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What's Up With the Media's Irrational Hydroxychloroquine Derangement Syndrome?

AP Photo/Ben Margot

When President Donald Trump announced that he was taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent contracting the coronavirus, the usual suspects reacted just as one could have predicted. Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) tweeted, “as the only medical doctor among our nation’s governors, I suggest you stop taking hydroxychloroquine,” in reference to Trump. Nancy Pelosi made her infamous quip about Trump being morbidly obese (which he’s not, by the way). Joe Biden even compared Trump’s taking of hydroxychloroquine to him injecting himself with Clorox. Hydroxychloroquine has been approved by the FDA for various treatments for decades. CNN’s Chris Cuomo also mocked Trump for taking the drug, even though he had used a version of the drug himself for his own treatment following his positive diagnosis for the coronavirus. 

Are they really afraid the drug will kill him or are they afraid it won’t?

Some have even expressed skepticism that Trump isn’t actually taking the drug at all. “Let me assure you, the president of the United States is not taking hydroxychloroquine,” said MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. “He is not taking something that his own administration has said will kill you.”

His administration has said no such thing. Even Dr. Fauci has said he would prescribe the drug to a patient suffering from the disease. 

It would be something if Trump’s taking of the drug would cure the left’s Trump Derangement Syndrome, but instead, it’s an even tougher pill for them to swallow. Trump has been criticized and mocked since his announcement, from critics in the media and in government. These critics seem to think Trump taking the drug is akin to him ingesting strychnine because they apparently think he’s willing to put his life on the line just to make a point, I guess. 

There have been studies showing the drug is effective in treating the coronavirus, and some studies have shown adverse results with certain at-risk populations—like any other drug. But through the entire process, the left, including the media, has sought to downplay the drug’s potential as an effective treatment for the coronavirus. Why? Because Trump was the one who touted it.

Five Problems With the Study That Claims ‘More Deaths’ From Treating Coronavirus With Hydroxychloroquine

Last month, a survey of doctors found that an overwhelming majority “would prescribe hydroxychloroquine or another anti-malaria drug to a family member” suffering from the coronavirus. A number of coronavirus patients have also come forward reporting their remarkable recoveries after taking the drug. Yet the media and the anti-Trump brigade won’t listen.

While it’s true we don’t have a full picture of the effects of hydroxychloroquine because there’s been no full-scale clinical trial, there is enough anecdotal evidence in its favor to conclude that the media’s attempt to portray it as poison is purely political. It seems this frenzy is merely a side effect of journalists’ anti-Trumpism because they were so focused on how they could use the pandemic to undermine Trump’s chances of reelection that they rushed to downplay any sign of hope. 

Hydroxychloroquine deserves its chance to be properly assessed as a treatment for the coronavirus. Unfortunately, the media’s deliberate attempts to downplay the drug’s potential because of Trump and intensify coverage of its side effects has made conducting studies on its use as a coronavirus treatment difficult, according to a report from NPR.  

The fact is, if hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for the coronavirus, and there’s ample evidence to suggest that it might be, it has an advantage over any new drug treatments or vaccines that could be produced. Hydroxychloroquine has spent decades in the market for treating other afflictions, including malaria and rheumatoid arthritis, so its side effects are already well-known, and patients who shouldn’t be taking it because of known risks are less likely to be prescribed the drug.

Hydroxychloroquine may not be a miracle cure for the coronavirus—and no one has suggested that it is—but it’s not the killer poison the media is making it out to be. Instead of rooting for anything to work and help bring an end to this pandemic, the media decided that hurting Trump was more important than saving lives. Our nation deserves an honest debate about the drug, not one influenced by partisan politics. As every commercial about the coronavirus says, we’re in this together. It’s time we start acting that way.

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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

Reports Are In: Malaria Drug Saves Lives in Coronavirus Crisis, Doctors and Patients Say