The mainstream media did its best to blame President Trump for the tragic death of an Arizona man who ingested chloroquine phosphate, which reportedly shares the same active ingredient as malaria drugs that the president said may be beneficial for coronavirus patients.
The man, in his 60s, was not identified in reports, but he and his wife reportedly ingested the chemical and became very sick. Reuters reported that chloroquine phosphate is an aquarium cleaning product, not the medication form of chloroquine.
The man’s wife told NBC News that they watched Trump talk optimistically about chloroquine. She said she used the toxic ingredient that she used to treat her koi fish.
“I saw it sitting on the back shelf and thought, ‘Hey, isn’t that the stuff they’re talking about on TV?’” the wife told the network. “We were afraid of getting sick.”
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) March 24, 2020
The report said that they poured the chemical into soda and drank it. An NBC News correspondent took to Twitter to quote the wife.
“Oh my God. Don’t take anything Don’t believe anything. Don’t believe anything that the President says and his people because they don’t know what they’re talking about. And don’t take anything—so be careful and call your doctor, This is a heartache I’ll never get over.”
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Trump was criticized after he said that using hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin had “a real chance to be one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine.”
There is no cure or vaccine for the coronavirus.
News outlets appeared to assign some blame to Trump after the man’s death.
BuzzFeed News ran the headline, “A Man Died After Self-Medicating With a Form of a Drug that Trump Promoted as a Potential Treatment for the Coronavirus.” Time magazine blasted the headline, “Man Dies After Taking Chemical in Coronavirus Treatment Touted by Trump.”
Some social media users took to Twitter to point out that while it is tragic that the man died and his wife was hospitalized, Trump never endorsed any medicine as a form of treatment.
“Fake News 1. It was chloroquine phosphate. 2. It was for cleaing the fish tank. 3. Obviously not prescribed by a doctor. 4. Not touted by Trump. Really. Do better,” one post read.