For some time now President Donald Trump has been touting a drug called hydroxychloroquine as a possible miracle cure for the disease caused by the coronavirus, despite warnings by his top experts that the drug has not been proved effective. Perhaps it’s a mere coincidence, but it turns out Trump owns stock in the company that makes the drug.
We’ll not come right out and accuse Trump of endangering American lives to make some money, and even his antagonists at The Washington Post concede that his investments in the company are so small they constitute only a tiny fraction of his estimated wealth, but even his most ardent admirers should admit it looks bad.
There is anecdotal evidence that hydroxychloroquine might be an effective remedy for the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus, so Trump argues that people infected with the virus have “nothing to lose.” A French hospital has recently ceased using the drug because of cardiac problems it seems to be causing in patients, however, and Trump’s salesmanship seems to have caused such a rush on the drug that patients with malaria and lupus and other diseases the drug has proved effective against are now unable to acquire it.
Trump’s unexpected apologist at The Washington Post rightly notes that Trump’s investments in the drug only amounts to a nickel of the average American’s net worth, but Trump is an admittedly greedy man, and we wouldn’t put it past him to do almost anything for another nickel. We also note he has no medical training whatsoever, despite having an uncle who taught at the Massachusetts Institute o Technology and his unproved that all the doctors at the Centers for Disease Control were astounded by his knowledge of virology.
Such cynical suspicions are precisely the reason presidents have traditionally released their tax forms and other financial documents and put all their assets in blind trusts for the duration o their presidency, to avoid even the possible appearance of a conflict of interest. Trump refused to do so, and has flouted numerous other presidential norms as well, so we figure his critics are entitled to cast whatever aspersions they wish.We’re hoping Trump’s hunch about hydroxychloroquine proves right, abut otherwise it looks bad.
— Bud Norman