Donald Trump may be the most dangerous president ever of our time. Don’t follow his lead for your safety.

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks Tuesday, May 5, 2020, at Honeywell International Inc. in Phoenix. | (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

WHAT should America do when Donald Trump, the president of the United States, undermines and violates the guidelines of the very health agencies and regulators of the American government especially during a time of medical emergency?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory last month saying that hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria/anti-lupus drug, has NOT yet been approved for the treatment of COVID-19 and that this drug would have to undergo scientific clinical trials to be proven to be safe and effective.

The FDA warned against the use of the medication outside hospitals, where the agency has granted temporary authorization for its use in some cases.

The agency cited reports that the drug can cause serious heart rhythm problems in COVID-19 patients.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there are no approved drugs or therapeutics to prevent or treat COVID-19, “which is confirmed to have infected more than 1.5 million people in the U.S. and killed more than 90,000 patients.”

And yet, Trump admitted that he is taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19, despite warnings against its safety, as reported by independent U.S. mainstream media, the BBC, the Guardian and other international outlets.

“I’m taking it for about a week and a half now and I’m still here, I’m still here,” touted Trump in his surprise announcement before the reporters at the White House.

He added, “You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the frontline workers before you catch it, the frontline workers, many, many are taking it. I happen to be taking it.”

As the BBC reported, when Trump was asked what was his evidence of hydroxychloroquine’s positive benefits, the president’s response: “Here’s my evidence: I get a lot of positive calls about it.”

This was his same response when he first touted the drug after being fact-checked by the country’s top epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci over the need for clinical trials that follow scientific protocols and regimen over anecdotal reports in March.

The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices; and by ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.

The CDC is responsible for controlling the introduction and spread of infectious diseases, and provides consultation and assistance to other nations and international agencies to assist in improving their disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion activities.

“Dr. Marcos Espinal, director of the Pan American Health Organization — part of the World Health Organization (WHO) — has also since stressed that no clinical trials have recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus,” the BBC reported. This echoes the same advisories and regulations of the United States’ health regulators, the FDA and the CDC.

When asked whether the White House physician had recommended he start taking the disputed remedy, Trump said he had requested it himself, according to the BBC report.

Quoting Dr. Sean Conley, physician to the president, who issued a statement through the White House later on Monday after the surprise revelation, Conley said Trump was in “very good health” and “symptom-free.”

The U.S. Navy officer added: “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 relative risks,” the BBC reported.

Many countries around the world are doing their share of finding the cure and vaccine to combat and defeat COVID-19. Who would not want that as the whole world is suffering right now?

The BBC reported that even the “UK government has been stockpiling some medicines that might be useful against coronavirus. That includes 16m hydroxychloroquine tablets. Clinical trials are under way in the UK and the US to assess the drug’s worth. The human guinea pigs taking part include frontline healthcare workers at high risk of exposure to the virus, as well as patients.”

However, the report stressed that health “experts are concerned about advocating more general use of these experimental treatments before the proof is in.”

“People that follow the president’s example might not only endanger themselves but could also deprive patients with chronic autoimmune conditions of their much-needed medication,” Dr. Stephen Griffin, associate professor at the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds told BBC health editor Michelle Roberts, in reaction to Trump’s touting of his use of the drug.

The BBC report showed a graph of data from U.S. insurance claims, hospital prescriptions excluded, which showed that the number of prescriptions for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine soared between March and April, after Trump promoted it and lied about it being approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in his daily coronavirus briefing.

Flashback to a report by the New York Times: Trump’s family stands to benefit from the widespread use of the drug. Per that report as quoted by MSN News:

“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.

According to Trump’s 2019 Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Reports filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, the 45th president’s three family trusts each have two line item entries describing investments between $1,001 and $15,000 apiece in the Dodge & Cox International Stock Fund.

The Times notes that Sanofi, the drug manufacturer, is the mutual fund’s largest individual holding. According to MarketWatch, the exact size of the fund’s stake in Sanofi ‘at last check was 3.3%.’”

Marketwatch also notes–and shrugs off–additional Sanofi stakes:

“It turns out he does look to have more than [a] modest sum invested in Sanofi, because, unmentioned in the Times report, his trusts also hold broader European stock-market index funds.”

Many of Trump’s critics question whether he is indeed taking the drug knowing his bad relationship with the truth. Some accuse him of saying these lies to tout and push the drug further, while others say this is yet another of his diversionary tactics to shift conversation away from his failure to lead the country effectively and faithfully  during this crisis. Most worry about how this blind will lead the other blind of our country without causing more harm to peoples’ safety and survival.

Trump’s defiance of science and facts, coupled with his personal, financial and political objectives, makes him the most dangerous president of the United States in our time, when we are being attacked by our common invisible enemy, COVID-19.

My fellow Americans, what are we going to do about this betrayal to his oath of the public official accorded with the most powerful position in the nation and the public trust that goes with it?

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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989 with ABS-CBN and is now serving the Filipino audience using different platforms, including digital broadcasting, and print, and is working on a new public service program for the community. You may contact her through email at [email protected], or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos.

Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com and www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos

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