President Donald Trump has reportedly asked the FDA to permit an untested herbal extract to be marketed as a dietary supplement and a potential cure for Covid-19, according to reporting by Axios.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell both support using oleander extract.
Oleandrin is commonly used to treat heart conditions and asthma.
Lindell, who is a vocal Trump supporter and personal friend, met with President Trump and Secretary Carson in July to tout the untested drug for use in coronavirus cases. President Trump vocalized support for the extract in the meeting, according to Axios.
Lindell reportedly has a stake in Phoenix Biotechnology, the company that makes oleandrin.
There is a small, non-peer-reviewed study that oleandrin inhibited coronavirus in test-tube experiments using monkey kidney cells.
“I haven’t (pushed the FDA to approve it),” the president told reporters Monday morning when asked about oleandrin. When asked if it was something he would support, he responded, “Is it something that people are talking about very strongly? We’ll look at it, we’ll look at it. We’re looking at a lot of different things.” The president continued, “I’ve heard that name mentioned I’ll have to get back to you later.”
In March, President Trump asked the FDA to authorize the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. The FDA did, and then in June it revoked the authorization for its use because a large trial study found a “risk of heart rhythm problems” in patients treated with hydroxychloroquine.