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

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President Donald Trump (MSNBC)

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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2020 Election

Here’s why Republicans who are calling for a Trump dictatorship should not be taken lightly — and aren’t going away

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The United States dodged an authoritarian bullet when former Vice President Joe Biden, a centrist Democrat, became president-elect, winning 306 electoral votes and defeating defeated President Donald Trump by more than 6 million in the popular vote. But when Republican Lin Wood, a pro-Trump attorney who has been fighting the election results in Georgia, implores Trump to impose martial law and elections officials are receiving death threats for acknowledging Biden as president-elect, it is painfully obvious that there is a strong appetite for fascism in parts of the United States. And journalist Sasha Abramsky, in an article published by The Nation on December 4, warns that Republicans who are openly calling for fascism should not be taken lightly.

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2020 Election

Welcome to ‘Crazytown’: An unprecedented frenzy in Georgia shows how democracy breaks down

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On the eve of the general election, Russ Silva and his family, like many fellow Georgians, watched as the results started slowly pouring across his television set. It was becoming more and more apparent that Georgia was destined to become a focal point for the entire country, not just because it was a contested battleground state between Donald Trump and Joseph Biden, but also because it was setting the stage for an unprecedented situation.

As election night came to an end with many results still uncertain, Silva let out a sigh as he bemoaned to AlterNet what he suspected was inevitable: "Now I pretty much know I'm going to be barraged by endless ads."

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The NYPD said Kawaski Trawick’s killing ‘appears to be justified’ — but revealed video shows officers escalated the situation

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Kawaski Trawick was shot and killed in his Bronx apartment by a New York Police Department officer on April 14, 2019. The NYPD said Trawick had charged at officers with a knife. Video of the shooting shows the officers had escalated the situation — and that one officer then shot Trawick over his more-experienced partner’s objections.

While the NYPD has never released video of the shooting, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office released footage of it last month, along with a detailed report. ProPublica separately obtained parts of the videos.

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