Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo recently warned on Facebook live that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “was harboring a ‘resistance unit’ to Trump.”
Caputo alleged that career scientists “haven’t gotten out of their sweatpants except for meetings at coffee shops” to plot “how they’re going to attack Donald Trump.”
“There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president,” Caputo added.
While the media has tried to present Caputo as unhinged, could he actually be right? Is it actually possible that there are experts at the CDC who are more concerned with “resisting” Trump than public health?
I think the answer lies in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from September 4. Titled, “Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine Prescribing Patterns by Provider Specialty Following Initial Reports of Potential Benefit for COVID-19 Treatment — United States, January–June 2020” which details the increase in hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine prescriptions this year. The report is largely just a detailed analysis of the number of prescriptions this year but not-so-discreetly included in the report is the following claim in its summary:
“Earlier this year, [hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine] were widely reported to be of potential benefit in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. However, current data indicate that the potential benefits of these drugs do not outweigh their risks.”
The most commonly cited claim against hydroxychloroquine (echoed in the CDC’s MMWR) is fatal heart damage, which was reported in two bogus studies, the debunked VA study, and another flawed study in Brazil from April. But as veteran virologist Steven Hatfill explained, the media never mentioned that the Brazilian doctors in that study “were giving patients lethal cumulative doses
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