Hydroxychloroquine and the Presidential election

The Story:

For much of the period during which the prevalence and danger of the Covid-19 virus was rising to be the dominant public issue in the United States, President Donald Trump has been touting the presumed benefits of one proposed remedy: hydroxychloriquine (a malarial drug). He is now apparently backing away from that, but former Vice President Joe Biden, his presumptive opponent in his reelection campaign, is in a position to make it a potent political issue.

Background:

On March 21, President Trump tweeted that hydroxychloriquine, especially in combination with Azithromycin, was a “game changer” in dealing with the Coronavirun pandemic. In one of his press conferences, he said that Covid patients have “nothing to lose” by trying it. It turns out, though, that they may have a great deal to lose. It might worsen their odds of survival.

The Thing to Know:

The President’s declarations as to hydroxychloriquine may have been more than unhelpful. They may have been consistent with financial self interest. The Trump family’s trust has a (small) financial interest in Sanofi, the maker of the drug in question, which is generally used as an anti-malarial medicine. The Sanofi connection will of course assist the cause of those who oppose President Trump’s re-election.

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