In today’s “Y’all’s president be wilding” news, Donald Trump shows us that he’s a lot of things, but a medical professional is not one of them.
According to the New York Times, Trump is continuing a push for the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to be used to treat coronavirus infection despite there being no conclusive evidence of the drug’s effectiveness and actual medical experts advising against him touting it as a potential cure.
In a White House press briefing Sunday, Trump said the drug is “being tested now” and that “there are some very strong, powerful signs.” He added a statement that came stunningly close to an admission that he doesn’t actually know what the hell he’s talking about: “But what do I know? I’m not a doctor.”
“If it does work, it would be a shame we did not do it early,” Trump said, noting that the federal government had purchased 29 million pills of a drug no one can say works. “We are sending them to various labs, our military, we’re sending them to the hospitals.
“What do you have to lose?” Trump asked, showing the world that he doesn’t understand how unintended side effects work.
Trump wouldn’t even allow Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to answer a reporter’s question regarding the matter.
“You know how many times he’s answered that question? Maybe 15 times,” Trump said.
Last month, an elderly Arizona couple took the president’s words to heart and decided to treat their own symptoms with the similar-sounding chloroquine phosphate, a drug that’s used to treat fish and not humans. As a result, the couple immediately became ill and the husband eventually died of respiratory issues. One would think an incident like that would shut down any push for a drug that still needed to be studied. But Trump has yet to be swayed from his narrative.
“We don’t have time to go and say, ‘Gee, let’s take a couple of years and test it out,’ and let’s go out and test with the test tubes and the laboratories,” Trump said, the Times reports. “I’d love to do that, but we have people dying today.”
Trump asked, “What do you have to lose?”
Dr. Megan L. Ranney, an emergency physician at Brown University in Rhode Island, pointed out the side effects in an interview with the Times.
“There are side effects to hydroxychloroquine,” Dr. Ranney said. “It causes psychiatric symptoms, cardiac problems and a host of other bad side effects.”
“There may be a role for it for some people,” she added, “but to tell Americans ‘you don’t have anything to lose,’ that’s not true. People certainly have something to lose by taking it indiscriminately.”