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.
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Trump opened the door for the deaths we’re seeing
Years before the nation's nursing homes experienced a heavy COVID-19 death toll, the Trump administration rolled back the federal rules and regulations put in place by the Obama administration aimed at improving infection control in these kinds of facilities.
This article first appeared in Salon
In an October 2016 edition of the Federal Register, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services published rules and regulations requiring long term care facilities "to develop an Infection Prevention and Control Program that includes an Antibiotic Stewardship Program and designate at least one Infection Preventionist"