As if there were any doubt, it has now been confirmed: we elected a snake oil salesman to the highest office in the land.

Our president, desperate for a “win” in his purported “war” with the coronavirus so he can get reelected, is pushing a malaria drug as a treatment for people afflicted with the virus.

“What do you have to lose? Take it,” said the oily one, “I really think they should take it. But it’s their choice. And it’s their doctor’s choice or the doctors in the hospital. But hydroxychloroquine. Try it, if you’d like.”

President Flimflam went on to push another medicine, commonly called Z-Pak, which also is untested and not approved for use against COVID-19.

When he first raised the possibility of the malaria drug several weeks ago, it set off hording and a run on the medication, which has several approved uses for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Some patients with legitimate need for the drug are now having difficulty getting it.

So what do we have to lose?

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (who actually knows what he is talking about) warned Americans not to assume the drug would be a silver bullet against the coronavirus, pointing out that evidence of its effectiveness was scant and that it may not be safe for some users.

The American College of Cardiology states on its website: “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine therapy [for COVID-19] should occur in the context of a clinical trial or registry, until sufficient evidence is available for use in clinical practice.”

One of the potential side affects is an increased risk of cardiac arrest.

What do we have to lose?

When reporters on Sunday asked Dr. Fauci to weigh in on the question at a White House Briefing, the leader of the free world stepped in and prevented him from responding. It’s hard to sell snake oil with a scientist at the podium.

Our august leader once predicted the Coronavirus would “miraculously” disappear by April because of the warm weather. He now wants us to believe he was doing all that he could all along to fight the virus.

If you believe that, I have a bankrupt casino to sell you.

Like any sharper, our president knows how to hedge his bets. While he is making unjustified claims for an untested and potentially dangerous treatment, he also says, “But what do I know? I’m not a doctor.”

Or a president for that matter.

David Holahan is a freelance writer from East Haddam.

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