When Donald Trump stood at the White House podium and talked about a “miracle” new drug he said could ward off Covid-19, Patricia Taylor knew right then she had to have it.
The president’s pitch seemed like the first bit of hope for the 60-year-old tech worker from Santa Clara County, California, who had agonised for weeks about contracting the potentially deadly virus.
She immediately ordered the drug through an online doctor, who recommended she take one 200mg pill a week with zinc and vitamin D “until the end of the pandemic”.
“I thought – this is the Holy Grail. I now had a prescription of the drug that was the closest thing helping beat back this terrible virus,” she said.
Mrs Taylor spoke to The Sunday Telegraph just before a study was published on Friday showing the antimalarial increased the risk of mortality by 34 per cent, with a 137 per cent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias.
Since Mr Trump first mentioned hydroxychloroquine in March there has been a run on the drug, despite the scant available medical evidence to suggest it helps in the prevention or treatment of Covid-19.