I suppose it’s bad form to start a news article with a personal anecdote, since those in our field are charged with delivering information, and mostly what’s contained in anecdotes is pure opinion. Perhaps that’s so, but as this pandemic rages on, it’s gotten harder for me not to seek a closer kinship with the readers of this site — I haven’t seen my own son in a month and a half because we didn’t squeeze in one last visit before being quarantined, and talking to you lot feels like family.
That’s not the personal story, though. Last night, my wife, who doesn’t follow the news as closely as I do — it’s not her job, and it sometimes scares her — asked me why Donald Trump was so obsessed with the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine if nobody can prove it works and people have already died trying to prevent the coronavirus with it due to his public influence.
What I told her is that Trump is following the same pattern he has most of his life: Make a choice, take a gamble on it, and if it succeeds, he’s a hero. If it doesn’t, he’ll tell people he was a hero for having taken the gamble.
That’s all well and good for real estate deals, failed product lines, and tax cuts for the rich. But in this case, the cause célèbre that Trump is pursuing has, as you know, led to deaths. This has unfortunately only heightened the stakes for Trump — if some had to die in the service of him being right, he can hold himself responsible for their great and terrible martyrdom.
All of this has been in my head since Trump began championing the unproven — and in the case of even the scientists surrounding him, disputed — effects of hydroxychloroquine, taken alone or in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin. His public promotion of it has been stupid, reckless, dangerous, and deadly, and what’s more, has depleted supplies for the drug for people who need it for other reasons: It is not only an anti-malarial, but its indicators also include lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Those patients now wait while artificial demand spurred by Trump’s idiotic statements slowly dies down.
If all of this seems like it should be illegal for Trump to do, you’re not alone. And in fact, the illegality of it seems larger than for other crimes he’s committed — availing himself of taxpayer money in violation of the Emoluments Clause may be in poor taste, but it’s certainly not killing anyone.
That’s why Ohio state Democrat Tavia Galonski is lodging a charge with the International Criminal Court against Trump for crimes against humanity over his ridiculous insistence on promoting this unproven pharmaceutical.
I can’t take it anymore. I’ve been to The Hague. I’m making a referral for crimes against humanity tomorrow. Today’s press conference was the last straw. I know the need for a prosecution referral when I see one. https://t.co/XQin24gqY4
— Rep. Tavia Galonski (@RepGalonski) April 6, 2020
And if you were praying all this time for Trump to shut his big mouth about something that’s giving false hope and actually killing people who try it, perhaps you could spare a moment in those prayers that Rep. Galonski’s charges stick.
Featured image via screen capture
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