Morbidly Obtuse: Pelosi and the Media versus Hydroxychloroquine

When US president Donald Trump mentioned that he’s taking hydroxychloroquine, he immediately got an extra dose of flak from both the mainstream media and noted medical experts such as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Trump has been using the drug prophylactically versus COVID-19 — which he’s likely been exposed to via a personal valet —  with the concurrence of his physician.

Pelosi chided Trump for taking “something that has not been approved by the scientists” (it has been) and worried that he’s at risk of side effects because he’s “morbidly obese” (he’s not).

A Bing search on the terms “hydroxychloroquine” and “unproven” returns nearly 28,000 results for the 24 hours following Trump’s statement. The media apparently want us to believe that there’s something sketchy and experimental about hydroxychloroquine.

Contra Pelosi, hydroxychloroquine was “approved by the scientists” at the US Food and Drug Administration in 1955.

Those scientists deemed it both “safe” in general and “effective” for certain disorders (obviously not including a virus which they couldn’t even know existed for anther 65 years), with doctors permitted to prescribe it “off-label” for other maladies.

As of 2017, hydroxychloroquine was the 128th most prescribed drug in the United States, at more than 5 million prescriptions. It appears on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. Nobody was calling it “unproven” in any way until Donald Trump mentioned it, and nobody would be calling it that now if he HADN’T mentioned it.

Is hydroxychloroquine effective either as a treatment for, or protector against, COVID-19? Various juries are likely to be out on that question for a long time.

Are there known side effects associated with the drug’s use? Sure. Find a drug with no side effects and you’ve probably found a drug with no effects at all.

Do any of the facts above really matter? No.

It’s none of the FDA’s business what drugs Donald Trump decides to take.

It’s none of Nancy Pelosi’s business, either, unless he feels like discussing it with her.

It’s only the media’s business because he decided to tell them about it.

And if you decide to take hydroxychloroquine, or any other drug, it’s nobody else’s business either.

It’s probably a good idea to consult your doctor before taking just about any medication, but that’s YOUR call, not anyone else’s, to make.

It’s YOUR body.

It’s YOUR life.

It’s YOUR decision.

Don’t let Nancy Pelosi, the media, or anyone else tell you otherwise.

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Thomas L. Knapp

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Tom has worked in journalism — sometimes as an amateur, sometimes professionally — for more than 35 years and has been a full-time libertarian writer, editor, and publisher since 2000. He’s the former managing editor of the Henry Hazlitt Foundation, the publisher of Rational Review News Digest (2003-present), former media coordinator and senior news analyst at the Center for a Stateless Society (2009-2015) and also works at Antiwar.com. He lives in north central Florida.

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John
John
9 days ago

It is truly sad that this is a controversial notion. You own yourself, you make the fundamental decision, to live or die,that’s your choice. You can take advice, counsel,information, but the final decision is always yours. The Govenor of Massachusetts, Baker, talks recently about making “trade-offs”,how HE has to decide which choice to make, lockdown or free up the economy, that’s not a tradeoff, He is making the choice, and he’s forcing HIS decision on us by the power of the government GUN! The Founding fathers of our country would be spinning in their graves if the heard talk like… Read more »