On Monday, Donald Trump dipped back into his coronavirus playbook by bringing up the ol' hydroxychloroquine and went as far as to claim that he is now taking it.
Speaking to the press the president said that he had heard 'a lot of good stories' about the drug which is usually prescribed to treat Malaria and has no proven benefits against Covid-19.
I'm taking it! Hydroxychloroquine. Right now, yeah, a couple of weeks ago I started taking it. I've heard a lot of good stories. And if it's not good, I'll tell you right... I'm not gonna get hurt by it. It's been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus, for other things... I take it. Frontline workers take it. A lot of doctors take it. I take it... I hope to not be able to take it soon, because, you know, I hope they come up with some answer..
It would seem curious that after a week or so of banging on about a nonexistent conspiracy theory about Barack Obama that Trump would suddenly start talking about hydroxychloroquine again?
Well, it might be because Trump actually has some financial interest in the company that manufacturers the medication.
Hydroxychloroquine, goes by the over-the-counter name of Plaquenil, which is produced by the French company Sanofi, which the New York Times' revealed in April that the president has more than one tie to the firm.
One of Sanofi's largest stakeholders is Fisher Asset Management which is run by Ken Fisher, who just happens to be a major donor to the Republican Party and Donald Trump.
In addition, another pharmaceutical firm, Invesco also has financial ties to Sanofi and just happened to be run by Wilbur Ross, who is currently Trump's commerce secretary. At the time, Ross denied any knowledge in his former companies investment in Sanofi and claimed that he had not had any decision is Trump's decision to promote the drug.
Finally, on Sanofi, it was also revealed that Trump's three family trusts had made investments in Dodge & Cox mutual fund whose biggest stake was in...you guessed it Sanofi.
However, a spokesperson from Sanofi has since said that they no longer sell the drug in the US, although they do sell it oversees.
That being said, other pharmaceutical companies are now said to looking into making hydroxychloroquine, including Amneal Pharmaceuticals, whose owner Chirag Patel, is a friend of Trump's and has played golf with him at least twice since the president entered the White House.
Another is Mylan and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, whose board members include Roberto Mignone who had reportedly successfully reached out to Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner to help ease restrictions on bringing drugs into the United States. Mignone is also the vice-chairman of NYU Langone Health and has spoken to the White House about bringing hydroxychloroquine into the US and beginning studies on the drug's effectiveness against coronavirus.
How much Trump will actually benefit from all this remains unclear and it is still considered to a highly dangerous way to deal with coronavirus, which one man has already died from.
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