Many Americans are wondering why President Donald Trump has been relentlessly and dangerously promoting two old malaria drugs to fight the deadly coronavirus, but now it seems a legitimate tie may have been found.
The investigative news site Sludge reports a top Trump backer’s advocacy group, fueled with funds from Big Pharma, “has been pushing Trump to approve the use of hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19.”
Home Depot founder and billionaire right wing activist Bernie Marcus founded the non-profit group Job Creators Network, which works for right wing causes including lower taxes, less regulations, and so-called “free-market solutions.”
Marcus donated millions to groups which worked to get Trump elected. He has said he will again donate millions to help get Trump re-elected.
Sludge reports the pharmaceutical industry has funded Marcus’ Job Creators Network, which “has been pushing” Trump “to make the drug available.”
“On March 26, Job Creators Network, a conservative dark money nonprofit, launched a petition, a series of Facebook ads, and a blast text message campaign calling on Trump to ‘cut the red tape’ and immediately make hydroxychloroquine available to treat patients,” Sludge reports.
The stupid is coming in by texts now: pic.twitter.com/r19BOl0GKF
— MarkLindsay MDPhD (@MarkELindsay) March 25, 2020
The petition is a collaboration with the Koch Brothers funded group Physicians for Reform.
“There is clear and ever-mounting evidence that the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine can significantly help patients who contract coronavirus,” the petition states, despite the lack of rigorous clinical testing.
Job Creators Network has been funded by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a drug industry trade that counts among its members leading hydroxychloroquine makers Novartis, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Bayer. According to tax documents, PhRMA donated $500,000 to Job Creators Network in 2017.
Those three companies could make millions if not billions if hydroxychloroquine were found to be a cure for COVID-19.
Here’s Marcus defending Trump in 2016 after his vile remarks were exposed in the now-infamous, lewd, “Entertainment Tonight” video:
Read the entire hydroxychloroquine story here.
Dr Birx proves that no amount of gushing compliments can compensate for even a little bit of honesty with Trump: op-ed
One of President Trump's top infectious disease experts, Dr. Deborah Birx, is known for avoiding Trump's wrath, but that changed when she recently decided to speak frankly on the growing spread of coronavirus across the country. While Trump walked back his public criticism of her, the dust shows that no amount of "gushing compliments or massaging statistics can compensate for even a little bit of honesty with this man," the Washington Post's Molly Roberts writes.
While Birx appeared to be in control of the facts when she first emerged as a figure on the coronavirus task force, she soon became someone Democrats couldn't trust.
Trump has now predicted COVID will ‘go away’ in each of the last seven months
President Donald Trump on Wednesday told "Fox & Friends" that the novel coronavirus "will go away, like things go away."
As Democratic political operative Daniel Wessel notes on Twitter, this is not the first time the president has made bold declarations about the virus disappearing.
Back in February, Trump said the virus "miraculously goes away," then said in March that "it'll go away," and then in April declared that "it's going away."
A third of Afghans estimated to have contracted virus: health ministry
Nearly a third of Afghanistan's population -- or 10 million people -- has been infected with the coronavirus, according to health ministry estimates published Wednesday.
The figure comes from a survey based on antibody tests on around 9,500 people across the country, with technical support from the World Health Organization, health minister Ahmad Jawad Osmani said at a press briefing.
The survey estimated that 31.5 percent of the population had contracted the virus, with the highest infection rate in Kabul where more than half of the city's five million population were thought to have been infected.