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Health Politics

Media angered by Doctors for Trump, blind to Docs for Biden

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The last several days have seen a mini-media firestorm over a leaked Trump campaign call that discussed recruiting doctors to discuss the benefits of reopening the U.S. economy.

“The plan to recruit telegenic physicians willing to agree with Trump’s strategy was unveiled last week in a secret strategy session between the Trump reelection campaign and a conservative political group,” reports the NY Daily News.

Earlier this week, 600 doctors sent a signed letter to Trump urging him to reopen the economy, saying that a continued shutdown was harmful to the health and welfare of Americans at home.

“The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse,” the letter says.

Online articles have derided the effort by the Trump campaign to create a coalition of doctors that support Trump and his effort to reopen the economy as quickly as possible.

“President Trump has repeatedly used doctors to legitimize his credentials and policies,” wrote the liberal Axios site.  

That’s what campaigns do.

The media might have forgotten this:

It’s normal for politicians to have coalition groups, like women, veterans and even doctors. And it’s normal for the campaigns to call upon those coalitions to support the candidates.  

What’s abnormal is the political posturing regarding masks, hydroxychloroquine and anything else Trump-related.

“Biden is telling Americans that taking a low-risk prescribed drug is like injecting yourself with bleach,” Tweets David Harsanyi, a leading libertarian. “Is it surprising doctors can’t find anyone for clinical studies?”

In the accompanying piece Harsanyi points out doctors looking to study hydroxychloroquine are now having a hard time finding participants to study the drug even though it’s listed as one of the safest and most essential drugs in the world.

Doctors say subjects feel it’s “too political” or “dangerous to your heart,” both of which contentions Harsanyi debunks by talking to doctors who are studying the 65-year-old drug.

Alternately Mia Farrow Tweets: “I dont [sic] believe Trump’s claim that he is taking hydroxychloroquine. What doctor would prescribe it for an older, obese guy with a heart problem? It is ineffective in preventing coronavirus and increases rate of cardiac arrhythmia.  My question is.why is he pushing it?”

Quite obviously it’s not because Trump wants people to die. Just like the doctors, he wants to find something effective against COVID-19. Being president, it’s right that he does that, the same that it is for doctors to study medicine. But increasingly everything is being distilled through a political lens, which is bad for truth.

Doctors for Trump and Doctors for Biden: neither have a monopoly on truth. Let the voters decide, and the truth prevail.  

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