The president said it will also become available "almost immediately". "Nearly immediately. And that's where the FDA has been so great, they've gone through the approval process, it's been approved", Trump said.
During an at-times-confusing White House press conference, Trump said that chloroquine was approved for use and that he wanted to "remove every barrier" to test more drugs against Covid-19 and "allow many more Americans to access drugs that have shown really good promise".
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn carefully tempered the President's remarks regarding his team's work to develop treatments for coronavirus. "Maybe I view that as a little bit differently than somebody that didn't, than somebody that built plants all over the United States - of which there were plenty of them too".
The drug is known to have short-term side effects such as nausea, diarrhea and tinnitus while long-term use can irreversibly impair eyesight. Cases of coronavirus have been reported in over 170 countries. It's already approved, as the president said, for the treatment of malaria, as well as an arthritis condition. Patients weighing over 50 kilograms (110 pounds) can take 500mg twice a day - the usual dose - while those weighing less will be administered the drug just once a day after two days of use, according to the latest guidelines.
"We know that if things don't go as planned, it's not going to kill anybody", Trump said.
"If there may be an experimental drug that's probably accessible, a health care provider may ask for that drug for use in a affected person".
Chloroquine and a related drug, hydroxychloroquine, are among the four treatments undergoing lab studies and worldwide clinical trials for its potentials in treating Coronavirus, it was learnt.
"But now the whole world nearly is inflicted with this terrible virus and it's too bad", he added, lamenting how the U.S economy was healthy "just a few weeks ago".
Trump held a video-conference with the leaders of the world's major industrialized countries earlier this week and plans to repeat that in April, May and June, when the physical meeting at the presidential retreat in Maryland was scheduled to take place. Among the risks he cited were the complexity of the immune system which is why "large clinical trials are necessary to establish safety and efficacy", he said. A concentration of that could treat people infected with the virus. Trump is making it sound as if we're closer to a cure. In the United States, you need a prescription to get chloroquine. The process involves collecting blood from recovered patients, concentrating it and treating ill patients with the pathogen-free serum, which contains immunoglobulins, or antibodies, to fight the disease. "Could have been stopped", he told reporters.
"The immune response could potentially provide a benefit to patients", Hahn said.