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Well, the week certainly started off with a bang. President Trump held two televised meetings, one with the new White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council and the other with restaurant industry leaders. In the second forum, he took “questions” from the usual suspects, who naturally asked about everything except restaurant workers and all the workers in the supply chains that are harmed by governments ordering restaurants to go out of business or go far deeper in debt. The honking gaggle gave President Trump a chance to reveal something I had suspected ever since Vice President Pence visited a hospital, on camera, without wearing a mask. President Trump, and likely Vice President Pence, are taking hydroxychloroquine as preventive medicine.*
This matters for several reasons. First, it matters that President Trump, and likely Vice President Pence, are doing all they can to keep healthy during the pandemic. They come in contact with an extraordinary number of people, who themselves have had contact with an unknown number of people. No screening test is perfect. Second, it matters that President Trump is opposing Dr. Fauci’s pet positions with the positions of many other real medical doctors. This should help push the FDA to stop the #resistance on this drug that their associates in universities and industry cannot turn to money or career profit. It should provide a stronger signal to patients and doctors who wish to use it to prevent or treat early stage COVID-19. Finally, it annoyed all the right people, including at Faux News, so that was a joy bonus to start the week.
But wait! There’s more! Later Monday evening, President Trump tweeted out a copy of the letter he sent to the World Health Organization, which Dr. Fauci had to work with throughout his career, and reflexively defended even as the COVID-19 disaster unfolded. Now we have a letter from the president of the United States challenging the medical authority of the WHO, while news resurfaced that the Department of Justice, working with states attorneys general, was drafting an antitrust lawsuit against Google, which takes down any YouTube content that dares question the WHO.
This is the letter sent to Dr. Tedros of the World Health Organization. It is self-explanatory! pic.twitter.com/pF2kzPUpDv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2020
* Here is the relevant exchange during a roundtable with restaurant executives and industry leaders:
Q Sir, you tweeted recently that this whole whistleblower racket needs to be looked at very closely —
THE PRESIDENT: Sure.
Q — and it is causing a great injustice —
THE PRESIDENT: Sure. I had a fake whistleblower.
Q — and harm.
THE PRESIDENT: Sure.
Q Who should look —
THE PRESIDENT: I had a fake whistleblower originally. He was a faker. Because when he looked at my — he wrote down a conversation that was totally different from the conversation I actually had with the President of Ukraine. It was a fake whistleblower. And, by the way, everybody knows who he is. He’s a political operative. You know that. Jon knows who he is. You know him better than anybody, Jon. Right? He’s a faker, and he was a fake whistleblower, and it was a phony, disgraceful period of time. And we came out well. You know why we came out well? Because everyone recognized it for what it was: just a political witch hunt.
But he was a fake whistleblower. He wrote a story that bore no resemblance to the conversation that I had with the President of Uk- — Ukraine. Nothing whatsoever. And by the way, the inspector general, he went by the whistleblower. He didn’t want to see the conversation that I had. When he saw the conversation that I had, he said, “Well, that bears no resemblance to what the whistleblower said.” Why didn’t he look first before he ran to Congress? He ran to Congress like he couldn’t get there fast enough with a whistleblower report
[. . .]
So, you know, that’s the way it goes. So you had a phony whistleblower. And this other guy with the hydroxychloroquine — okay? — well, he — he went out and he’s the one that approved the hydroxychloroquine. He’s the one that signed the application. He also happens to be — if you look — see whether or not — I won’t put it on me; I’ll put it on you. See whether or not he was a big contributor to the Democrats. See whether or not he wanted the Democrats to win. No, there’s a lot of bad things coming out about him, but you people don’t want to write the — the news.
You know, but — if you look — but he’s the one that signed the application. The very important form, he signed it. Now, if he doesn’t believe in it, why would he sign it? And a lot of good things have come out about the hydroxy. A lot of good things have come out. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the frontline workers — before you catch it.
The frontline workers — many, many are taking it. I happen to be taking it. I happen to be taking it.
Q You’re taking hydroxychloroquine?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m taking it — hydroxychloroquine.
Q Right now?
Q When —
THE PRESIDENT: Right now. Yeah. A couple of weeks ago, I started taking it.
Q Why, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: Because I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories. And if it’s not good, I’ll tell you right — you know, I’m not going to get hurt by it. It’s been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus, for other things.
I take it. Frontline workers take it. A lot of doctors take it.
THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me. A lot of doctors take it. I take it. Now, I hope to not be able to take it soon because, you know, I hope they come up with some answer, but I think people should be allowed to.
I got a letter from a doctor the other day from Westchester, New York — around the area. He didn’t want anything. He just said, “Sir, I have hundreds of patients and I give them hydroxychloroquine; I give them the Z-Pak, which is azithromycin; and I give them zinc. And out of the hundreds of patients — many hundreds, over 300 patients — I haven’t lost one.” He said, “Please keep pressing that, sir.”
And if you look at that phony report that was put in, that report on the hydroxyl — was given to people that were in extraordinarily bad condition — extraordinarily bad, people that were dying. No, I — I think, for whatever it’s worth, I take it. I was — I — I would’ve told you that three, four days ago, but we never had a chance because you never asked me the question.
Q Did the White House doctor recommend that you take that? Is that why you’re taking it?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. A White House doctor — didn’t recommend — no, I asked him, “What do you think?” He said, “Well, if you’d like it.” I said, “Yeah, I’d like it. I’d like to take it.”
