Drug pusher Trump has a share in the malaria drug he keeps overselling for coronavirus
Chloroquine may prove to have some benefit. But pressing people to use it—especially telling people to take it even if they don’t have COVID-19—has definite, clear, and bleak consequences. Not only is this a powerful drug that is not indicated for people with known heart issues, it can generate new heart arrhythmia, and even heart attacks, in those without known issues.
Even more importantly, Trump’s daily advocacy of the drug is driving up a gray-market demand that is making it harder and harder for those who really do need the drug for malaria, or for its anti-inflammatory effects against lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, are finding it nearly impossible to get their prescriptions refilled. In drug store after drug store, people genuinely ill with a condition that can genuinely be addressed by this drug are finding their prescriptions delayed, sometimes indefinitely.
Why is Trump causing genuine harm to push a drug that may or may not have any benefit? Hidden several paragraphs down in the Times story about the supposedly “divided” medical community comes this information: “Mr. Trump himself has a small personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine.”
A small interest in a drugmaker may not seem like the kind of thing that would put Trump in front of a camera every day, encouraging Americans to treat a dangerous drug like Tic Tacs and tossing on his trademark “What have you got to lose?” But this is Trump. This is the guy who tried to stiff every small contractor, on ever trivial task, in the middle of billion-dollar construction projects. Whether it was curtains, pipes, or cabinets, Trump was more than willing to shaft companies to weasel out of bills.
Of course Trump is willing to push a possible worse-than-worthless drug on America for a small gain—and that’s assuming the known stock ownership is the limit of how Trump is benefiting from this deal. Trump isn’t alone in this, his whole criminal gang, including well-known medical expert Rudy Giuliani, are out there both touting this drug and using it as a means of lining their own pockets.