Actual Neurosurgeon Ben Carson Now Submitting To Medical Expertise Of The MyPillow Guy
For all of Ben Carson's absolute batshittery over the last seven years, he was, at one point, an incredibly talented pediatric neurosurgeon. Can't take that away from him, he really was very good. Famously good. Enough to have Cuba Gooding Jr. play him in a television movie of the week, even. One might think that, as a very talented pediatric neurosurgeon, he would have lots of resources and contacts in the medical community, certainly more than the rest of us. But when he got diagnosed with COVID-19, rather than turn to his fellow doctors for advice, rather than consult actual medical experts (like himself!), he decided to seek out the advice of the guy who invented an As Seen On TV pillow.
Yes, according to a report in the Washington Post, famous neurosurgeon Ben Carson, after being diagnosed with COVID-19, took the advice of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and took some Oleandrin, a product marketed by a company Lindell owns a stake in, which also happens to be derived from a very deadly poison. Like there was a whole Michelle Pfeiffer movie about murdering someone with oleander, and it was literally called White Oleander. You do not have to be a neurosurgeon to know that Oleandrin is dangerous, you simply have to watch many, many episodes of the ID Channel's Deadly Women series.
Via Washington Post:
When Ben Carson, Trump's secretary of housing and urban development, came down with covid-19 last week, the former surgeon wasn't worried. He had a Guy for that.
"I heard about the oleander extract from Mike," Carson said in an interview.
"Mike" is Mike Lindell, the pillow magnate who served as a Trump campaign chairman in Minnesota; oleander extract is an unproven therapeutic remedy for the coronavirus that Lindell has been pushing.
Carson said he took the extract, which has not been approved for such purposes by the FDA and which experts say may be dangerous, and within hours his symptoms disappeared — to the delight of Lindell, who has a financial stake in the company that makes the extract.
"Anybody who has ever gotten covid and taken it, they are fine in five hours, and the next day are running around playing floor hockey in the hallway," said Lindell, who has pitched the Trump administration on its effectiveness (which, again, has not been proved).
To be fair, while Carson spent the 1980s as the youngest ever chief of pediatric neurosurgery in the United States, Mike Lindell was getting an education in pharmaceuticals — by which I mean he was smoking a lot of crack. Actually, according to his memoirs, he was smoking crack until about 2009, and while I do not believe in shaming drug addicts because it is a disease not a crime (the domestic violence he was arrested for was, however, a crime), it seems like smoking crack for like 30 years would probably do some shit to your brain that not even Ben Carson could fix.
It's nice that it worked out for him, but it's a huge risk. After all, oleandrin is a poison. He's very lucky, not just because he survived, but because boy would it have been embarrassing for him to be a neurosurgeon who died because he took medical advice from the MyPillow guy.
Carson is no stranger to experimental procedures, having mostly become famous for separating five pairs of twins conjoined at the head — with only one of those surgeries having turned out well for both siblings. That's not a ding on him, it's hardly an easy surgery and the parents knew the risks going in. He was the first person to do it without killing both children. But it does seem like it's one thing to take a risk when you have no other choice and the person you're turning to is an actual expert in the field and another to take a risk by following the medical advice of a dude who invented a pillow that is not even a very good pillow (I tested it in a Bed, Bath and Beyond and was not impressed) and did a lot of crack. I mean, I sure wouldn't.
In fact, it seems like a thing that a guy like Ben Carson probably would not do were he not in the thrall of Trump. In order to stay in the inner circle he probably has to pretend he is just as ignorant about science and poisons as everyone else around him. Given how things tend to go in the Trump White House, he probably got chastised for giving an interview in August in which he said he couldn't recommend the product until it was tested and approved in trials, like any other drug. There was probably some kind of "Oh, you better take this poison for your COVID or it's really going to hurt the MyPillow Guy's feelings! People will think he's not a medical expert!" thing happening there.
If Ben Carson were not such a huge jackass, we might feel a little badly for him.
Keep your Wonkette paying the writers please, if you are able!
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse