Earlier today, Ed discussed how the FDA has given emergency approval for a pair of drugs that have shown some initial promise in treating patients who have contracted COVID-19. While there hasn’t been sufficient time to fully test the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine on these patients, there also simply isn’t any time to waste with no other effective treatments having been identified and a vaccine still being many months, if not an entire year away from general availability.
But not everyone seems to be on board with this plan. At the same time that the FDA was taking this action, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a frequent Trump critic and sparring partner, was issuing some directives of her own. But they didn’t involve endorsing the use of these drugs. In fact it sounds an awful lot like the exact opposite. She was “cracking down” on prescriptions for these drugs and demanding that their “legitimacy” be evaluated. (Washington Times)
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has come under criticism for a statewide order cracking down on prescriptions of hydroxychloroquine, a drug touted by President Trump to treat the novel coronavirus.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs issued an order Wednesday warning physicians against writing prescriptions “without a legitimate medical purpose” and instructing pharmacists to evaluate the “legitimacy” of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine prescriptions.
The department cited concerns about stockpiling amid “multiple allegations” of doctors writing prescriptions for family and friends, adding that reports of such conduct “may be further investigated for administrative action” and that other health professionals are required to report “inappropriate prescribing practices.”
Is this governor actually trying to restrict access to these drugs simply because the President had praised their potential effectiveness? (He was immediately criticized by many media talking heads and Democrats who have since largely fallen silent on the subject.) Would she really try to prohibit doctors from at least attempting to save some of their patients by using a drug that, while not fully tested, has arguably saved some lives already?
On March 21st, I didn't think I'd live to see midnight due to #Covid_19. I felt like I was slowly drowning. The Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin changed that and saved my life! Thank you to @realDonaldTrump and the many others for suggesting this treatment. It works!!!
— Jim Santilli (@JimSantilli) March 29, 2020
I did some checking into Ms. Whitmer’s background and discovered that she’s not any sort of doctor or medical authority. She went to school to be a lawyer and has been a politician for the majority of her adult life. Who is she getting her expert medical advice from when it comes to “cracking down” on these prescriptions?
As the Washington Times report notes, doctors frequently prescribe off-label drugs for patients in dire straits during emergency conditions. And while there has not been time to complete clinical trials of this drug in treating COVID-19 (or any drug, for that matter), she is taking a very different approach from some of her fellow Democratic governors. In New York, Andrew Cuomo brought in 70,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 doses of Zithromax and 750,000 doses of chloroquine. His attitude thus far has seemed to be one of allowing the doctors and other medical professionals to use their own best judgment and try anything that might help save lives.
Not so in Michigan. If Whitmer really is “cracking down” on these drugs just to avoid having to admit the President might have been right about something, she should be deeply ashamed. In fact, she should be out of office. If she can’t bring herself to try to save the lives of afflicted patients in Michigan she has no business running the state.