A Michigan state representative from Detroit who contracted Wuhan coronavirus says her life was saved by the drug hydroxychloroquine and that she wouldn’t have thought to ask her doctor for it had President Trump not highlighted the drug as a potential treatment.
State Rep. Karen Whitsett, who learned Monday she has tested positive for COVID-19, said she started taking hydroxychloroquine on March 31, prescribed by her doctor, after both she and her husband sought treatment for a range of symptoms on March 18.
“It was less than two hours” before she started to feel relief, said Whitsett, who had experienced shortness of breath, swollen lymph nodes, and what felt like a sinus infection. She is still experiencing headaches, she said.
Whitsett’s husband is an engineer at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport and is still awaiting the results of his COVID-19 test. The couple believes he was infected at work.
Trump has repeatedly touted hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug also used to treat lupus, combined with azithromycin as a potential treatment for coronavirus and has been roundly criticized by progressives and the mainstream media for doing so. Still, the Food and Drug Administration has given the drug emergency approval for use in fighting Wuhan Flu, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that anecdotal evidence shows that the drug has been effective in fighting the virus in his state. It was Trump’s repeated mentions of the drug that led Whitsett to ask her doctor for the drug.
“It has a lot to do with the president … bringing it up,” Whitsett said. “He is the only person who has the power to make it a priority.”
Asked whether she thinks Trump may have saved her life, Whitsett said: “Yes, I do,” and “I do thank him for that.”
After seeing a Detroit Free Press article about Whitsett, President Trump tweeted well-wishes to her.
Congratulations to State Representative Karen Whitsett of Michigan. So glad you are getting better! https://t.co/v6z46rUDtg
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 6, 2020
Whitsett says she still sees “far too many people” in Detroit not taking stay at home orders seriously and having house parties despite social distancing orders.