I hate to toot my own respirator, but I totally scooped the world on the story about President Trump taking hydroxychloroquine.
I deduced last month that he was taking high doses of the anti-malarial drug, because he was showing obvious side effects of the hydroxychloroquine cocktail he had been touting: Confusion. Aggression. Unusual behavior. Unsteadiness. Paranoia. Change in hair color. Difficulty speaking.
Now some are reacting with horror because he confirmed he’s actually taking the stuff (with a zinc chaser), which has been found to cause heart trouble but apparently is not effective against the coronavirus. Who knew that when Trump called hydroxychloroquine a “game changer,” the sport he had in mind was Russian roulette? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speculated that the “morbidly obese” Trump is putting himself in danger. Fact-check: Mostly false! His obesity is garden-variety, not morbid. He has room for many more pills, supplements and tonics.
That’s a good thing, because Trump ordered about 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, now of dubious value. But he shouldn’t limit himself to his favorite drug. At this moment, his highest service to the country would be to commit himself to personally testing other unproven treatments for covid-19.
The president has botched the pandemic response, and he is now botching the economic recovery. But he could put his talents to use by serving as a full-time lab animal, a national guinea pig, a cavy-in-chief. He probably won’t find a cure, but Trump, by acting as a one-man FDA, would do something almost as helpful: Distract himself from doing yet more damage to the country.
First, Trump will want to take up smoking, or at least slap on a nicotine patch; French researchers think that will prevent the virus.
He’ll quaff a bitterroot tonic from Madagascar called Covid Organics, together with a blend of “purgative” herbal extracts from China said to combat the “noxious dampness” responsible for the pandemic.
And of course, he’ll go through a couple of bottles of his favorite quarterback Tom Brady’s “immunity blend supplement,” out this week, featuring larch tree extract and elderberry. “You’re gonna love it,” Brady says.
However, some in the Middle East believe camel urine to be more effective as an antiviral; Trump will be able to settle this dispute conclusively.
But how will he know for sure if a remedy works? Simple: If Trump can hold his breath for 10 seconds, he is negative for covid-19. This should be at least as reliable as the antibody test that turned out to be accurate about 20 percent of the time.
Trump will tell America and the world, once and for all, whether it is true, as some Facebook users have learned, that red soap and white handkerchiefs are more anti-viral than those of other colors. He will answer YouTube users wondering whether a blend of rum, bleach and fabric softener sanitizes hands. He will see if Alex Jones’s “SuperBlue” toothpaste eradicates the virus.
I guarantee that if the president isolates himself in the Oval Office and devotes himself to doing all this and nothing else, he will be safe from the virus. And the rest of us will be safer, too: There’s not much opportunity for mischief when you’re spending your days applying violet-oil cotton balls to your derriere in a room darkened by volcanic ash.
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