Friday, May 22, 2020

New Study (Involving 96,000 Participants) Finds Trump's "Game-Changer" Drug Is, In Fact, A Lethal Choice

Participants diagnosed with COVID-19 were MORE LIKELY to die if they were treated with hydroxychloroquine than if they were not.

Hydroxychloroquine. Maybe you've heard of it? If you've been paying any attention to the president during the past few weeks during this crisis, you definitely have.

Donald Trump has been peddling the drug, which is typically used to treat malaria and sometimes lupus, as a possible treatment for coronavirus. He's said it's a "game-changer" and has asked, rhetorically, what do Americans have to lose by taking it?

The implication from the president in asking that question in that way is that, even if it doesn't work, it's better to try the drug if you have coronavirus versus getting normal treatment. But that wasn't what medical professionals were saying — it was merely Trump's own advice, not based on any sound studies whatsoever.

In fact, Trump was confronted recently about a small study observing VA patients across the country taking the drug. That study found that people were more likely to die being treated with hydroxychloroquine than if they had been treated in a conventional way.

The president derided that study, as he does with a number of things he doesn't like, as being somehow against him. He called it a "Trump enemy statement."

When you're as paranoid as Trump is, even scientific inquiry is his foe.

Trump didn't just deride that study as an "enemy statement," but also tried to suggest it wasn't based on sound research. However, a new study — involving 96,000 participants from around the world — has some new insights into how well hydroxychloroquine works.

The study's findings?

Don't take it. Just...don't. Here's why… (From The Washington Post):
A study of 96,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients on six continents found that those who received an antimalarial drug promoted by President Trump as a “game changer” in the fight against the virus had a significantly higher risk of death compared with those who did not.

People treated with hydroxychloroquine, or the closely related drug chloroquine, were also more likely to develop a type of irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmia, that can lead to sudden cardiac death, it concluded.
This study, which was published in the medical journal The Lancet, basically confirms information Trump has already been confronted with: hydroxychloroquine is not a safe or effective way to treat people diagnosed with COVID-19. It can lead to unnecessary deaths if used.

But Trump being Trump, he won't admit he was wrong. He never does. Case in point: he still has not apologized to former President Barack Obama for spreading the "birther" conspiracy. When he finally admitted it wasn't true, his comments blamed Hillary Clinton, whom he (falsely) said started the rumor.

It's not in Trump's wheelhouse to trust the scientific method, nor to apologize or admit he was wrong. And if Americans have to die because of that, well, don't expect this president to care one iota.

Of course, he'll probably try to lie about those deaths, too.

Featured image credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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