'What in God's name is he doing?' Biden rips Trump's use of hydroxychloroquine

The president is defending his decision to take the drug, saying it provides an additional "level of safety."
Image: Joe Biden Holds Community Events As He Campaigns In Iowa
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden arrives during an event at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa on Jan. 21, 2020.Al Drago / Getty Images file

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By Rebecca Shabad and Marianna Sotomayor

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden says it's "totally irresponsible" for President Donald Trump to be taking and touting the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a way to prevent the disease caused by the coronavirus.

"Look, this is absolutely irresponsible. There's no serious medical personnel out there saying to use that drug, it's counterproductive, it's not going to help," Biden said Tuesday in a virtual Yahoo News event with chef Jose Andres.

Biden noted that there are studies of the drug that show "it does much more harm than good" in dealing with COVID-19.

The former vice president and apparent Democratic nominee said that a president's words matter: "Just like saying maybe if you injected Clorox into your blood, it may cure you. Come on. What is he doing? What in God's name is he doing?"

On Tuesday, Trump continued to defend what he said was his decision to take hydroxychloroquine despite the Food and Drug Administration warning last month that cautioned against the use of the medicine outside of a hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems.

Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that he is not taking the drug but would do so if his physician recommended that.

In remarks to reporters during a visit to Capitol Hill Tuesday, Trump told reporters that the drug "gives you an additional level of safety." and claimed "many doctors are in favor of it" and that "many frontline workers won't go there unless they have the hydroxy."