Michigan’s governor just made a swift about-face on the anti-malarial drug chloroquine.
Gretchen Whitmer (D) is now asking the Trump administration to send doses of the experimental treatment after she initially banned the use of chloroquine in her state for COVID-19 patients, Breitbart reported.
Whitmer makes embarrassing reversal
Last week, Whitmer threatened “administrative action” against doctors who prescribe chloroquine, according to the Detroit Metro Times. President Donald Trump had taken flak from the media for giving people “false hope” by promoting the drug, since it has not been thoroughly studied as a treatment for coronavirus, but has shown promising results in off-label usage.
“Prescribing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine without further proof of efficacy for treating COVID-19 or with the intent to stockpile the drug may create a shortage for patients with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or other ailments for which chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are proven treatments,” read a letter from Whitmer’s government. “Again, these are drugs that have not been proven scientifically or medically to treat COVID-19.”
Well, that didn’t last long. The governor completely flipped her state’s policy on chloroquine this week, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the anti-malarial drugs for emergency use. Now, Whitmer wants the federal government to send more of the drugs to her state, Bridge magazine reported.
“We want to ensure that doctors have the ability to prescribe these medicines,” the governor said Monday. “We also want to make sure that the people who have prescriptions that predated COVID-19 have access to the medication they need. And so all of the work that we’ve done is trying to strike that balance.”
Trump feuds with Michigan governor
Whitmer and other governors have urged Trump to do more to send critical supplies, like ventilators, to their states as they battle the pandemic. Michigan, especially Detroit, is one of the hardest hit areas in the country. The president has criticized “complainers” in individual states for failing to prepare their own stockpiles of critical medical equipment.
Trump’s feud with Whitmer in recent days has been one of the most high-profile skirmishes, with vicious name calling and accusations flying back and forth. Trump has said that Whitmer “doesn’t have a clue,” while Whitmer has accused the president of purposefully withholding help from her state.
“I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic. Yet your Governor, Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer is way in over her head, she doesn’t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude!” Trump tweeted Friday.
Bashing the “complainers”
Trump also singled out Whitmer as “that woman from Michigan” at a press conference Friday, where he called on governors to be more “appreciative,” and said that he had told Mike Pence not to call certain governors, prompting unhinged comparisons to the impeachment saga. Despite the feuding, Trump has approved a disaster declaration for Michigan and sent additional ventilators.
Whitmer fired back at Trump by wearing a “that woman from Michigan” t-shirt on The Daily Show Wednesday. She is on the short list to be Joe Biden’s running mate, according to The Hill, reflecting the political importance of the swing state she governs.
Once this crisis is over, it looks like the “complainers” will have some real soul searching to do.