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Here’s the truth about the drug Trump thinks is a miracle coronavirus cure

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As to be expected, President Donald Trump took to Twitter over the weekend to try to ease public fears about COVID-19 by promoting several experimental drug treatments. In an all-caps tweet, Trump urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to “move fast” to approve a combination of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, and azithromycin, an antibiotic, as a potential treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. On Twitter, Trump served as hypeman for this medical cocktail, writing that these drugs “have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine.”

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This article originally appeared at Salon.

For someone with no background in medicine, Trump is weirdly convinced of the efficacy of these drugs. Last week, in a press conference, Trump said he felt “good” about the possibility of chloroquine, another related anti-malaria drug, and hydroxychloroquine as potential treatment for COVID-19. Today, he shared an article from the New York Post about a man surviving COVID-19 thanks to hydroxychloroquine. Yet anecdotes should not be confused for statistics; most scientists, researchers and doctors will tell you that one anecdotal story from the New York Post does not constitute clinical evidence that any of these drugs can, or should, be used to treat COVID-19.

According to a study published on the web site bioRxiv, there have been 69 drugs identified, including chloroquine, that could treat the respiratory disease that has caused 16,359 deaths and mass economic disruption worldwide. The World Health Organization is looking into both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as possible ways to slow or kill the virus, but there are plenty of unknowns that prevent it from being a “game changer,” as Trump called it. Science magazine details the concerns in a recent report. Similar to Trump’s previous dangerous rhetoric, his claims have the possibility to cause more harm than good. As NPR reported, some pharmacists are concerned about people hoarding the drugs. “Our members are definitely seeing more demand for this medication and possibly some people trying to hoard the medication,” Todd Brown, executive director of the Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association, told NPR. “Pharmacists are seeing an increase in requests and prescriptions for them, in instances where it’s not clear why the patient needs it at this time.” Health officials in Nigeria said that three people have overdosed on the drug.

Salon spoke with Rodney J.Y. Ho, a professor and director of the Targeted, Long-acting and Combination Anti-Retroviral Therapy (TLC-ART) program at the University of Washington, about both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as potential drugs to treat COVID-19.

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WATCH: John Oliver exposes Trump’s lies about vote-by-mail — and the Fox News ‘cult’ claiming the election is already ‘rigged’

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's main story Sunday refuted President Donald Trump's latest crusade against vote-by-mail. Trump announced on Twitter that the more people who vote in an election, the more Republicans tend to lose. So, he wants fewer people to have access to the ballot in November, even if people are too scared to go out during the coronavirus crisis.

Oliver called out Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO), who outright told people not to vote if they were too afraid to vote in the local elections next week.

"Well, hold on there," Oliver interjected. "Voting is a right. It has to be easy to understand and accessible to anyone."

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John Oliver rips Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for urging ‘order’ from people of color — but never demanding it of police

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John Oliver opened his Sunday show, shredding Fox News host Tucker Carlson for uring "order" among protesters, but refusing to urge "order" to police and "wannabe police" who can't stop killing people.

It's a lot, Oliver explained. "How these protests are a response to a legacy of police misconduct, both in Minneapolis and the nation at large and how that misconduct is, itself, built on a legacy of white supremacy that prioritizes the comfort of white Americans over the safety of people of color."

While some of it is complicated, Oliver conceded, most of it is "all too clear."

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Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent

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The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.

The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.

Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/1267291138655956992

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