Trump's Badge of Honor: Very Old, Almost Dead

Plague doctors from the 16th and 17th century

This week, Pres. 'Jim Jones' Trump announced he's taking hydroxychloroquine - probably like he's a stable genius, self-made billionaire and faithful family man who had yuge inauguration crowds, never cheats or lies, has had many, so many people tell him what a swell job he's doing and weighs 180 pounds - because a study that found the drug's only effect on Covid-19 patients could be it made more of them die was a plot by his enemies and those patients were "very old. Almost dead" and he's not a paranoid sociopath at all. Trump's wild but dubious claim, which bewildered even some Fox News folks, referenced a study of 368 Covid-19 patients at VA hospitals treated with hydroxychloroquine, Trump's favorite drug (after Adderall) which is why he reportedly ordered 30 million doses of it. Alas, the study found not only did the drug not prevent patients from needing ventilators; it likely killed over twice as many of them as those receiving standard care. The findings led the FDA to caution against its use; several other studies, including a larger one of 1,438 patients in New York, concurred. Still, Trump said that, while not a doctor, "I've worked with doctors," and don't forget he had an uncle at MIT which is just like being a doctor, and though the VA is part of his government, anyway the "only bad survey" looked at people "in very bad shape. They were very old. Almost dead. It was a Trump enemy statement.”

He later doubled down on the whole deep-state-out-to-get-his-fave-stash thing, blasting a "phony report that was put in" by "people that aren’t big Trump fans"...It was given by obviously not friends of the administration.” Then he truly lost it, attacking VA staff: “We had thousands of people that were sadists, that were stealing, that were robbers, that were horrible people, they beat up our veterans..It was a very unscientific report.” It evidently wasn't the only unscientific report around: On Tuesday, the renowned medical journal The Lancet said Trump lied in a letter to WHO threatening to withhold funding; he cited "credible reports" of the virus spreading in December, including reports from the Lancet - except they didn't publish any. Faced with his lies and lunatic drug ramblings, Americans valiantly try to make sense of it all. Wait, asked one, do we do the hydroxychloroquine along with the disinfectant injection and UV suppository? "It's just that you said this would go away on its own, but it’s starting to feel like quite a lot of work." Also, they mused, maybe he could step up and truly serve his country as a full-time lab rat, taking ever-bigger hydroxychloroquine doses and trying some other possible cures, from smoking to bitterroot to volcanic ash to camel urine? What does he have to lose? What more can we? Today, we have over a million cases,  by far the most in the world. Trump has proclaimed that obscene fact "a badge of honor" for the goodly job he's doing. From The Lincoln Project: Welcome to this week.


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