The White House’s Thursday morning press conference featured a plethora of appalling remarks from the president as he desperately tried to pass off the blame for his administration’s slow response to the coronavirus onto the media, the Chinese, anyone he possibly could point a finger at.
But perhaps his most pernicious comments were his touting of the use of a malaria drug to treat the coronavirus infection that he claimed the FDA had approved. “It’s been around for a long time, so we know that if things don’t go as planned it’s not going to kill anybody,” carelessly bragged the President, who promised it would be available almost immediately.
Of course, the FDA has not approved the use of chloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients and it’s unclear where the president got the idea that it has. FDA administrator Stephen Hahn came out almost immediately after the president’s remarks and clarified that they are looking at the drug’s effectiveness in clinical trials but have not approved the drug for use in treatment yet.
Dr. Hahn having to clean up after Trump and clarify that Chloroquine needs to still go through trials before being approved to treat COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/3GPMlrofyp
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) March 19, 2020
11:47: *TRUMP SAYS FDA HAS APPROVED CHLOROQUINE FOR USE IN COVID-19
11:48: *TRUMP SAYS STILL COLLECTING EVIDENCE OF CHLOROQUINE EFFICACY
11:48: *TRUMP SAYS CHLOROQUINE RISKS LOW AND ARE WELL-KNOWN
12:12: *FDA SAYS IT HAS NOT APPROVED CHLOROQUINE FOR COVID-19 USE
— Emma Kinery (@EmmaKinery) March 19, 2020
The president also claimed that an experimental drug called “remdesivir” has also been “essentially approved,” though he did not give any details as to what that actually means.
Trump has grown more and more desperate in his efforts to pass the buck for the coronavirus crisis, which he deliberately tried to conceal and likely inadvertently allowed to worsen in a misguided effort to protect his re-election efforts.
Now that the virus has spread to every state in the union, he’s turned to overcompensating in an effort to show leadership and make it look like he’s doing a better job than he is, hyperbolic in his celebration of every tiny win and outright lying about the true severity of the crisis facing us.
But it’s truly terrifying to see his reckless disregard for the truth being applied to such critically important subjects like drug treatments in a pandemic or how many masks are available for healthcare workers across the country. Every lie he tells puts more lives at risk.
this doesn't bode well pic.twitter.com/7WbTW1ImYW
— Eva Cantor✡More Like Chronic BRAWNchitis (@PoRiverJamBand) March 19, 2020
Please consider supporting the fund. Thank you!
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.