Among his many false and misleading claims this past week, Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted that a malaria drug called chloroquine has been FDA approved for coronavirus treatment. This is absolutely false. While the FDA is running a clinical trial involving chloroquine and coronavirus, it hasn’t been approved for use, and chloroquine is in fact dangerous.
It turns out Trump’s inaccurate chloroquine claims have now landed at least two people in the hospital. Bloomberg is reporting that two people in Nigeria have overdosed on chloroquine, after misguidedly trying to treat themselves for the coronavirus.
This isn’t particularly surprising. Doctors and medical experts have tried to warn the public that even a slight overdose of chloroquine can result in dangerous and deadly results. The drug also has numerous serious side effects that have to be taken into account. This is on top of the fact that the FDA hasn’t even yet fully determined if the drug truly helps with coronavirus.
This is entirely on Donald Trump. His reckless tweets and press briefings are doing far more harm than good, and now we can see that the misinformation he’s spreading is having negative consequences all the way on the other side of the world. Rachel Maddow and others have called for TV news networks to stop airing Trump’s press briefings live until they can be fact checked. They’re right.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report