Today was the first time in the COVID daily briefings that Trump has mentioned the 2018 “Right to Try” as the reason for insistence on untested treatments, confabulating them with cures and vaccines.
It is an extension of the RW deregulatory discourse that when it comes to the desperate time (the reasons for DNR do-not-resuscitate orders) for terminally-ill patients, that false hope can be prescribed. Not unlike Terri Shiavo and Bill Frist, desperation can be manipulated for religious effect.
Trump is doing just that, looking for COVID-19 medical miracles that might provide the political miracle for his 2020 campaign. Truly a Hail Mary. He needs poster children, and confusing FDA approval with other expert opinions is appealing to his GOP base.
Trump just said that the FDA approved hydroxychloroquine for use against Covid-19.
That is medical misinformation:
The FDA gave an emergency use authorization, with a fact sheet that explicitly says there is no approved product to treat Covid-19. https://t.co/PptuczxVn7 pic.twitter.com/vVv55eP8mrÃ¢ÂÂ Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) April 5, 2020
NEW: Inside the White House Situation Room yesterday, economic adviser Peter Navarro got into a heated dispute with infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci over the efficacy of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine. Details here: https://t.co/lvpf9HRxy5
Ã¢ÂÂ Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) April 5, 2020
Between the lines: “There has never been a confrontation in the task force meetings like the one yesterday,” said a source familiar with the argument. “People speak up and there's robust debate, but there's never been a confrontation. Yesterday was the first confrontation.”
- In response to a request for comment on Axios' reporting, Katie Miller, a spokesperson for the vice president, said: “We don't comment on meetings in the Situation Room.”
The bottom line: The way to discuss the drug's potential has become a fraught issue within the Trump administration.
- Most members of the task force support a cautious approach to discussing the drug until it's proven.
- Navarro, on the other hand, is convinced based on his reading that the drug works against the coronavirus and speaks about it enthusiastically.
- Some of Trump's favorite TV hosts, including Fox's Sean Hannity, and friends including Rudy Giuliani, have also been touting the malaria drug for the coronavirus. Trump has made no secret who he sides with.
- “What do you have to lose? Take it,” the president said in a White House briefing on Saturday. “I really think they should take it. But it's their choice. And it's their doctor's choice or the doctors in the hospital. But hydroxychloroquine. Try it, if you'd like.”
Fact check: President Donald Trump is pitching an unapproved medicine for COVID-19 sufferers that science has not concluded is effective or safe https://t.co/ptRk9DM7hh
Ã¢ÂÂ Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) April 6, 2020
Right to try legislation gives terminally ill patients the right to use experimental medications that have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Ã¢ÂÂA review of federal purchasing contracts by The Associated Press shows federal agencies waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, mechanical ventilators and other equipment needed by front-line health care workersÃ¢ÂÂ https://t.co/ccL1cmEoJ5
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) April 5, 2020