Trump takes hydroxychloroquine every day because what do scientists know anyway?

The President has gone further than any of us thought by becoming a coronavirus guinea pig himself

Holly Baxter
New York
Monday 18 May 2020 23:59 BST
Trump says he's been taking hydroxychloroquine for a 'few weeks'

Donald Trump wants you to know that he takes hydroxychloroquine. “I take it,” he told reporters earlier today during a press conference, adding that “so far, I feel OK.”

Well, if you haven’t injected bleach into your veins yet or swallowed a UV light, then perhaps this next prevention-but-also-cure (conveniently, in Trumpworld, preventions and cures are completely interchangeable) for the virus rampaging this planet will be the one for you. Unless he was just “being sarcastic,” of course. And if he is, then he will tell you via someone in his administration at a later date and it may or may not be true. It’s Schrodinger’s sarcasm, and it almost exclusively applies when you’ve just said something which could lead to the deaths of thousands of people.

Does it matter to Donald J Trump that back in March, when he again decided that chloroquine was an effective treatment for Covid-19 despite no supporting medical evidence, one man died and a woman ended up in critical care after taking a form of the drug which is used to clean aquariums? Does it matter that studies done since then on coronavirus patients given hydroxychloroquine have shown it has little effect, and in some cases can provoke fatal heart problems? Does it matter that chloroquine can cause psychosis and other unsavoury psychiatric effects, which made it fall out of favor as an antimalarial long before it started being touted as a possible Covid-19 treatment? We can but guess, while at the same time fearing what might happen if the President of the Free World has a psychotic break while attempting to handle a global pandemic.

“I take a pill every day,” The Donald said earlier. “It seems to have an impact. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t... You don’t get sick and die.” Ah yes, the old “I didn’t die so it’s probably fine” logic, wheeled out for generations by people who still want to hit their kids. It’s a gem of a theory, isn’t it? Personally, I have a cup of imported English tea every morning, and I haven’t died once. Follow the link at the end of this article to buy my special Anti-Death Tea Leaves for a very reasonable markup!

Of course, there is another way in which the Pres could protect himself rather than resorting to drugs with serious known side effects, and that's by wearing a mask, which as far as I know has never once induced psychosis independently. But masks, as everyone knows, aren't manly. You know what's manly? Repurposed antimalarials.

There’s always the possibility that The Donald is lying to us all about this hydroxychloroquine thing, shocking though that idea may be. Like when he said a couple of days ago that “Germany and the United States are the two best in deaths per 100,000 people” (I'm being charitable here and assuming that when he said “best in deaths”, the President didn’t literally mean “we’re doing the best in killing off our own population”, which would have been a lot more honest.) We used to hope and pray the President would tell the truth. Then we got inured to the lies. Now we hope and pray he's lying — and that people are savvy enough to realize his lying, rather than trusting enough to follow his Pied Piper of Hydroxychloroquine off the nearest cliff. That's right where you want your country to be politically during a pandemic, isn't it?

So there it is in the news and the mouth of the White House's blondest resident again: hydroxychloroquine, the miracle drug produced by pharma giant Sanofi, who Trump has a “small” financial link to, and which he decided was going to cure coronavirus long before scientists had the chance to see if it would. Studies since have been more positive about the antiviral remdesivir and the extremely cheap-to-produce convalescent plasma — in other words, antibodies taken from the blood of people who previously had Covid-19 and recovered. The thing about convalescent plasma is that it’s very cheap to produce, as it’s made inside the human body and easily extracted. No pharmaceutical company can patent it; no millions will be made if it’s found to be the best cure. But do you really want to trust the crooked doctors who are going to tell you it’s worth pursuing? Take it from me, a jobbing writer with an arts degree: Anti-Death Tea Leaves are your only hope.

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