Don't Go Taking Any Coronavirus Advice From Our Stupid President
Earlier this month, a very, very small study in France found that hydroxychloroquine, an old anti-malaria drug, may be effective in fighting coronavirus. The study included 36 people infected with coronavirus, only 26 of whom actually took the hydroxychloroquine. About half of those treated tested negative by day three, and by day 6, about 70 percent tested negative. 6 patients were also given the antibiotic azithromycin, and five of them tested negative by day three.
It's a pretty decent start, and researchers have hope that these drugs could help. But they do have some pretty serious side effects and have to be tested more and with larger sample sizes before they can be approved for use. Most people understand that this is how things work.
But not our president!
On Saturday morning, Donald Trump tweeted out a bunch of nonsense declaring the drugs a "game changer," demanding they be put into use "immediately," and tagging the FDA and the CDC as if he can't just call the FDA and the CDC about such matters.
....be put in use IMMEDIATELY. PEOPLE ARE DYING, MOVE FAST, and GOD BLESS EVERYONE! @US_FDA @SteveFDA @CDCgov @DHSgov— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1584799989.0
Trump also touted the drug combination in his press conference yesterday, claiming that they probably worked on account of how he had a "good feeling" about it and is a "smart guy."
However, both Dr. Anthony Fauci and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn have suggested that Trump, perhaps, may need to slow his roll on this.
Via The Hill:
When asked on Friday if hydroxychloroquine could be used to prevent COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, replied "no."
"The information that you're referring to specifically is anecdotal," Fauci added. "It was not done in a controlled clinical trial, so you really can't make any definitive statement about it."
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn has also downplayed the potency of the drug on COVID-19, saying this week he does not want to "provide false hope."
"We may have the right drug, but it might not be in the appropriate dosage form right now, and it might do more harm than good," he said.
And other actual scientists are urging caution and suggesting that the president maybe not give people "false hope," especially as these drugs could cause some pretty serious side effects.
@realDonaldTrump I know this is an emergency and we are desperate. But as a physician, I took a solemn oath to “fir… https://t.co/fFPcpARSfT— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD)1584800382.0
Look. It's great that there might be a thing that might help with this. But telling people there is a miracle cure out there when if it does become available, it's not gonna be for a while, is absolutely irresponsible. If you go through the comments on that tweet, there are already a whole bunch of people claiming we don't even need clinical trials, that the drug cocktail works 100 percent of the time and doesn't have side effects.
While we may understand that Trump is a dumbass who says dumbass things, a whole lot of people out there absolutely worship the and truly think he is a very stable genius who is right about everything. They don't trust the media, they don't trust scientists, but they do trust him — so if he's giving them bad information, that's not gonna end well.
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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. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse