Ever since President Trump touted the drug Chloroquine as a promising treatment for COVID-19 on March 19, the media has been relentless in downplaying, disparaging, or ignoring its potential. The usual hair-on-fire hysterics have hectored Trump as a dangerous, irresponsible liar, recommended censoring him and his daily White House press briefings, and even attempted to saddle him with the death of an Arizona man who drank fish tank cleaner that contained the chemical.
“Blood on his hands,” yelled tragic goatee victim Chuck Todd. “While the President fiddles, people are dying,” intoned Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). A global pandemic appears to have been just another moment, rife with opportunity for leftist elites and their media megaphones shrouded in the façade of journalistic integrity to try and erase the 2016 election – once again. If nothing else, the past few months have adequately answered the question of whether there is anything at all that could temper, tamp down, or neutralize the left’s hatred of this president.
But was Trump onto something about Chloroquine? Even as his medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, attempted to pump the driver’s ed brake from the passenger’s seat, Trump remained upbeat about its anecdotal successes and increasing application. This created an on-camera difference of opinion between the two, which the media immediately weaponized as a falling out of the most visible, worldwide figures on Coronavirus. To sow dissension among the ranks is one of the well-worn strategies against Trump. Still, it failed in this instance, as his team – including Dr. Deborah Birx – continued to demonstrate daily solidarity during the White House briefings. With wildly incorrect prognostications to be made and grim daily death totals to be tallied, the Chloroquine question was left unanswered.
The Cuomo Effect
Then, on March 23, from the epicenter of COVID-19, and after Trump’s March 19 announcement, New York governor Andrew Cuomo declared that clinical trials for Hydroxychloroquine would begin in the hope of approving the drug for general use in his state. This reflected the truth on the front lines, as it was quickly becoming a kind of well-known secret that doctors were already using Chloroquine, both prophylactically for themselves and as a treatment for their severely impacted patients.
Had Trump’s optimism, then, been ratified by Cuomo’s decision to run trials on the drug? Not if spin is your personal Jesus, or, in this case, if you’re adept at shell-gaming the story to something that better serves your narrative – namely, how calm and presidential Andrew Cuomo was as opposed to the orange blight in the White House. Scarcely a word about Cuomo’s recklessness in attempting to gain benefit from Chloroquine was printed by the media, which – like a fair-weather tween shifting allegiances from one teen idol to the next in the blink of an eye – was now besotted by Andrew Cuomo for Democratic Party King. As the new “It Guy,” Cuomo got a pass for his Chloroquine advocacy while the president was lined up with a blindfold and a cigarette for his.
But then on March 28, the FDA approved Hydroxychloroquine for emergency use in the case of severe COVID-19 distress, including for patients on ventilators and those being intubated. If the Food and Drug Administration was giving the anti-malarial medication clearance for emergency use in Coronavirus patients, surely the president was vindicated – at least in part – for his early, perhaps too eager advocacy of Chloroquine, right?
Wrong. This merely represented a chance for the Dummy Networks to make the distinction that the president was incorrect when he said it was approved by the FDA, when it was, in fact, approved for emergency use by the FDA. So the media were far more interested in pointing out that Trump was withholding sentence modifiers than they were that a medication approved at the highest levels of government might actually save Americans from dying.
The Media and Big Pharma
But was the media’s reflexive delegitimization of Chloroquine merely a symptom of a virus even more virulent than COVID-19 – namely, Trump Derangement Syndrome – or was there something else at work?
Consider this: Anywhere between 50-70% of the media’s advertising dollars come from Big Pharma. Pharmaceutical companies are all competing to make a vaccine for COVID-19. At roughly $50 per dose, the net purse for a vaccine that thought leaders the world over will want to make compulsory for every man, woman, and child on the planet is in the 350-billion-dollar range.
