Out of nowhere a couple of days ago, amid the usual barking and nattering at the press, Donald decided to announce that he was dosing himself with hydroxychloroquine, the purported miracle drug he’d been flogging as the Covid-killing magic bullet a few weeks ago, before shutting up for a while when the first truly scientific studies showed that it did no good and had potentially fatal side effects. As best I can tell from here, it’s generally safe in its approved applications, as an anti-malarial compound that also has positive benefits in the treatment of lupus and some forms of arthritis, but it didn’t do Covid patients any favours, and even induced dangerous heart arrhythmias in the test group – but Donny isn’t worried about that. Nope, he’s just pounding ’em back. Been on the stuff for a couple of weeks! Why? Because he’s heard good things, OK? Because, Trump. Anyway, he feels great!
Besides, those studies that showed it was both useless and dangerous were conducted on old people who were nearly dead anyway, and the trials were run by anti-Trump doctors to boot. But the most comprehensive study to date was conducted at the Veteran’s Administration, said the reporters. Yeah, well, said Donny, they made a “Trump enemy statement”, the Trump-hating bastards. A Trump enemy statement. He actually said that. About the doctors at the VA. I’m not making this up.
It’s hard to be sure he isn’t just bullshitting as usual, but maybe he really did start taking the drug, believing it to be a preventative against Covid, and freaked about those around him, including his personal valet, who’ve tested positive. Given that his own FDA recommends against experimenting with the drug outside of a clinical trial under medical supervision – which trials continue, thus far with nothing positive to report – one wonders which White House physician thought it would be ethical to allow the President to take the stuff, but you know, ethics go out the window around Trump, and who knows? Maybe he really is gulping down the pills. Maybe, in his Trumpy way, he also figures a good rule of thumb is to triple whatever dose the doctors prescribe.
To tell you the truth, I kind of hope so.
I don’t want to come off as the sort of insensitive lout who’d wish ill upon anybody just because he hates his guts with a seething, white-hot intensity, but just think of the fun we could all have, in a perverse, crowd-at-the-Roman-Colosseum sort of way. Think of all the different ways His Trumpness might jump the rails. Here’s a list produced by the Mayo Clinic that I managed to locate, having searched on Google for 0.03 seconds, setting out the known side effects of hydroxychloroquine – I’ve highlighted the most promising bits:
- Blistering, peeling, loosening of the skin
- blurred vision or other vision changes
- chest discomfort, pain, or tightness
- cough or hoarseness
- dark urine
- decreased urination
- defective color vision
- difficulty breathing
- difficulty seeing at night
- dizziness or fainting
- fast, pounding, uneven heartbeat
- feeling that others are watching you or controlling your behaviour
- feeling that others can hear your thoughts
- feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not there
- fever with or without chills
- general feeling of tiredness or weakness
- inability to move the eyes
- increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
- joint or muscle pain
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, and sex organs
- loss of hearing
- lower back or side pain
- noisy breathing
- painful or difficult urination
- red irritated eyes
- red skin lesions, often with a purple center
- severe mood or mental changes
- sore throat sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- sticking out of the tongue
- stomach pain
- swelling of the feet or lower legs
- swollen or painful glands
- trouble with breathing, speaking, or swallowing
- uncontrolled twisting movements of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs
- unusual behaviour
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual facial expressions
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- yellow eyes or skin
Whoa. That’s quite the list. That’s almost as bad as that stuff I see advertised 30 times a day that fights mild to severe plaque psoriasis. Plus, it gets better! Other known side effects include paranoia, hallucinations and psychosis!
I know what you’re thinking, you’re looking at vague symptoms like “unusual behaviour”, and right away you’re thinking it’s going to be hard to tell whether Donald is suffering from adverse effects of the drug, or just being Donald. And what about something like “trouble speaking” – in what sense? Does that mean he’ll have trouble making sounds come out, or just that he’ll flap his gums at high velocity without making a whole lot of sense, in which case, how would we know it’s the drug this time? Take this recent quote, in which the President of the United States explains his understanding of the term “per capita”, in responding to a question concerning America’s frankly appalling per capita incidence of Covid infection and death:
And you know, when you say “per capita” there’s many per capitas, it’s like, per capita relative to what? But you could look at just about any category, and we’re really at the top, meaning positive on a per capita basis.
Blitzed on drugs? Or just the same old Donny? Or how about this, as he tells reporters about the happy outcome of his latest Covid test:
You might leap to the conclusion that yup, he’s drugged out of his gourd all right, but remember back during the campaign, when he produced that obviously self-penned doctor’s note certifying that he was the most healthy paragon of a physical specimen ever to run for office? It said more or less the same thing, boasting that “all his tests” had “come back positive”, which, listen, in the medical world is actually not a good thing. If your test for, say, testicular cancer comes back positive, well, that’s not the sort of result you want to get. But to Donny, positive means negative, and vice-versa, see? Nothing new to see here, not yet. It’ll take a hell of a lot more than that sort of thing to convince us that Donald’s any worse than usual on account of his anti-malarial treatments.
If, however, he lurches out to the podium one afternoon all swollen with hives, sticking out his tongue, spasming uncontrollably, making even funnier faces than usual, while yammering about how unfair it is that the jackals in the press corps can hear his thoughts, then we’ll have something to go on.
Oh, what? What? You disapprove? You’re coming at me with the pearl-clutching? It’s not nice to hope that the idiot self-destructs on his own improvised drug regimen? Oh yeah? Well maybe I don’t feel like being nice, OK? Maybe three and a half years of Donald have driven me farther up the wall than the moron could ever drive himself, no matter how many pounds of hydroxy-thisorthat he manages to swallow. Not you? No? You’re better than me? You’d never be gleeful at the sight of Fat Donny bouncing into the Rose Garden pants-less, screaming about the Killer Gophers that lurk inside the drawers of the Resolute Desk? It’d be wrong if, upon seeing that, I clapped and barked like a MarineLand seal who just got his sardines? Really? I haven’t earned a little schadenfreude by now? After everything, I don’t come by that honestly?
Well, shit. I guess I’m just a bad person.
Anyway, it’s not like I’m sitting here, wishing and praying that the stuff actually gives him a heart attack and kills him. It’s not like that. I never. Not even a little bit.