In their single minded fixation on disparaging President Trump, the media are dismissing a potentially life-saving treatment simply because the President has lauded it.
The New York Times recently published a brief article titled, “Malaria Drug Helps Virus Patients Improve, in Small Study.” Although you wouldn’t know it from the headline, the article all but admitted that President Trump was right — hydroxychloroquine, a drug already approved to fight several diseases, including malaria and lupus, shows incredible promise in saving the lives of people infected with the novel coronavirus.
Why would the Times frame such encouraging news in such a pessimistic fashion? Why is the reporting so focused on tamping down optimism and emphasizing that the sample size of the study was small? Why does it provide so little context? Why does the headline not even mention hydroxychloroquine by name?
The answer is simple — the mainstream media decided that hydroxychloroquine can’t possibly be an effective treatment for COVID-19 the moment Donald Trump suggested otherwise. Every time the President mentions the latest promising news about the drug’s potential, biased journalists go out of their way to throw cold water on the idea, even deeming it somehow dangerous and irresponsible to champion the experimental treatment.
On March 20, for instance, the Times sought to portray President Trump as promoting a dangerous and untested medicine, citing misgivings expressed by “the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci,” who downplayed the “anecdotal” evidence of the drug’s effectiveness.
A few days later, dozens of media outlets were claiming that President Trump essentially had blood on his hands because an Arizona couple decided to poison themselves with a fish tank cleaner that included an ingredient with a similar name. The notion that the President’s support for an experimental coronavirus treatment was responsible for this tragic act of naivete was, of course, utter nonsense, but journalists saw it as a way to advance their anti-Trump narrative.
As encouraging — but by no means conclusive — evidence of hydroxychloroquine’s efficacy rolls in, one might expect the media to back off from this narrative, but that would be giving them way too much credit.
Instead of acknowledging that President Trump was right, the media have doubled down on their attacks. Since admitting that at least one study backs up the President’s viewpoint, The New York Times alone has published almost a dozen articles attacking Trump over hydroxychloroquine, including an opinion article claiming he is “putting Lupus patients’ lives at risk.”
The Times has even indulged in the most despicable new twist on the narrative — that our billionaire President is promoting hydroxychloroquine solely because his friends stand to profit from sales of the drug. Even Vox and The Washington Post — two unrelenting critics of the Trump administration — have admitted that this conspiracy theory is ridiculous.
The fact is, people are dying, and our President knows that in the absence of a cure or a vaccine, the best thing he can offer them — and the entire country — is hope.
This unfortunate saga confirms once again that the dishonest press will always put attacking President Trump ahead of all other journalistic motivations, even in the midst of the worst public health crisis in over a century.
Jan Brewer is the former Governor of Arizona