The Rest Of The Story

When I was much younger, a radio personality named Paul Harvey had a feature on his newscast (or whatever it was) called “The Rest of the Story.” He would begin with a report of some sort, there would be a commercial break, and he would then return and conclude with “The Rest of the Story.” Usually, it was something that shone a rather different light on what had gone before.

So what is the Rest of the Story behind Trump’s incessant hawking of hydroxychloroquine–his insistence that it represents a “cure,” and that people “have nothing to lose” by trying it?

The Guardian recently published a well-resourced explanation of the multiple flaws in the French study that Trump and others latched onto. Dr. Fauci–one of the few remaining competent persons in this bizarre administration–has repeatedly said there is no probative evidence that it works.

Worse, people ingesting it based on Trump’s representations have died, and people who do need it for auto-immune diseases are increasingly unable to get their prescriptions filled. For them, it’s lifesaving, so this is a huge problem.

It’s easy enough to chalk up Trump’s embrace of this fantasy to the mental illness that has characterized his performance for the past three years– his need to believe (and have others believe) that he is all-knowing, his need to convince his cult that he is in control and doing a good job–coupled with his abysmal ignorance.

But the rest of the story is in a report first published in the New York Times, and picked up by other outlets.

President Donald Trump has a “small financial interest” in the maker of an anti-malarial drug that he has been touting as a “game changer” in treating coronavirus, according to The New York Times. Over the past two weeks, Trump and his Fox News allies have aggressively promoted hydroxychloroquine as a potential cure, despite top infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and others urging caution and noting that there was not enough evidence of the drug’s efficacy.

The Times reports the president’s family trusts all have investments in a mutual fund whose largest holding is Sanofi, the manufacturer of Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine. Associates of the president, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, have also run funds that hold investments in the pharmaceutical firm.

Other reports have reminded us that right after the 2016 election, Novartis, another major manufacturer of the drug, paid Trump’s now-incarcerated former personal attorney Michael Cohen more than $1 million for “access” to Trump.

The Times article noted that Trump  has hyped hydroxychloroquine “with all of the enthusiasm of a real estate developer,” repeatedly asking  “What do you have to lose?”

Apologists for the administration have excused the enthusiastic promotion as an effort to “provide hope” at a difficult time; others have suggested that more scientifically-valid studies might yet show the drug’s usefulness. But as the Times reported,

The professional organization that published a positive French study cited by Mr. Trump’s allies changed its mind in recent days. The International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy said, “The article does not meet the society’s expected standard.” Some hospitals in Sweden stopped providing hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus after reports of adverse side effects, according to Swedish news media.

According to the Times, the Administration is continuing to push hydroxychloroquine, and to order large quantities of it, despite the absence of properly-conducted studies suggesting its effectiveness. Trump has been quoted as saying it would be wrong to wait for the kind of study Dr. Fauci wanted. “We don’t have time,” the president said. “We don’t have two hours because there are people dying right now.”

Evidently, the people dying as a result of the President’s misinformation are unimportant.

It would be bad enough if this misinformation was just added evidence of Trump’s manifest stupidity, but it certainly looks like the financial incentive is “the rest of the story.”


  1. Sadly, when the history of this era is written there will be mountains of corruption revealed, corruption by not only government officials, but also leaders in every profession and industry in the world. We are not in this mess due to the virus alone; we are in this mess because of greed. It is not the greedy on the front lines in this crisis; it is the decent, the caring, and the honest among us.

  2. Sheila,

    “It would be bad enough if this misinformation was just added evidence of Trump’s manifest stupidity, but it certainly looks like the financial incentive is “the rest of the story.””

    Trump isn’t all that stupid; He’s just betting on the stupidity of a large segment of the population who believe that fascism is the answer to America’s future and that he is their anointed leader, no matter what he does whether it is legal or illegal.

  3. When it comes to the Trump crime family, “the rest of the story” always begins with “Follow the money.”

  4. Hydroxychloroquine is a sulfa based medication; many people suffer side effects from any of the many sulfa based drugs. My personal experience was severe headaches, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite; I had been prescribed one form of sulfa in addition to antibiotics due to a severe case of bronchitis due to my chronic bronchitis form of COPD. I simply messaged my primary physician who told me to stop using the medication. This action is not possible or advisable in the current Covid-19 Pandemic.

