Kilmeade asks if political motivation is behind suspected feet-dragging on coronavirus treatment

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade questioned whether hatred of President Trump has created a political view that is delaying testing of a drug to treat coronavirus.

Kilmeade spoke with Dr. Mehmet Oz on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday about the testing of the drug hydroxychloroquine and why it has not moved faster, floating the possibility that the delays are politically motivated.

(Source: Fox News)

The question came up after Oz shared details about a study on the drug by doctors in China which showed that it could alleviate some of the symptoms of COVID-19. Oz called for a “bigger clinical trial” and urged health officials to broaden the study.

“So the Chinese are using this as part of their routine treatment…I think we ought to consider something like that in this country but at least physicians and patients should be able to discuss more comfortably until we have the randomized data from studies done in this country,” he said.

Co-host Steve Doocy played a clip from infectious disease specialist Dr. Stephen Smith who spoke with Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Wednesday, saying the drug was a “game-changer” and that it spells the “beginning of the end” of the pandemic.

“That is an extraordinary sound bite right there,” Doocy said, noting how many people have downplayed the medication.

“This is a randomized trial. Not as large and comprehensive and still not published but it’s important to recognize that these guys have done a little bit of what we are expecting,” Oz said.

He recommended studies be conducted to compare U.S. coronavirus patients who take hydroxychloroquine to those who do not.

“I think it will be fascinating to replicate what the Chinese have done,” Oz said. “Let’s not reinvent the wheel. If they think it’s good enough for the Chinese people to routinely get, we should at least consider examining it carefully in this country so we don’t lose opportunities.”

“I don’t get this. Let’s reframe this,” Kilmeade interjected.

“So the French say it works. The Chinese say it works. You are getting studies that show it works. You are trying to tell people in New York to test this. You said you were going to, have you been able to get an answer if they are testing this or not?” he asked.

“And do you think perhaps, even though you don’t know for sure, politics is playing a role in this? The fact that the president thought he could be optimistic on it, did that actually bring politics into this and is this cure not moving forward because people don’t like the president?” Kilmeade asked.

Trump has repeatedly touted hydroxychloroquine as a possible cure for coronavirus and has even noted that politics may play a part in the responses to combating the global pandemic.

A French study showed that a combination of hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin has been an effective treatment in coronavirus patients, but liberals have continued to downplay the study and dismiss the positive results.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo even issued an executive order limiting prescriptions of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to a 14-day supply with no refills. Doctors are also banned from prescribing the drugs outside of FDA-approved uses or clinical trials.

“You know, Brian, it’s very hard to judge motivation. I can only judge action,” Oz responded to Kilmeade’s question.

“I know that in New York state now you are not allowed to prescribe this medication to patients. I believe the reason Governor Cuomo did that was to protect patients who have lupus and rheumatoid arthritis because he was worried folks would hoard the medication,” he said, adding that, despite the approval by the Food and Drug Administration of a new COVID-19 test, doctors are still being told they can’t prescribe the medications.

“We should have physicians practicing medicine based on the best data,” he said.


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