The Quacks Go Marching In

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Reuters exclusively reported yesterday morning that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the use of anti-malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus because Trump personally pushed them to, not because it has proven to be an effective treatment.

That's scandalous all on its own but, as you know, things can always get dumber.

Some have speculated that Trump himself or his friends or family are profiting from the hype for chloroquine, but while that may be the case, the Daily Beast reports that Trump is getting his ideas from fake reality TV host "Dr Oz."

In the past couple of weeks, Trump began hearing more and more about—and watching Oz, now a Fox News regular, discuss—hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that Trump aggressively touted as a coronavirus treatment, much to the dismay of various medical experts and scientists. Over these two weeks, the president had specifically made a point of telling aides that he was interested in what Oz had to say and that he wished to speak to the much-maligned television personality, according to two people familiar with the president’s requests. It is unclear if Trump has spoken on the phone with Oz lately, as he told aides that he wished to do so.

But Trump has told officials that it would be “a good idea” if they talked to Oz, one of the sources added. Top administration officials, including Trump’s administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma, have privately spoken to Oz in recent days to discuss the virus and his views on the possible treatment, three sources said. The New York Times first reported that Oz had been in touch with the Trump team.

Regarding the use of chloroquine as a treatment, actual experts, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, are also reportedly getting drowned out in private meetings at the White House by the likes of Ron Vara Peter Navaro.

While discussing the latest on hydroxychloroquine this weekend, an exasperated Navarro lashed out at Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the advisers who has urged caution about the drug, a person familiar with the meeting told CNN.

Navarro had brought a stack of paperwork with him into the Situation Room on the drug, arguing it was proof that it could work to treat coronavirus, which Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, disagreed with because it was not data.

"What are you talking about?" Fauci asked -- a question that set Navarro off. He became indignant, and at one point, accused Fauci of opposing Trump's travel restrictions on China, which confused many in the room, given Fauci was one of the initial few to agree with Trump on the move, the source said.

You know, although he is Trump's top trade adviser, Navaro does not actually know anything about trade much less effective treatments for a novel virus.

You would probably be better off listening to Jared Kushner than Navaro and that does not say much for either of them.

Taking everything we've seen into account, I have to wonder how the Trump regime will handle the development of a vaccine for the virus. Will they try to push something before it's been properly tested? Will they push something that is less effective because some quack on TV promoted it? It seems almost certain they will mishandle it somehow because they necessarily mishandle everything.

The good news is we have a chance to vote Trump out of office before he'll have an opportunity to bungle the delivery of a vaccine which is not expected to approved for use until early next year.

  • mnpollio

    Properly tested?! Before its ready?! Given who we are dealing with, we probably have to worry about whether Trump and his cronies will push a placebo designed to make them filthy rich(er).

  • muselet

    Mehmet Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon, and apparently a fairly talented one. And, just as a reminder, Ben Carson was a neurosurgeon, and a gifted one. Neither man should be listened to on any topic—medical or otherwise—not a part of his own subspecialty.

    Oz uses his media megaphone to promote a variety of snake oils, for which he should lose his license to practice medicine. I hesitate to call him a quack, but he shills for all manner of quackery.

    Hydrochloroquine is quackery with regard to Covid-19.

    I don’t expect any better than this from the likes of Peter Navarro and Jared Kushner, who are simipletons (Navarro insisting he is a social scientist and can therefore properly interpret scientific data is hilarious and dangerous in equal measure). I don’t expect better from Mehmet Oz, either.

    This administration couldn’t organize an orgy in a bordello; their rolling out a new vaccine against Sars-Co-V2 would be like a nightmarish version of a Three Stooges movie.


  • Draxiar

    If a doctor makes a mistake she/he can be sued for malpractice or maybe even sent to jail (?). If someone dies based on trumps aggressive ignorance can the same thing happen?

  • Ceoltoir

    Remember that Cheetos the Clown demanded that President Obama resign from office after one American died of Ebola, ten thousand Americans have died of COVID-19 so far and those are just the ones who have been tested.

    • katanahamon

      And now many of the tests that were administered have been found to be defective..

  • katanahamon

    People lack even the most basic understanding of the immune system, drugs, how drugs work..drugs aren’t really a single, “surgical” strike solution to problems. They have a range of actions and “side effects.” The drug mainly in question has one effect among many of modulating the immune system. One theory as to why the Spanish flu killed so many young and strong ppl is that their immune systems fought so hard it created a “cytokine storm,” which added to the virus’ already lethal abilities. Down modulation of the immune system in this one circumstance may prevent that from happening. However, the drug can also cause retinal toxicity, liver damage and a host of other serious, life threatening complications. Do you really want to take a drug that interferes with the immune system when you don’t really know what’s going on?

    Honestly..I didn’t think America could possibly have gotten dumber, but after watching John Oliver show the OAN reporters massaging Rump at his pressers I now do believe America has reached rock bottom. We are watching in real time as Rump prevents actual experts and officials from helping us when we need it most. Did you know Rump held eight rallies and golfed six times after the virus had started? Geez…

    • Aynwrong

      I don’t think there is a rock bottom. Only the rock bottom that we are currently at.

      “It can always get dumber.”