As one and a half Americans have contracted coronavirus, we enter a twilight form of politics. Now, 92,297 friends, families, neighbors, and coworkers have died in a handful of weeks — young and old. If all of the people who live in well-known cities suddenly disappeared, what would everyone think?
It would be like walking into ghost towns: Santa Barbara (CA), West Palm Beach (FL), Richardson (TX), or Fargo (ND) to get some idea of the pandemic’s reach. So, what has Vice President Mike Pence been doing in the midst of all this?
He went to NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) headquarters and met with Fox News journalist Kristin Fisher. She tweeted, according to Fox News:
‘In an interview at NASA’s headquarters after a meeting of the National Space Council, @VP tells me he is not taking Hydroxychloroquine.’
The Republicans surrounding the president walk around maskless, including Pence. Normally, the VP has been photographed staring adoringly at Trump. So, it came as something of a surprise that he would differ on taking the off-label drug, hydroxychloroquine, the one his boss said he was taking.
President Trump announced Tuesday he was taking the anti-malaria drug to try to keep coronavirus at bay. He began taking it, according to his own account, right after his personal military valet came down with the virus. His top adviser Stephen Miller’s new wife also tested positive. She works in Pence’s office.
Trump said “I’m not going to get hurt by it:”
“I’m taking it – hydroxychloroquine. I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories. And, if it’s not good, I’ll tell you right, I’m not going to get hurt by it.’
Medical doctors have come out warning about the dangers of this drug that the president claimed he had been taking for a week and a half. Vice President Pence told Fox News that his doctor differed from the president’s physician;
‘My physician hasn’t recommended that, but I wouldn’t hesitate” to take it if he did recommend it.’
Pence had been at a National Space Council meeting at NASA headquarters where he would be involved with SpaceX launching U.S. astronauts next week. He has also been charged with the coronavirus effort. The VP continued:
‘Hydroxychloroquine is a drug that’s been around for more than 40 years for the treatment of malaria but early in this process, the FDA approved what’s called off-label use that physicians could prescribe hydroxychloroquine and terms that they deemed appropriate,” the vice president continued. “I’ve heard anecdotal stories of Americans who’ve taken hydroxychloroquine in the midst of the coronavirus and, and, and sense that it made a real difference for them.’
The vice president also noted that the White House also referred to another drug currently in trials in all 50 states as a treatment for coronavirus, remdesivir.
Trump explained that he had talked with the White House physician, Dr. Sean Conley, about taking the drug. The doctor released a statement Monday after the president’s surprise announcement. It read:
‘After numerous discussions he and I had about regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.’
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the drug was dangerous and should only be used in a hospital or research setting.
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