Fox News Doctor Under Investigation Over Bogus COVID-19 Cure

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Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, who has repeatedly appeared on Fox News throughout recent weeks, is now under investigation by the Justice Department after Trump ally and conservative conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi accidentally tipped off the feds. Corsi sent an email to federal prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, who worked with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation team and whose last name was very close to Zelenko’s in Corsi’s address book. The email contents and subsequent investigative interest cover a topic unrelated to Russian election meddling; instead, the issue hinges on Corsi and Zelenko — who, again, regularly appears on Fox News — pushing possibly falsified information about the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which the president and his allies have hyped as basically a miracle Coronavirus treatment, despite the lack of scientific evidence.

In Corsi’s accidental email to Zelinsky, he wrote that Zelenko was conducting an “FDA-approved” trial of hydroxychloroquine. Zelenko is, however, by all appearances, conducting no such trial. After Corsi asked him for verification of his version of events after Zelinsky reacted to the accidental email by requesting copies of his communications with the Fox News doctor, Zelenko changed his story and claimed that the supposed trial was actually approved by internal hospital authorities.

Corsi and Zelenko have also been collaborating on the development of a website meant, on paper at least, to connect people with doctors who are available to consult with the clients over the internet. The website appears to be a moneymaking scheme — it’s about $60 for a consultation, but the website only has around 625 doctors as of a recent check.

Interestingly enough, Corsi is not the only Trump associate with whom Zelenko is connected. He apparently also speaks regularly with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who claimed recently, in reference to Zelenko:

‘He’s a very smart doctor. I’ve seen an analysis of Dr. Zelenko’s patient list. There are thousands of people who have been helped by it.’

Zelenko has claimed that he has treated large numbers of potentially Coronavirus-infected patients with hydroxychloroquine. The actual nature of his medical practice and the treatments that he has delivered remain unclear. Banking off something that noted conspiracy peddler Rudy Giuliani has seen privately and wants people to just believe in isn’t exactly a safe bet.

Zelinsky, for his part, got tasked with investigating Coronavirus-related crimes as the pandemic crisis has heated up. The operation at the Justice Department that he’s a part of has already brought a slew of cases over issues ranging from overtly fraudulent “cures” to Medicare fraud. Corsi claims that Zelenko’s claim that he had an FDA-approved study underway in support of hydroxychloroquine when he had no such thing was just a mistake.

The Washington Post notes:

‘[Even] passing interest from federal authorities into efforts to promote the anti-malarial is likely to chafe the president and his allies, particularly given the involvement of a former member of Mueller’s team.’

It would be great if, during a pandemic, the U.S. could count on the president to follow the science while dealing with the crisis. Instead, we’re stuck with Trump.