    It is not that simple during this deadly Covid-19 Pandemic which Trump continues to downplay as he repeatedly prescribes hydroxychloroquine in his nightly presidential campaign rallies. The side effects can be masking or imitating coronavirus symptoms; no way to know because of the lack of tests because of Trump’s continued denial of permission for private labs to manufacture tests and his repeated lies that there plenty of tests or more testing is not needed. All deadly roads lead to Donald Trump who now proudly announces the government owns MILLIONS of doses of this medication and the manufacturer is one of Trump’s personal stock holdings according to recent reports.

    The Paul Harvey “The Rest Of The Story” quote regarding Donald Trump which fits here is; “I am fiercely loyal to those willing to put THEIR money where MY mouth is.”

    Another Paul Harvey quote which fits in this Donald Trump era of his dictatorship which has now turned deadly is; “The indignation of politicians is NOT a good measure of the gravity of any situation.” Trump’s indignation is based in those he perceives as his enemy and he ousts them when it appears disconnected from his actual reason for dismissal…i.e. the recent Inspector Generals and the U.S. Naval Captain of the coronavirus infected U.S.S. Roosevelt.

    A CNN report this morning showed a post of Melania Trump wearing a face mask and advising all Americans to do the same and to listen to the advise from CDC. Will she soon be dismissed from the White House? Just askin’

  5. It’s either simple or complicated. I prefer simple…Trump is who he always has been and always will be. (unfortunate sentence structure) Anyone who expects any more from him is wasting thought and precious time. The Flim Flam man in chief is ruling our lives now and hopefully not much further into the future.
    Thanks again Sheila for the ongoing declarations of level headedness. (not a word until now)

  6. So far there is not a shred of evidence beyond the anecdotal that chloroquine is effective against COVID19. The French “study” is seriously flawed. The Chinese “study” suggests that there is no effect. Better controlled studies are now under way, and it would be wonderful if they demonstrate a useful effect. They may or they may not. Meantime suggesting that the drug is a silver bullet is irresponsible in the extreme.
    In general, the types of chloroquine being discussed here are reasonably safe for the vast majority of users. Until malaria became resistant to chloroquine it used to be mass distributed by village health workers on the basis of probabilistic malaria diagnoses, and was used as a preventive by generations of tourists.
    All that said, there is not a shred of evidence that the President is pushing an untested (for the purpose) drug to boost his fortune. To make such claims, or even to darkly hint that is the case, is to fall into the same conspiratorial mode that Old Carrot Top excels in. It is to participate in the fragmentation that makes the country close to ungovernable.

  7. I should have added that hydroxychloroquine is not a sulfa based drug. It contains sulfates which are completely unrelated to sulfa.

    Similarly I should have added that chloroquine drugs were shelled out like pop corn to the troops in Viet Nam with no real medical screening. They are counter indicated for people with certain heart conditions, which make them a bit more problematic for use in the current epidemic.

  8. I know that you’re not supposed to be able to divide by zero, but this zero has divided us more than anything since slavery.

  9. This particular scam is just another brick in the wall of complete and utter corruption in the Trump crime syndicate. As Gordon Sondland so appropriately put it: “Everyone is in the loop.”

    This drug fiasco gives absolute credence to Rick Wilson’s book title: “EVERYTHING TRUMP TOUCHES DIES”. His greed, corruption, dishonesty and psychopathy is now touching us all….and he wants more of that.

    The silence of the Republican “leadership” anywhere and everywhere shows the world that they are also in on the grift. The only way out of this is to destroy the Republican party utterly in November. Will we do that? Probably not.

    I’m glad I’m old.

  10. I noticed The Trumpters on Face Book are rather silent. I do not expect them to turn from The Trumpet, they are locked in. They have posted various scenarios -Plots by the Deep State, Booming Economy, border wall, cracking down on the Chinese, Iran, peace with North Korea, the squad are traitors, Obama the destroyer.

    The Trumpeters have as driving force Fear. Fear of course is at the root of bible thumping evangelical belief, Hell Fire and Damnation unless you do precisely what we say.

    That said about fear, The Trumpet who has constantly played on fear now has to assert himself as the one who can deliver us from this Corona Virus. What the Trumpet has encountered in the Corona virus is something that cannot be bullied or silenced.

    I am sure most of you here have either read or watched the movie War of the Worlds. The Trumpet in this case is like the Martians destroying everything in his path. The Martians were destroyed by earth’s bacteria, they lacked immunity to earth-borne pathogens. How ironic it would be if The Trumpet’s presidency was destroyed by Corona.

  11. Authoritarianism is the use of fear to spread power and control. Trump is the leader in the spread of it and those infected by it look to him to do their work.

    They are not conservative. They are not Republican but Republicans are a class that is most easily infected by authoritarianism.

  12. Sheila,

    I loved me some Paul Harvey! When I was 13 years old and working in my uncles steel fabricating facility, Paul Harvey signaled lunchtime, so, my cousins and other employees in my uncles manufacturing facility would eat our lunches listening to Paul Harvey! He was always an interesting commentator and reporter. His cadence was very soothing.

    Concerning Hydroxychloroquine, I’m very familiar with it. Around the spring of 2011, right before my wife decided to retire Abbott Laboratories Molecular, Dr. Block at the Block Center in Skokie Illinois gave her 15 years! He said her lupus was extremely severe, but hydroxychloroquine might help. Autoimmune diseases are a terrible thing, because if a person has one, they probably have several others! And the body basically eats itself alive, the immune system attacks everything from hair follicles to capillaries to specific organs to the skin, the brain, joints and cartilage, even a person’s blood. Covid 19 seems to mimic autoimmune disease in some individuals which causes a massive over active immuno response.

    Hydroxychloroquine suppresses the immune system, so concerning Covid 19, this particular coronavirus stimulates the immune system to run rampant in the respiratory system and others. Causing a thick gel like mucus that folks cannot expectorate therefore suffocating. JoAnn is correct, and folks mistakenly believe that hydroxychloroquine is an antibiotic, it is not! There are sulfur based antibiotics, but they are extremely hard on the body and a lot of people can’t take them, and a lot of people that can’t take sulfur based antibiotics, cannot take hydroxychloroquine! Anyway, as mentioned before, hydroxychloroquine prevents a deadly attack from one’s immune system that’s triggered by Covid 19, that attack is what produces the mucus, and antibodies attacking tissue in the lungs. But now it’s realized it’s not only the lungs, but the heart, the liver, the pancreas, the kidneys and the brain.

    Sulfur based medications can cause severe heart problems, arrhythmias, and even damage to the muscle. I’ve done my research on these things because my wife was actually very tolerant to antibiotics that were sulfur based. So she’s handled hydroxychloroquine fairly well, but, it not only can cause heart problems, it can cause blindness and kidney damage. And her eyes have become exponentially worse as she’s been taking hydroxychloroquine. If it continues, she will be blind in a few years. It’s a shame one has to choose extending life or eyesight! Hydroxychloroquine also has been known to help people regrow their hair if it’s related to autoimmune alopecia.

    The president is certainly motivated by some factor which I would assume his money to push hydroxychloroquine. It’s already difficult for my wife to get her prescriptions filled, and it really pisses me off.

    One of the things that I’m surprised they don’t talk about, is this Covid 19 has a bacterial element in its viral construct, whether that is a natural occurrence, it’s very unusual to say the least. That’s why you can see some doctors prescribing heavy antibiotics, which can cause similar damage to the body that hydroxychloroquine can in large doses. I think president Nero should leave the doctoring to doctors, and leave brain surgery to brain surgeons, and leave rocket science to rocket scientists! Even though he’s a very stable genius who really really gets it, president Narcissus and his alter ego president Nero, really are clueless!

  13. The president should quit “playing doctor” with COVID 19 and women. The American Nurses Association needs to call him out on this.

    He also needs to quit playing economist. He’s already driven the government beyond bankruptcy.

  14. Alan Keller,
    “All that said, there is not a shred of evidence that the President is pushing an untested (for the purpose) drug to boost his fortune. To make such claims, or even to darkly hint that is the case, is to fall into the same conspiratorial mode that Old Carrot Top excels in.”

