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Big pharma-funded group founded by billionaire Trump backer tied to president’s promotion of malaria drug for COVID-19

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Scientists warn of ‘superspreaders’ as Americans flock back to restaurants, salons and churches

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SAN DIEGO — Churches. Hair salons. Restaurants. Malls. What do they all have in common?They’ve all been cleared to reopen in San Diego County amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — and by and large, they all require people to congregate inside, potentially with strangers.This comes as an increasingly vocal group of scientists has sounded the alarm about the danger of indoor gatherings due to the potential for airborne transmission of the disease by “superspreaders.”This week Kimberly Prather of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography penned an urgently worded perspective paper in t... (more…)

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Justice Roberts took ‘clear swipe’ at Kavanaugh in opinion siding with liberals in religion case: report

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On Friday night, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, holding that California Gov. Gavin Newsom's restrictions on church gatherings are not a violation of religious liberty. Chief Justice John Roberts crossed over to join with the liberals for a 5-4 split.

But the ruling was dramatic in a key way. As court watcher Mark Joseph Stern wrote for Slate, Justice Brett Kavanaugh "falsely accused the state of religious discrimination in an extremely misleading opinion that omits the most important facts of the case" in his dissent — and was so dishonest that Roberts went out of his way to rebuke him in the Court opinion.

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2020 Election

Trump opened the door for the deaths we’re seeing

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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"

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