SAN ANTONIO – In an exclusive with KPRC 2 in Houston, a controversial doctor featured in a viral video retweeted by President Donald Trump stood by her claims that malaria drug hydroxycholoroquine can prevent COVID-19.
Dr. Stella Immanuel gave an impassioned speech on Monday in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, which was taken down by Twitter and Facebook for violating the social media company’s misinformation policy.
Despite Immanuel’s claims, several studies have shown the drug has no benefit to COVID-19 patients. The interest in the drug has led to a doubling in hydroxycholorquine prescriptions, doctors say, leaving some lupus patients without the drug they need to survive.
Immanuel told KPRC that doctors who don’t believe in the drug are not in agreement with her “because of Big Pharma.” The doctor says the drug can be used as a preventative measure and that she takes two hydroxycholorquine pills twice a month.
“I’m not one of those anti-mask... I’m not anti-vaxxer... I’m not anti all those things,” Immanuel said. “I’m just saying all this vaccine, mask and everything, if they put everyone on hydroxychloroquine, schools would open back up.”
Immanuel said she’s treated over 400 patients with hydroxychloroquine, zinc, vitamin C and Z-pak with success. The doctor also pointed to international studies and a Newsweek column that tout the drug. Newsweek later published another column refuting those points, saying “those studies have been criticized for flaws and poor research design.”
During the interview, Immanuel took aim at Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci has not been as optimistic about the drug as Trump.
“Ask Dr. Anthony Fauci, when was the last time he saw a patient,” Immanuel said.
She also doubled down on requests for Fauci’s urine to prove that he takes hydroxycholoroquine despite his public opinions on the drug.
“I’m still waiting for him to come and give me a pee sample to find out if whether he’s on hydroxychloroquine to treat himself,” Immanuel said.
The doctor said she’s passionate about the issue because people are dying of COVID-19 and she thinks their deaths would have been prevented with the malaria drug.
“My question is that everybody has a right to try. If I want to try a ‘dangerous’ drug, let me try it,” Immanuel said.
Almost all of the hospital systems in San Antonio have used the drug at one point to treat COVID-19.
KSAT checked in this week with San Antonio hospitals and medical professionals to see if they’re still using the drug. You can read more about what we found out here.
Click here to watch Immanuel’s full interview with KPRC.