Leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, the constant false claims and misinformation spread by President Donald Trump was troublesome to many.

But his comments now can legitimately prove deadly if someone follows his advice.

First Trump called the very real Novel Coronavirus danger a hoax and encouraged his followers to ignore warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). And on Thursday, the President told people in the United States that a drug introduced in 1944 was approved for treating COVID-19.

Trump said the drug—hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine—had shown promise at treating the COVID-19 disease.

You can see the President's remarks here.

Trump said:

"It is known as a malaria drug and it's been around for a long time and it's very powerful. But the nice part is it's been around for a long time so we know if things don't go as planned, it's not going to kill anybody."

The President added:

"Normally the FDA would take a long time to approve something like that, and it's—it was approved very, very quickly and it's now approved by prescription."

However reality is far from Trump's promising statement. Hydroxychloroquine is only in clinical trials to see if it will be effective against the coronavirus.

And the drug is quite capable of killing people despite the number of years it has been in existence.

Because of the dangers associated with telling the public a drug currently available is a proven treatment for COVID-19, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Stephen Hahn contradicted the President almost as soon as Trump stopped talking by stating no drug had been approved to treat the coronavirus.

Hahn said:

"We may have the right drug, but it might not be in the appropriate dosage form right now, and it might do more harm than good."

French researchers—who announced their own initial results on Tuesday—echoed Hahn's statement. Their results stated that chloroquine is deadly if the dosage is wrong. No one should attempt to self treat with the drug until clinical trials are completed.

You can see more here:

Hahn added:

"The FDA's responsibility to the American people is to ensure that products are safe and effective, and we are continuing to do that."

Others, like Trump fact checker Daniel Dale of CNN, also tried to counter Trump's potentially deadly misinformation. Some people may already have access to hydroxychloroquine through a prescription for one of its approved uses.

If they try to self medicate against COVID-19, the results can prove fatal.

As of Thursday evening, total COVID-19 cases globally topped 218,000. At noon, the CDC updated their numbers of known infected to 10,442 and total deaths to 150.

While everyone is anxious for a vaccine for prevention or effective treatment for those infected, jumping the gun or making false claims is not the way to help anyone.

ABC News

As more information becomes available regarding the virus that's caused a public health crisis in the United States, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged Americans in hard-hit areas to begin wearing cloth masks to cover their faces.

Unlike medical professionals, who need N95 masks (of which there is a shortage) when treating virus patients, average Americans can wear makeshift cloth masks that block the saliva droplets through which the virus is spread.

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Given President Donald Trump's propensity for lying and his administration's constant misinformation regarding the current global pandemic, Americans across the country have become selective about which sources they deem as credible in seeking potentially lifesaving information in the face of a national health crisis.

Iowa's Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, is in stark disagreement with most Americans on whom to trust regarding measures designed to curb the virus.

Iowa is one of a few states that still has yet to issue a stay-at-home order to slow the virus's spread. Reynolds has resisted taking the step despite a unanimous recommendation from the Iowa Board of Medicine to do so.

National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said that all states should institute these orders.

Reynolds's response was...telling.

After calling stay-at-home orders a "divisive issue," the governor said:

"I would say that maybe [Fauci] doesn't have all the information"

Fauci has quickly become one of the most notable figures in the pandemic's response, and one of the few officials in President Donald Trump's virus task force that Americans widely trust to deliver accurate information. He's been an integral part of curbing health crises from the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States to Avian Flu to H1N1 and more.

If Fauci doesn't have all the information, then the country is—for lack of a better word—completely screwed.

People were appalled at the governor's defense.

It's safe to say that Fauci has more information and experience in these situations than any governor in the nation—including Reynolds.

The death toll in the United States from the virus recently surpassed 6000.

Information saves lives. Ignorance endangers them.

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In the face of the global pandemic that's killed over 5000 Americans, President Donald Trump is still expressing reluctance to employ federal powers to assist states hardest hit by the virus.

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