Cal Thomas – Catch-all coronavirus cures

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Thursday, May 21st. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: And I’m Megan Basham. Cal Thomas now on the dangers of trusting in catch-all cures.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: On Monday, in an off-the-cuff comment following a White House meeting with restaurant industry leaders, President Trump said he has been taking the anti-Malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for “about a week and a half now.”

Asked why, the president said he has heard from a number of people, including a doctor from Westchester, New York, that it is a good preventative. He said he had checked with the White House physician who said he does not object to his taking the drug.

Asked what evidence he has that the drug is effective, the president responded: “Here’s my evidence: I get a lot of positive calls about it.”

The Food and Drug Administration has warned against using hydroxychloroquine “outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems.” The National Institutes of Health has also advised that doctors use caution when prescribing it.

On Fox News, host Neil Cavuto interviewed Dr. Bob Lahita, chairman of medicine at St. Joseph University Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey. Dr. Lahita said he has seen “no effect whatsoever” when hydroxychloroquine is used to treat the coronavirus. In fact, said Dr. Lahita, if taken in combination with certain other drugs, it could cause arteries to expand, which could be fatal.

WORLD’s medical correspondent, Dr. Charles Horton, has also written about the potential risks of hydroxychloroquine. 

There are indeed drugs showing promise—like preliminary results released this week by American company Moderna. But hydroxychloroquine isn’t one of them. 

It is always dangerous to believe anecdotal information. The president said the unnamed doctor wrote him in praise of hydroxychloroquine. He also said thousands of front-line health workers are taking the drug as a prophylaxis.

Throughout history there have been so-called snake oil salesmen. A National Public Radio story broadcast in 2013 asked—quote—”So how did a legitimate medicine become a symbol of fraud? The origins of snake oil as a derogatory phrase trace back to the latter half of the 19th century, which saw a dramatic rise in the popularity of ‘patent medicines’. Often sold on the back pages of newspapers, these tonics promised to cure a wide variety of ailments, including chronic pain, headaches, ‘female complaints’ and kidney trouble. In time, all of these false ‘cures’ began to be referred to as snake oil.” End quote.

Don’t fall for it, Mr. President. Stay in your lane and let the medical professionals handle the coronavirus treatments. 

I’m Cal Thomas.

(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) A chemist displays hydroxychloroquine tablets in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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9 comments on Cal Thomas – Catch-all coronavirus cures

  1. Suzanne says:

    Mr. Thomas,
    I think you may be guilty of not putting enough research into this drug. Plenty of reputable doctors are having success using it alongside zinc and azithromycin as a treatment for Covid-19. To call it snake oil and judge President Trump’s decision is questionable if you have researched it.

  2. D. Neddo says:

    I do not agree with Cal T. This medication has been out for years. It has been used against other illnesses and has NOT caused problems. Why have other docs. told that it has worked and has helped? Who are those speaking out against this med and who are those who may profit from promoting the other new med. bei ng used? BE CAREFUL Cal D. Neddo

  3. Monica Schumann says:

    I’m disappointed in Cal Thomas today, since I usually so appreciate his perspective. His bashing of hydroxychloroquine and likening it to “snake oil” truly shows his lack of unbiased research on the benefits of this from some doctors who disagree with his assessment of its dangers and of its ineffectiveness. His criticism of the president, “Stay in your lane and let the medical professionals handle the coronavirus treatments” should have been advice he took himself, instead of giving it to the president. Stay in your lane, Cal Thomas. Don’t give your opinion on things you don’t know about.

  4. Katherine Parcells says:

    I agree with the above comments 100%. Hydroxychloroquine is very safe and is being prescribed in many venues for different problems, including covid-19. At any rate I think the jury is still out as far as it effectiveness against covid-19. As we say in medicine, it falls in the class of drugs/treatments that probably won’t hurt and might help, ie, risk/benefit ratio, that make it worth trying in certain situations.

  5. Karen Campbell says:

    Now World needs to do their due diligence at BOTH sides of an issue and fairly repost that other physicians seem to be using this medicine with excellent results. It looks to me like Cal Thomas just has another “I don’t like Donald Trump” ax to grind.

  6. Ed Schick says:

    As a long time WORLD reader and listener, I have quite of few Cal Thomas articles under my belt. Each WORLD writer has different skills and styles. My description of Cal is epitomize in the famous quip “When your hot, your hot. And when your not, your not!” Sorry Cal, this one was a strike out and many levels. 1. Lack of research including HDC’s long history; similarities of usage; clinical evidence with CV19 so far, etc. 2. Lack of deference to a president who is not “The Great Communicator” but whose common sense is sometimes far exceeds most in the media. 3. The president wasn’t taking this medicine carelessly and his doctor is not a fool for signing off on it. 4. This article would have been better labeled as “Opinion” and not “Medicine”. 5. Your high reverence for the FDA and NIH is not warranted. They are not any more infallible that you are. Their lack of approval doesn’t make the drug unsafe or ineffective. You would do better to do an article on why low cost, common drugs used for decades have received such fierce opposition from people and organizations who have ties to the pharmaceutical industry. In my humble opinion, this is the lane you should be in.

  7. Phil Green says:

    Maybe a middle of the road answer would be more humble? Ecclesiastes 7:17-18 Do not be overwicked and do not be a fool-why die before your time? 18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
    For sure there are people promoting from fear many “snake oil” cures and also people making huge money on big Pharm. World has an article recently on dangers of rushing vaccines. With medical science at odds with itself and all kinds of mixed messages like “there is no cure”, “social distance and you’ll be fine” it doesn’t seem wrong for people to seek alternatives especially if they consult a Dr. Many Drs don’t agree and what works for some doesn’t work for others. I think we all struggle avoiding extremes and I don’t feel this response to the President or to fellow readers seeking avenues in this new “pandemic times” is fair. A poorly thought out opinion by Mr Thomas.

  8. L R Walters says:

    To me the key quote from the article is “He said he had checked with the White House physician who said he does not object to his taking the drug.” Perhaps the last phrase of the article could be applied to everyone, not just the President.

  9. Susan Benoit says:

    Cal Thomas I really admire you but you got this one dead wrong. The FDA pulled back from its approval of HQ because of a “study” about (not by) VA whose patients died after taking HQ. Those patients were extremely ill and the dosing was very low. Other studies show with treating patients early and with high enough dose the results are extremely good. Please dont get in bed with Big Pharma or bad doctors who are driving this narrative.

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