April 24, 2020

‘Take an injection of a strong disinfectant like Dettol or Listerine and call me in the morning.”

President Donald Trump has clearly gone off the rails with his crazy suggestion that the public might try injecting potent disinfectants to combat COVID-19. He sounds increasingly like the late Rev. Jim Jones of toxic Kool-Aid fame and former TV evangelist Jim Baker who is now hawking his own miracle cure for COVID-19.

The difference is that Jim Baker’s nostrum is not lethal while Rev. Trump’s certainly is.

Where did the world’s most powerful elected official – who now threatens war against Iran and Venezuela – get this loopy notion? Likely via Fox News and from some of his circle of louche business cronies.

These cronies were also the likely source of Trump’s infatuation with the potent anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to fight COVID-19. He has been urging Americans to take this drug despite evidence that it does not work against the disease and may cause serious damage.

Senior French doctors have been warning of chloroquine’s dangers for the past month. They say it can provoke dangerous heart arrhythmias. It’s not even that effective against malaria.

Furthermore, this drug can induce seizures and psychotic episodes. I took chloroquine while in the bush country in southern Africa covering fighting between the South African military (SADF) and African National Congress fighters. After a few days I started to hallucinate and go paranoid. I avoided it thereafter.

Chloroquine was developed by German chemists as a direct descendant of quinine, which is derived from the bark of the Amazonian cinchona tree. Spanish conquistadors learned from native people to use cinchona bark to combat malaria. Mixed with gin, favored by the British, it became a West Indian afternoon staple – gin and tonic.

During World War II, American soldiers and marines were fed another cinchona offspring, atabrine, which made them sick from liver damage and turned some GI’S blue.

Vanity Fair magazine claims in its current issue that some of Trump’s business cronies had a plan to flood the greater New York City area with the two chloroquines after the president promoted its anti-COVID properties. This would not be surprising, given Trump’s use of his hotel and golf clubs for ‘official’ business.

On a curious sidebar, Trump’s biggest fan, Brazil’s loopy new right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, is in hot water at home for dismissing COVID-19 as a ‘cold’, promoting quack remedies and opposing social distancing. His most respected minister was just fired for contradicting Bolsonaro’s health schemes. The same thing just happened in Washington, where the senior administration official in charge of vaccines, Dr. Rick Bright, was just fired for opposing Trump’s quack cures.

The only thing of possible merit being said by Trump is his claim that strong light may help fight COVID-19. In South Africa, Boer farmers told me they would get local farm workers who fell ill to go lie in the sun for hours to cure their ailments. It worked surprisingly well – or the workers were feigning illness. But injecting light into the body, as Trump suggested, is fantasy.

Trump’s wacky health panaceas won’t fool most educated Americans, but they are a danger to his many credulous supporters who see Queens New York property developer Trump as some sort of Christian holy prophet and follow his medical quackery.

Trump is a gifted politician and entertainer but he’s no saintly Albert Schweitzer. Alarmingly, this man’s finger is on the nuclear button. Now that’s a real worry.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2020

This post is in: COVID-19

13 Responses to “TRUMP’S KOOL-AID”

  1. This morning the Americans just passed the 100,000 fatality… most of which could have been avoided with proper direction. Trump is solely responsible for this lack of action/inaction.

  2. …and to put the frosting on the cake and make the pandemic outcome even worse.
    The Global Health Security and Biodefense unit — responsible for pandemic preparedness — was established in 2015 by Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice. The unit resided under the National Security Council (NSC) — a forum of White House personnel that advises the president on national security and foreign policy matters.
    In May 2018, the team was disbanded and its head Timothy Ziemer, top White House official in the NSC for leading U.S. response against a pandemic, left the Trump administration, the Washington Post reported. Some members of the global health and security team were merged into other units within the NSC, the article said.

  3. Word of the day:
    adjective: Disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way.
    “the louche world of the theater”.

    In the context of the current crisis and the worse ones coming, I am trying to find the down side of believers acting on his words.

  4. His hold on his cult terrifies me. I saw a video of a woman deny he ever said he could shoot someone on fifth avenue even after she was shown a video of him saying it.

    • even scarier… Trump has a following of about 40%… the American education system has also failed.

