Coronavirus: Trump peddles snake oil over chloroquine test, false hope
If Donald Trump wasn’t quite the quintessential snake-oil salesman at a news briefing this week and on Twitter Saturday — touting preliminary and even unproven medical remedies to the new coronavirus pandemic — he came disturbingly close.
Perhaps eager to demonstrate haste and hope after squandering weeks with a glacial rollout of COVID-19 testing kits, the president pitched Thursday that his FDA is now “slashing all the red tape” to review new therapies that:
- “Have shown very encouraging — very, very encouraging early results.”
- “Could be a game changer. Very powerful.”
- “Could be a tremendous breakthrough.”
FDA contradicts Donald Trump
Shortly after Trump made these remarks, the FDA rushed out a statement making it clear that there are no approved therapies or drugs to treat COVID-19.
Maybe clinical trials of these therapies will show promising results. We surely hope so. But for now, Trump risks giving Americans false hope about some pills they might use to ward off the effects of a virus 10 times more lethal, and three times as contagious, as the common flu.
His specific pitch focused on antiviral drugs used to treat other diseases. But none of them has yet shown safe and effective against COVID-19, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading immunologist and a member of the White House’s anti-coronavirus task force.