Francis Collins has served as Director of the National Institutes for Health for a dozen years, working with three different presidential administrations, and now he’s done. He’s retiring, and on his way out he’s giving the nation another warning about the dangers of the Omicron variant and what can be expected over the next few months. That’s not all, though — he’s also sharing more information about how the Trump Administration endangered American lives by pushing COVID-19 ‘treatments’ when the efficacy was unproven but risks were known.
According to The Hill, Collins shared that Donald Trump and other Republicans had pressured him to encourage the use of hydroxychloroquine (often shortened to HCQ) and other drugs that had not been proven to be effective against COVID-19, even when the FDA issued warnings about actual known risks of the medication. Collins said he got a “talking-to” by the then-POTUS, but stood his ground and refused to push medications that science did not support.
The Associated Press reported last year on these drugs, particularly addressing HCQ — an effective anti-malaria medication, but not a proven treatment for COVID-19. In fact, in a study of 368 patients, more of those who were given HCQ died, compared to those receiving the standard care.
Despite this, Collins says that the then-president was pushing him to claim that the drug was effective against the COVID-19 virus fueling the pandemic.
Trump has been criticized widely for his leadership failures during the early stages of the pandemic, including downplaying it and publicly pontificating about potential “cures,” such as disinfectants.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com