      • Imagine the results, when they privatize the entire education system in the US and have the different corporations set the curricula. It is the privatization in the capitalist system, that has been the cause of its deterioration. Essential services should never be allowed to be in private hands, because that is an open invitation for abuse. Medical services should never have been allowed in private hands, nor any part of the prison- or justice systems, nor water and sewage systems and services.
        Everybody falls for the cries of freedoms and democracy, but that democracy as it is now is badly wanting and more of a bait than reality. Freedom needs to be limited in order to protect the freedoms we need, want and deserve. And if Trump or any other single person, regardless of position or rank, can singlehandedly push that critical red button with all its potential consequences, then the world has never known a greater dictator. Nobody should ever be entrusted with the power over all life on this planet.

  5. We all know Trump should not be giving out medical advice. However we should save our comments for China, who start this mess.

    According to a Feb. 15 report in The Lancet, the date of the first Chinese patient’s symptom onset was Dec. 1. Five days later, his wife, a 53-year-old woman who had no known history of exposure to the wet market in Wuhan, where the virus originated, “also presented with pneumonia and was hospitalized in the isolation ward.”

    On Dec. 25, two medical staff at the hospital in Wuhan came down with viral pneumonia — more evidence of human-to-human spread.

    On Dec. 30, Dr. Li Wenliang sent a message to other doctors in the Wuhan area warning them about a possible outbreak of an illness that resembled SARS, urging them to take measures against contagion.

    Two days later, Li was summoned by the Wuhan Public Security Bureau, accusing him of “spreading rumours.” Li was forced to sign a statement acknowledging his “misdemeanour.” Seven other medical officials were arrested.

    On Feb. 7, Dr. Li, who blew the whistle on the coronavirus and was arrested for it died from it. He was just 33 years old.

    China knew about covid 19 and hid the evidence from the world. Now while the world is distracted China is crushing freedom in Hong Kong. And no one cares.

    • You should have added:
      On December 31 last year, China alerted the WHO to several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people. The virus was unknown.
      At that point in time, I suspect they had no idea of the gorilla they had on their hands. The WHO notification is when the clock starts… just because they have a recorded, unidentified illness… does not mean it’s a pandemic… On the 31st, they realised that they could have a real serious problem. January 11, was the first Chinese death.
      On January 5 , Chinese officials ruled out the possibility that this was a recurrence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus – an illness that originated in China and killed more than 770 people worldwide in 2002-2003.
      On January 11, China announced its first death from the virus, a 61-year-old man who had purchased goods from the seafood market. Treatment did not improve his symptoms after he was admitted to hospital and he died of heart failure on the evening of January 9
      Trump wasted two months and is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans.
      All the facts are such inconvenient things….

    • I should have added:
      Over the weekend of January 11-12, the Chinese authorities shared the full sequence of the coronavirus genome, as detected in samples taken from the first patients. “Sequencing the genome of pathogens is crucial for the development of specific diagnostic tests and the identification of potential treatment options,” explains Sylvie van der Werf, Director of the National Reference Center (CNR) for Respiratory Viruses at the Institut Pasteur.

  6. Steve_M. says:

    Trump is a real loony tune, no question about that. But, I still doubt that he will do much more than make threats launch wars against Venezuela and Iran. He could have launched major attacks on those countries months or even two or three years ago. So, why hasn’t he? It’s Putin and his spy apparatus who have almost certainly deterred Trump until now and will continue to deter him. Putin seems to have something that he’s dangling over Trump’s neck and has managed to keep him under control in relation to most possible military ventures abroad. As for things Trump is saying about treatments for Covid-19, it’s clear that he is going off his rocker. Many medical experts believe that Trump is in cognitive decline – that is, heading towards outright dementia – but few want to say so openly. But, since dementia is no crime, impeaching him is out of the question. (Of course, Trump’s obedient Reublicans in the Senate would never do it anyway.) And invoking the 25th Amendment, in order to transfer Presidential powers to his Vice President, almost certainly can’t be invoked as long as Trump is fully conscious and able to fight back against such a threat. So, the US is stuck with that idiot until at least Jan. 2021 – and maybe longer, if he wins in November. I don’t dismiss the possibility of Trump being re-elected, but if he is, that would indeed be tragic.

    • That Trump can make irrational decisions was proven, when he decided to murder the Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, which was enough proof by itself, that he should never be allowed near that critical red button. And at the same time the chain of command is defective in the White House, if cooler heads were unable to stop this tragedy. As for his cognitive qualifications, they may be alright for a somewhat normal civic life, but not one with the responsibilities vested in him now. Trump`s severe degree of narcissism is also a disqualifying factor for the presidency. As for transferring presidential powers to the vice-president is almost like jumping from the frying pan into the fire, if religious fanaticism can be considered as a disqualifcation, even though religion plays a major role in American politics.

  7. If you can believe him, he said he was being sarcastic… when his feet were held to the fire…

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