There was a long stretch recently where the entire right-wing media bubble could not stop promoting an unproven and potentially dangerous medication to combat coronavirus called hydroxychloroquine. It's been used to fight malaria for years. But, for seemingly no reason at all, Fox News, every Very Online right-wing pundit, and even Trump himself went on an all-out media blitz promoting it as a COVID miracle cure with the ferocity of a Marvel movie marketing assault. Shockingly, Laura Ingraham didn't play charades on Fallon before showing a clip of hydroxychloroquine fighting Thanos. They went in it hard ... and then, suddenly, like a flip was switched, they just stopped.
Media Matters found that Fox News promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine 275 times between March 23 and April 6. That number dropped by 77% in the following weeks. It appears like they abandoned their miracle cure the second they felt the general public was unconvinced by their promotional onslaught. But they didn't stop it before the director of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (the department that helps in the development of vaccines) says he was fired for not falling in line with the administration's pro-hydroxychloroquine stance.
The Sean Hannitys and Tucker Carlsons of the world were praising its medical benefits without seeing a shred of evidence. They then found themselves with nothing to say when a study stated that "patients who took hydroxychloroquine were no less likely to need ventilation and had higher death rates than those who didn't take the drug." In other words, they discovered that it does nothing other than kill you harder. Tons of studies independent of one another have had similar results.
Years from now, it'll be fascinating to read a deep dive explaining why the right-wing media ever started unblinkingly chanting "hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine" like drones into a camera every night in the first place. Our first instincts go directly to corruption; that maybe they're all making some money on the side. But the truth will probably be much more disappointing. Something like one of their aunts posted a super convincing Facebook meme that mashed up hydroxychloroquine and the Minions and everything just kind of snowballed from there.
Who knows what runaway bandwagon they'll all jump on next, but in yesterday's daily press conference, Trump, President of the United States, suggested people inject disinfectant and that since viruses die in sunlight perhaps infected people should let light "inside the body." Bet the right-wing hype machine is already firing on all cylinders to find a way to justify injecting bleach directly into your veins while ramming a sun lamp up your ass. And while we could explain why both of those are terrible options, we let an actual scientist do so:
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