Trump Wants FDA To Take COVID Curing Tips From 'My Pillow' Guy
Move over, hydroxychlorobullshit! There is a new totally unproven COVID-19 "cure" in town!
Well, there is if you ask Ben Carson and the Mike "The MyPillow Guy" Lindell, who are currently petitioning Trump to make the FDA approve oleandrin, an extract of the oleander flower. Oleander, as those of us who read a lot of Agatha Christie novels as a kid know, is an extremely poisonous flower. The kind of thing you might kill your fourth husband with, if you are so inclined.
The pair reportedly took a meeting with Trump back in July in order to push it, and according to Mike Lindell, Trump "basically said: …'The FDA should be approving it.'" It must have impressed him, because he is now, reportedly, very into the idea of getting this rushed through.
To the alarm of some government health officials, President Trump has expressed enthusiasm for the Food and Drug Administration to permit an extract from the oleander plant to be marketed as a dietary supplement or, alternatively, approved as a drug to cure COVID-19, despite lack of proof that it works.
Driving the news: The experimental botanical extract, oleandrin, was promoted to Trump during an Oval Office meeting in July. It's embraced by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell, a big Trump backer, who recently took a financial stake in the company that develops the product.
The push to get the extract approved is being led by Andrew Whitney, who was also at the July meeting. Whitney is on the board of Phoenix Biotechnology, the company developing oleandrin. There has not been a single study on humans or animals testing its efficacy on COVID-19, although Whitney says one is coming and also that it definitely absolutely does cure COVID-19 in only two days — and he is very frustrated with the FDA head Stephen Hahn's stubborn refusal to just take his word for it.
Whitney described Hahn as "immensely professional" but added: "The process is too slow. ... We ought to be given an opportunity to test this. Call my bluff!"
"Call my bluff" is definitely a thing you want to hear from people selling medicine of any kind. Also this:
"Now, there are all sorts of lawyers who would tell me I can't say things like that, because you know you need to have years of studies, and you need to have this, that, and the other, and so forth," Whitney said. "But as an American with a right of free expression, I'm telling you, I've seen it with my own eyes."
Whitney would also like the extract to be approved as an over-the-counter dietary supplement, which sounds like just a really fantastic idea (for murderers).
The thing about this is — we know how some Trumpists work. He says maybe you can bleach away the Covid, they go out and drink bleach. He says take hydroxychloroquine, they start drinking gin and tonics (So do I, but I do it because they are delicious, not because I think they are magic). They will hear "oleander cures coronavirus" and they will go out, get some oleander, make themselves some oleander tea and then drop dead. That is what they will do.
Or they will murder their cheating lover with it and then claim that the person took it to prevent coronavirus because they love Trump so much. Mark my words. In a year this will be an episode of "Dateline." Perhaps that is what is going on! Maybe Trump knows someone who wants to do some murder and he's trying to help them out by giving them a plausible excuse. "Your honor! I swear I did not kill my husband! He just ate some oleander because he thought he had COVID-19 and Trump said it was a cure!"
In fact, according to the Axios report, Mike Lindell is already taking it and giving it to family and friends.
Lindell said he has been taking the unapproved botanical and has shared it with his family and friends. He said he believes it has kept him from getting COVID-19 and has cured other people.
Lindell, by the way, is a former crackhead. Like, literally, he did a whole bunch of crack cocaine for many, many years. I don't judge people for that kind of thing, but I also rarely take their advice on things I should put in my body, and that has worked out quite well for me so far.
In other news, I really hope no one I know dies of oleander poisoning, or any other plant poisoning, really in the near future, because my internet search history from the last 10 minutes is not going to be a good look.
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