He’s lying

Trump claims to be taking hydroxychloroquine.

President Trump told reporters Monday that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine for about a week and a half and that the White House physician knows he is taking the anti-malaria drug despite the fact that he continues to test negative for the coronavirus.

Clinical trials, academic research and scientific analysis indicate that the danger of the drug is a significantly increased risk of death for certain patients, particularly those with heart problems. Trump dismissed those concerns, saying he has heard about the drug’s benefits from doctors and others he has spoken with.

You have to be closely monitored if you take this dangerous drug — there are all kinds of potential side effects. So we know he’s lying his ass off.

It’s also a lie that can get other people killed, if they believe him and try to emulate him.

On the other hand if he’s not lying, I hope he decides to quadruple his dose. Please.


  1. Ridana says

    If it killed him, we probably wouldn’t get an autopsy that revealed that to be the cause. The message will be that he had a heart attack from overworking himself tirelessly defending the nation against the Demonrats, the Chinese, and all our other countless enemies (good thing we’ve got that super-duper rocket he personally designed), oh, and the virus too.

  2. buddhabuck says

    The drug isn’t cheap. The retail price is about $180/month. Do insurance companies pay for it for off-label uses, like treating COVID-19, or taking it as a prophylaxis? If so, why?

  3. Snarki, child of Loki says

    My hope is that Trump starts feeling crummy (either from the Karmavirus, or the hydroxychloroquine.) and starts injecting Lysol/Bleach.

    If only we could get Obama to tell Trump not to do it…

  4. Ed Seedhouse says

    Maybe he will follow his own advice further and start drinking bleach? Please?

  5. Ed Seedhouse says

    Actually I think they are probably feeding him placebos. He wouldn’t suspect anything after all.

  6. hemidactylus says

    I think the mark of a good leader is flexibility, humility, and owning mistakes. Acknowledging fallibility is important (an evil Soros conspiracy).

    Instead we have someone who is ignorant of his ignorance and reacts (not responds) to criticism by doubling down and blaming others (eg- China, WHO, Obama). Isn’t he pulling Obamagate out of his rectum to rile up the base?

    I watched a program on Obama a week or so ago (about his speeches and on Smithsonian?).


    Yeah you can see him following the teleprompter scroll, but damn he was good at conveying a message. Trump sucks. He conveys American mediocrity if not our spiraling the drain. That a carnival barking huckster got elected does not bode well for a sustainable future.

    Reading comments in a local paper I see asshats asserting the number of COVID deaths are exaggerated because people are actually dying from other stuff such as heart attacks and then the bloodcurdling cries of “FREEDOM!!!!” commence:


    No matter how much cautious effort I put into not contracting this scourge, it will be the nonchalant stupidity of others that may kill me, namely a member of the Trumpenproletariat wearing red hat and American (or Confederate) flags displayed on their coal rolling diesel dualie.

    BTW y’all know the South has risen again and conquered right? Through the GOP…Lincoln’s party. They are using a Yankee to do their dirtiest work making Dixie great again. Irony.

  7. Some Old Programmer says

    He’s going to get people killed. It’s entirely predictable–he’s going to start proclaiming that he knows better than any researcher, that he’s taken hydroxychloroquine and hasn’t come down with Covid-19, therefore everyone should take it.

  8. nomdeplume says

    @7 Yes, I think you have the motive exactly right. Trump was contradicted in the drug, and he cannot allow that. So now, as PZ says, he is lying about taking it.

  9. publicola says

    I was watching MSNBC this afternoon and Nicole Wallace asked a medical guest a question about Il Duce’s using hydroxyquinone, apparently expecting him to agree that it was dangerously irresponsible. However, she seemed to be somewhat taken aback when he answered that, if taken at the dosage normally given for treating malaria, it’s safe. Of course that’s a BIG if, but lefties need to be careful about making unsubstantiated assumptions like they do at Fox, or else we’ll look as bad as them. (Of course, if he happened to OD, that would be ironic, wouldn’t it?)

  10. wzrd1 says

    @hemidactylus, do name one POTUS that ever admitted to a mistake.
    Still, I’d not be surprised if he was needled into the hydroxychloroquine, after some needled the shit out of him on Twitter about Veterans who were test subjects for the non-protocol dying from the drug.

    Still, regardless of the dose, he’d be unlikely to die. For lengthened QT to cause torsades de pointes, he’d first have to have a heart. The initially non-protocol second drug adds to the effects, so anyone who takes hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin gets a double whammy.

    Still, there is hope that if he feels like his throat is a bit iffy, he’d mainline Lysol.
    Or, since UV-C is good, gamma is better and he’d swallow a cobalt-60 source.

    But, I disagree with PZ. Every President who died in office had an medical report and in the modern medicine era, an autopsy. Even if an autopsy was dodged, the word would get out, likely with a copy of his full medical record, every other significant secret has leaked.

