Last month, Gov. Kristi Noem announced that South Dakota would be the first state to participate in a clinical trial to determine how effective hydroxychloroquine is for treating those suffering symptoms of COVID-19.
Apparently, however, President Donald Trump decided to run his own clinical trial on the anti-malaria drug.
"I happen to be taking it. I happen to be taking it," Trump said on Monday regarding hydroxychloroquine, leading to audible gasps among the news media assembled in the room at The White House in which he was speaking.
"A couple of weeks ago, I started taking it," Trump continued.
Trump's own Food and Drug Administration states: "FDA cautions against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems."
"I want the people of this nation to feel good," Trump said, nevertheless. "I don't want them being sick. And there's a very good chance this has an impact."
"All I can tell you is, so far, I seem to be OK," Trump added.
Back in South Dakota, while with Noem last month, officials with Avera Health, Monument Health and Sanford Health said their goal in the clinical trial was to learn the true effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.
“It takes research and it takes a lot of information to determine what is a successful treatment,” Sanford Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allison Suttle added last month of the anti-malaria drug. “What is the therapy that we can use for a patient with COVID-19? And by doing research and by doing clinical trials, we can determine if medications, like hydroxychloroquine, can have an impact on the disease progression. And it brings hope.”
Meanwhile, Trump's Monday comments created somewhat of a firestorm in the nation's capital.
"He is our president, and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists," Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said during a CNN interview late Monday.
Trump's political rival went on to call him "morbidly obese."
Meanwhile, Fox News host Neil Cavuto said in reaction, "It will kill you. I cannot stress enough. This will kill you."
"This is a leap that should not be taken casually by those watching at home," Cavuto added.
This led Trump to take a Twitter shot at the network known to be favored by conservatives.