Other Trump fans desperate for hydroxychloroquine have turned to unconventional, potentially dangerous methods. Last week, promoters of the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory—which posits that top Democrats run pedophile sex dungeons and eat children—boosted a “home recipe” for hydroxychloroquine that consisted of steeping various fruit rinds. While the recipe’s proponents claimed that it would help people avoid “big pharmas fillers,” the fruits suggested in the recipe, like grapefruit, could react dangerously with other medications.
That’s not the only dubious recipe for replicating hydroxychloroquine’s still-unproven effects. In April, a video from Missouri chiropractor Eric Nepute raging against “fake news” went viral, racking up more than 1 million views. In his video, Nepute claimed that people with COVID-19 symptoms should just drink Schweppes Tonic Water for the quinine, wrongly claiming that its effects were “similar-ish” to hydroxychloroquine.
As the debunking website Snopes pointed out, however, a litter of Schweppes has a fraction of the quinine recommended for anti-malarial use—much less for home-brewed treatments of COVID-19. To get that amount of quinine from a bottle of tonic, according to Snopes, would-be home practitioners would have to guzzle 25 liters of Schweppes a day for a week.