Houston doctor who went viral for touting hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 cure offers to treat WH staffers with drug

HOUSTON – The Houston-area doctor featured in a controversial, viral video claiming anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, is a cure for COVID-19, offered to treat White House staff Friday after President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced they had COVID-19.

Dr. Stella Immanuel went viral around the world after President Trump and one of his sons shared video of her speaking on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in July. Twitter and Facebook subsequently took the video down for violating their misinformation policy.

PREVIOUS INTERVIEW: Houston-area doctor in viral video touting hydroxychloroquine as virus cure doubles down on claims

“This virus has a cure, it’s called hydroxychloroquine,” she said at the time.

The drug has been widely disputed as effective against COVID-19 by most medical experts and the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“No, it is not a cure for COVID, it’s not a preventable for COVID,” said national infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Hotez in response to her July video.

TRUST INDEX: Is Hydroxychloroquine safe for COVID-19 use?

Friday morning, Immanuel tweeted that she believed all White House staff should take hydroxychloroquine twice a month and that she would prescribe the drug to them if their doctors would not.

“Everyone in the White House get on HCQ twice a month. With daily vit C, D, and zinc. If your doctors will not prescribe it I will. I can see you via telehealth emergency licensed in DC. Use http://frontlinemds.com and I will hook you guys up. POTUS, FLOTUS don’t wait to get sick,” she wrote.

In another tweet, Immanuel said she thought the person who told Trump to “stop taking HCQ should be punched in the face.”

Moments after Trump boarded Marine One to be treated at Walter Reed Military Medical Center, Immanuel tweeted again, directly at the president.

“President Trump you originally advocated HCQ. Your instincts have never been wrong. Get on HCQ ASAP sir. Don’t let those bozo doctors around you that don’t see patients convince you otherwise. I have treated over 1500 patients. Please sir we need you well ASAP. @realDonaldTrump,” she wrote.

What is Trump really being treated with?

Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s physician, said the president is being treated with an experimental drug aimed at supplying antibodies to help fight his coronavirus infection.

Antibodies are proteins the body makes when an infection occurs. They attach to a virus and help it be eliminated. But it can take weeks for them to form. The drugs are purified versions of ones that seemed to work best in lab and animal tests.

Trump is receiving a two-antibody combo drug that’s currently in late-stage studies from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. The company previously developed a successful treatment for Ebola using a similar approach.

It’s given as a one-time treatment through an IV.

Conley said the drug was being given “as a precautionary measure,” and that Trump also was taking zinc, vitamin D, an antacid called famotidine, melatonin and aspirin. None of those have been proven to be effective against COVID-19.

Trump apparently is not receiving hydroxychloroquine, a drug he widely promoted that has been shown in many studies to be ineffective for preventing or treating COVID-19.

Read the full memo tweeted by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany below:

Watch Immanuel’s full interview with KPRC 2 from July below and read the transcript here.

FULL INTERVIEW: Houston doctor in viral video claiming there’s a cure for COVID-19 speaks to KPRC 2