Tucker Carlson would rather attack the media than question Donald Trump’s amateur prescriptions for the coronavirus pandemic.
Never believe Carlson when he pretends to rise above partisanship
You may recall that on Tuesday night, after he validated as “entirely reasonable” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s suggestion that older people should be eager to die for the sake of the (Trump) economy, Fox’s Brit Hume opined that the only reason people were enraged by the comments was anti-Trump partisanship.
Carlson responded by posturing as someone rising above divisiveness when he sanctimoniously declared, “It’s such a shame because this moment isn’t about Donald Trump, it’s about us. It’s about the rest of the country. Maybe we should focus on that.”
Even in that moment, Carlson was clearly using his pretense as a cudgel to attack Patrick’s critics. 24 hours later, Mr. Unity made it clear, it's not about the rest of the country, it's about pro-Trump politics.
Carlson irresponsibly spouts off about chloroquine as a coronavirus treatment
On Wednesday night, Carlson didn’t let a little thing like having no credentials in medicine or public health deter him from endorsing Trump's rash prescription for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19:
CARLSON: So, in a lot of ways, hydroxychloroquine is the ideal medicine. If it turns out to be an effective treatment against coronavirus, things will change fast in this country and for the better.
Is it an effective treatment? We don't know that. Scattered reports from health care providers across the country, including in New York City, suggest that it may be. It is currently being prescribed in France, and at least one study suggests that it works.
After arriving at his unprofessional conclusion, Carlson moved on to smearing those not in line with Trump’s thinking.
CARLSON: At the very least we should all be following developments in hydroxychloroquine's use with interest and measured hope. Why wouldn't we be?
Well, here's why: Donald Trump is for it.
As “proof,” Carlson played clips of CNN and MSNBC reporting on three Nigerians who died from chloroquine, after Trump touted it, as well as a man in Arizona who died after dosing himself with fish tank cleaner that contained that chemical. Carlson also cited a Bloomberg report on a study that found the drug was no more effective than coronavirus care.
According to “Dr.” Carlson, the deaths were no biggie, the study was not reliable and the real tragedy was the media coverage that wasn’t respectful enough of Trump’s declaration that he “feels good” about the drug. Carlson was so busy vilifying those who question Dear Leader, he never mentioned the serious side effects to hydroxychloroquine, such as potentially fatal heart problems nor the fact that Dr. Anthony Fauci, a real infectious disease expert, has said that there is only anecdotal evidence of the drug’s benefit:
In fact, Carlson acted as though reporting on the death in Arizona was worse than the death, itself:
CARLSON: Well, in the midst of this propaganda blitz, a man in Arizona died after eating fish tank cleaner that contained chloroquine as an ingredient. And that was it.
CNN never mentioned that the man ate aquarium cleaner and not medicine. They lied about the substantial -- in fact, the central -- facts of what happened because they thought it might advance a political agenda.
Speaking of not mentioning facts because of a political agenda, Carlson never mentioned that the man and his wife ingested the chemical because they heard Trump talking about it.
In fact, the drugs are now being tested on coronavirus patients and I'm not here to say they should or should not. But there is something - pardon the pun - sickening about Carlson turning a discussion about possible treatments for a deadly pandemic into a weapon against Americans - many of whom are risking their own health to keep reporting during the pandemic. While Carlson spouts off from a safe social distance.
Carlson didn’t pause for even a moment to reflect on the fear and desperation people must feel to resort to such measures as the man in Arizona and the Nigerians took. He couldn’t even be bothered to caution viewers not to ingest the non-pharmaceutical of chloroquine. No, Mr Unity was too busy demonizing others in the media for supposedly making science political. Oh, the irony!
CARLSON: That's the point. They're manipulating you. This is what happens when science becomes political. Suddenly, people start lying, and you can't trust anything you hear. That's a very dangerous thing to do at a moment like this. The truth is essential.
You can watch him exploit a terrifying illness for the sake of his malicious politics below, from the March 25, 2020 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Considering that the virus is successfully combatted by 97%+ of the population, a study of 30 humans and their outcomes is ludicrously insufficient. It’s about as useful as consulting your family’s pets about the likelihood of stock market fluctuations.
Pharmacies have been bombarded with phony prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine. One doctor in Ohio, for example, cleaned a local pharmacy out of 10,000 pills for his personal use. Probably selling to desperate patients at huge mark-ups.
The tragedy is hydroxychloroquine exists for legitimate medical conditions and not just malaria which America isn’t particularly bothered by. For example, many lupis patients depend on it, now they can’t get it, and face potential organ decline.
If I recall, the positive French study included a ‘whopping’ 30 patients. Tucker apparently hasn’t read the study because hydroxychloroquine alone was only modestly effective. It was much more effective in combination with azithromycin. I’m guessing Tucker’s ignorance is based on him dutifully parroting Dear Leader, master of medical research (and all things).
A Chinese study involving also 30 patients found hydroxychloroquine no more effective than doing nothing (in fact, it had 1 worse outcome but it wasn’t statistically significant). Heck, the whole study isn’t.
Hydroxychloroquine isn’t just being hoarded unnecessarily here but there are reported runs on it in Africa where malaria is a threat. Curiously on the heels of Trump’s snake oil sales pitch to America.
Rather than parroting Trump in over-hyping hydroxychloroquine which is clearly causing widespread suffering (including the deaths Ellen mentioned), Tucker should do the responsible thing and urge people to act rationally and not hoard the product. Sure, mention it as a positive development but emphasize science must prove the case first.