On Twitter and in press briefings at the White House, President Donald Trump has frequently sung the praises of a drug he’s called a “game-changer” in the fight against coronavirus.
Hydroxychloroquine has, anecdotally, been touted by doctors around the world as helpful to patients who are suffering the effects of COVID-19. However, there’s been no scientifically-backed study to demonstrate it’s effective in actually doing so, as Dr. Anthony Fauci has pointed out in his own comments on the drug.
What little studies do exist have shown there isn’t much of a change at all for patients taking the drug. One study out of France found that there’s no evidence hydroxychloroquine is beneficial in combatting the effects of coronavirus, nor in treating the disease itself.
The title of that study couldn’t be clearer: “No Evidence of Rapid Antiviral Clearance or Clinical Benefit with the Combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin in Patients with Severe COVID-19 Infection.”
Yet Trump continues to peddle the drug — even interrupting and stopping Fauci from answering questions from reporters about its efficacy on Sunday.
Why is he doing so? It may be that Trump genuinely feels the drug is a “game-changer.” Or, it could be that he has a vested interest — namely, financial — in promoting the drug.
“Trump himself has a small personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine.” https://t.co/XlLZr2gMZz
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 7, 2020
It turns out, Trump, through three separate family trusts, has investments in a mutual fund called Dodge & Cox, the New York Times reported. That mutual fund’s largest holding is Sanofi, a French drugmaker that produces the hydroxychloroquine-based drug Plaquenil, used largely by malaria and lupus patients.
Trump’s goals in promoting the drug may truly be moral — there is a chance that he is not thinking with his wallet in this situation. But this is why it’s important for presidents to put their holdings into a blind trust, so that they don’t even have the appearance of impropriety when it comes to how they govern or act.
To anyone looking at this from the outside in, questions deserve to be raised about Trump’s motivations.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.