In the United States, Fauci maintains the same line as the rest of the medical community – cautious optimism, with a close eye on the many clinical trials underway. Trump, meanwhile, becomes a peddler. “What have you got to lose? Said the president on Saturday at a press conference. “I repeat: what do you have to lose? Take it. I really think they should take it. But it’s their choice. And that’s the choice of their doctor, or the doctors at the hospital. “Yesterday during a briefing, intercepted asked Fauci a question about hydroxychloroquine and told the reporter that the doctor would not respond.
What do you have to lose? is a grim feeling of a president managing a crisis for which his administration has failed to prepare: he has not developed tests, has failed to communicate and has not had enough masks for doctors. There is actually a lot to lose. Americans also need hydroxychloroquine to treat serious immune conditions and parasitic diseases. Since Trump started promoting the drug, people have accumulated it and it has been added to the growing list of drug shortages. Two weeks ago, in an attempt to buy it, an Arizona couple ingested chloroquine, which is intended for use in aquariums. The man is dead.
At times like these, the allure of any treatment that could offer a glimmer of hope is understandable. But even if hydroxychloroquine ends up being safe and useful for some people with the disease, bragging about it constantly distracts from the immediate needs of the attack. Now is not the time to abandon proven systems that protect people and create order. It is time to double the systems developed over the decades to help us find the best treatments for disease and make sure they are safe and effective. What do you have to lose? follows the logic of removing stop signs because they could slow people trying to get to the hospital.
In his capricious responses to this pandemic, Trump has given little indication that he respects, or even understands, the reasons for the scientific process. Hydroxychloroquine may be part of the therapeutic approach that will one day save lives. Apart from a proper testing process and clear messaging, it could cost lives. Addressing a world in a state of collective desperation, Trump offers exaggerated hope and endangers people as he walks.
Trump suggested on Saturday that research shows that people with lupus do not get the coronavirus, which means that their use of hydroxychloroquine protects them. “There is a rumor that, because it treats lupus very effectively, if I understand correctly, and it is a, you know, a drug used for lupus,” he said, “So there is a study that says that people who have lupus did not get this virus. It may be true; maybe not. ”
There is no such study.
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James Hamblin, M.D., is an editor at Atlantic. He is also a professor at the Yale School of Public Health and author of the forthcoming book. Clean.