Opinion

Media warnings over hydroxychloroquine are about hating Trump, not saving lives

This rhetorical battle over hydroxychloroquine is not about drug efficacy, but about the ongoing Trump Derangement Syndrome that has plagued so many in our mainstream media.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY
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Researchers at McGill University are seeking participants to take part in a trial that will be used to test how well hydroxychloroquine can fight coronavirus.

Yet in the establishment media, hydroxychloroquine remains a dirty word. This is mostly due to President Trump’s enthusiasm for the drug as a potential treatment and prevention for COVID-19, and the media’s lack of enthusiasm for President Trump. Not liking the president, however, is not a good enough reason to discount a potential treatment, especially one that is yielding results.

On Tuesday, a writer and a video producer from FiveThirtyEight made a curious video outlining how “we don’t have any evidence that any of these drugs would be effective against COVID-19.”

Kaleigh Rogers and Anna Rothschild discuss how “throwing” hydroxychloroquine at people with coronavirus “it’s not a good way to do science.”

The same day Rogers and Rothschild scolded President Trump for expressing hope for successful hydroxychloroquine treatments, a Democratic state lawmaker came forward to say that it saved her life. Rep. Karen Whitsett of Michigan credits the drug with saving her life, as do her doctors. And her experience is not merely a one-off.

Meanwhile, in New Scientist, Carrie Arnold notes that there are more than 60 drugs being investigated by researchers and scientists. Remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine are among them, both of which have been mentioned by the president, and are the latest two drugs being tried with current coronavirus patients. While Remdesivir is a known anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine is no longer used for that purpose because the parasite that causes malaria has become resistant to it. It has been discovered to have other uses and treatments.

French doctors, in their effort to battle COVID-19, used the drug to treat 26 COVID-19 patients. Hydroxychloroquine was given three times per day, along with azithromycin, an antibiotic. The results shared by doctors showed that ten days of treatment led to a decrease of the virus in their blood, compared to 16 patients who were not given the cocktail and did not have a reduction in their viral load.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called these findings “anecdotal.” Fauci has been a strong proponent of traditional methods of drug testing. He insists that clinical trials are the most effective method of determining pharmaceutical efficacy. While that is the preferred method, it is not particularly timely.

While it remains true that hydroxychloroquine does not have the official stamp of approval from official scientific organizations and bodies, the anecdotal evidence is beginning to pile up that this just might be saving lives.

Clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine are now underway in New York, the US region where the death toll is highest. If these trials prove that the cocktail of hydroxychloroquine in concert with azithromycin is effective, the accessibility and low cost of these drugs would make it almost instantly available to treat a wide number of patients.

Concerns over hydroxychloroquine and its close relative chloroquine are that they are in use currently for other, chronic conditions, such as Lupus, and can cause trouble for people with heart conditions. But just as we were informed not to wear masks so that the general public would not diminish the supplies necessary for medical personnel, being told that a pharmaceutical that could save lives should not be used because other people need it is nonsensical.

Of course, none of that is a concern to Rogers and Rothschild, who are primarily interested in taking aim at President Trump. The coronavirus outbreak has put the entire world on pause and put an entire generation at risk of losing their lives. It’s a completely unprecedented situation in modern times.

It stands to reason that Trump, as the president of the hardest hit nation in the global outbreak thus far, may take unprecedented action in trying to save lives. He has been clear in his impetus to present news that is positive, as well as delivering the crushing reality we are facing.

Like so many in the media, these two scolds appear like they would rather the president fail than the sick get healed. That’s what derangement looks like, and they are not alone. Since Trump was elected, there has been a faction of people that would prefer to see him fail, even if that failure brings the nation to its knees. This rhetorical battle over hydroxychloroquine is not about drug efficacy, but about the ongoing Trump Derangement Syndrome that has plagued so many in our mainstream media.

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