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Trump pushing for approval of unproven Japanese drug for coronavirus treatment after speaking with country’s prime minister

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President Donald Trump spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the global coronavirus threat where the PM brought up the drug Avigan as a possible treatment for COVID-19. The White House is now fast-tracking regulators to approve the drug, even though it hasn’t been proven to work on the virus.

Politico reported Tuesday that global regulators and U.S. researchers have expressed concerns about the risks the drug has for a long time. According to past tests, the drug can cause birth defects and research on it is insufficient.

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Trump has already run into trouble endorsing drugs that aren’t proven to be effective against the virus. When he touted an anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, people desperately searched for it, discovering a toxic version used to clean fish tanks. When a couple used it the husband died and the woman took to the airwaves begging Americans not to listen to anything Trump says and consult doctors instead.

Politico noted that the president asked the FDA to fast-track making hydroxychloroquine, which still hasn’t actually been tested as a treatment for the coronavirus.

“Trump also has repeatedly discussed his efforts to encourage FDA approvals of drugs and devices this month, challenging FDA’s long-held stance as an apolitical, science-driven agency,” Politico reported.

The National Security Council has asked the government to accept a donation of Avigan from Japan so they can begin using it in emergency cases of coronavirus.

“The FDA remains actively engaged with partners across the U.S. government, academia and regulated industry to expedite the development and availability of critical medical products to prevent and treat this novel virus ,” a spokesperson at Health and Human Services said in a statement.

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“Health officials have repeatedly rejected Avigan in the United States, despite years of advocacy from Japan and Fujifilm,” Politico reported. “South Korea officials this month also declined to use the drug in that nation’s coronavirus response, warning of insufficient evidence and the risk of ‘serious side effects.'”

“Avigan has not only not shown efficacy during test studies but also there is not data on clinical trials conducted on patients,” said Oh Myoung-don, a South Korean infectious disease expert.

Read the full report.

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Rick Wilson: ‘Lil Dictator’ Trump’s church and tear-gas photo-op was a ‘pathetic’ failure

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In his typically scathing style, conservative campaign consultant Rick Wilson wrote that a "humiliated" Donald Trump tried to make all the mockery of his hiding in a bunker go away with his photo-op church visit late Monday and it flopped in a big way making him look "pathetic."

In his Daily Beast column, Wilson dropped the hammer on the president for flailing away because he is overwhelmed by the George Floyd protests and hoped to change the narrative by looking resolute with his nationally televised publicity stunt-- and failed badly in the process.

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Senior official ‘sickened’ by Trump’s ‘victory lap’ at DC church after cops gas protesters: Report

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At least one senior official was sickened by President Donald Trump's photo opportunity at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

U.S. Park Police and National Guard troops used tear gas to clear Lafayette Park of peaceful protesters Monday afternoon so the president, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, William Barr and other administration officials could walk from the White House to the historic church to pose for a photo.

"There were some aide that is thought this was an instantly iconic photo," Axios co-founder Mike Allen told MSNBC's "First Look." "They were very proud of themselves, but there were others that took a look at this picture, and you pull back the camera, Republicans I was talking to and texting with last night, they took a look at this, you pull pack the camera, and you have the president standing kind of alone in front of this boarded-up church, boarded up because of the violence that had been going on there. Someone had tried to set a fire in the basement. Is that really the story they wanted to tell?"

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Former Minneapolis mayor reveals ‘racism permeated’ his city’s police department

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A former mayor of Minneapolis says that his city's police department has a systemic racism problem that has been going on for years.

R.T. Rybak, who served as Minneapolis mayor from 2002 through 2014, writes in Politico that "racism permeated" his city's police department during his tenure, and he admits that his own efforts to change the department's culture "failed badly."

"These failures will haunt me for the rest of my life, and it should," Rybak writes. "As each of us sees and acknowledges our own part it can be paralyzing. It was for me."

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