Trump derangement syndrome—a well-documented illness that predominantly afflicts coastal elites and congressional Democrats—has turned into a political pandemic.
It is the reflexive refusal to agree with any position that President Donald Trump takes, regardless of merit. In a time of national emergency, this contagion is particularly dangerous.
Take hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, two drugs that doctors historically have used to treat or prevent malaria. When the president suggested that hydroxychloroquine could be helpful in treating COVID-19, sufferers from TDS immediately set out to prove him wrong.
CNN published an “analysis” titled: “Trump peddles unsubstantiated hope in dark times,” and The Washington Post proclaimed: “Trump is giving people false hope of coronavirus cures. It’s all snake oil.”
But several medical studies have suggested that these drugs have promise.
Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University expert on infectious diseases, cited an independent study from Chinese doctors that discovered a group of moderately ill COVID-19 patients improved when given hydroxychloroquine. The patients who received the drug saw their coughing and fever ease a day or so earlier than did patients in the control group who didn’t receive the drug.
Another study published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents found that a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin could be especially effective in treating COVID-19.
None of this is conclusive, of course. Trump has acknowledged that although hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine may not “go as planned,” the drugs have tremendous promise if they end up being safe and effective to treat COVID-19.
Most neutral observers would conclude that the president’s invocation of those drugs is a way of demonstrating hope that our medical community will come up with drugs to treat COVID-19.
But TDS sufferers, obsessed with finding ill intent in every one of the president’s actions, chose to pick nits instead of check facts.
A key talking point, repeated endlessly on cable news, is that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are not “FDA-approved” for treating COVID-19. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did issue an emergency use authorization for the drugs March 28, again demonstrating the potential upside of the drugs.
Formal FDA approval takes years to obtain, but the hundreds of thousands of Americans afflicted with COVID-19 don’t have years to wait. In the meantime, it is perfectly legal and appropriate for doctors to prescribe the drugs “off-label” for COVID-19.
Contrary to the TDS narrative, off-label uses often are the standard of care and vital to patients. For example, doctors routinely use off-label drugs to treat cancer. Unfortunately, there’s no cure, off-label or otherwise, for Trump derangement syndrome.
The elite media and liberals also profess alarm that the president is encouraging a run on scarce hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine supplies.
But this isn’t a product that you can buy off the shelf at your local pharmacy. This is a prescription drug, and you can’t get it unless a doctor, in his or her medical judgment, decides you need it.
The president has done nothing to force doctors to prescribe the drug against their own better judgment. Nor did he force Italy and France to give the green light for doctors to prescribe hydroxychloroquine. He didn’t require South Korean and Indian doctors to begin prescribing the drug.
It’s clear, though, that these countries see the same potential benefits of hydroxychloroquine that our president does.
Let’s talk about the facts.
The president and his coronavirus task force have worked around the clock to monitor and prevent the spread of the virus. In January, he proactively enacted travel restrictions on flights from China. In March, he implemented further travel restrictions on parts of Europe.
Trump signed the CARES Act into law, providing sweeping relief to workers and small businesses; declared a national emergency, freeing up states, territories, and tribes to access billions in existing funding; signed legislation securing $8.3 billion for an initial coronavirus response; created a task force; and instructed the FDA to cut red tape that was preventing the rollout of tests.
Despite facing vicious attacks from sufferers of Trump derangement syndrome, the president has done everything he can to protect our country during this once-in-a-century global pandemic. He is going to keep projecting strength and hope during this crisis.
Too bad there’s no hope for the TDS folks, who are left only with their blind hatred of the president.