Coronavirus Patient Says Malaria Drug Saved His Life

Fox News

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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A coronavirus patient said Monday that he believes the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine saved his life.

After trying “all kinds of antibiotics … I continued to get worse,” Rio Giardinieri told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Monday’s edition of “The Ingraham Angle.” The patient acknowledged, “I’m not a scientist, I’m not a doctor. But I know when I’m sitting here in pain.”

Giardinieri explained that as his “breathing became worse” and “speaking became difficult,” he received a message from a friend who is part of a prayer line that both participate in. The friend said that he had heard of a malaria drug on “The Ingraham Angle” and that Giardinieri needed “to take this medicine.” (RELATED: Clinical Trial Raises Hopes That Malaria Drug Could Be Coronavirus Cure)

Although the patient’s hospital doctor would not authorize the drug, an infectious disease doctor at the hospital agreed to do so — but only after he had warned Giardinieri, “There’s no guarantee this will work for you. It could possibly hurt you.”

“My feeling at that particular time was I thought I was at the end of my rope, and I didn’t see any other options. For me, it was a risk that was worth taking … He heard my story out, authorized it, and 30 minutes later the nurse came in and gave me the first dosage,” Giardinieri told Fox.

The recovering man said he is continuing to take the drug and that he feels “fantastic.” Although Giardinieri acknowledges that what has happened to him “sounds unbelievable,” he can attest to the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine. (RELATED: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Says New York To Begin Trials For Malaria Drug Touted By Trump)

Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases speaks during a briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on March 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Anthony Fauci speaks during a briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

“I woke up at 4:45 in the morning and it felt like I had nothing, and I had to catch myself for a second and say, ‘Wait, I’m breathing. This is not normal,’ and I realized I didn’t have my fever anymore. So I hit the nurse call button at 4:45 and said, ‘I’m fine. Can you send a nurse in? I feel a little hungry.’ The nurse came in, checked my vitals, and sure enough, my fever was gone.”

He said he expects to be released from the hospital Tuesday.

The COVID-19 survivor’s story is being reinforced by clinical trials that are indicating hydroxychloroquine works in the treatment of the coronvirus.

President Donald Trump has promoted the malaria drug and has told the Food and Drug Administration to move quickly on a “couple of drugs” for “immediate use,” including hydroxychloroquine. “Lost” star Daniel Dae Kim has also said the anti-malaria drug was critical in his recovery from the coronavirus.