The Media Has an Interesting New Spin on Trump's Hopes for Hydroxychloroquine

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Posted: Apr 08, 2020 9:30 AM
The Media Has an Interesting New Spin on Trump's Hopes for Hydroxychloroquine

Source: Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

President Trump is excited about the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and its potential to save lives during the coronavirus pandemic. During Tuesday's coronavirus task force briefing, he spoke at length about the drug's promising clinical trials. He also shared the story about Democratic Michigan State Representative Karen Whitsett, who had a severe case of COVID-19 and thought she was on her death bed, until her doctor prescribed her hydroxychloroquine. In just two hours, she marveled, her condition improved.

She thanked Trump for having a role in saving her life. 

Is it any wonder why the president would be so gung ho about a drug with some proven, albeit anecdotal, results? The president admitted he's "not a doctor." But, he asked, what do patients "have to lose?"

Sunny Hostin doesn't see it that way. "The View" co-host explained on Monday that she believes the president wants to promote hydroxycholoroquine because it's in his best financial interests.

"And let’s face it, there’s always something in it for this president when he wants to tout something," Hostin said. "And so I’m very uncomfortable with this newfound love of hydroxychloroquine. I just don’t understand it, especially when the experts are saying that it’s not — it’s not even really approved for treatment."

Her outlandish, unfounded claim was given credence on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," when Mika Brzezinski wondered aloud why else Trump would muzzle Dr. Anthony Fauci's views on the drug. She encouraged her viewers to "follow the money."

In reality, Trump has a minuscule amount of stock in an only partially related company. The New York Times admitted that in their latest "gotcha" report. 

If hydroxychloroquine becomes an accepted treatment, several pharmaceutical companies stand to profit, including shareholders and senior executives with connections to the president. Mr. Trump himself has a small personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine.

Fact checkers upended the NYT narrative and concluded that Trump's financial stake in the related companies is "virtually negligible."

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There's no reasoning with Ms. Hostin. "The View" co-host is convinced that news networks should stop airing the daily White House coronavirus task force briefings because they are endangering the public.

"People are dying because of some of the information that's being disseminated from these clown press conferences," she said.

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