News & Politics

Guess Who’s Taking Hydroxychloroquine?

AP Photo/John Locher

President Donald Trump made a stunning revelation on Monday during a roundtable with restaurant leaders in the White House’s State Dining Room—that he’s been taking the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine every day for about a week and a half to help prevent getting the coronavirus.

“I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot good stories. And if it’s not good, I’ll tell you right… I’m not going to get hurt by it,” he said.

President Trump has been touting hydroxychloroquine as a potential game-changer since mid-March after small studies showed it potentially served as an effective treatment for coronavirus patients. “I feel good about it. Just a feeling. I am a smart guy, we’ll see soon enough and we have certainly big samples of people,” Trump said at the time. The media was quick to pounce on Dr. Anthony Fauci’s reluctance to fully endorse the drug because there had not been a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus yet. Hydroxychloroquine has long been approved by the FDA as an antimalarial drug.

As expected, anti-Trump left went nuts at the news that the president was actually taking the drug.

MSNBC medical contributor Dr. Vin Gupta said Trump’s taking of the drug is a “subtle way to continue his disinformation campaign, and it’s really irresponsible.”

Some even accused Trump of taking the drug against medical advice. “IN SAYING HE IS INGESTING hydroxychloroquine against the advice of his govt’s experts and refusing to use a mask, TRUMP has unleashed the wail of a siren to his base that he is in charge — not the medical experts in his administration — and will do as he pleases,” tweeted Jake Sherman of PoliticoStephen Colbert said, “If you think hydroxycholoroquine might be right for you, don’t ask your doctor. Just ask around. And if you hear some good stories, eat it. Eat it, you coward.”

The implication that Trump is taking the drug against medical advice is absurd. And also incorrect. Soon after Trump’s announcement started making headlines, a letter from the White House physician Sean Conley destroyed that theory.

“After numerous discussions he and I had regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks,” wrote Conley. “In consultation with our inter-agency partners and subject matter experts around the country, I continue to monitor the myriad studies investigating potential COVID-19 therapies. and I anticipate employing the same shared medical decision making based on the evidence at hand in the future.”

The anti-Trump left has been anti-hydroxychloroquine even since Trump first touted the drug. He’s been accused of “practicing medicine without a license” simply for pointing out that the drug showed promise in some small studies. The media even tried to blame Trump for the death of an Arizona man who allegedly drank poisonous fish tank cleaner because it had a chemical variant of chloroquine as an ingredient. It has since come out that the man’s anti-Trump wife may have actually intentionally given it to her husband to poison him. The New York Times even alleged that Trump’s motivation for touting the drug was self-serving because he holds “a small personal financial interest” in Sanofi, even though the drug is out of patent, and he only owned $29 – $435 in stock as part of a mutual fund.

Last month a Democrat lawmaker in Michigan credited the drug and President Trump with saving her life. State Rep. Karen Whitsett, a Detroit Democrat, tested positive for the coronavirus in March, and had been aware of  “the wonders” of hydroxychloroquine after a previous Lyme disease affliction, but, would never have thought to ask for a prescription for it to treat the coronavirus had Trump not been touting it as a possible treatment for COVID-19. Whitsett took drug in combination with antibiotics and made a full recovery.

“It has a lot to do with the president … bringing it up,” Whitsett said. “He is the only person who has the power to make it a priority.”

Other coronavirus patients have reported dramatic recoveries after taking the drug.

Despite the slew of positive results of the drug, a Democratic state lawmaker in Ohio moaned that Trump should be tried for “crimes against humanity” for touting the drug’s potential.

Hydroxychloroquine has been approved by the FDA for over 60 years, and treats multiple ailments including malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and is being investigated for other potential uses.

The media has desperately tried to undercut Trump’s positive message about hydroxychloroquine’s potential as a treatment for the coronavirus, calling it “unproven” and claiming there’s “no proof” that it works, and that certain at-risk people can die from the drug.

Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto, for example, went on a rant following the revelation, citing studies that found that some patients with certain pre-existing conditions had a higher chance of death.

One of the studies cited by Cavuto was the VA Study, which was previously debunked here at PJ Media. But, I digress. What Cavuto seems to be missing here is that hydroxychloroquine is not an over-the-counter drug; a doctor has to prescribe it. I think it’s safe to say the White House doctors responsible for Trump’s health are very much aware of the data on hydroxychloroquine and have determined it’s safe for him to take.

Further: Trump is still alive, and as far as we know, coronavirus-free, despite the apparent White House outbreak last week.

The drug seems to be working for Trump, and this is a moment that should silence his critics, who have found all sorts of ways to attack him over his touting of hydroxychloroquine as a potential game-changer. Despite the media’s attempts to portray him as a killer and pushing a drug they say kills people, Trump is putting his money where is mouth is and is taking it to keep him free of the virus.

That’s leadership.

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Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis