Keeping America Skeered - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Keeping America Skeered
President Trump discusses using hydroxychloroquine (YouTube screenshot)

“Get ’em skeered and keep the skeer on ’em.”

— Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA, on the importance of using fear to control the enemy and achieve victory.

When President Trump announced that he was taking hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to protect himself against contracting COVID-19, the Democrats and their mainstream media propaganda machine reacted with disbelief, horror, panic, and outrage. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) intoned that experts have warned about HCQ’s harmful effects and that the president is placing his health at grave risk because the drug is simply too dangerous to take.

Joe Biden declared, “It’s like maybe if you inject Clorox into your blood it may cure you. C’mon, man! What is he doing? What in God’s name is he doing?”

Pelosi and Biden were hardly alone. The progressive commentariat have been apoplectic at the idea of Trump taking HCQ, which, according to them, is “dangerous,” “not approved,” and “has not been proven” effective for either the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.

What is going on here? Why are these people so upset? After condemning Trump as a traitor in the employ of the Russians, smearing him every hour of every day for the last three-plus years, praying to Gaia that he would fall into Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s carefully laid perjury trap, impeaching him, and continuing to demand his removal from office and the imprisonment of his staff and supporters, I would have thought that they would be delighted at the idea of Trump poisoning himself with a dangerous, unproven drug. I mean, wouldn’t it solve all their problems if Trump did them the favor of going the way of that poor guy whose wife fed him chloroquine-based fish tank cleaner?

But instead of breaking out the champagne, confetti, and party hats, they are running around with their hair on fire as if some disaster has befallen them.


Can it be that, by taking HCQ, President Trump is demonstrating in the most dramatic and effective way possible that the drug can be a “game changer” in the fight against COVID-19? Are the Democrats and media concerned that, by his example, Trump might raise doubts regarding their relentless drumbeat of warnings about the drug’s alleged danger?

Is HCQ as dangerous as the media and Democrats claim? Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently warned about HCQ possibly causing irregular heartbeat in COVID-19 patients, it provides no similar warning if the drug is used to treat malaria, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases. The FDA has yet to explain either this contradictory position or how its newly minted warning regarding possible cardiac arrythmia in COVID-19 cases squares with HCQ’s six-decade record of safe use by millions of patients.

Those millions have taken HCQ on an outpatient basis without hospitalization or undergoing EKGs, cardiac monitoring, or similar medical surveillance. Over the decades, HCQ has proven to be very safe, and that excellent safety profile is well established and well known to health-care providers.

For example, in ongoing studies at the University of Minnesota of HCQ’s possible effectiveness in preventing and treating COVID-19, the researchers addressed the FDA’s warning, in part, as follows:

We are using standard dose hydroxychloroquine that has been used safely for malaria treatment or prophylaxis for decades….

The American Academy of Cardiology noted: “Chloroquine, and its more contemporary derivative hydroxychloroquine, have remained in clinical use for more than half a century as an effective therapy for treatment of some malarias, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis … several hundred million courses of chloroquine have been used worldwide making it one of the most widely used drugs in history, without reports of arrhythmic death under World Health Organization surveillance.” The WHO noted: “With enormous use of chloroquine in the second half of the 20th century, there have been no reports of sudden unexplained death suggestive of cardiac arrhythmia at the doses used for malaria treatment.” [Emphasis added.]

Similarly, researchers in France, under the leadership of world-renowned Dr. Didier Raoult recently completed a 1061 patient clinical trial of HCQ and azithromycin. They reported that “no cardiac toxicity was observed” and, of the 1061 patients, “a good clinical outcome and virological cure” was obtained in 973 patients within 10 days (91.7% cure rate). “A poor outcome” was observed for 46 patients (4.3%); 10 were transferred to intensive care units, 5 patients died (0.47%) (74-95 years old) and 31 required 10 days of hospitalization or more.”

Raoult’s team concluded that HCQ in combination with azithromycin, “when started immediately after diagnosis [of COVID-19], is a safe and efficient treatment for COVID-19, with a mortality rate of 0.5% in elderly patients. It avoids worsening [of the disease] and clears virus persistence and contagiosity in most cases.” [Emphasis added.]

Consistent with these findings, physicians across America and around the world have overwhelmingly demonstrated that, if used early in the disease progression (before COVID-19 has damaged patients’ lungs), HCQ has a cure rate in the mid-90th percentile. They have amply demonstrated that, at a per-patient cost of less than $20, HCQ makes possible a safe, highly effective, and easily scalable outpatient treatment. Maybe that’s why in a recent international poll of 6,227 physicians, HCQ was the most highly rated treatment for COVID-19.

Trump’s use of HCQ to protect himself against catching COVID-19 has been derided as having no scientific basis. As noted, Joe Biden has compared it to injecting Clorox on the off chance that “it may cure you.” But, in fact, there is ample proof supporting its efficacy as a prophylactic against the coronavirus.

For example, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a directive declaring that

Whereas, the Central Government is satisfied that the drug “Hydroxychloroquine” is essential to meet the requirements of emergency arising due to pandemic COVID-19 and in the public interest, it is necessary and expedient to regulate and restrict the sale and distribution of the drug “Hydroxychloroquine.” [Emphasis added.]

Based on this finding, India has banned the export of HCQ and is recommending that health-care workers take HCQ prophylactically to avoid becoming infected while treating COVID-19 patients.

Is India recklessly putting its health-care workers at risk? Is its directive the equivalent of injecting them with Clorox?

Moreover, in August 2005, Virology Journal published an article titled “Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread” by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal. Here is the abstract of their findings:

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is caused by a newly discovered coronavirus (SARS-CoV). No effective prophylactic or post-exposure therapy is currently available.

Results: We report, however, that chloroquine has strong antiviral effects on SARS-CoV infection of primate cells. These inhibitory effects are observed when the cells are treated with the drug either before or after exposure to the virus, suggesting both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage. In addition to the well-known functions of chloroquine such as elevations of endosomal pH, the drug appears to interfere with terminal glycosylation of the cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. This may negatively influence the virus-receptor binding and abrogate the infection, with further ramifications by the elevation of vesicular pH, resulting in the inhibition of infection and spread of SARS CoV at clinically admissible concentrations.

Conclusion: Chloroquine is effective in preventing the spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. Favorable inhibition of virus spread was observed when the cells were either treated with chloroquine prior to or after SARS CoV infection. In addition, the indirect immunofluorescence assay described herein represents a simple and rapid method for screening SARS-CoV antiviral compounds. [Emphasis added.]

That research pertained to the effects of chloroquine on SARS-CoV in primate cells. Clinical trials are now nearing completion under the auspices of the University of Minnesota to follow up on this promising research to determine if HCQ will inhibit the spread and infection of SARS-CoV-2 in human subjects and be effective in early stage treatment of COVID-19. Referencing the Virology Journal article, the Minnesota team describes their purpose as follows:

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are FDA-approved medicines that have been used to prevent and treat malaria since the 1950s. Recent work shows that hydroxychloroquine (also known as Plaquenil) may be more active than chloroquine against the current SARS-CoV-2 virus.

In laboratory studies, researchers have identified two medicines, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, as having activity against SARS-coronaviruses. The images below show SARS-CoV-1 virus as fluorescent green. As increased doses of chloroquine are added (left to right) the amount of virus (in green) decreases.

Images from Vincent et al., Virology Journal, 2005

According to, the Minnesota trial has an estimated enrollment of 3,500 participants and an estimated completion date of August 2020. Throughout the trial, the researchers have posted updates that have indicated that their Data Safety Monitoring Board has found no adverse events indicating an increased risk to the participants taking HCQ.

On May 15, 2020, the researchers posted this update:

Two Covid-19 hydroxychloroquine randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trials, conducted by the University of Minnesota, McGill University, University of Manitoba, and University of Alberta, completed enrollment on May 6. These trials tested post-exposure prophylaxis and preemptive early treatment with hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19. Analysis, results, and manuscripts are in process, and following scientific peer review, we will release our results.

Unlike the inconclusive clinical trials conducted in New York, where HCQ was administered late in the disease process after patients’ lungs had been irreparably damaged, the Minnesota trials have been structured to determine its effectiveness when administered soon after exposure to the virus and the onset of symptoms. It will be interesting to see if the researchers’ conclusions coincide with the 2005 findings published in the Virology Journal and the overwhelmingly positive results achieved by physicians around the world who have successfully used HCQ in combination with azithromycin and/or zinc early in the disease process.

There is, of course, no way to know the outcome of the Minnesota trials. But here’s a prediction that you can take to the bank. If the Minnesota trials confirm the efficacy of using HCQ for either the prevention or treatment of COVID-19, you will never learn about it from the mainstream media. It will be as if the trials never happened because the Democrats and their media appendage are fully invested in keeping America in a state of fear and hopelessness.

They have done an excellent job of scaring and stampeding the nation into submission. It is that fear that has made Americans willing to imprison themselves and meekly accept the wanton and needless destruction of their jobs, lives, and livelihoods. As long as they can be kept cowed and believing that their only salvation lies in locking down the economy, the destruction can continue unabated. The progressive narrative is that America’s only realistic and responsible public health option is to shelter in place even as joblessness mounts and the economy draws nearer to total collapse. Any ray of hope or notion that there is a safe, effective alternative to this utter economic destruction has been and will continue to be hidden, obfuscated, and distorted.

It is imperative that the public be kept scared and in submission for as long as possible so that the wrecked economy will still be an issue come November, when an orchestrated attempt will be made to blame President Trump for it.

In pursuing this strategy, the Democrats and the media are following to the letter the guidance of that great slave-trading Democrat of yesteryear and founder of the Ku Klux Klan, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, to get Americans “skeered and keep the skeer on ’em” all the way to election day.

George Parry is a former federal and state prosecutor. He blogs at and may be reached by email at

George Parry
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George Parry is a former federal and state prosecutor who practices law in Philadelphia and blogs at
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