Covid Journal, April 8, 2020
Who’s right? Who can be trusted with guidance and leadership when it comes to how we need to react to Covid and how to treat it? Should it be someone that doesn’t have a stake in companies that stand to profit from solutions or leaders that stand at a distance?
For the record, I don’t know what’s true or not, but there are several stories evolving as the days go by and they seem to be pointing to some VERY SERIOUS conflicts of interest being orchestrated and perpetuated by the President of the United States, Donald Trump.
Exhibit A: President Donald Trump reportedly owns a stake in a company that produces hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug he has repeatedly touted as a coronavirus treatment even though his experts say there’s no strong evidence it works. Fund companies that manage his accounts also have significant holdings on the company that produces hydroxychloroquine.
The anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine will be used in a trial covering 3,000 patients at a hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and the results will be tracked in a formal study, said US Vice President Mike Pence.
Pence told a White House briefing on Sunday that they were “more than prepared” to make hydroxychloroquine available to doctors’ offices and pharmacies in the Detroit area, reports Xinhua news agency.
President Donald Trump said the federal government has stockpiled 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine.
Donald Trump can’t organize a few hundred thousand masks without causing an international trade war, but he’s been stockpiling a drug produced by a company he has a stake in. WTF?
Exhibit C: Trump’s response to Covid borders on criminal and he replaced the Pandemic Response Team with Jared Kushner.
Exhibit D: Novartis, a manufacturer of a , paid $1 million to Michael Cohen (yes, that Michael Cohen) for ‘access’ to Donald Trump in 2016. It begs the question: how long has this been building up and is Donald Trump’s fumbling of Covid just a big ruse to get us all rushing to buy an expensive treatment that may or may not work? Or that may kill more of us than Covid might? Novartis, to their credit, have reportedly donated 130 million doses of this treatment, but the effectiveness is still unproven. How has Trump responded?
Exhibit F: Donald Trump accuses the World Health Organization (WHO) of being ‘pro-China’ despite the fact that the US gives it funding. He threatens to pull funding from the WHO. And then denies saying that within moments of saying it.
SMH. Here’s the exchange:
Trump: We’re just going to take a look at it. You know, we fund it. And they seem to be — you know, I said recently in social media, I said they seem to be very China-centric. That’s a nice way of saying it. But they seem to be very China-centric. And they seem to err always on the side of China. And we fund it, you know, so I want to look into it.
Reporter: A quick follow-up on that. So is the time to freeze funding to the WHO during a pandemic of this magnitude?
Trump: No, maybe not. I mean, I’m not saying I’m going to do it, but we’re going to look at it.
Reporter: You did say that you were —
Trump: No, I didn’t. I said we’re going to look at it. We’re going to investigate it. We’re going to look at it. But we will look at ending funding. Yeah. Because you know what? They called it wrong. And if you look back over the years even, they’re very much — everything seems to be very biased toward China. That’s not right.
To be honest, there are conflicting details concerning this story. The WHO does seem to have made a number of mis-steps along the way and has made it easy for critics like Trump to tear them to shreds.
Discussion: if it can be demonstrated that Donald Trump has gained financially from his stake in any company related to the production, sale or distribution of any treatment of Covid-19, especially to the US government, he should be sent to jail for a blatant conflict of interest. It looks like Pence should be as well, as he is pushing this treatment in places like New York and Michigan.
How do we get some truth concerning all of these stories or are we at risk of pointing the finger at everyone as opposed to asking the right questions and delivering the right answers? How do we all work together on this in a way that will get us out of lockdown?