Donald Trump continues to tout the potential benefits and pressure the American public into taking hydroxychloroquine – an anti-malarial medication – to treat Covid-19 symptoms, despite his top scientists expressing doubt about its effectiveness.
But why is Trump so keen on hydroxychloroquine? In what Financial Times news editor Matthew Garrahan called, “The most buried lede of all time,” The New York Times has reported that Trump owns a stake in the company that makes it.
In a story published 6 April, the Times reports:
“If hydroxychloroquine becomes an accepted treatment, several pharmaceutical companies stand to profit, including shareholders and senior executives with connections to the president. Mr. Trump himself has a small personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine.”
“It’s. Always. Money.” Political commentator Brian Tyler Cohen tweeted.
"What do you have to lose?" Trump asked repeatedly at press briefings on Saturday and Sunday.
It's been out there for a long time. What do you have to lose? I hope they use it.
(Some side effects may include blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, cramps, headaches and diarrhea.)
"I may take it. I have to ask my doctors," he added.
Misinformation surrounding this type of drug has been rife across America. One man in Arizona ingested chloroquine phosphate – of which hydroxychloroquine is a less toxic derivative – in an attempt to protect himself from the virus and died.
While Trump has said that hydroxychloroquine could be among “the biggest game changers in the history of medicine” the European Commission, various studies and even Dr Anthony Fauci have all warned that any evidence is anecdotal.
While Trump’s infatuation with finding a “silver bullet” cure may have stemmed from his desire to get the American economy up and running, it’s clear he also may have a different and more devious motive.