President Donald Trump was urged to use hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, to treat coronavirus during a visit to the oval office of Fox News host Laura Ingraham and two doctors who are frequent guests at his program.
And, it has been revealed, Trump has a financial interest in a French company that manufactures the drug.
The president walked out of Engraham’s meeting full of enthusiasm for hydroxychloroquine, which has shown promise but has not undergone rigorous testing for its treatment of COVID-19, the Washington Post reported.
And Trump has a small personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French company that makes Plaquenil, the branded version of hydroxychloroquine, the New York Times reported.
President Donald Trump was urged to use hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus during a visit to the oval office of Fox News host Laura Ingraham
Laura Ingraham brought two doctors who appear frequently with her to the Oval Office meeting to speak to President Trump about hydroxychloroquine
But the investment is part of the Trump family’s larger stake in a mutual fund, the largest of which is in Sanofi. The French drug maker also manufactures many other drugs and there is no evidence that Trump is motivated by personal gain and is not even aware of the investment.
Sanofi does not market hydroxychloroquine in the United States or the United Kingdom, according to the company.
Trump has repeatedly argued for hydroxychloroquine to be used as a treatment option for the coronavirus, although many medical officials – including Dr. Tony Fauci, who sits on the White House Coronavirus Task Force – have advocated a more cautious approach, noting the lack of reputation scientific studies on hydroxychloroquine.
But President’s attention to drugs comes from combination and optimism, sources told the newspaper, as Trump sought a quick fix to make the pandemic go away and let the economy reopen in time to recover before the November elections.
“The president lives in a world of wishes and hope,” said one person.
“It is the only thing anyone has claimed to offer an immediate respite from what has become their greatest challenge – and a political threat,” said a former senior administration official. The official described “Trump’s overwhelming desire for a silver bullet to make everything go away.”
Trump has given his own reasons for defending the drug.
“I want people to live and I see people dying,” he said in a daily press briefing on Sunday.
“What do we really have to lose?” He asked after announcing that his administration had purchased 29 million doses of the drug to fight the virus.
‘But what do I know? I’m not a doctor, ”admitted Trump. “I am not acting as a doctor. I say, do what you want.
Ingraham promoted hydroxychloroquine at 10 p.m. Fox News show.
When she met the president, she brought with her two of the guests she calls her “medical office”: Ramin Oskoui, Washington D.C.-based cardiologist, and Stephen Smith, infectious disease specialist in New Jersey.
Ingraham brought two of her guests to her “medical office” to meet Trump: Ramin Oskoui, a Washington D.C.-based cardiologist, and Stephen Smith, a New Jersey-based infectious disease specialist
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn was also in the room at the request of the president.
Smith, a graduate of Yale Medical School and a former Fellow of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made a presentation to the President on hydroxychloroquine based on his own experiences and studies, two White House officials and a person familiar with the meeting told the Post.
Smith told the newspaper that he had presented Trump with a spreadsheet and other documents about how the drug worked.
“I’m a guy who looks at the data,” said Smith. “I came as a scientist and a doctor. I trained with Dr. Fauci and I respect him very much. “
And he told Ingraham on his Wednesday night broadcast, “I think this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic. I am very serious.’
He also told him that none of his coronavirus patients who had been on hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin treatment for five days or more should have been intubated.
Oskoui, meanwhile, advised Trump on health policy during the 2016 campaign. And, in 2018, he wrote an opinion letter for LifeZette, the conservative news site founded by Ingraham, where he is listed. as a senior health care advisor, arguing that school shootings could be prevented by removing adolescents from certain antidepressants.
He advocated for hydroxychloroquine in the broadcast of Ingraham last week.
“We don’t have time to do beautiful randomized clinical trials. We know these drugs have a very good safety margin, ”said Oskoui. “These drugs are clearly effective and safe. They are inexpensive and easy to access. Perhaps the biggest problem with hydroxychloroquine is consuming enough.
American Medical Association President Dr. Patrice Harris told The Associated Press that she would not personally prescribe the drug to a coronavirus patient, saying the risks of serious side effects were “great and too important to minimize ”without large studies showing that the drug is safe. and effective for such use.
Harris pointed to the drug’s high risk of causing heart rhythm problems.
“People have their health to lose,” she said. “Your heart could stop.
White House business advisor Peter Navarro obtained hydroxychloroquine and fought with Dr. Anthony Fauci over the effectiveness of the drug.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, urged caution when using hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus
White House trade advisor Peter Navarro challenged Dr. Anthony Fauci of concern over the recommendation at a lively meeting in the White House Coronavirus task force on Saturday only on the basis of unscientific anecdotal evidence.
Navarro, who has no formal medical training, broke out in Fauci, raising his voice and saying that the study reports he had collected were sufficient to widely recommend the drug, a person close to the doctor told Axios. ‘exchange.
Fauci has repeatedly said that current studies only provide anecdotal results that indicate the drug is working. In response, Navarro told CNN on Monday, “I have two words for you:” second opinion. “
Navarro has attempted to source hydroxychloroquine worldwide as part of its role in coordinating the implementation of the Defense Production Act.
Trump announced last Thursday that he was invoking the Defense Production Act to help resolve supply chain issues with the manufacturing of fans and the production of additional N95 face masks.
The President instructed Navarro to coordinate these efforts.
In an impromptu press briefing at the White House on Sunday evening, Trump prevented Fauci from answering a reporter’s question about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.
When journalists tried to get Fauci’s opinion on the drug – having previously warned against viewing the malaria drug as a miracle drug – Trump stepped in and ended the question.
“We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I hope that in the not too distant future, we will be very proud of the work that we have all done, “said Trump, instead of letting Fauci respond.
Fauci warned Americans not to consider it a “knockout” drug for the coronavirus.
“We have to be careful not to take this majestic leap to assume it is a knockout drug. We still have to do the kind of studies that definitely prove if an intervention is really safe and effective, “he told Fox & Friends on Friday.
Hydroxychloroquine pills: President Trump and his administration have continued to promote the malaria drug not yet officially approved to fight the new coronavirus
Hydroxychloroquine is officially approved for the treatment of malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, not COVID-19. Small preliminary studies have suggested that it may help prevent the new coronavirus from entering the cells and may help patients clear the virus earlier. But these have shown mixed results.
Doctors are already prescribing the malaria medication to patients with COVID-19, a practice known as off-label prescription.
Research studies are now starting to test whether the drugs really help patients with COVID-19, and the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the drug in national stock as an option for doctors to consider for patients who cannot get into one of the studies.
But the drug has major potential side effects, especially for the heart, and Fauci said more tests are needed before it is clear that the drug works against the virus and is safe for such use.
Some limited studies have been conducted on the use of hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin in combination to treat COVID-19, but they have not included critical control groups that scientists use to validate the findings.
Researchers in China, for example, reported that cough, pneumonia and fever seemed to improve sooner in 31 patients receiving hydroxychloroquine compared to 31 others who had not received the drug, but less than people in the comparison group had a cough or fever to begin with.
Many questions were asked about another study in France. Some of the 26 people who received hydroxychloroquine in this test were not counted in the final results, three of whom worsened and were sent to intensive care, one who died one day after being tested negative for the virus and one who stopped treatment due to nausea.
The French study was published in a journal of the International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. The president of the company wrote on his website that the report “does not meet the expected standards of the company”.