Friday, 22 May 2020

Watch Biden Get Away with Comparing Trump Taking Prescription to Telling People To Inject Bleach

We’ve been told, over and over again, how irresponsible President Trump is for touting hydroxychloroquine as a potential agent to aid in COVID-19 recovery. That hyperventilating began anew this week when the president announced he was taking the controversial drug to prevent infection by the novel coronavirus.
Last month, the FDA pointed out the potential side effects of the drug.
“Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can cause abnormal heart rhythms such as QT interval prolongation and a dangerously rapid heart rate called ventricular tachycardia,” a notice from the agency read.
“We will continue to investigate risks associated with the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for COVID-19 and communicate publicly when we have more information.”
In a news briefing Monday, Trump said he asked his White House doctor about taking the drug, and the two discussed the potential risks and benefits of doing so.
“I asked him, ‘What do you think?’ He said, ‘Well, if you’d like it.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’d like it. I’d like to take it,’” he said.
“After numerous discussions he and I had regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relevant risks,” Trump’s physician, Sean Conley, confirmed in a statement.
So of course, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden popped his head out of his Wilmington, Delaware, basement this week for a town hall to talk about, among other things, the president’s use of hydroxychloroquine.
As is his wont, however, he took a softball question involving something that apparently made the president look bad and somehow made himself look worse.
When asked about his thoughts on the president modeling what some doctors believe to be “risky medical behavior in front of the American people” by taking hydroxychloroquine, Biden responded, “It’s like saying maybe if you injected Clorox into your blood, it may cure you.”
“Come on, man,” he continued. “What is he doing? What in God’s name is he doing?”
Though somewhat unclear (no surprise there), it seemed as though Biden was trying to reference an obviously sarcastic remark the president made some time ago about injecting disinfectant into one’s veins to kill the coronavirus.
Late night has certainly done enough on this one and those are actually trained comedians — as opposed to Biden, who tells jokes and watches them fall like wounded birds.
The rest of the discussion on the topic seemed to involve Biden talking down the drug as if it were completely untested, with Biden appearing to ignore the fact that Trump obtained a prescription from a doctor to begin doing so.
“The words of a president matter,” Biden said. “You heard the vice president today or yesterday say ‘I’m not using it. I’m not using it.’ The vice president of the United States. Look, this is absolutely irresponsible. There’s no serious medical person out there saying to use that drug. It’s counterproductive. It’s not going to help, but the president, he decided that’s an answer.”
This is interesting on a number of levels, only one of which I’ll go into here: namely, that hydroxychloroquine is the 132nd most prescribed medicine in the United States as of 2018, according to a study published in Pharmacy: Journal of Pharmacy Education and Practice.
Now, does it mean there are potential side effects? Of course, particularly its potentiality to cause a dangerous arrhythmia known as QT interval prolongation which can cause sudden death. It’s also not the only drug that does this.
That said, the risks can be managed — as evinced by the fact it remains the 132nd-most prescribed drug in America.
But, according to Biden, it’s absolutely unsafe: “Look at the studies that have been done. It does much more harm than good. This is totally irresponsible,” he said.
As most of the rest of this clip was, this wasn’t necessarily true. Studies have been contradictory and, if hydroxychloroquine is to be effective, it’s unclear when it needs to be given.
But then again, Biden’s a doctor, right? He’s the voice of reason in the room. As opposed to the other guy, the one who’s not comparing a prescription of hydroxychloroquine to suggesting people inject Clorox.
As Biden says, “[t]he words of a president matter” and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is making precisely the opposite point he wants to be making — and yet, he needn’t worry about this.
After all, did you hear about this one? Will anyone else? This clip doesn’t sound too hot, so it was basically memory-holed once Tuesday was over. In fact, it’ll get far less play in the media than the fact the president decided to take hydroxychloroquine for prophylactic reasons.
If that doesn’t say it all, I don’t know what will.

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