I’m surprised we haven’t seen data on people like this. There are a ton of Americans taking HCQ right now for valid reasons, because they have a rheumatological condition. How many of them have gotten sick from coronavirus? That’ll give us some basic sense of whether the drug works as a prophylaxis against the disease.
We might not even need a scientific test to find out. Just hire a pollster to call people randomly and ask them (a) are you on hydroxychloroquine and (b) have you been diagnosed with COVID-19? It’d be interesting to see how many answer yes to both questions and how the share that got infected while using HCQ compares to the share of the overall population that got infected.
Anyway, I think I know what MAGA true believers will say to this clip: Zinc. It doesn’t work unless you take it with zinc.
National Review has an editorial today lamenting the “idiotic fight over hydroxychloroquine”, specifically how Trump’s insistence on taking the drug off-label “will embroil the White House and the Republican Party in defending hydroxychloroquine for the same reason his critics loathe a drug they hadn’t heard of before a few months ago — simply because it is a thing Trump favors.” How did culture-war politics reach the point of such complete nihilism that the efficacy of a medication is now a sticking point between Team Blue and Team Red? Worse, there’s evidence that the politics surrounding the issue are actually getting stupider. Here’s Biden last night missing an easy lay-up by comparing taking HCQ, an FDA-approved drug, to poison:
Joe Biden just compared President Trump taking Hydroxychloroquine, a drug that has been prescribed to people for 65 years by doctors, to injecting himself with Clorox. pic.twitter.com/EaLbQwlZP5
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) May 20, 2020
That reminds me of Joe Scarborough telling his viewers earlier this week not to take hydroxychloroquine because “it will kill you,” which, ah, it almost certainly will not. (Although it could cause concerning side effects.) If Democrats want to bust Trump for spreading medical misinformation, job one is to not spread medical misinformation themselves that might dissuade people who need the drug to treat other health problems from taking it.
On the other hand, we have the fringier edges of MAGA Nation reportedly so hyped up about hydroxychloroquine that they’re attempting to formulate their own — hamhandedly, of course:
Last week, promoters of the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory—which posits that top Democrats run pedophile sex dungeons and eat children—boosted a “home recipe” for hydroxychloroquine that consisted of steeping various fruit rinds. While the recipe’s proponents claimed that it would help people avoid “big pharmas fillers,” the fruits suggested in the recipe, like grapefruit, could react dangerously with other medications.
That’s not the only dubious recipe for replicating hydroxychloroquine’s still-unproven effects. In April, a video from Missouri chiropractor Eric Nepute raging against “fake news” went viral, racking up more than 1 million views. In his video, Nepute claimed that people with COVID-19 symptoms should just drink Schweppes Tonic Water for the quinine, wrongly claiming that its effects were “similar-ish” to hydroxychloroquine.
Eventually the partisanship around this will get so moronic that doctors won’t be able to conduct trials to see whether the drug works because politics will get in the way. People won’t want to participate.
Oh, wait. According to NPR, we’ve reached that point already.
I’ll leave you with the Speaker of the House explaining why she called the president of the United States “morbidly obese” in condemning his use of an unproven drug to prevent infection by a killer virus. I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence either.
.@SpeakerPelosi on calling President Trump morbidly obese: "I gave him a dose of his own medicine…I was only quoting what doctors had said about him so I was being factual in a very sympathetic way."
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 20, 2020