The Politics of Quackery

American history is replete with stories of false claims made for such products as Pectoria (“consumption prevented”) and Balsam of Boneset (“cures all cough and lung diseases”). You can find great illustrations of these and other bogus cures at the following website:

According to that website, the American Medical Association published a series of essays in 1912 warning the public about the dangers of false medical claims. It took several tries before federal New Deal legislation finally required FDA approval of both the safety and effectiveness of medicines before they could be marketed to the general public.

Yet, in today’s copy of the Washington Post, Spirited Reasoners learned that the wonder drug touted most frequently by President Trump in the treatment of Covid-19 has one tiny drawback: doctors are increasing linking it to death caused by cardiac complications. Add this to the recently published reports by the British Medical Journal and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine indicating that the administration of hydroxychloroquine had no statistically significant benefit in the treatment of Covid-19 patients and, to the contrary, seemed to be having an adverse effect.

So, Mr. President, it seems that hydroxychloroquine might be neither safe nor effective in the treatment of Covid-19.

Never mind. In cases like this it’s important for us to keep our collective eyes on the ball.

“What ball is that?” you ask.

“The 2020 presidential election campaign, of course.”

Any Spirited Reasoner who cannot read the President’s mind at this point is simply not trying hard enough.  This is not about the safety of the American people. President Trump is desperate to announce that his team has cured Covid-19 in advance of November, whether that announcement meets FDA requirements or not.

If we will only give him four more years, he’ll have both the vaccine and the cure ready for all Americans to receive no later than January of 2021.

“A vote for me equals consumption prevented. It will cure all cough and lung diseases.”

You can bet your life on it.

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