    In the history of the fight against organized crime, there was not a “shred” of evidence that Mickey Cohen, Al Capone, Waxey Gordon, Johnny Torrio, Thomas Pendergast, Nucky Johnson, Moses Annenberg, and many other crime dons were leading organized crime syndicates.

    Because of that lack of evidence, all were eventually convicted on tax evasion charges, but no one is naive enough to suggest that any of these crime bosses were innocent of countless crimes, even murder.

    People in the day, were careful about making accusations mostly because they feared reprisal, not because the criminals were legally “considered” innocent. Publicly, socially, common sensibly, they were guilty, and everyone except their cohorts and supporters knew it.

    It is much the same with the Trump crime syndicate.
    Note: I have no fear that I’m wrong on that, but I am fearful of reprisal.

    Note also: There is a big difference between malicious conspiracy theories based on little more than wishful thinking/coincidence and actual criminal enterprises witnessed daily on TV news, compounded by the principles boasting beforehand of what they were going to do, boasting afterward of the crime that had happened, and boasting continuously that “you don’t have prosecutable evidence, and you ain’t never going to get prosecutable evidence on my next crime, either, so ha-ha-ha, loser.”

  15. Other sources, Snopes for one, have stated that Trump family truts have minimal financial interest in the drug..

  16. As Dennis has said, above, the financial interest in Sanofi, the drug manufacture, is insignificant. Yes, there are shares of Sanofi in the portfolios of mutual funds held in the Trump trusts but nothing like a large financial stake.

    By touting the drug what Trump is hoping for is to hit a homerun should it actually be an effective treatment. That would help his image immensely, or if ineffective will just be forgotten as more of his misinformation about Covid-19.

  17. John,
    “The president is certainly motivated by some factor which I would assume his money to push hydroxychloroquine.”

    I put that question to a deplorable character, an engineer graduate of Purdue University, who phoned me at 7:30 this morning to gloat about Trumps “victory” over Covid-19.

    “So, if it isn’t money behind Trumps push of that drug (hydroxychloroquine), what is behind it?” I asked.

    “Science,” he said. “Trump gets reports that it worked on people in France and China.”

    “Reports!” I said; “Reports aren’t science.”

    “Right; they’re better than science. Science goes through a gauntlet of liberal smartasses who only let it through if it has some sort of liberal kissass pedigree. That means that only the sissy drugs get through. If you want a strong, tough drug that is going to work, you take the drug that has worked. People seen it work. Better than science, in my book.”

    He also straightened me out about the burgeoning national debt. It will be cured by ending the trillions we spend on food stamps, social security and foreign aid, something we should have done a long time ago.

    Did you know that it was republicans that killed Lincoln?
    Did you know that the original objection to government handouts came from patriots of the Civil War who asserted that the only reason white veterans got 40 acres and a mule was to combat the argument against giving land to “niggers”? Did you know that’s who they’ve always wanted to give our money to–the blacks. Did you know all the other giveaways is just to cover up the transfer of money from white to black?

    By then my breakfast was cold. I forgot to ask the Purdue genius if human caused planet warming is causing a reversal in natural selection.

  18. One need not have proof that a criminal defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt (a fundamental rule of criminal jurisprudence) before investigating the defendant’s conduct. We have this procedure reversed; even in civil practice a party can be called upon to state the facts upon which his, her, or its conclusion is based. I’m seeing lots of conclusions sans facts here today. Let’s investigate and garner the facts, and afterwards state our conclusions.

    I think (in view of the known proclivity of Trump to make money) that there is reason to investigate just why he is trying to sell snake oil (the wrong medicine) to the world, however small his interest in the company or companies that make the snake oil, or even if he has no equity or other interest in such company or companies. As the known attempt to buy access (see the million by Novartis to Cohen) shows, there are also bribes available to buy carnival barkers to hawk their wares irrespective of any equity holdings by the barkers, or perhaps via a combination of the two, a possibility here, all of which represents a flaw in Mr. Keller’s offering today. I think the House should appoint a commission to investigate just what Dr. Trump’s relationship with all manufacturers of his snake oil are, whether via equity holding, pay for play, or (highly unlikely) via a gratuitous exercise – and soon.

