Snake Oil Salesman-In-Chief Fires Scientist

Snake Oil Salesman-In-Chief

Dr. Rick Bright, a leading vaccine expert and director of the nation’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), was demoted after urging caution in the use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19. Previously, Donald Trump MD, the man who brought you Trump Vitamins, prescribed hydroxychloroquine as a miracle treatment for Coronavirus, due to his strong belief in the medical principle Infernum — quid amittere? (What the hell have you got to lose?). Dr. Bright says his dismissal was in retaliation for disagreeing with the president on the use of the malaria drug in treating coronavirus patients.

Doctor Trump was advised on hydroxychloroquine by some of the nation’s greatest medical minds: secret agent Rudy Guliani, economist Peter Navarro, software mogul Larry Ellison, TV quack Dr. Oz, Secretary of Slim Suits Jared Kushner, and Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity.  Another selling point may be that Didier Raoult, the French doctor whose discredited “study” of 7 patients started the whole hydroxychloroquine frenzy, bears a striking resemblance to the president’s pliant Park Avenue doc Harold Bornstein.

Now that he’s ousted vaccine developer Dr. Bright at BARDA, perhaps President Trump will replace him with another Labradoodle breeder.

A new study in Veterans Affairs hospitals found that hydroxychloroquine treatment kills more coronavirus patients than doing nothing. Fox News: Oops.

Meanwhile, South Dakota Governor and former beauty queen Kristi Noem launched a statewide hydroxychloroquine study. Perhaps she thinks South Dakotans aren’t dying fast enough.


“Top Government Vaccine Expert Fired for Questioning Trump’s Fake Science,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Top vaccine expert says he was fired for resisting Trump on hydroxychloroquine,” David Smith, The Guardian

“Trump’s Firing of a Top Infectious-Disease Expert Endangers Us All,” Michael Specter, The New Yorker

“Anti-malarial drug Trump touted is linked to higher rates of death in VA coronavirus patients, study says,” Christopher Rowland, Washington Post

“How Hydroxychloroquine Became Conservative Media’s Coronavirus Miracle Drug,” Alex Shephard, The New Republic

“Dr. Fauci Shuts Down ‘Fox & Friends’ on Coronavirus Cure: ‘We Don’t Operate on How You Feel,’” Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

“Anti-malarial drug touted by Trump was subject of CIA warning to employees,” Devlin Barrett, Washington Post

“Hydroxychloroquine and coronavirus: a guide to the scientific studies so far,” Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian


“The Right Sends In the Quacks,” Paul Krugman, New York Times

“How Trump’s Foot Soldiers Tried to Flood the Country With Millions of Doses of Hydroxychloroquine,” Tom Sykes, The Daily Beast


“States weigh what to do with millions of malaria pills,” Emily Kopp, Roll Call


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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