The Quacks Go Marching In

Written by SK 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.