Salvadoran President Says 'Most Leaders' Take Drug

'We have been advised to take' hydroxychloroquine, Nayib Bukele says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2020 8:38 AM CDT
Another President Says He's Taking Hydroxychloroquine
An officer from the Special Forces of the National Civil Police of El Salvador stands guard on a street to enforce the quarantine in San Salvador, El Salvador, Thursday, April 23, 2020.   (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)

(Newser) – El Salvador's president says he's taking hydroxychloroquine—and says most of the world's other leaders are doing the same. "I use it as a prophylaxis. President Trump uses it as a prophylaxis. Most of the world's leaders use it as a prophylaxis," Nayib Bukele said at a press conference with US Ambassador Ronald Johnson, per CNN. The New York Times notes that apart from Trump, "few, if any world leaders have said they take the drug." The World Health Organization has dropped the anti-malaria drug from a trial of coronavirus treatments amid worries about severe side effects.

"Sometimes what's recommended to the people is something different than what's recommended to the leaders, because I have been recommended to use hydroxychloroquine as a prophylaxis and the probability of this harming you is very low," Bukele, 38, said. He later tweeted that he doesn't know if the drug works, "but we have been advised to take it. While the rest of the world is being advised not to." El Salvador, which closed its borders before a single coronavirus case was confirmed, has reported more than 2,100 infections and 37 deaths. But while Bukele was praised for his swift response, critics have accused him of violating human rights by using the military to enforce strict lockdown measures, the Hill reports. (Read more hydroxychloroquine stories.)

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