Over the past few weeks, the President has been peddling an over-the-counter anti-malaria drug as a cure for Coronavirus despite criticism from health experts. Now we know why.
While experts scramble to find a cure and a vaccine for Coronavirus, medical professionals have been suggesting alternative methods to recover from the deadly disease if you happen to catch it. United States President Donald Trump may not be the first name you think of when you hear the term "medical professional," but despite his lack of expertise in the field, he has been strongly supporting the use of hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the novel virus. Health experts were puzzled by why he seemed so motivated to do so. However, a recent finding revealed that Trump has a stake in a hydroxychloroquine drugmaker, The Huffington Post reports. Could this be why he's been such a dedicated advocate of the drug?
To underline this: A Trump surrogate and RNC committeeman is administering the untested drug hydroxychloroquine to the residents of a COVID-wrecked nursing home without the input of patients’ families https://t.co/H5665PwTJp— Christopher Hooks (@cd_hooks) April 8, 2020
Hannity and Trump begin their latest interview by teaming up to hype hydroxychloroquine (neither of these guys are doctors) pic.twitter.com/iEX4Ch422F— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 8, 2020
Hydroxychloroquine is a popular anti-malaria drug. Its effectiveness in treating the novel Coronavirus, nonetheless, is yet to be seen. In fact, top drug experts have actually contradicted the use of hydroxychloroquine in treating the disease. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's leading expert on the current outbreak, has warned citizens against using this drug. President Trump, as usual, has chosen to disregard this advice and has, on numerous occasions, lauded its supposed "benefits". After boasting about how the United States had amassed 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, Trump urged, "What do you have to lose? Take it."
Well, citizens may actually lose their lives. American Medical Association President Dr. Patrice Harris stated of the recommendation, "There could be deaths. This is a new virus, and so we should not be promoting any medication or drug for any disease that has not been proven and approved by the Food and Drug Administration." What the President loses if you don't take the drug, on the other hand, is perhaps of greater concern to him. Trump, as The New York Times reported, “has a small personal financial interest” in the French drugmaker Sanofi. That is the drug company that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine.
Trump is NOT a doctor.— Peter Morley (@morethanmySLE) April 6, 2020
But I AM a patient with Lupus on #Hydroxychloroquine
Stockpiling 29M dosages of this medication with no proven efficacy means that many, like myself, who NEED this daily will suffer.
You do NOT have to be a doctor to know that.💔pic.twitter.com/evJDMF3oJ4
Dr. Fauci, the ONE guy who should be fielding questions on the drug hydroxychloroquine, gets asked and trump shuts it down.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) April 6, 2020
Reporter: "But he's your medical expert, right?"
The whole thing is fishy. pic.twitter.com/3QvGaZHNCd
It has been estimated that President Trump's stake could be worth between an estimated $100 and $1,500. This may seem like a small value, but The Washington Post highlighted that "his trusts may have amassed other investments since his most recent disclosure." Financial news website MarketWatch pointed out, "He does look to have more than that modest sum invested in Sanofi, because, unmentioned in the [New York] Times report, his trusts also hold broader European stock-market index funds." Further to this, generic drug-making companies also produce hydroxychloroquine. One of those companies was co-founded by Chirag Patel, Trump's golfing buddy.
President Trump is asked why he ‘promotes’ Hydroxychloroquine.— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 5, 2020
Trump: “I want to save lives. I don't want it to be in a lab for the next year and a half as people are dying all over the place... and only CNN would ask that question. Fake News.”
Quite possibly, it comes as no surprise that President Trump would promote a drug that the scientific community won't back. Regardless, his advocacy for the anti-malaria drug has repercussions. Trump supporters, those who do not have a shred of medical expertise, have flocked to hospitals sick with the deadly illness requesting the drug. How are doctors navigating that? Well, they've been taking it on a case-by-case basis. Dr. Roy M. Gulick, the chief of infectious diseases at Weill Cornell Medicine, stated, "We explain the pros and cons and explain that we don’t know if it works or not." If it doesn't work, a patient will put their life on the line. And the President would be pushing them to cross over that very thin, very dangerous line.