Hydroxychloroquine Advocates Are Pissed Trump’s Not Taking It For COVID

US President Donald Trump walks out of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland before heading to Marine One on October 5, 2020, to return to the White House after being discharged. - Trump announced he would... US President Donald Trump walks out of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland before heading to Marine One on October 5, 2020, to return to the White House after being discharged. - Trump announced he would be "back on the campaign trail soon", just before returning to the White House from a hospital where he was being treated for Covid-19. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS

President Donald Trump spent months earlier this year playing up the promise of the old anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in the fight against COVID-19. And along the way, he convinced the right-wing media to go along with him, boosting the drug even though there was no real proof of its efficacy against the virus. 

Now that Trump is fighting his own case of COVID-19 without his miracle drug, the hydroxychloroquine advocates who followed his lead are pretty frustrated. 

Dr. Stella Immanuel, the Houston-based doctor and preacher who specializes in demons and alien DNA, was part of a group of doctors who in July falsely declared hydroxychloroquine a “cure” for COVID-19. Trump shared a video of the group on his Twitter account and subsequently called Immanuel “very impressive.” 

So Immanuel was understandably disappointed when hydroxychloroquine wasn’t mentioned on the White House press release detailing Trump’s treatment plan. 

“Whoever told the president to stop taking HCQ should be punched in the face,” she wrote on Twitter Friday.

Immanuel separately pushed White House staffers to take hydroxychloroquine, and added, “If your doctors will not prescribe it I will.”  

On Monday, the talk show host and “PragerU” founder Dennis Prager blamed the “communists running medicine” for suppressing discussion about hydroxychloroquine, but questioned why it hadn’t come up in Trump’s treatment plan. 

“They didn’t discuss it ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ with regard to the President,” he said. “The President was the one who recommended it to begin with. You’d think something would have been said. Isn’t that the obvious question everybody would have?” 

Prager has claimed to be taking hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic for months. “It’s unconscionable, the hysteria with regard to it,” he said in August, adding that there was “blood on the hands” of doctors and journalists who kept COVID-19 patients from taking the drug.

The fringe website LifeSiteNews took things a step further, with co-founder and hydroxychloroquine evangelist Steve Jalsevac urging readers to literally “contact the White House to ask why the president and Melania are not immediately being given this well-proven-in-practice medication protocol for COVID infection.” 

“It is reckless that this is not being done because there is no risk to giving it to Trump even if the medical bureaucrats still ridiculously refuse to believe that Hydroxychloroquine is effective,” Jalsevac wrote. 

Trump certainly knows hydroxychloroquine is an option: He wouldn’t stop pushing it over the summer despite a lack of evidence that it helped COVID-19 patients, and he even claimed to have taken the drug prophylactically for two weeks in May

At the time, some Trump sycophants, like former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka, rode Trump’s coattails and advertised their own use of the drug. On Friday, before the White House announced the list of Trump’s medications, Gorka mistakenly figured the President would get back on the horse. 

“I’m sure he’s taking his hydroxy this morning just like I did this morning,” he said, adding: “Hydroxy, Z-Pak, and zinc equals MAGA.” 

Other stars pushed the drug as well, including Steve Bannon and Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ). 

Alas, at least as far as the White House has said, Trump skipped it entirely. 

White House physician Sean Conley, the same doctor who in May wrote that the potential benefits of hydroxychloroquine use for Trump outweighed “the relative risks,” was asked Sunday why he hadn’t given Trump hydroxychloroquine for his battle against the virus.

He said simply, “I’m not going to go into all of our debates about specific medicines and therapies.” 

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

TPM Staff
Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: