“Trump holds financial interest in pharmaceutical company that produces hydroxchloroquine!”
Those are headlines in Salon.com and the New York Times. Okay, I’ll bite, that means…..what? Reading the text, they try to portray two pieces of information as damning: 1-It seems that a guy named Ken Fisher, who runs Fisher Investments, a world famous money management firm, owns shares of a company, Sanofi (among many), that produces Plaquenil, a brand name for hydroxychloroquine. So what? Fisher is called “a major donor to Republicans”. Well, shiver me timbers, walk him out on the plank!
2- In any event, the crack team at the New York Times also thinks it’s unfurled the mystery. “As of last year,” reports the paper, “Mr. Trump reported that his three family trusts each had investments in a Dodge & Cox mutual fund, whose largest holding was in Sanofi.” When you see the words “largest holding”, what do you think? In fact, “largest” means 3.3% of the fund, in this case! In addition, both Salon and the NYT say the mutual fund is “a Dodge and Cox fund”, without naming it. The actual fund is Dodge and Cox International Stock mutual fund, which invests presently in 68 different companies (that what stock mutual fund do), has assets of $50.2 billion, and owns stocks of at least 7 international pharmaceutical companies. Before anyone gets self-righteous, if you have a 401(k) or employer-provided defined benefit pension, you probably own shares of that same mutual fund. It’s been very popular for a long time. My information, as well as that of the NYT, comes from the fund’s own website, their downloadable pdf of holdings.
David Harsanyi at National Review writes: “As far as we know, Trump probably owns less than $100 of Sanofi stock in one of his mutual funds. If things go well, say he triples his position, Trump will be taking in upwards of $300. Art of the Deal, indeed. Though it’s unlikely. Sanofi is a French drugmaker that produces the hydroxychloroquine-label Plaquenil. The drug, however, isn’t patented, it isn’t particularly difficult to manufacture, and there are a bunch of giant pharma companies around the world already ramping up production of generic versions. Sanofi is less likely to benefit than Novartis or Bayer (check everyone’s mutual funds, pronto!). So cunning is Trump’s scheme to spike his $1,000 mutual-fund position that he called India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, this week and convinced him to lift a ban and start exporting even more generic hydroxychloroquine to the United States.
“When Trump first mentioned hydroxychloroquine, reporters scoured the world to find overdose cases so they could claim the president had blood on his hands. When that effort came up short, they clutched pearls after some nitwit couple thought it wise to ingest fish-tank cleaning liquid. Now this. Hydroxychloroquine is a prescription drug, not a pill that Americans can buy in bulk at the local Walmart and hoard in their closest and pop prophylactically each day. Media keeps asserting that Trump is “ignoring the experts.” Well, the president didn’t induce South Korean doctors to use hydroxychloroquine. He didn’t induce Indian doctors to use it. I assume American doctors who are now “off-labeling” the drug to patients have some medical reasons behind their thinking.”
What the “lamestream media” (Trump’s term, which I agree with) is trying to do in the midst of the MOST SERIOUS THREAT WE HAVE EVER FACED, is to discredit the president and all his advice. While I am disappointed in the Trump administration’s handling of the epidemic, I believe it is fair to consider some questions:
- Is it possible that the President of the United States has information that you and I don’t have?
- Is it possible that the President of the United States has pressures (and conflicting advice) and responsibilities that you and I don’t have?
- Is my disappointment with the Trump administration’s handling of the epidemic based on comparing it to perfection, or hindsight?
- If it turns out that hydroxychloroquine could have helped a lot of people, but the media’s efforts to invalidate Trump’s advice resulted in most of those people staying away from it, how will I then think about that media?
- Is this a time to put partisan politics and Trump Derangement Syndrome aside?
I suggest you go to Salon.com, and look at all the headlines. Then convince me they aren’t enslaved to the Democrat Party! Do you have a 401(k), or does your employer have a pension plan for you? Then you probably own shares of Dodge and Cox Stock International mutual fund. Why? It has been one of the best performing and therefore most popular stock mutual funds since it’s inception in 1965. Could that be a reason for Trump’s trusts to invest in it?
I will give the Babylon Bee the last word. “Liberal Treated With Hydroxychloroquine Hopes He Still Dies Of COVID-19 To Prove Trump Is Stupid.” While Trump has been giving people hope that hydroxychloroquine could save lives, his political opponents have called it false hope and claimed Trump has no idea what he’s talking about. Jeffery Walton, a lifelong Democrat and progressive had joined in calling Trump “irresponsible” and an “ignoramus” and now has an opportunity to prove it by simply dying. “It’s such an opportunity, I don’t want to pass it up,” Walton said. Doctor Glenn Logan, Walton’s physician, says he’s been up and down. “After we gave him the hydroxychloroquine, he got really excited about the idea of dying to prove Trump is dumb, and his good mood helped his condition, and he started to improve. Because that would only help Trump, his getting healthier made him depressed, which caused his condition to deteriorate. Which made him really happy. Which helped him recover and… Well, it’s been a weird cycle.” Dr. Logan has been warning Walton that there is a chance he could fully recover. Walton is trying to prepare himself for this — a world where everything isn’t black and white and Trump can be right about some things — but he insists he’d much rather die.
For those of you who don’t know, or Snopes is your go-to source for the facts, Babylon Bee is satire. That means don’t try to look Jeffery Walton.
Update, April 8: On Monday, Democratic Michigan state Rep. Karen Whitsett credited President Trump with effectively saving her life. She suffered from COVID-19 but recovered after taking the drug. “If President Trump had not talked about it, it would not be something that’s accessible” in Michigan, she told Fox News, due to “an order that was put down in my state.” Indeed, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) initially threatened physicians who would offer the drug to coronavirus patients — before reversing herself and even requesting the malaria drug from the Trump administration.
Hydroxychloroquine isn’t just saving lives in Michigan, however. Dr. Anthony Cardillo, the CEO of Mend Urgent Care in Los Angeles, said he is witnessing “significant success” in prescribing hydroxychloroquine to coronavirus patients. “Every patient I’ve prescribed it to has been very, very ill and within eight to twelve hours, they were basically symptom-free,” Cardillo told ABC News. He probably doesn’t read Salon.com or the NY Times.