Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Man Dies In Phoenix After Ingesting Chemical Touted By President Trump For COVID-19

ABC News

A man is dead and a woman is in critical condition in Phoenix after they took a chemical they thought would prevent COVID-19 infection. It was recently touted by President Trump as a possible safeguard against the virus. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

The couple, both in their 60s, ingested chloroquine phosphate, a chemical commonly used to clean aquariums. According to Banner Health, within 30 minutes they became ill and were rushed to a hospital where the man died.

Chloroquine in a different form is a common antimalarial drug. During a news conference last week, President Trump mentioned it as a potential coronavirus treatment. However, moments later infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, said chloroquine was unproven and there’s only anecdotal evidence it could be effective.

The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved any medications to treat coronavirus. Medical toxicologists and emergency physicians are warning the public against taking inappropriate medications or household products to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
Related Content