Fox’s Neil Cavuto at the center of Trump’s hydroxychloroquine madness


“It was amazing,” said Cavuto, reacting to the president’s remarks. “The President of the United States, just to admit that he is taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug that [was] really intended to treat malaria and lupus. The President insists that it has enormous benefits for patients who are trying to prevent or who have already covid-19. The point is, however, when the President said, “What do you have to lose?”, A number of studies, those that are certainly vulnerable in the population, have one thing to lose. Their lives. “

In his own remarks, Trump was Trump. “Because I think it’s good,” said the president when asked why he was taking it. “I have heard many good stories. And if it’s not good, I’ll tell you well – you know, I’m not going to suffer from it. ”

These remarks strongly reminded us that Trump’s views are not particularly concerned with knowledge. In the past week and a half – roughly the same period in which Trump stated that he had taken the drug – two studies have emerged, casting doubt on the effectiveness of the drug against virus. “The nail was practically placed in the coffin of hydroxychloroquine,” William Schaffner, an advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN. One of the studies found that patients taking the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin were more likely to experience cardiac arrest during the study period.

Ongoing clinical trials are expected to yield more definitive and reliable information on the drug and covid-19.

Citing “heart rhythm problems”, the FDA advised against using hydroxychloroquine in late April “outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial.” Trump has a “common” form of heart disease. A small Brazilian study on chloroquine – which is linked to hydroxychloroquine – was stopped in April after “coronavirus patients taking a higher dose of chloroquine developed an irregular heart rate that increased their risk of cardiac arrhythmia potentially life-threatening, “according to the New York Times.

In his discussion of the dangers, Cavuto noted: “If you are in an at risk population here and you take this as a preventative treatment to ward off the virus, or in the worst case, you are dealing with the virus and you are in this vulnerable population will kill you. I can’t stress it enough – it will kill you. So, again, whatever benefits the President says it has and certainly for people with malaria, suffering from lupus, it is a leap that should not be taken casually by those looking to home or assuming well, the President of the United States says it’s okay. Even the FDA has been very careful about this unless in a safe and deliberately monitored clinical trial. to make a political point here, but a point of life and death. Be very, very careful.

Going back to President Trump. On Fox News. How long before Trump starts tweeting? Not long:

When it comes to cable TV hosts, Cavuto is at the forefront of disease and medication. It comes from personal experience when he was battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma when he was in his twenties. In his thirties, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and he underwent open heart surgery in 2016. “I have a progressive disease,” Cavuto told NPR in 2018. “I’m not naive about it. . This can compromise your voice. The nerve endings that feed your esophagus will close. I can’t worry about it. I mean, I will know when I know. ”

Although Cavuto’s words were addressed to the President and anyone considering his actions without evidence, he could just as easily have spoken in the prime time of Fox News who spent much of the coronavirus season tying up credibility with hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment. It was one of those dramas where it was difficult to pinpoint where Trump ended and Fox News started. Matthew Gertz of Media Matters reports that in mid-March Fox News introduced the hype about hydroxychloroquine, with Trump essentially conveying optimism at these endless meetings of the coronavirus task force.

On prime time Fox News shows, the outlook for hydroxychloroquine has taken on the meaning of evangelism. After sampling CNN’s comments that hydroxychloroquine was unproven against Covid-19, host Tucker Carlson roared: “Watching people in the media talk about a potentially life-saving drug because a politician who ‘they don’t like approved it’s probably the most shameful thing I have, like someone who’s been doing this for 20 years, I’ve never seen it. [It] makes us ashamed to work in the same profession as these people. Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt called it a “wonder drug.”

And so on, in a circle of self-reinforcing comments. Following Monday’s announcement that Trump was taking the drug, opinion leaders on the network counter-programmed Cavuto. Sean Hannity ripped apart the “media crowd” for “leading what is [an] rambling, nonstop and endless public relations campaign against him. They acted like the president and his hope and optimism about drugs was a kind of mortal sin. Carlson commented, “I just have to say that it is very strange that someone’s choice of drugs is considered a political story. And Laura Ingraham noted that “television presenters, guests are panicking about this.”

Right – and maybe the biggest monster is your own colleague, Ingraham.

Can we host a Zoom meeting with Cavuto for the rest of the Fox News presenters?

As Trump spoke to drug journalists on Monday, he said, “I was just waiting to see your eyes light up when I said that, but – you know, when I announced that. In other words, there was an element of staging in this declaration, a constraint to obtain a rise in the journalists gathered. This media narcissism continued into the night, with tweets about Fox News and Cavuto. And as we finish this post, Trump tweeted this:

It’s still the media, and not much else.

Clinical trials will eventually lead to definitive conclusions on hydroxychloroquine and covid-19; public health experts will eventually determine the most effective measures to contain the coronavirus; and scientists will hopefully develop a powerful vaccine that can be mass produced quickly. What we may have trouble calibrating, however, is how stupid we get with each of these episodes.


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