At a March 19th White House coronavirus briefing, President Trump said, “Now, a drug called chloroquine, and some people would add to it, hydroxychloroquine, so chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine … [has] shown very encouraging, very, very encouraging early results.”
Last week The New York Times reported, “Malaria Drug Helps Virus Patients Improve, in Small Study,” adding, “A group of moderately ill people were given hydroxychloroquine, which appeared to ease their symptoms quickly…” Also last week an international survey of thousands of doctors rated hydroxychloroquine the “most effective therapy” for the coronavirus.
But in between those periods, possibly costing lives, the press mocked the president for his accurate words at the March briefing.
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“Trump peddles unsubstantiated hope in dark times,” said CNN‘s Stephen Collinson. Trump was “adopting the audacity of false hope” and promoting “premature optimism.” Collinson charged that “there’s no doubt he overhyped the immediate prospects for the drug” because the FDA had not provided an explicit timeline on approving the drug to treat coronavirus.
“Trump is giving people false hope of coronavirus cures. It’s all snake oil,” read a Washington Post headline. The Post went on: “Trump is spreading false hope for a virus cure—and that’s not the only damage… The most promising answer to the pandemic will be a vaccine, and researchers are racing to develop one. Mr. Trump’s inappropriate hype has already led to hoarding of hydroxychloroquine and diverted supplies from people with other maladies who need it. His comments are raising false hopes. Rather than roll the dice on an unproven therapy, let’s deposit our trust in the scientists.”
USA Today: “Coronavirus treatment: Dr. Donald Trump peddles snake oil and false hope.” Left-wing Salon said Trump’s words at the briefing regarding treatment were his “most dangerous flim-flam: False hope and quack advice.” Looks like the word went out: Drum in the idea that Trump gave “false hope.”
Now on Monday, will they issue retractions, updates, or corrections? Not likely. They want no one to remember what they said. They do not want the public to know they put politics over lives. We here work differently…
LifeZette update: Last week we wrote an article on a Department of Veterans Affairs Baltimore Medical Center delay in getting medications to patients by phone refill. Those patients who contacted us then…have now received their medications. Thus the VA has rectified the situation since our article, when they were not available for comment. A VA spokesperson has since contacted us and was helpful and forthright in aiding us with data. We thank the VA for their cooperation.