A Republican congressman from Kansas, who is also a physician, says he is taking the same drug President Donald Trump has long touted as a potential coronavirus cure, despite warnings of potentially harmful side effects and limited data on its efficacy to fight Covid-19. Rep. Roger Marshall and his family are taking the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine preventatively against Covid-19. He told The Wall Street Journal on Monday he “would encourage any person over the age of 65 or with an underlying medical condition to talk to their own physician about taking hydroxychloroquine” and that he’s “relieved” Trump is taking it. Marshall had started taking the drug back before he began volunteering in late April in his home state to help with Covid-19 patients, according to Michael Rogenmoser, a spokesman. “Dr. Marshall, as a physician, is able to weigh the risks and benefits for his family. The benefits outweigh the risks for he and his family,” Rogenmoser told CNN via email. The congressman and his family have experience taking the drug to prevent malaria on international mission trips, Rogenmoser said. Last month, Marshall told The Kansas City Star that “in many cases, patients have a lot to gain and little to lose if they consider taking it.” Few Republicans on Capitol Hill have expressed approval of Trump’s surprise announcement earlier this week that he’s taking the drug. Marshall is running in a closely watched Republican primary for US Senate, and his comments come as one of his opponents, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, has touted his close ties with Trump as a selling point of his candidacy. Trump said Monday he started taking daily doses of hydroxychloroquine – which is used to treat or prevent malaria and to treat autoimmune conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis – after consulting the White House doctor. Trump has been promoting the drug for weeks, casting it as safe and suggesting coronavirus patients have little to lose by trying it. Trump is expected to finish taking the drug in the coming days, two sources familiar with the matter have told CNN. “This drug has been around for decades, and safely used by millions of people. It’s amazing to see the left and the news media become experts against it the second the President said he was taking it,” Rogenmoser told CNN. “Any medical decision is between a patient and their doctor. It sounds like the President and the White House Physician made their decision soundly. Any person must talk with their physician before any medical regimen,” he added. The Food and Drug Administration has cautioned that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine should only be used in hospitals or clinical trials because they can kill or cause serious side effects, including serious heart rhythm problems. The National Institutes of Health has also issued a warning about using the drug for Covid-19 patients. At least one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown the drug does not work against Covid-19 and could cause heart problems. Trump, however, has continued to make false and baseless claims about hydroxychloroquine. At a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Trump falsely denied the existence of the FDA warning about the use of hydroxychloroquine for the coronavirus. And he claimed without any evidence that a study on veterans who were given the drug was conducted by political foes who had set out to hurt him.