The wife of a man from Arizona who died after drinking fish tank cleaner, thinking it was a coronavirus treatment, has blamed President Trump for his death.

The man and his wife, who is still under critical care, ingested chloroquine after mistaking it for hydroxychloroquine, a treatment Mr Trump has claimed could help with coronavirus.

The man’s wife, who hasn’t revealed her name for privacy reasons, spoke to NBC about why they decided to ingest the cleaner, saying that "we were afraid we were getting sick. We were getting really worried.”

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

She said that the couple, who were both over 60 years old, had heard the president talk about the chemical in briefings and thought they had discovered it in their home when they saw the word chloroquine.

“I saw it sitting on the back shelf and thought, ‘hey, isn’t that the stuff they’re talking about on TV,” she said.

She told NBC that "Trump kept saying it was pretty much a cure,” and “they kept saying that it was approved for other things.”

The woman says that after she and her husband fell ill and he started having respiratory problems, she called for emergency responders.

She says they “were asking a lot of questions” but that she was “having a hard time talking, falling down.”

Her husband died shortly after arriving at hospital and the woman told NBC: “Don’t take anything. Don’t believe anything that the president says and his people, be so careful. Call your doctor,” she said. “This is a heartache I’ll never get over.”

Mr Trump has repeatedly asserted that chloroquine is a “game changer” against coronavirus while members of his own administration have denied such claims.

Dr Stephen Hahn, the FDA Commissioner said chloroquine phosphate will be used in clinical trials to test its effectiveness but saying otherwise would give people “false hope.”

Mr Hahn said: “We will collect that data and make the absolute right decisions based upon those data about the safety and efficacy of the treatments. ... We may have the right drug, but it might not be in the appropriate dosage form right now, and it might do more harm than good.”

In a statement, Dr Daniel Brooks, the medical director of Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, said that people should not take medication into their own hands.

“Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but self-medicating is not the way to do so,” he said.

Comments

Share your thoughts and debate the big issues

Learn more
Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines.
  • You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully
  • Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable
  • Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties
  • We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification

You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

Create a commenting name to join the debate

Please try again, the name must be unique Only letters and numbers accepted
Loading comments...
Loading comments...
Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines.
  • You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully
  • Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable
  • Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties
  • We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification

You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

Loading comments...
Loading comments...