Testimony of a Florida man who survived Coronavirus because he was given the anti-malaria drug touted as a possible treatment by President Trump has emerged.
Rio Giardinieri, 52, told Los Angeles’ Fox 11 that he struggled with horrendous back pain, headaches, cough and fatigue for five days after catching COVID-19, possibly at a conference in New York.
Recounting his ordeal, he told New York Post, “I was at the point where I was barely able to speak and breathing was very challenging,” Giardinieri said. “I really thought my end was there.”
Then a friend sent him a recent article about hydroxychloroquine, a prescription drug that’s been used to treat malaria for decades and auto-immune diseases like lupus..
Trump last week said he was instructing the FDA to fast-track testing of hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, as treatment for COVID-19.
Giardinieri said he contacted an infectious disease doctor about the drug.
“He gave me all the reasons why I would probably not want to try it because there are no trials, there’s no testing, it was not something that was approved,” said Giardinieri.
“And I said, ‘Look, I don’t know if I’m going to make it until the morning,’ because at that point I really thought I was coming to the end because I couldn’t breathe anymore,” Giardinieri continued.
“He agreed and authorized the use of it and 30 minutes later the nurse gave it to me.”
He added that he was given Benadryl and some other drugs and that when he woke up around 4:45 a.m., it was “like nothing ever happened.”
He’s since had no fever or pain and can breathe again.
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