If you were wondering why exactly President Donald Trump continues to serve as a shill for the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, a report from The New York Times makes it clear that the president’s advocacy for the often dangerous medication he has touted as a possible coronavirus cure has everything to do with money, as he owns a financial stake in one of the pharmaceutical companies that manufactures it:
“If hydroxychloroquine becomes an accepted treatment, several pharmaceutical companies stand to profit, including shareholders and senior executives with connections to the president. Mr. Trump himself has a small personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine.”
And then there are the financial ties to major Trump donors who have given large sums of money to the Republican Party:
“Some associates of Mr. Trump’s have financial interests in the issue. Sanofi’s largest shareholders include Fisher Asset Management, the investment company run by Ken Fisher, a major donor to Republicans, including Mr. Trump. A spokesman for Mr. Fisher declined to comment.”
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross may also stand to profit if hydroxychloroquine sales skyrocket. Invesco, an investment firm that was once run by Ross, who said in a statement Monday that he “was not aware that Invesco has any investments in companies producing” the drug, “nor do I have any involvement in the decision to explore this as a treatment.” However, Ross provided no proof to substantiate his claims.
But the money trail doesn’t end there, as another drug company that is preparing to manufacture hydroxychloroquine, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, was co-founded by Chirag Patel. According to the Times:
“Patel is a member of Trump National Golf Course Bedminster in New Jersey and has golfed with Mr. Trump at least twice since he became president, according to a person who saw them.”
Also, while Trump hypes hydroxychloroquine at nearly every one of his recent press conferences, his own top medical adviser on the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has warned that the drug has serious side-effects and doesn’t appear to be a the miracle drug that some are claiming it, commenting last week:
“I think we’ve got to be careful that we don’t make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug. We still need to do the kinds of studies that definitively prove whether any intervention, not just this one, any intervention is truly safe and effective.”
But none of that seems to matter to Trump, who is now the chief carnival barker for an unproven drug that could wind up doing more harm than good.
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