  19. Yeah, I don’t much buy that Trump is promoting hydroxychloroquine to put more money in his pocket. The argument for that seems a bit tenuous. Trump is using his position to benefit himself financially, no doubt. Just not convinced his touting of the drug is part of that effort.

    I think his promoting te drug are for the other reasons you cite. He wants to be seen as the savior, not just to his base, but to everyone. Plus, he knows that the Covid-19 crisis is likely to doom his Presidency, unless it is over sooner than later. If hydroxychloriquine cured the disease by those who take it, he might be able to weather the storm. It’s kind of a hail Mary pass, but Trump may think he has no choice. Of course, it puts Americans’ health at risk. But I guarantee you, Trump cares much less about that than his own re-election.

  20. I would add that people who have mutual funds, do not necessarily track the numerous companies that mutual fund invests in. The purpose of a mutual fund is to spread out the risk among several companies…each company’s shares generally makes up just a small percentage of the entire portfolio. I think assuming Trump knows that he has a mutual fund and it bought shares of a drug company and this particular drug company produces the drug he is touting and he is touting it to make his mutual fund more profitable, is a stretch to say the least. Show me Trump directly has shares in this drug company and I might think differently. Again, there are other reasons Trump has to promote the drug. Just not convinced making money via a mutual fund is one of those reasons.

  21. Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine are both known to cause heart arrhythmias, even in young persons with no known heart disease. This side-effect is somewhat rare, but heart arrhythmias can be fatal. Add to that the fact that COVID-19 can cause inflammation of the heart muscle itself–myocarditis–and you might have a recipe for a fatality that otherwise wouldn’t have happened. That’s why we do studies.

    Trump, as we all know, refused to put his assets into a blind trust, so here is one of the best examples of why this is important, but IMHO, his reason for touting this drug is yet another symptom of his narcissism. At some point, he became aware that if the pandemic predictions held, the economy would go into free-fall, and the economy was one of his biggest bragging points (even though he inherited a robust economy from Obama, he still tries to take credit for it). So, he downplayed the seriousness of COVID-19, and tried to allay fears by lying about there being a vaccine “very quickly” (which Dr. Fauci shot down immediately–a year at very best, and probably longer), and a “game changer” drug (which Dr. Fauci and others have pointed out has not been tested for either safety or efficacy in COVID-19 victims and is not recommended). This was solely for political reasons, just like his attempts to force people to return to work by May 1, when we’re not even at the apex of acute infections, we have limited testing capabilities, and no doctor believes it is safe.

    So, after getting corrected by Dr. Fauci on the vaccine matter, he still couldn’t back down and admit he’s wrong, so he keeps hyping Hydrochloroquine. The French study was very flawed: only 26 or so participants, of which 6 dropped out, no control group, and all from Marseilles, so no diversity. There is another Chinese study that did have control and study groups, and it similarly had a small number of participants, but it showed no significant improvement with either Hydrochloroquine and with adding Azithromycin.

    Nevertheless, Trump and his personal network, Fox, continue to hype this drug, not for altruistic reasons, but because Trump simply can never be wrong. Plus, they keep harping on the theme that “we’ve just got to get this economy going”. He even rhetorically asked: “what do you have to lose?” Maybe your life.

  22. Larry,

    I hope your friend wasn’t a scholarship recipient, LOL!

    China was in a huge hurry to open their economy back up, now, they’ve locked down another city! Right on the border of China and Russia. So I would imagine, they’re going to have these flares all over the place, and I’m sure Russia is getting hammered, Putin just is lying to everyone about it, which would be a real shock!

    What will happen, president Narcissus, and his alter ego president Nero, will fight with governors to open up the economy once again, and people will start to party, hang out, doing their do, and it’ll end up flaring back up like a California brushfire! But instead of shutting it all down again, he’ll just declare martial law and take the power away from governors. It will be like the middle ages during the black plague, they’ll have bonfires in the city square where they throw the infected corpses.

    You cannot act like you’re fighting another person when it comes to bacteria or viruses! Wartime president or no wartime president, LOL, he is helpless unless he uses his powers to activate every part of this considerably powerful economy to find a way to test everyone and to develop a vaccine. But, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, people are going to be working on the same thing instead of trying to find a solution from different perspectives and parameters of research and development.

