President Donald Trump personally intervened in the medical approval process, calling top officials from three of the nation’s leading federal government medical agencies to pressure them to allow drugs untested for use in treating the novel coronavirus to be used for that purpose.
Top officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) received telephone calls from the President of the United States, who “personally pressed” them to make the malaria drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine available.
“Rarely, if ever, has a U.S. president lobbied regulators and health officials to focus their efforts on specific unproven drugs,” Reuters reveals in its exclusive report. “Shortly afterward, the federal government published highly unusual guidance informing doctors they had the option to prescribe the drugs, with key dosing information based on unattributed anecdotes rather than peer-reviewed science.”
His calls launched a “cascade of federal action.”
Trump’s focus came after a Fox News interview in mid-March of a a lawyer the conservative cable network said was associated with a small French study, who said “we have strong reason to believe that a preventative dose of hydroxychloroquine is going to prevent the virus from attaching to the body and just get rid of it completely.”
Two days later, that same attorney, appears on Fox News again, declaring, the president “has the authority to authorize the use of hydroxychloroquine against coronavirus immediately.”
Just one day later Trump began his campaign to promote the malaria drugs, despite only anecdotal evidence and that one small French study.
“On March 19, Trump vowed to make the drugs more widely available. ‘It’s shown very encouraging – very, very encouraging early results,’ he said at a press conference. ‘And we’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately. And that’s where the FDA has been so great. They – they’ve gone through the approval process; it’s been approved. And they did it – they took it down from many, many months to immediate.’
The drugs had not, in fact gone through the FDA’s “approval process” to treat coronavirus, nor had they been approved by the FDA to do so.
Two days after that. Trump posted these tweets:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2020
“Now, millions of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine pills are on their way to the public, donated by drugmakers, including Novartis’ Sandoz, Bayer and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. The FDA issued an emergency authorization on March 28 allowing them to be prescribed and distributed from the Strategic National Stockpile.”
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Bernie Sanders Reverses – Announces He Will Not Release His Full Medical Records Even After Heart Attack
‘I Don’t Think We Will’
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, has announced he will not be releasing his full medical records after suffering a heart attack late last year. Sanders, 78, is currently seen as the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic nomination for president.
“We have released, I think, quite as much as any other candidate has,” Sen. Sanders said, defending his decision to reverse his promise of releasing a full set of medical records just after his October heart attack.
But in October, after the heart attack, Sanders said releasing his medical records was “the right thing to do.” He also had promised to release them “before the first votes are cast,” a deadline he’s missed.
“People do have a right to know about the health of a senator and someone running for president,” Sanders told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta on October 10. “At the appropriate time we’ll make all the medical records public for you or anyone else who wants to see them.”
Here’s Sanders just after his heart attack promising to release his full medical records:
Question: “Plan to release your medical records sooner than originally planned now?”
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “We’ll release them, we always planned to release them. And we have more medical records obviously now, and we will release them at the appropriate time.” pic.twitter.com/X8b0bWvnPc
— The Hill (@thehill) October 8, 2019
Tuesday night he gave a very different response.
“We released two rather detailed letters from cardiologists and we released a letter that came from the head of the U.S. Congress medical group, the physicians there. So I think we have released a detailed report, and I’m comfortable with what we have done,” Sanders told Anderson Cooper Tuesday night at a CNN town hall.
“If you think I’m not in good health come on out with me on the campaign trail and I’ll let you introduce me to the three or four rallies a day that we do,” Sanders joked.
Cooper pressed the three-term Senator if he would be releasing his full medical records in the future.
“I don’t think we will, no,” Sanders responded.
President Donald Trump was largely decried and mocked for his refusal to release his full medical records when he was running in 2016. He has never released a full set, and his White House physician’s reports have been largely received as fictive.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had a heart attack last year, tells @andersoncooper that he doesn’t think he will release any more medical records than he already has. #cnntownhall https://t.co/DcVxz2JQLM pic.twitter.com/mObVIbJHFO
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 19, 2020
MSNBC analyst and DailyBeast columnist Jonathan Alter called Sanders’ move “Trumpish.”
Talking Points Memo founder and publisher Josh Marshall weighed in:
It’s much worse than Trumpish. Other than his weight we had no reason to think Trump was ill during the 2016 campaign. Sanders is almost 80 and just had a heart attack. It’s INSANE for the public not to get some concrete information about his health.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 19, 2020
Watch: Fox & Friends Defends Trump Wrongly Claiming Super Bowl Champs ‘Represented the Great State of Kansas’
“Fox & Friends” Monday morning defended President Donald Trump’s false claim that the Kansas City Chiefs were from the state of Kansas. The NFL team who won Sunday night’s Super Bowl are from the state of Missouri. Trump quickly deleted a tweet Sunday night praising the team for “a great game, and a fantastic comeback.”
“You represented the Great State of Kansas,” Trump said, “so very well.”
The Fox News morning crew agreed, despite the confines of geography and cartography.
“Kansas City is in Kansas and it is also in Missouri,” co-host Steve Doocy told Fox News viewers – glossing over that Trump specifically – and falsely – said the Kansas city Chiefs “represented the Great State of Kansas.”
“It’s like the difference between the New York Giants, I mean the Giants are – people call them the NY Giants but they’re in New Jersey,” Doocy concluded, except it’s nothing like that at all.
“Right, right,” co-host Ainsley Earhardt chimed in.
Steve Doocy defends Trump’s tweet congratulating Kansas for the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl: “Kansas City is in Kansas and it is also in Missouri. … [It’s like when] people call them the New York Giants, but they’re in New Jersey.” pic.twitter.com/tQFd5KlTy8
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) February 3, 2020
Watch: Lindsey Graham Falsely Claims FBI Stopped Russia’s Attacks on Clinton Campaign During Election
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham opened up Wednesday morning’s hearing with Inspector General Michael Horowitz by falsely claiming the FBI was able to stop Russia’s attacks against the Hillary Clinton campaign, and suggested it did so early on, well before the November 2016 election.
That’s blatantly false.
Chairman Graham also appeared to imply that the FBI did so merely by contacting the Clinton campaign to warn them of Russia’s actions – and he made that claim to support his false theory that the Bureau should have told the Trump campaign it and its officials were subjects or even targets of a counterintelligence investigation to determine if they were conspiring with Russia to win the election.
“I want the American people to know there was an effort to affect Hillary Clinton’s campaign by foreign actors,” Graham says, not even mentioning Russia. “The FBI picked up that effort, they briefed her about it, and they were able to stop it.”
The FBI has not been able to stop Russian interference and attacks on the U.S. elections, which began according to the consensus of all 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies in 2013, and has to this day have not ended.
Lindsey Graham begins the Horowitz hearing by claiming the FBI was “able to stop” the Russian interference campaign against the Clinton campaign. That’s a lie. pic.twitter.com/fHIT9lQ6Hv
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 11, 2019
Former chief DOJ spokesperson Matthew Miller offers this insight:
Lindsey Graham's position is that the FBI should have briefed the guy who publicly invited the Russians to interfere in the election about the fact his campaign was under investigation for working with the Russians to interfere in the election.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) December 11, 2019
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