A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 30

Another obscure object of desire.

Tuesday, April 7

It’s precisely because Trump and his pals have been hyping hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 cure-all that many in the public are inclined to dismiss the drug. It turns out that some doctors in some hospitals have been using it, along with azithromycin, in desperate cases of COVID-19. Their reasoning is pretty unscientific: Try anything.

And then along come the Trump goonies with their Napoleonic bombast and open contempt for appropriate procedure, seemingly intent upon discrediting hydroxychloroquine by associating themselves with it. “One of the things that a good litigator becomes, is you kind of become an instant expert on stuff,” says the dentally-challenged Rudy Giuliani, unintentionally in full Ricky Gervais-like cringe-humor mode. 

There are nutzo coincidences: Turns out, the upstate New York doctor who first plugged the stuff, Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, was born in Ukraine, Rudy’s favorite country. “When I finished Biden, I immediately switched to coronavirus and I have been doing an enormous amount of research on it,” elaborates the quick-study former New York mayor.

And forget Fauci or serious medical researchers. The drug has the backing of Fox News’ Laura Ingraham and of Fox contributor and weight-loss-nostrum champion Dr. Mehmet Oz.

As if to put the cherry on top of the suspicious-looking sundae, the Times reports that Trump himself, one member of his cabinet, and various financial backers all have financial ties to the drug’s manufacturers. Last year, Trump acknowledged that his three family trusts each had investments in a mutual fund whose largest holding was drugmaker Sanofi. Another investor in hydroxychloroquine makers Sanofi and Mylan is Invesco, the fund previously run by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. One of Sanofi’s largest shareholders is the investment company run by Ken Fisher, a major GOP funder.(https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/06/us/politics/coronavirus-trump-malaria-drug.html)  And, according to The Daily Beast and ProPublica, a business group started by Trump megadonor and Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus has purchased Facebook ads to push for the adoption of the anti-malaria medication.

Another promoter: billlionaire entrepreneur and would-be-spaceman Elon Musk, who has 33 million Twitter followers.

It’s all enough to make a person guzzle aquarium cleaner .

Dinner: Avgolemono soup along with lettuce and cucumber salad.

Entertainment: The penultimate episode of The Crown, half of the unfunny Francis Ha, and one episode of Berlin Babylon.

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