News & Politics

Panic Peddlers: Media Blames Drug Trump Discussed for Death of Man Who Ate Aquarium Cleaner

white pills spilled on table

In their constant effort to take down Trump and debunk everything he says, the media has been on a mission to prove that the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which some doctors and patients are reporting can effectively fight off the Chinese virus ravaging the world, is dangerous. It started with MSN reporting that two grams of the drug President Trump wants to fast-track can kill you.

Donald Trump Jr. had the best response to that claim, since two grams of the drug would be a massive overdose. You can overdose on anything.

But the worst fear-mongering happened on Monday when Dena Grayson, a television doctor, tweeted out the worst fake news I’ve ever seen. She claimed that “a man DIED & his wife is in ICU after they ingested #chloroquine, one of the anti-malarials that @realDonaldTrump touted.”

Except that’s not what happened. The husband and wife, both in their 60s, ingested a chloroquine phosphate formulation that is used to clean fish tanks, Banner Health hospital said in a press release. They were not prescribed medicine safe for human consumption, they ate a substance approved for aquarium maintenance.

The article she linked from Axios originally made no mention of the fish tank aquarium cleaner, and instead falsely claimed that a man died from “one of the anti-malaria drugs that President Trump has mentioned in recent days.” Axios later updated their story to note that “the form of chloroquine the couple ingested was used in aquariums — and it was not a medication.”

The chloroquine phosphate in the industrial cleaning agent is not medical-grade hydroxychloroquine, nor is it safe for human consumption, but the television doctor with over 250,000 followers on Twitter is out there blaming the drug Trump discussed for the man’s death. “As I warned, these anti-malarial drugs are associated with FATAL side effects and should only be taken under the close supervision of a doctor,” she gasped. It’s a miracle Dr. Grayson graduated high school let alone medical school because it appears she cannot read. When I saw her Twitter handle my first thought was, “doctor of what?”

Sadly, two people got panicked enough, probably because of the media’s constant fear-peddling, and ingested a dangerous substance. People who hate Trump are now blaming him because, you know, orange man bad, so let’s just scare everyone who desperately needs hope right about now by slandering this potential miracle drug.

This is unconscionable, especially because so far, several people who have taken the drug cocktail of hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic Zithromax (which is being tested now), say they’ve recovered, including actor Daniel Dae Kim, who posted his experience on Twitter. Instead of looking to Trump as the reason people might be confused, maybe they should look to the media.

The New York Post published the following article five days before the tragic event.

“Sales of fish tank additive skyrocket after studies say it could treat coronavirus”

Prices for an additive used to clean fish tanks have skyrocketed after studies found the pharmaceutical drug version of it may treat the coronavirus, a report said.
Chloroquine phosphate is used to in aquariums to kill some organisms, like algae, that may harm fish.
Sellers on eBay and other websites hiked prices in March, and buyers were willing to shell out large amounts of cash for the substance, Storyful found. The listings indicated that the product wasn’t meant for human consumption.
A few days later, the NY Post wrote another article about people overdosing on this fish tank cleaner in Nigeria. Perhaps the people who are buying this stuff got the idea from news reports.
One thing is certain. The president never said, “Go on eBay and buy unregulated, industrial-grade chemicals and ingest them,” and the people who are pretending he did should stop it.
Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo,” and host of The Fringe podcast. Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter