Accuracy in Media

NBC News criticized President Donald Trump after he revealed that he is taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection.

The news outlet reiterated that the president was taking a drug that has not been approved for coronavirus treatment by the FDA and that he is not backing down from earlier assertions that it could be a potential virus cure.

NBC News headlined its article, “Trump says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19.” It wrote that Trump was “taking an unproven treatment for COVID-19 that he has vigorously promoted.” But the news outlet also acknowledged that medical workers are taking hydroxychloroquine despite the FDA’s warnings. If doctors and nurses are taking it, it could indicate that it could possibly work.

Yet NBC News quoted one of its medical experts who said it was unwise for Trump to take an unproven drug. The article also claimed that the president’s admission could set a bad example for Americans and consistently emphasized that there was no evidence backing up Trump’s claims about the drug.

Other news outlets also expressed skepticism about hydroxychloroquine.

The New York Times’s headline read, “What to Know About the Malaria Drug Trump Says He Is Using.” The newspaper emphasized the potential side effects of taking the drug, such as potential heart-related issues. It also noted that some smaller studies showed promise when the drug was combined with an antibiotic, but those studies lacked the potential for replication due to procedural issues such as small sample sizes.

A headline at CNN said, “Trump says he is taking hydroxychloroquine though health experts question its effectiveness.” CNN echoed similar reasons as the New York Times and NBC News, such as the heart-related side effects and the lack of concrete evidence that hydroxychloroquine is a viable cure for the coronavirus.

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