  11. Ed Seedhouse says

    @10: “do name one POTUS that ever admitted to a mistake.”

    JFK after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Not only admitted the mistake but took full responsibility for it.

  12. Bruce Fuentes says

    I was on hydroxychloroquine at one time for the treatment of sarcoidosis. It has some severe side effects and it is not prescribed like candy. I hope he isn’t lying.

  13. lochaber says

    I think Snarki has a good idea here, somebody should get Obama a TV ad, where he tells us not to inject bleach…

  14. aspleen says

    Speaking of concern:

    “He’s our president and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and in his, shall we say, weight group — morbidly obese, they say” — Speaker Pelosi to @andersoncooper on CNN.

  15. chrislawson says

    Important medical correction here: hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is NOT a dangerous drug requiring intensive monitoring for most patients. Yes, patients on HCQ should be regularly reviewed by their treating doctor, but stable rheumatoid patients can safely go weeks to months between check-ups, blood tests, and ECGs.

    In more detail:

    The standard dose for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus is 200-400 mg daily. Sometimes a higher initial loading dose is given for a few weeks to settle active inflammation. For malaria treatment, the dose is 800mg as a single dose, or 800 + 400 a few hours later followed by 400 a day for 2 days. For malaria prevention, the dose is a very low 400 mg per week. (Note that HCQ is no longer the best treatment for malaria in most parts of the world due to evolved resistance.)

    In the COVID trials, the HCQ doses have been highly variable from a relatively low 200 mg a day to a high 1200 mg daily for 10 days. Many of the COVID trials combined HCQ with the antibiotic azithromycin for cover against secondary bacterial pneumonia. This is NOT a standard combo for either rheumatoid diseases or malaria, and there is strong evidence that the cardiac risks of HCQ (especially prolonged QT) are made worse with azithromycin onboard. Also, patients with severe respiratory distress are a very different population to patients with rheumatoid illnesses or malaria. Finally, most of the COVID HCQ trials have been very poor quality. In many cases this is the result of researchers pushing to get early data in the face of a crisis and on the understanding that limited evidence is better than no evidence, and better trials will fill in the gaps later. Some studies though are just really bad trials that should never have been undertaken — I personally question the ethics of exposing patients to experimental treatments if your study design is so poor that you almost certainly won’t learn anything from it.

    So what does this mean for HCQ in COVID? It means we still don’t know if it can be effective. We need better studies. These are on their way. On the evidence we have, though, HCQ is probably ineffective and definitely dangerous at high doses. The current recommendations by pretty much every medical advisory group in the world is that HCQ should only be used in the setting of a registered clinical trial and should NOT otherwise be used for treatment or prevention of COVID-19.

    What does this mean for Trump’s claims about taking HCQ? Who knows? He’s certainly a well-documented liar, but this particular statement strikes me as eminently plausible as it is just the sort of belligerently antisocial, reality-occulted behaviour he has exhibited many times before. But the important point is not whether he is lying about taking HCQ, it’s that he shouldn’t be taking it at all, and he certainlt shouldn’t be publicly fanning the flames of his previous irresponsibility.

    As has been pointed out many times before, the HCQ supply chain is not infinitely flexible. The sudden spike in HCQ sales has made it difficult to obtain for people who most definitely need it. And if it turns out that HCQ is beneficial in severe COVID infections, it is doubly unethical to divert it from the supply chain for untested personal protection while people are dying of COVID. Whether Trump is lying is almost irrelevant. He’s acting with pathological recklessness either way.

  16. chrislawson says

    Ed Seedhouse@11–

    …and then JFK changed the structure of his cabinet meetings to prevent it happening again.

    Another example: Obama admitted during his presidency he was mistaken in his appointment of Tom Daschle.

  17. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 14

    What?! You mean all those those depictions of Trump being slender and athletic in those Ben Garrison political cartoons and Jon McNaughton paintings AREN’T TRUE???

  18. says

    “On the other hand if he’s not lying, I hope he decides to quadruple his dose. Please.”

    I said something similar a few days ago and ended up in a three day long flame war on YouTube. Fun though. They kept accusing me of “Trump Derangement Syndrome”. Like that’s a thing? LOL. If TDS is a thing then the whole reason Trump was elected was because of “Obama Derangement Syndrome”. I can make up names too.

    Anyway, I’ve received death threats in the last week for saying, ON THE INTERNET, that I wouldn’t mind seeing DJT kick over from the viral epidemic he ignored until it was too late. Ain’t the 21st century great.

  19. nomdeplume says

    The statement by the medical staff at the White House is very carefully worded, so carefully that while it doesn’t, of course, contradict His Serene Highness, it makes it obvious that, while POTUS could take hydroxywhatsit, and if he did there would, probably, be nothing wrong with that, no one has actually seen him popping a pill into his mouth. I call LIE.

