One of the main takeaways from the interview Attorney General Bill Barr did with Laura Ingraham was his saying that the Russia hoax would lead to criminal charges and would prove to be “one of the greatest travesties in American history.” Barr, however, didn’t limit himself to the Russia hoax.
In addition, Barr discussed America’s COVID-19 response and, specifically, addressed the media’s disgraceful behavior regarding hydroxychloroquine. As he said, they were temperate in talking about the drug until Trump expressed enthusiasm about it, at which point they went on a “jihad” (emphasis added):
And the politicization of decisions like hydroxychloroquine has been amazing to me. Before the president said anything about it, there was fair and balanced coverage of this very promising drug, and the fact that it had such a long track record, that the risks were pretty well known, and as soon as he said something positive about it, the media’s been on a jihad to discredit the drug, it’s quite strange.
As if to lend credence to Barr’s words, NPR’s Vanessa Romo wrote an article that implies that a Houston doctor – a Republican Houston doctor – is another Dr. Mengele, the monster of Auschwitz, because he’s giving nursing home patients the Z-Pack of Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, and zinc. The jihad starts with the headline, COVID-19 Patients Given Unproven Drug In Texas Nursing Home In ‘Disconcerting’ Move, and then goes on from there:
Concern is mounting after a doctor at a Texas nursing home started giving the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to dozens of elderly patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and tracking the outcomes in what he’s calling an “observational study.”
Use of the drug to treat coronavirus infections has set up a heated debate between the Trump administration and leading health experts over its efficacy against COVID-19.
President Trump has been an enthusiastic champion of hydroxychloroquine, calling it a “game-changer.” But some of the nation’s most respected health officials have said there is insufficient evidence showing that the 80-year-old drug, which is typically used to stave off malaria or treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, is a viable treatment in battling the new virus.
Regarding this alleged “concern,” the only concern Romo could find comes from Katherine Seley-Radtke, a medicinal chemist at The University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Seley-Radtke is unhappy as a general matter that a doctor is prescribing medicine without first doing the years’ long strict protocols required for new drugs. Seley-Radtke also obligingly coughed up the fact that hydroxychloroquine, like every other medicine in the world, can have side effects.
Armstrong’s observations, however, show real-time benefits and no problematic side-effects:
“It’s actually going well. People are getting better,” Armstrong told NPR, adding that after just a handful of days, some of the 39 patients on the medication are showing signs of improvement.
Seley-Radtke’s concerns also run counter to the fact that doctors all over the world consider the comination of hydroxychloroquine and Z-Pak to be the best available treatment. Moreover, while hydroxychloroquine can have side effects, for the most part it is an innocuous and beneficial medicine that has saved lives for almost 100 years.
For Romo, though, facts are irrelevant, because unnamed scientists say that an urgent situation is no time to abandon ordinary protocols that take years to perform. Worse, implies Romo, even though Armstrong’s patients don’t have side effects, they could have side-effects.
Halfway through the article, Romo gets to Dr. Armstrong’s real sin: He’s a GOP activist who used Republican contacts to get the drugs to help his patients:
Armstrong, who is a prominent GOP activist, called Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. He says Patrick reached out to Texas state Sen. Bryan Hughes, also a Republican, who knew someone on the board of the New Jersey-based company Amneal Pharmaceuticals. The company, which makes and distributes the drug, has donated more than a million tablets nationwide, including to the states of Texas and Louisiana.
Throughout the article, Romo implies that Armstrong, like Mengele himself, is experimenting on unwilling subjects who are unable to defend themselves against his evil practices. Here’s how she starts one sentence: “He acknowledged that some families were not aware their relatives were put on the drug….” It turns out, though, that most residents were able to give consent.
In any event, Romo admits that, as Dr. Armstrong told her,
[I]t is common for physicians to prescribe new medications to patients without explicit consent from the patient or family members. “It’s not required,” he said.
The article ends with a statement that, in July 2019, the nursing home violated 14 state standards. For those accustomed to dealing with state inspectors, that’s not bad. Many inspectors justify their salaries by finding things that are wrong.
NPR illustrated perfectly Barr’s assertion that the media is on a jihad against a medicine that is indeed proving to be a “game-changer.” This is utterly unprincipled behavior and consistent with everything we’ve come to expect from a media suffering from unmitigated Trump Derangement Syndrome.