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Piers Morgan, 55, announced that his dad is currently taking hydroxychloroquine – usually prescribed for illnesses such as malaria or lupus – in order to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The drug became a controversial talking point over the last week, after US president Donald Trump revealed he was also taking it as a way to fend off coronavirus.
Dad had a few outbursts of rheumatoid arthritis and he got put on this hydroxychloroquine for that, and he’s been really good with it
While Piers branded the president’s actions “negligent” and “shameful”, as medical professionals confirmed there is no evidence hydroxychloroquine can fight coronavirus and could lead to heart problems, he wanted to make sure that those who are currently taking the drug for health reasons should not be put off.
During Wednesday’s instalment of Good Morning Britain, Piers revealed his father was one of many who have been prescribed hydroxychloroquine for various health conditions.
Speaking to Susanna Reid and Dr Hilary Jones, he said: “I was speaking to my parents last night and my dad suddenly pipes up because he’s been on hydroxychloroquine.
“Dad had a few outbursts of rheumatoid arthritis and he got put on this hydroxychloroquine for that, and he’s been really good with it.”
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He revealed his father has been on it for six years and hasn’t experienced any side affects.
“We don’t want to tell people who should be on it that because Donald Trump is taking it irrationally and wrongly for COVID-19, where it appears to have no effect.
“We don’t want people who have lupus or malaria or in my father’s case rheumatoid arthritis… because it’s a very effective drug when used properly for things it’s supposed to be treating.”
In a press briefing last week, Trump admitted that he has been taking the drug throughout the pandemic, in an eye-opening statement that left many health care professionals concerned.
Speaking at the White House, he told reporters he started taking the malaria and lupus medication recently.
“You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the frontline workers before you catch it, the frontline workers, many, many are taking it,” he told reporters.
“I happen to be taking it.”
“I’m taking it for about a week and a half now and I’m still here, I’m still here,” was his surprise announcement.
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When asked what what his evidence of the drug’s positive benefits, he couldn’t provide a good response: “Here’s my evidence: I get a lot of positive calls about it.”
He added: “I’ve heard a lot of good stories [about hydroxychloroquine] and if it’s not good, I’ll tell you right I’m not going to get hurt by it.”
It’s not the first time during the global health crisis that the president has made controversial comments about dangerous potential treatments.
Last month, he suggested research into whether coronavirus could be treated by injecting disinfectant into the body.
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The statement received major backlash from around the world, and outspoken Piers didn’t hold back with his thoughts on the matter either.
His comments resulted in him being shunned by his former pal, who unfollowed him on Twitter.
“It’s so reckless to be floating stupid medical theories,” Piers blasted him on GMB the day after.
“It has very serious consequences.”
Good Morning Britain continues weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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