President Trump and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are exchanging accusations over who is responsible for problems her state is having in obtaining supplies to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. You can read the details here if you want, but frankly, I think most Americans aren’t in the mood for partisan fingerpointing. If there are problems, they need to be solved now, and you can argue over blame later.
On a related subject, Gov. Whitmer is not filling her constituents with confidence that she’s putting their best interests ahead of politics by following Nevada Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak in playing doctor without a license. Both Governors have issued orders banning doctors from the off-label use of hydroxychloroquine, particularly in combination with the drug Azithromycin, which has shown promise in early use in several nations, but which has been under attack by the left as a “fake cure” because President Trump spoke of it positively.
Whitmer’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs issued a letter threatening action against the medical licenses of any doctors who prescribe it for the coronavirus, requiring health care providers who learn of a doctor prescribing it to report them to the state, and banning pharmacists from filling prescriptions for it.
Yes, it’s true that we haven’t had years of clinical trials of this drug, but when you’re in a situation where nothing else is working, death may be near and you don’t have years to spend on clinical trials, the decision about what last-ditch drug to try should rest with the doctor and patient, not state or federal bureaucrats. This is why Trump pushed for and signed the “Right To Try Law,” to stop the FDA from “protecting” terminal patients into the grave by denying them experimental treatments until after they’re long dead.
At this link is a first-hand account by a Michigan COVID-19 patient, Jim Santilli, who believes he was hours just away from death when his doctor gave him this treatment, and he began a rapid recovery. You can imagine how he feels about his Governor banning doctors from even trying it:
Santilli writes, “This is unacceptable and I’m confident Governor Whitmer, and her administration, will be responsible for many deaths and much suffering. I highly recommend she stop the politics, and not discourage doctors from using treatment they believe may work.”
While some early studies of the drug have shown great promise, there’s no proof that it’s a magic bullet. There are flaws in the studies, conflicting results, and potential side effects. You can read more about them in this article:
And here’s the latest, released just last night: French professor Dr. Didier Reoult released the results of a second study that repeated the positive findings of his first trial use of Hydroxychloroquine (plaquenil) and Azithromycin on 36 COVID-19 patients. The latest study of 80 patients found “significant” clinical improvement in all but one 74-year-old still in intensive care and one patient who died who had an advanced, irreversible case and was 86 years old.
The bottom line, as that story states in its headline, is, “What if hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work? What if it does? Right now, we don’t know.” It quotes a health data analyst as saying, “When dealing with a pandemic, listen to experts who are used to grappling with these problems.”
I assume that would mean doctors, not Governors.