A doctor at a Texas nursing home has treated over two dozen of his patients with the controversial and still-unproven malaria drug hydroxychloroquine after they tested positive for the deadly coronavirus that’s now taken over in the United States.
Robin Armstrong serves as the medical director at The Resort at Texas City and also unsurprisingly happens to be “a prominent GOP activist who serves as a surrogate for the Trump campaign,” according to a report from the Texas Tribune. Armstrong treated 27 of his patients with the controversial immunosuppressive drug as part of a makeshift clinical trial within his nursing home after more than 80 of his residents and staff tested positive for the potentially fatal virus.
Armstrong has gone on the record to claim that his decision to use the controversial malaria drug had nothing to do with his political leanings — claiming that he is very familiar with the risks vs benefits of hydroxychloroquine and that he simply wants to “treat folks like I would my mom,” due to the high mortality rate of coronavirus in the elderly.
“It’s a vulnerable population — it’s certainly a judgment call,” Armstrong stated in an interview. “It’s responsible if you monitor them properly, and that’s certainly what we’re doing.”
However, while Armstrong continually claims that his decision to use the unproven drug has nothing to do with his political affiliation, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the doctor not only serves on the advisory board of the Black Voices for Trump coalition but also serves as a member of one of Texas’ Republican National Committees.
Given that Donald Trump himself has been the one to constantly perpetuate the use of this drug treatment — with side effects ranging from nausea and vomiting to mental changes and convulsions — while a good majority of actual healthcare professionals including Dr. Fauci have continually had to go behind him and point out that the drug’s not yet been tested for efficiency or effectiveness, it’s pretty easy to assume that Dr. Armstrong was a bit swayed in his decision, whether it was consciously or not.
Thus far, hydroxychloroquine has only been authorized by the FDA for “emergency use” in coronavirus patients “for whom a clinical trial is not feasible.”
Multiple medical experts continue to warn that some of the side effects of the immunosuppressive drug, such as heart arrhythmia, can be especially dangerous for the elderly and could result in cardiac arrest.
You can read the full report from the Texas Tribune here.
Featured image via Political Tribune gallery
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