  20. says

    Ray Ceeya,

    Obama Derangement Syndrome was the original label. Trump’s minions are unlikely to come up with something original.

  21. numerobis says

    It has very effectively changed the conversation to something innocuous rather than his habit of firing inspector generals.

  22. j100111 says

    Does anyone else suspect that his hydroxychloroquine pills are gummy, shaped like dinosaurs, and come in assorted vaguely fruit-like flavors?

  23. Owlmirror says

    Does anyone else suspect that his hydroxychloroquine pills are gummy, shaped like dinosaurs, and come in assorted vaguely fruit-like flavors?

    I got the idea that when he demanded hydroxychloroquine, some bright bulb prescribed him some “hydroxylic acid with quinine and carbon dioxide” in.

    [“Carbon dioxide?” “Yes, in addition to making the tonic effervescent, it owns the libs.” “Just make sure he doesn’t see the label on the bottle — maybe cover it with something sciencey. Or red with MAGA.”]

  24. quotetheunquote says

    @eamick #25, you just beat me to it!

    And I strongly suspect that, like many a charlatan before him, he’s responsible for a lot more deaths that we aren’t hearing about – such as those people who don’t seek treatment because they’re actually buying the lies.

  25. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    As long as he’s lying, we know he’s still breathing. Darth Cheeto has modified Descartes’ Cogito:
    “Non mentitur, ergo sum”

  26. Scott Simmons says

    @buddhabuck #2:
    In the United States, for the most part pharmacy benefits are administered independently of general health care benefits. That means that a medication will be covered if it’s “in formulary”, viz. in the list of covered medications for the plan, and most drugs that have legitimate uses and don’t have good alternatives that are much cheaper will be covered. The pharmacy benefit manager doesn’t normally have the information about why the drug was prescribed to modify the coverage based on that information.

    Conceivably, if hydroxychloroquine started being massively mis-prescribed, it could get excluded from some coverage plans. If this were to happen, then it would only get covered with prior authorization; i.e. the prescribing doctor would be asked to contact the PBM to explain why it’s necessary for this patient, and a pharmacist or physician at the PBM would decide whether this particular prescription should be covered or not. This would be huge PITA for the lupus and rheumatism patients who currently take it, so one hopes it will not come to this.

  27. davidc1 says

    Tut ,tut ,such ill feeling for the snatch snatcher on here .Lets face it ,he is only one Big Mac away from a heart attack .
    I say let amurican food and amurican capitalism finish him off .
    Just a thought ,is that the reason he has been extra barking mad recently ,he hasn’t had a Big Mac for a month or two ?

  28. says

    Of course.

    To dismiss V.A. research, Trump peddles odd theory

    There’s no evidence of V.A. researchers rigging a recent study to undermine Trump, but that didn’t stop him from peddling the allegation anyway.

    After claiming that he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine, regardless of the risks, Donald Trump was asked for evidence that the untested medication has a preventative effect for those concerned about the coronavirus. The president replied that some unnamed people said “positive” things to him over the phone, which was all the evidence he needed.

    But as part of the same response, Trump acknowledged that researchers found some discouraging results, though he’s not inclined to believe them. From the White House transcript:

    “The only negative I’ve heard was the study where they gave it — was it the VA? With, you know, people that aren’t big Trump fans gave it….”

    Whether the president understands this or not, there have been several recent reports pointing to the fact that this medication, at best, is useless when it comes to treating or preventing COVID-19. At worst, if used improperly by people who don’t need it, hydroxychloroquine can apparently be quite dangerous.

    It’s what the Journal of the American Medical Association found. And what the New England Journal of Medicine found. In recent weeks, we’ve seen similar assessments from the NIH and the FDA, the latter of which pointed to risks of serious side effects, “including heart rhythm problems, severely low blood pressure and muscle or nerve damage.”

    In other words, when Trump says he’s only aware of one “negative” study, it may be because he’s struggling to keep up with current events.

    But perhaps more important is the president’s suggestion of some kind of conspiracy theory at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    […] U.S. veterans hospitals did a large analysis, treating coronavirus patients with hydroxychloroquine. The research not only found no medicinal benefit, it also saw higher death rates among those taking the drug.

    It’d be one thing if Trump dismissed the findings, preferring instead to listen to unidentified telephone pals. But note that the president went quite a bit further yesterday, suggesting that the V.A. research was conducted by scientists who “aren’t big Trump fans.”

    In other words, the president believes he may have uncovered yet another conspiracy, this one involving unnamed V.A. scientists whom the president believes are not to be trusted. […]


  29. Pierce R. Butler says

    … I hope he decides to quadruple his dose.

    Only if he makes Pence swallow the same amounts (or gives him the famous 5th Avenue Special treatment).

  30. grandolddeity says

    C’mon. You just know the donald is taking the o-t-c variant abbreviated Hydrox!