Were the media to report widely on the many success stories of Chloroquine, the drug might well be work-horsed into general use across America – and the world. Chloroquine is almost embarrassingly inexpensive. Having been approved for use in 1944 as a treatment for malaria and lupus, among other maladies, it also has a well-worn safety profile, proven over decades. And its myriad success stories in treating Coronavirus are mounting.
Democratic Representative Karen Whitsett of Michigan credits the drug for saving her life. Beset by two weeks of unshakeable fevers, she said she was spiraling downward when the Chloroquine quandary became national news. She consulted her physician, who prescribed the drug, together with Zithromax, and her condition began to improve “within a couple of hours.” “If President Trump had not talked about this,” she stated, “it would not be something that’s accessible for anyone to get.” Whitsett believes the president saved her life.
FOX News medical contributor Dr. Mark Siegel shared a story of his own on Tucker Carlson Tonight. He talked of a 96-year-old man with COVID-19 who complained of feeling very weak, despaired that he felt short of breath, was coughing, and felt sure he wasn’t “going to make it.” He told his family he couldn’t get up from the couch and believed the end was coming. The next day, Siegel related, the man’s cardiologist put him on Hydroxychloroquine and antibiotics. Siegel reported that the man “got up the next day and was fine.” He then shared the reveal: “This man is my father.”
A Hasidic New York doctor named Vladimir Zelenko claimed he has treated 699 patients with Chloroquine and has had no deaths and no patients intubated. Back on March 20, another New York doctor named William Grace, who works at Lennox Hills Hospital, told FOX anchor Laura Ingraham he had treated 100 patients with Hydroxychloroquine and had zero deaths as a result. A French infectious disease specialist named Didier Raoult was character assassinated by Slate for his early advocacy of Chloroquine, which included a clinical trial of 24 patients, all of whom recovered, tout suite, once administered the drug. And Los Angeles doctor Anthony Cardillo spoke about Hydroxychloroquine with ABC News. He said, “every patient I’ve prescribed it to has been very, very ill and within 8 to 12 hours, they were basically symptom-free, so clinically I am seeing a resolution.” TV’s Dr. Oz has also been highlighting the drugs successes – and been strafed for it. These are in no way definitive, but they are very compelling in aggregate, given the burgeoning international reports of Chloroquine’s success.
As with Chloroquine, Trump has an instinctive way of stumbling inelegantly on the truth. Remember when he hoped aloud the Coronavirus mortality rate would drop below 1%, a remark for which he was mocked and lambasted? On March 26, in a New England Journal of Medicine article, Anthony Fauci quietly adjusted his previous, catastrophic conjectures about how many people would die from the virus to – you guessed it – less than 1%. Fauci asserts in the article, “the overall clinical consequences of COVID-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of severe seasonal influenza, which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%.”
Missed that? Don’t feel bad – everyone else did too. And that is likely by design.
The calculus of control is rudimentary: Instilling fear makes a citizenry willing to relinquish its civil rights faster than undergarments abandoned on prom night. Recall how we all shrugged after 9/11 when the federal government established draconian surveillance measures against American citizens scared of terrorism – for our own good? And how we collectively and apathetically threw Edward Snowden under the bus for the revelation a few years later? Cultural memory is short – go back and watch the eerily familiar coverage of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic if you don’t believe me – and media manipulation is now attaining levels that warrant it being a dark art form.
So once again – why the obstructive pattern of reporting from much of the media on Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine? Even sober-minded AG Bill Barr decried the “jihad” against the drugs – and he isn’t typically given to hyperbole. The answer appears to be because the media is incentivized to dissemble in favor of its Pharma Overlords. And because the wildly lucrative Vaccine Hail Mary is imperiled if these repurposed malaria treatments succeed. And finally, because Trump was optimistic about it.
One fact now seems inescapable amid the infusions of “news” we’re being spoon-fed daily: You are being lied to by the mainstream media. But you knew that already.
Pennel bird is a writer, educator, musician, husband, and father who currently lives in Glendale, CA. He likes pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain.