As Fox News hosts now pretend they never hyped hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 like late night TV hucksters, I wanted to make sure Dr. Marc Siegel’s tale about his father’s miracle cure does not go unchronicled.
On April 8, “Medical A-Team” member Siegel helped host Tucker Carlson attack others in the media for not embracing hydroxychloroquine as eagerly and wholeheartedly as Fox. It was a segment Fox News not-so-subtly called, “Do media pundits want potential coronavirus treatment to fail?”
CARLSON: Watching people in the media talk down a potentially life-saving medicine because a politician they don’t like has endorsed it is probably the most shameful thing I, as someone who has done this for 29 years, have ever seen. It’s making a lot of us ashamed to work in the same profession as those people. So reckless and wrong in the middle of a pandemic. It really is for real.
You know what’s reckless and wrong? Talking up an unproven therapy that we now know caused death and a scarcity of supply for the patients who are known to benefit from it. Not to mention blatantly suggesting that Americans risk illness and death for the sake of "re-opening" the economy.
Enter Dr. Siegel. After Carlson said suggestively, “The only thing that matters is whether it works, right, or am I missing something?” Siegel was on board with the "only fools and villains wouldn't immediately embrace hydroxychloroquine" messaging.
SIEGEL: Tucker, you’re totally right and that’s where we are right now and we’re in a situation where we have a virus that’s spreading and killing people and making people sick and we need to figure out whether there’s something that makes sense.
And this particular drug, hydroxychloroquine, has been used a lot. Now, what does it do? Here are some effects that are interesting. There’s a study out of France right now, small, that shows that in combination with that antibiotic that was mentioned, it decreases the amount of circulating virus, this virus, COVID-19.
As I posted earlier today, a study has since come out showing hydroxychloroquine ineffective and even fatal to coronavirus patients. Fox and Donald Trump have mysteriously dropped their relentless promotion of the drug and even Dr. Oz is singing a different tune. But even by the time of this show, there were good reasons to be skeptical of that French study. Also, a noted expert had already appeared on a daytime, i.e. less popular, Fox program slamming the “irresponsible” promotion of hydroxychloride for COVID-19.
But Carlson said, “huh,” as though he were fascinated by Siegel’s revelations. But we hadn’t seen nuthin’ yet. Siegel’s voice rose with excitement as he talked about studies that seem to show promise for the drug. Then there was this:
SIEGEL: So, if you’re a doctor, and you take into account the side effects here, and there are some, you may decide that it’s well worth it for particular patients.
Tucker, I want to tell you about a 96 year-old man in Florida who said, one night, “I don’t think I’m gonna make it. I feel very weak. The end is coming. I’m coughing. I’m short of breath. I can’t get up from the couch. The next day, he was on hydroxychloroquine and antibiotics per his cardiologist. He got up the next day, he was fine. This man is my father, Tucker.
Notice something missing? Siegel never said his father had been diagnosed with COVID-19. He didn’t even say he thought his father had it.
If Carlson noticed, he pretended otherwise. “Wow, that couldn’t be a clearer and heavier example. Dr. Siegel, thank you for that tonight," Carlson said, and closed the segment.
If you thought Carlson would have the decency to explain his change of heart or apologize to those he demonized for taking the position that he now seems to take, think again. The Daily Beast reported yesterday, “Carlson, who helped kick off the president’s hydroxychloroquine craze by hosting a lawyer last month trumpeting the questionable French study, has only mentioned the drug once in passing over the past 10 days—and only as a way to discuss remdesivir.” Remdesivir, you may recall, is the drug that has shown some real promise for severe coronavirus cases.
Also to be remembered is that before hydroxychloroquine was a miracle drug for whatever it was that ailed his father, Siegel said on Fox about the coronavirus, “at worst, worst case scenario it could be the flu” and agreed with host Pete Hegseth that the more you know about it, “the less there is to worry about.” That was during Fox’s “it’s a hoax” phase of coronavirus coverage.
Watch the history Fox News is already trying to rewrite below, from the April 8, 2020 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
(H/T reader John McKee)