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Donald Trump admitted the other day that he was taking a daily pill of hydroxychloroquine(gasp), as a prophylactic against the corona-virus. He was treated by the media as if he just advocated for the re-opening Auschwitz.

This is a drug that was prescribed by a board-certified Physician. This is a drug that has been on the market for over 60 years, and has been used to combat malaria and lupus safely and effectively.

Many first-responders, doctors and nurses have been taking this medication for months the same way Trump is, as a prophylactic against this virus. Most people who travel to Africa are prescribed this drug as a prophylactic against malaria. Our soldiers in Vietnam were given bottles of this medication. Billions of doses have been prescribed over the last 60 years, and the evidence of negative side effects are so minimal that they are almost nil.

If this drug is only effective in 25% of people, that is great news. That’s 25% of the people who will be protected from this virus.

This drug is safe. Where are the massive lawsuits against the manufacturers of this drug from the negative side effects over the last 60 years? You can’t watch more than a half hour of TV without seeing a commercial from some law firm, suing pharmaceutical companies because of the side effects of different drugs. You never see a lawsuit against hydroxychloroquine.

So why are people so up in arms with Trump taking this drug and advocating for its use? There are three answers. One, some people in the media and politics hate Trump so much that anything he is for, they are knee-jerk against, even if that means keeping people from getting a lifesaving drug.

Two, some people see this pandemic and the shutdown of the economy as an opportunity. It is the only way to defeat Trump in the upcoming election, so any possible treatment will be resisted automatically. These people also do not want to let this crisis go to waste, so they can implement radical changes to our country and economy that more aligns with their political visions, so the worse this pandemic is the better.

Third, this drug is in the genetic form, so the cost per pill is around 10 cents. Big pharmaceutical companies do not make much money on generic drugs. Their cash cow is new drug treatments where they can jack up the price. They would rather you pay $3,000 for your corona-virus treatment, not $3. They also want to corner the market on a vaccine that will be administered to 6 billion people worldwide, so a generic drug used effectively as a prophylactic is a direct threat to the tens of billions of dollars, they will potentially get from creating a vaccine.

I do not know if this is a good drug or not in combating the corona-virus. Most of the evidence for and against has been anecdotal. Most of the studies have shown conflicting results, and questionable methods. There is an over 60-year history, though, proving its safety in use for other medical conditions.

So, in the end, the drug is safe, it may be effective against the corona-virus in a percentage of people, the cost is extremely low, so since we do not have another treatment right now, why wouldn’t people take this drug under the supervision of a certified physician? I would. Why not? As General Beringer said in WarGames, “I’d piss on a spark plug if I thought it would help.”

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Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach and executive. He is a frequent contributer to the website Real Clear Politics, and has recently published his first novel, No Wind

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