials.
Regardless of what the scientific verdict is, Rio Giardinieri had this to say: “To me, there was no doubt in mind that I wouldn’t make it until morning. So to me, the drug saved my life.”
Clinical trials and research is currently being done to find the fastest cure or vaccine for the novel coronavirus.
For now, at least, Giardinieri can breathe better again.