A lot of people are taking it. A lot of frontline workers are taking hydroxychloroquine. A lot of front- — I don’t take it because — hey, people said, “Oh, maybe he owns the company.” No, I don’t own the company. You know what? I want the people of this nation to feel good. I don’t want them being sick. And there’s a very good chance that this has an impact, especially early on.
But you look at frontline workers. You look at doctors and nurses. A lot of them are taking it as a preventative, and they’re taking — totally unrelated, but they take the Z-Pak or the azithromycin for possible infection.
Now, I haven’t taken that, other than an original dose because the ori- — all you need. You don’t have to take it simultaneously, but the zinc you do take. So I’m taking the two: the zinc and the hydroxy. And all I can tell you is, so far, I seem to be okay.
Q Can you explain, sir, though, why you started taking it? Have you been exposed?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, because — no. No, not at all. I just said that — I’ve had so many letters from people, like the one I told you about. I got it last week. I’ll give you — would you like a copy of it? I’d love to give you — if you ask Molly, she’ll give you a copy of it.
But this is a doctor — he doesn’t want anything. I don’t know him, never heard of him, but he treats people that are — that we’re talking about. And he said, out of hundreds of people that he’s treated, he hasn’t lost one. And he just wanted me to know about it. That’s all. It wasn’t — he wasn’t saying, “Gee, could I have dinner with you, Mr. President? I’d like to come to the White House.”
THE PRESIDENT: But I’ve received many such letters. I’ve received a lot of positive letters and it seems to have an impact. And maybe it does; maybe it doesn’t. But if it doesn’t, you’re not going to get sick or die. This is a — a pill that’s been used for a long time — for 30, 40 years on the malaria and on lupus too, and even on arthritis, I guess, from what I understand.
So it’s been heavily tested, in terms of — I was just waiting to see your eyes light up when I said this, but — you know, when I announced this. But, yeah, I have taken it for about a week and a half now, and I’m still here. I’m still here.
Q Can you explain, sir, though, you — what is the evidence that it has a preventative effect?
THE PRESIDENT: Here we go. Are you ready? Here’s my evidence. I get a lot of positive calls about it. The only negative I’ve heard was the study where they gave it — was it the VA? With, you know, people that aren’t big Trump fans gave it — and we’ve done the greatest job maybe of anything in the VA, because I got VA Choice and VA Accountability both approved. Accountability, Tilman, is where you can fire bad people that work in the VA that you couldn’t fire them.
We had thousands of people that were sadists, that were stealing, that were robbers, that were horrible people. They’d beat up our veterans. They couldn’t do it in primetime, but they did it when they were sick.
And we got Accountability. Nobody thought you could get it because of the unions and civil service. I got it passed so that now you fire bad people in the VA. We got rid of tremendously bad people that should have never been there. But I also got — probably, even more importantly, if you can say that; maybe not — VA Choice.
So if you have to wait on line for a doctor, you go outside, you have a private doctor, we pay the bill. We work out deals with doctors. We have pricing. So you go out, you pay the bill. And it was a great thing that we did, so we’ve done a great job with the VA.
But they had a report come out and the results of the report — it was a very unscientific report, by the way. But I get a lot of tremendously positive news on the hydroxy. And I say, “Hey.” You know the expression I’ve used, Jon? “What do you have to lose?” Okay? “What do you have to lose?”
Q Is that a reason to take medicine?
Q So are you taking this every day?
THE PRESIDENT: I have been taking for about a week —
Q For a week and a half?
THE PRESIDENT: — for about a week and a half.
Q Every day?
THE PRESIDENT: At some point — every day. I take a pill every day. At some point, I’ll stop. What I’d like to do is I’d like to have the cure and/or the vaccine, and that’ll happen, I think, very soon.
Q So you’ve had no symptoms, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: Zero symptoms. No, I haven’t had any symp- — no, I tested — we — I test — every couple of days, they want to test me, you know, for obvious reasons. I mean, I am the President, alright? So they want to test me. I don’t want to be tested, but they want to test me. So every couple of days I get tested, and I’ve been — I’ve shown always negative. Right? Negative. Is that the term you use for this? Right? Negative. Totally negative. No symptoms. No nothing.
But, no, I take it because I think — I hear very good things. Again, you have to go to frontline workers. Many frontline workers take it and they seem to be doing very well.
Q Sir, have any other members of your administration, Vice President Pence, or your family members taken this?
THE PRESIDENT: No, but I wouldn’t be surprised. I — I don’t want to ask them because that’s a personal decision as to whether or not you want to say. I just want to be open with the American public because, you know, I happen to think it’s good.
I do want the letter given because this letter made — not in terms of my taking it, but I thought it was a very well-crafted letter by a man who’s a respected doctor up in Westchester, maybe a little beyond Westchester — a little up higher and — in New York. And he just — he didn’t want anything. He just wanted me to know the results of what he’s doing as a doctor. And he was so happy with the fact that I — I fight for this stuff.
And then we have this crazy whistleblower, this fake whistleblower get out and try and, you know, knock it, who is — who signed the application. He — he did all the — he did the signing. He was a believer at one point, I assume. Otherwise, he shouldn’t have signed it. No matter who told him to, he shouldn’t have signed it.
Okay. One more question. That’s it? Thank you all very much.