Doctor Rudy Says Take Your Hydroxies To Prevent Corona, Kids!
DO NOT take medical advice from this guy! Do not take medical advice from the White House's pet economics crank Peter Navarro. Do not take medical advice from Fox News. And for the love of all that is holy, do not take medical advice from Donald Trump!
REPORTER: And would you also weigh in on this issue of hydroxychloroquine? What do you think about this and what is the medical evidence?
TRUMP: You know how many times he's answered that question?
REPORTER: I'd love to hear from the doctor.
TRUMP: Maybe 15. 15 times. You don't have to ask the question.
REPORTER: He's your medical expert, correct?
TRUMP: He answered that question 15 times.
In his ongoing effort to gaslight the country into believing that COVID-19 is NBD and he's got this pandemic shit on lock, Trump is putting all his chips on the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine. Which is why he threw himself in front of the mike and started screaming at the reporter who dared to ask Dr. Fauci about the supposed "miracle drug" hydroxychloroquine that the wingers are touting as the cure for COVID-19. It's a cool trick because, if he can succeed in getting half the country to take it, he can then take the credit for saving 330 million people from coronavirus.
Never mind the fact that many of those people would have either avoided getting sick or recovered anyway. Never mind that the clinical trials haven't proven that it's effective for coronavirus patients. Never mind that it hoarding it for COVID is already depriving lupus patients, for whom it has been proven to work, of access to medicine they need. Never mind that the drug can cause permanent heart arrhythmia. Never mind that it might be toxic when combined with a common diabetes medication. Never mind that Trump's pals at Novartis will make bank on it as the government's source for the drug.
Forget all that. The important thing is to turn this into yet another culture war issue, pitting conservatives who demand "lifesaving treatment" against those dirty, liberal experts who are hellbent on denying it to them.
Here's Rudy, whose insane tweets flogging unproven pharmacological advice have been taken down to protect public health, holding forth to Fox's Maria Bartiromo about the benefits of "hydrochloroquine." SIC.
"They've thrown cold water on it because they are academics," the president's pro bono screeched to the New York Times about Fauci and the so-called doctors.
"'You can't blind test it.'" He said, mimicking the eggheads demanding studies with an actual control group. "I know you can't blind test it. But we've got thousands of people dying, sweetheart. And by the time you blind test it, we'll have 100,000 people who are dead. Why don't we get in the real world of being a doctor instead of being an academic?"
Well, you could blind test it. In fact, IRL doctors like Anthony Fauci did just that in France, where they found "no difference in the rate of virologic clearance at 7 days with or without 5 days of hydroxychloroquine, and no difference in clinical outcomes," results which are "consistent with the lack of virologic or clinical benefit of chloroquine in a number of viral infections where it was assessed for treatment or prophylaxis with sometimes a deleterious effect on viral replication." Which is why the American Medical Association, American Pharmacists Association, and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists issued a joint statement instructing doctors and pharmacists to CUT THAT SHIT OUT.
At the same time, we caution hospitals, health systems, and individual practitioners that no medication has been FDA-approved for use in COVID-19 patients, and there is no incontrovertible evidence to support off-label use of medications for COVID-19. Stockpiling these medications—or depleting supplies with excessive, anticipatory orders—can have grave consequences for patients with conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis if the drugs are not available in the community. The health care community must collectively balance the needs of patients taking medications on a regular basis for an existing condition with new prescriptions that may be needed for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Being just stewards of limited resources is essential.
To which the not-doctors respond that their brother-in-law is a med-tech in Hackensack, and he heard from his buddy who works for this bigshot dermatologist that there's this ONE WEIRD TRICK that they don't want you to know, and you have to take the chloroquine with zinc to help it penetrate the cells.
And perhaps that's true! Or perhaps it isn't. But you don't take medical advice from someone who's not a doctor. Or you don't unless you're a goddamn idiot.
So, of course, that's exactly what we're doing. Axios reports that, before yesterday's MAGA loon rally cum daily pandemic briefing, the White House's coronavirus task force assembled in the Situation Room to strategize. Don't worry, guys, Jared was on hand to keep Drs. Birx and Fauci in line! When the topic of hydroxychloroquine came up, econ loon Peter Navarro sprang into action.
Then Navarro got up. He brought over a stack of folders and dropped them on the table. People started passing them around.
"And the first words out of his mouth are that the studies that he's seen, I believe they're mostly overseas, show 'clear therapeutic efficacy,'" said a source familiar with the conversation. "Those are the exact words out of his mouth."
When Dr. Fauci pushed back, pointing out that Navarro's studies don't show that patients recover faster or more completely with the drug than without it, Navarro lost his shit and started shouting.
Fauci's mention of anecdotal evidence "just set Peter off," said one of the sources. Navarro pointed to the pile of folders on the desk, which included printouts of studies on hydroxychloroquine from around the world.
Navarro said to Fauci, "That's science, not anecdote," said another of the sources.
Navarro started raising his voice, and at one point accused Fauci of objecting to Trump's travel restrictions, saying, "You were the one who early on objected to the travel restrictions with China," saying that travel restrictions don't work. (Navarro was one of the earliest to push the China travel ban.)
Eventually, Kushner wrangled Navarro into submission, telling him, "Peter, take yes for an answer." And that's how we wound up with Trump at that presser yesterday, bragging that the government had amassed 29 million doses of the drug, and suggesting that he himself might take it prophylactically.
What do you have to lose? What do you have to lose? And a lot of people are saying that when … and are taking it, if you're a doctor, a nurse, a first responder, a medical person going into hospitals, they say taking it before the fact is good, but what do you have to lose? They say, take it, I'm not looking at it one way or the other, but we want to get out of this. If it does work, it would be a shame if we didn't do it early. But we have some very good signs. So that's hydroxy chloroquine and as azithromycin, and again, you have to go through your medical people get the approval. But I've seen things that I sort of like, so what do I know? I'm not a doctor, I'm not a doctor, but I have common sense.
Facts not in evidence on the common sense thing. Or on any of the rest of it. And, while we're on the subject, 29 million seems like one of those numbers Trump just pulled out of his ass.
Anyway, this is all fine. You should definitely take an untested drug based on the medical advice of some batshit economist who told CNN's John Berman this morning, "Doctors disagree about things all the time. My qualifications in terms of looking at the science is that I'm a social scientist. I have a PhD and I understand how to read statistical studies."
Get them hydroxies y'all! Take it from Rudy 'n' Pete, they're safer than Tic Tacs. Mmmmmmm, mmmm good!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.