(EFE).- Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden on Tuesday slammed the United States president for taking controversial drug hydroxychloroquine to ward off the novel coronavirus, saying the leader is “totally irresponsible.”

“It’s like saying maybe if you injected clorox (bleach) into your blood, you know, it may cure you. C’mon man, what is he doing? What in God’s name is he doing?” Biden asked in a food safety discussion during a Yahoo News virtual town hall.

The former vice president of Barack Obama between 2009 and 2017 was concerned that people will follow Trump’s example in taking the drug.

“What do you think people are going to do? Do they think they will not use it?” he asked.

Trump revealed on Monday that, for a couple of weeks, he has taken hydroxychloroquine and zinc daily as a preventive measure against COVID-19, something he will continue to do despite the criticism he has received because he is “very curious” about it and heard “good things.”

For more than a month, Trump has been extolling the virtues of hydroxychloroquine, a medicine used against malaria, lupus and severe arthritis, which has been prescribed for many COVID-19 patients around the world, but which still forms part of clinical trials.

The US Food and Drug Administration warned in late April against using the drug outside of a hospital or clinical trial, due to the risk of developing serious heart rhythm problems. It added that hydroxychloroquine has “not been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing COVID-19.”

Biden was critical of Trump not only for his use of the drug, but also for not wearing a face mask in public, as recommended by US health authorities.

“The president has refused to acknowledge his responsibility,” Biden said, adding that in his case he cannot “walk outside my house (without a mask) because the secret service is out there – they’re all wearing their masks, they’re all getting tested…”

Biden also condemned the conditions in meat processing plants, which have become infection hotspots and the opening of which Trump ordered so as not to jeopardize the supply in the country.

“Whether it’s cattle, whether it’s beef, whether it’s pigs, whether it’s chicken they’re moving down that line faster and faster and faster to increase the profit rate,” Biden said, denouncing that the workers are getting sick and claiming that the priority should be protecting them.

“No worker’s life is worth my getting a cheaper hamburger. No worker’s life. That is what the hell has happened here,” he said.

Trump’s statements take place amid growing cases in the US, which on Tuesday reached 1,527,355 cases and 91,845 deaths, according to the independent count of Johns Hopkins University. EFE

© 2020 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.


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