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Trumps Obsession: Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine

What do we know of president Trump’s obsession with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine? The use of these drugs in the treatment of COVID-19 has been a matter of great concern due to the presence of the deadly Coronavirus epidemic, which has no cure. The president has continually pushed for the idea of utilization of these medicines for mass treatment. However, there is no sufficient evidence of their efficacy in literature. This paper explains why Trump is fixated on these medications.

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Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been associated with the development of heart rhythm problems and health safety issues such as lymph and blood system disorders, liver failure, and kidney injuries.The notion that these drugs can cure COVID-19 was started by James Todaro when he stated that “There is growing evidence of Chloroquine as a highly effective treatment for COVID-19,” (Darby) in his twitter account. This idea was later promoted by Gregory Rigano on air through the Laura Ingraham’s Fox News. The CEO of Tesla company, Elon Musk twitted “Maybe worth considering chloroquine for C19 treatment followed by Hydroxychloroquine probably better” (Darby). Musk later delivered this message to more than 30 million followers, who retweeted the information 13700 times.

President Trump suggested these two drugs during a press briefing on March 19. He argued that the pills have been in use for a long time in treatment of other ailments. Later, the head of state twitted that a combination of hydroxychloroquine & azithromycin is efficient in the management of the Corona virus (Donald Trump’s Obsession). According to the International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, the study linking COVID-19 treatment to chloroquine and hydroxyquinone did not meet the standards for undertaking a trustworthy trial. This is because the test subjects had varying ages and the doctors, researchers, and the patients knew the type of treatment subjected to them in the experimental trials. Despite the anomaly, Trump is stillinsisting on the medication. This implies that he might be getting incentives from the company’s manufacturing the drugs.

Trump’s arguments on the effects of these drugs are based on the Utilitarianism theory, which focuses on the results. This concept states that the most ethical choice is the one that has the greatest outcome in numbers; it is mostly used to justify wars. Three basic principles are governing this moral framework, which are happiness and pleasure producing a pure intrinsic value, right actions create happiness while the wrong ones yield sadness among people, and everyone’s happiness counts equally.

The president started taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure for the disease after some White House staff tested positive for the coronavirus. He neglected the safety concern linked to the drug because it made himfeel happy and sure that he is protected. According to Trump, the potential advantages of hydroxychloroquine are more than the relative risk expected (Masterson). Trump is obsessed with the drugs after continuously testing negative for the virus, thus, his ideas are justified.

Trump has failed to draw explicit differences between stronger and weaker evidence. In his opinion, the fact that hydroxychloroquine protected him against the emergent COVID-19 infection is enough to justify the drug efficacy. There are numerous warnings from physicians against their use due to adverse effects linked to it. For instance, on April 24, 2020, the Federal Drug Association proclaimed that they are aware of COVID-19 patients who developed serious cardiac rhythm problems after taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin at home. Ventricular tachycardia and QT interval prolongation has been experienced by the patients (Federal Drug Administration). Theclinical trials undertaken by health care officials provides strong evidence for a drug’s efficacy. Thus, the federal drug administration advice and rulesshould be followed.

According to the epistemology theory, it is important to understand how an opinion or belief is later considered as knowledge. There are three main conditions of epistemology, which are belief, truth, and justification. A discerned false proposition brings out the truth when investigated, consequently creating knowledge. Trump gave several anecdotal testimonials to prove that the controversial drugs are effective in the prevention and treatment of the disease. He claims that it provides the best strategy to combat the pandemic that has devastated the economy and caused about 90,000 deaths in America. Although there is no experimental trials to support the president’s ideology, it may be true. Thus, Trump’s information should not be ignored, rather it should be probed, analyzed, and handled by scientists to ascertain its credibility.

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Trump may be obsessed with these drugs because he has a financial interest. This is because he owns shares of some pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi that make the hydroxychloroquine locally called Plaquenil (Donald Trump’s Obsession). Several pharmaceutical industries have been making hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine on a large scale because they are anti-malarial drugs. These pills are also used to treat autoimmune disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The companies will gain more profits if it is accepted as a form of treatment for the coronavirus.

The conservative group called Job Creators Network is supporting the utilization of hydroxychloroquin in the treatment of Corona virus (Darby). This association once supported the president obsession by stating that there is enough evidence proving that hydroxychloroquine can significantly help coronavirus patients. This sentiment proves that Trump has a financial motive because the group is funded by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), which consists of Bayer, Teva, and Norvatis Pharmaceuticals. These companies are involved in hydroxychloroquine synthesis hence making them the greatest beneficiaries if this drug if demand increases.

The FDA retracted the authorization of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as an emergency drug for treating hospitalized patients (Food and Drug Administration). This decision was made based on the emerging analyzed scientific data (Food and Drug Administration). A large completely randomized clinical trial undertaken in the hospital showed that these drugs had no significant impact on increasing recovery rate or lowering the possibilities of deaths. These results corresponded with findings of other new research that stated that hydroxychloroquine does not kill or inhibit the COVID-19 virus. For these reasons, chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate no longer meet the legal criteria for emergency use authorization. Trump’s reasoning is invalidated by the experimental results. Thus, his obsession with these medicines is for personal gain.

Conclusion

The president obsession with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine has no scientific basis. However, the president may be supporting its use to create hope among the citizens because there is no cure or vaccine for the virus. Clinical trials have proved that the drugs increases death rates significantly in COVID-19 patients. Trump also refuses advice from health care professionals who have more knowledge and understanding of this novel virus. His strong believe in anecdotal reports from his supporters and friends at the expense of proven facts is not genuine. The president is simply seeking political mileage in his campaigns during this coronavirus pandemic period.

Works Cited

Darby,Luke. “How Trump Became Obsessed with Hydroxychloroquine.” GQ, 2020, Web.

“Donald Trump’s Obsession with Hydroxychloroquine Explained.”The Week, 2020, Web.

“FDA Cautions against Use of Hydroxychloroquine or Chloroquine for COVID-19 Outside of the Hospital Setting or a Clinical Trial Due to Risk of Heart Rhythm Problems”.Food and Drug Administration, 2020, Web.

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Masterson, Karen. “Trump Says He’s on a Miracle COVID-19 Drug. People Who Take His Advice May Die.” The Washington Post, 2020, Web.

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