    Back in the good old days as they always say, but I’m wondering how far back in time to those good old days extend? The constant wars after the disintegration of the Roman Empire? The dark ages where people would be put to death for even asking about their religious beliefs? Maybe the endless crusades forcing beliefs on those so-called heathens? Or, bleeding people as a part of medicine? How about magical spells to protect one from illness? Or how about burning folks at the stake as witches? Or burning heretics? Or draw and quartering heretics? Or maybe a little iron maiden, and I’m not talking about the rock band? Or maybe religious dominance? Where religions were the judges and juries, basically the judicial branch of monarchies around the world? Or maybe slavery? Or how about American Manifest Destiny? Or how about American Romanticism? Alexis D Tocqueville was fascinated by the fledgling American democracy, but he was also skeptical! So what part of the good old days do you think he’s talking about?

    I wonder if your friend could answer any of these questions? Commin from one of them thar highfalutin educational institutions, being Trumpnotized and all, he should be able to rattle it off with no problem, kind of like Teflon Don Trump and his Tremendous Strongly Huge Wharton education!

    The Mosaic law told the Israelite followers to cleanse themselves of they came in contact with a dead body or someone who is diseased, and they were to use HYSSOP!

    Now, folks to this day think that was all Jewish hyperbole and custom that meant nothing if you weren’t Jewish. But Hyssop has been discovered to be an antiseptic, cough reliever, and expectorant, it has been used in traditional herbal medicine. Used extensively during biblical times. These traditions and commandments in Scripture were given a backseat to man’s intellectual gasbaggery, resulting in the start of global plagues and illnesses. And, as a matter of fact, you can buy Hyssop by the pound and use it to make tea! It is really is refreshing and, no, I do not have a financial interest in it, LOL! It definitely will shorten your cold or flu episode.

    The Mosaic law also told people to wash their hands and arms, and their feet, when they entered someone’s home, and like above, it was not for ceremonial purposes! Even though some get that impression to this day. They were also to remove their outer dust garments to have them washed as to not bring in contaminants! The Scriptures that contain the Mosaic law were not just ceremonial, they kept the Israelites healthy while they adhered to it.

    Ask your friend over at Purdue, and I’m not talking Sonny, if he’s familiar with any of that!

    I’m not putting the whammy on Purdue University, just your highly intellectual friend. I’m pretty sure Sheila hasn’t gone to Purdue in the past, at least I hope, LOL!

    The world needs a lot more like Sheila!

  23. Paul: I’m not convinced either. That’s the reason we have investigations – to ferret out the facts. I will be “convinced” or not when I see the results of such an investigation.

  24. Given the opaqueness of the presidents finances, it is very hard to say if he has any real financial interest in the company. I know with all of the mutual funds I own, having one company performing really really well would barely move the value of any mutual fund at all.

    I did hear that one of his gangster buddies does own a chunk of the company, and that might be enough motivation for the snake oil salesman hawk this particular product, but even that seems thin for a narcissist like Trump. I think the real reason he keeps talking about this, is that he want the attention on himself for having “discovered” the company making a cure.

    Has anybody started talking about article 25 or are the Republicans still doubling down on this dunce?

  25. I will say that I am not convinced of the importance of Trump’s financial interests in his promotion of the drug, hydroxycholorquine. However, the sad truth is that given his history, it wouldn’t surprise me if it were true.

    As Maywin state, “Trump is who he always has been and always will be”.

    It wouldn’t be surprising, but I think Natacha is more on point. “Brilliant Leader”, Kim Il Donald, is never wrong and must single-handedly end the pandemic and save the economy (the only thing that matters) – please send him his Nobel Prizes now – Medicine AND Peace (he needs to one-up that “Kenyan”).


  26. Just an FYI, I went to Purdue University, so please don’t paint all of us with the same brush. I had a few conservative professors and a few liberal ones, but they all grounded me in the classics: Aristotle, Machiavelli, Burke, Rousseau, Smith and many more. Only one of them even mentioned Ayn Rand and he gave me an A on my paper in which I doubted her intellect. He was the most conservative of the faculty.

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