Trump and Biden disagree over Dr. Stella Grace Immanuel’s hydroxychloroquine cure for COVID.
Medical experts have expressed concern that widely discredited claims about COVID-19 cures and treatments are drawing so much attention as government officials struggle to flatten the curve of new infections in states like Texas, where 6,376 had died as of Wednesday.
“As of today, there is currently no available scientific evidence to suggest that we should be using hydroxychloroquine for either prevention or treatment of COVID-19,” said Dr. Prathit Kulkarni, an assistant professor of medicine in infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine.
Among Immanuel’s claims in the hydroxychloroquine video is that she has treated more than 350 patients with the anti-malaria drug and not one person has died. She has repeatedly used her role at the Rehoboth Medical Center to endorse the drug. A cure or vaccine for the global contagion does not yet exist.
“I’m kind of used to these medications,” Immanuel said in the video. “When they started saying it was dangerous, I was like, what? Because we give it to babies, pregnant women, elderly people. Everybody takes it. Hydroxychloroquine works.”
She contends the drug would stop the COVID-19 pandemic “in its tracks in 30 days.”
Trump and his son, Donald Jr., shared the video to their social media profiles. Reflecting on his decision to promote her statement, the president said he believed Immanuel to be impressive and that she was obviously “a big fan” of the drug.
“I was very impressed with her and other doctors that stood with her,” Trump told reporters Wednesday morning, ahead of a trip to Texas. “I think she made sense, but I know nothing about her.”
But as reporters quizzed Trump on her prior remarks — including claims that face masks are useless in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and that alien DNA is used to produce medicine — he defended Immanuel one last time and abruptly ended the press briefing.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, in response to Trump’s apparent endorsement of Immanuel, said Wednesday that his Republican opponent should “stop talking about this crazy woman he talked about last night, who’s an absolute disgrace.”
Born in Cameroon, Immanuel, 55, graduated in 1990 from the University of Calabar in Nigeria and completed a residency at a Bronx, New York, hospital.
The Texas Medical Board licensed Immanuel in November 2019 for pediatrics and emergency medicine with an address associated with the Rehoboth Medical Center. She has no documented disciplinary actions or known complaints in Texas or Louisiana, where she was first licensed in 1998.
With information obtained from Houston Chronicles.