President Trump has touted the malaria drug chloroquine as a possible treatment for COVID-19, despite a lack of hard scientific data. While it’s true some medical groups have backed the medicine and there are anecdotal stories of its success, there’s also evidence of drastic and sometimes deadly side effects. Recent coronavirus survivor Rita Wilson has first-hand experience with chloroquine, and she has warned people to be “considerate” before taking the drug.
In her first interview since she and her husband, Tom Hanks, were cleared of coronavirus, Wilson spoke with Gayle King on CBS This Morning. She said she’d been prescribed chloroquine, but wasn’t sure if it actually had an impact — beside causing her some nasty additional symptoms. “I don’t know if the drug worked or it was just time for the fever to break, but my fever did break, but the chloroquine had such extreme side effects,” Wilson said.
Wilson recalled feeling “completely nauseous” and battling “vertigo. I could not walk and my muscles felt very weak.” She urged those prescribed chloroquine to “be very considerate about that drug. We don’t really know if it’s helpful in this case.”
As for the COVID-19 symptoms themselves, Wilson said the fever brought on “chills like I’ve never had before.” Beyond having a 102-degree fever, she also felt “very tired” and so “extremely achy, uncomfortable” that she “didn’t want to be touched.” She only realized in retrospect that she’d lost her sense of taste and smell.
Hanks, meanwhile, experienced far less severe symptoms, despite the likelihood that he and Wilson contracted the virus from the same person around the same time. His fever was lower and he retained his senses of taste and smell. “But it still took us the same time to get through it,” Wilson noted. Watch the interview below.
Thankfully, both Wilson and Hanks seem fully recovered. The latter just hosted Saturday Night Live’s “At Home” episode over the weekend, while the former teamed with Naughty by Nature for a remix of “Hip Hop Horray” to benefit the MusiCares Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. Wilson had released a video of herself rapping the classic track while in quarantine, and the viral clip led to them teaming up to battle the true virus.
Good thing Trump was wrong about Hanks and Wilson dying. Science and time will see how wrong he is for pushing chloroquine.
.@RitaWilson tells @GayleKing she took #chloroquine to treat COVID-19: I can only tell you that I don't know if the drug worked or it was just time for the fever to break. My fever did break but the chloroquine had such extreme side effects… We don't really know if it's helpful pic.twitter.com/8xej1NyhaQ
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) April 14, 2020