Tuesday, July 28, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He said a doctor who thinks disease is caused by sex with demons was a valid medical authority on COVID-19.

For the first time in his presidency, Twitter outright deleted one of Trump's tweets: a video that the company said was "in violation of our COVID-19 misinformation policy."

The video in question featured Stella Immanuel, a Houston-area doctor who has touted the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which Trump seized on early as a miracle cure for COVID-19. (It is not.)

In fact, the video specifically calls hydroxychloroquine a "miracle cure," and urges Americans not to wear masks. Neither Immanuel nor the other members of the hastily-formed group named "America's Frontline Doctors" have any experience in epidemiology, pharmacology, or public health

But Immanuel also says that real-world medical problems like cysts and tumors are the result of witchcraft and sex with demons. She also claims that modern medicines use extraterrestrial alien DNA as an ingredient.

Pressed on that point today, Trump called Immanuel "spectacular" and "very impressive," touted her "tremendous success with hundreds of different patients." He added, "I thought her voice was an important voice."

In another tweet deleted by Twitter for spreading misinformation, Trump accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of misleading the country about hydroxychloroquine. Trump dodged the question of what he thought Fauci had done wrong, but instead focused on the public health expert's popularity, which is an extremely sore spot for him.

So — you know, it’s interesting: He’s got a very good approval rating, and I like that.  It’s good.  Because remember, he’s working for this administration.  He’s working with us, John. We could have gotten other people. We could have gotten somebody else. It didn’t have to be Dr. Fauci.  
...So it sort of is curious: A man works for us — with us, very closely, Dr. Fauci, and Dr. Birx also highly thought of. And yet, they’re highly thought of, but nobody likes me. It can only be my personality. That’s all.

Polls show Trump's personality is indeed one reason he's not highly thought of, but it's more likely that there are more immediate reasons that so few people like how he's handling the pandemic.

How is this a problem?

  • Spreading misinformation about an infectious disease literally kills people.
  • The health and safety of the American people are more important than Donald Trump saving face on a drug that turned out not to be a miracle cure.
  • A president who can't tell the difference between medical experts and people who think dream sex with demons causes disease is mentally unfit.