Tuesday, May 19, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He called medicine an anti-Trump conspiracy.

Yesterday, Trump made the shocking—and not universally believed—claim that he was himself taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug he'd been hyping for months as a potential miracle cure for COVID-19. (His government doctor released a cagey statement saying that he'd "discussed" the drug with Trump at some unspecified point, but stopped short of actually confirming that anyone had prescribed it to Trump.)

The drug is used as an anti-malarial and in the treatment of lupus, and known to have a number of harmful side effects, including hallucinations and mood swings. It's also known to be dangerous to people with heart conditions. Like many elderly men, especially those who are obese, Trump has coronary artery disease.

Just weeks ago, the FDA posted a warning to doctors not to prescribe hydroxychloroquine to COVID-19 patients outside of a controlled hospital study. That warning came after a study revealed that more patients died on the drug. Those deaths meant that the study had to be stopped for patient safety.

Today, Trump called that study "a Trump enemy statement."

I worked with doctors. If you look at the one survey, the only bad survey, they were giving it to people that were in very bad shape, they were very old, almost dead. It was a Trump enemy statement.

The study was conducted by the Veterans' Administration, the federal hospital system that reports directly to Trump and whose leadership Trump appointed.

In other words, Trump is saying that government doctors and disease experts are part of a conspiracy to cover up a miracle cure for a deadly disease that has killed tens of thousands of Americans, just to make him look bad.

Why should I care about this?

  • Facts about what medicines are or aren't safe are nobody's "enemy."
  • Treating anyone who says something the leader doesn't like as an "enemy" is what cults do.