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Donald Trump stirs up a COVID-19 witch’s brew with … hydroxychloroquine

We all knew that Donald Trump was going to govern like a character out of a Shakespeare play.And that it would be one of the bard’s tragedies.And that the role Trump was most likely to inhabit would be that of Macbeth.

But who knew that Trump would add his own ingredient to the witch’s brew being stirred up in Act 4 of the play, or that the potion now would include “eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog” and … hydroxychloroquine?

The president has announced that he is taking the drug used to treat conditions like malaria and lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

The drug has been touted by some as a treatment for COVID-19 as well, though studies haven’t proved concrete benefits and health experts say those who take it are at risk for heart problems and other negative effects.

Not only that, but owing to internet chatter and promotion of hydroxychloroquine by Trump, patients for whom the drug is necessary, even life-saving, are bumping up against shortages.

Apparently, however, there is no shortage for Trump.

“I’m taking it for about a week and a half now and I’m still here, I’m still here,” Trump told reporters.

‘Serious heart rhythm problems’

Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration, on the other hand, suggest that the drug not be given to “patients outside of a clinical trial or hospital setting because the drugs could cause patients to experience ‘serious heart rhythm problems.’”

This is something that would be troublesome for Trump as a man in his 70s with some heart issues already — were he not the president.

As it is, he has medical professionals checking up on him every single day, and available to him at the drop of the hat.

Not that he needs them.

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At least, that’s what he seems to believe.

When asked if he is basing his decision to take hydroxychloroquine on some scientific evidence Trump said, “Here we go. Are you ready? Here’s my evidence: I get a lot of positive calls about it.”

Wow.

That’s all it takes?

I myself have received a number of positive calls from a man telling me I have won a foreign country’s lottery (or is it a sweepstakes?) that I didn’t even recall entering. He is very positive, and says all I have to do to claim my prize is to pay a small fee for bank transactions.

So, if the president’s plan is now to govern by way of positive calls and the use of mysterious potions I have a few ideas.

Don’t forget to chant

Perhaps next, in his quest for more cordial international relations, the president will have scientists at the National Institutes of Health recreate the “Draught of Peace” out of Harry Potter. All that’s required are powered moonstone, unicorn horn and porcupine quills.

Then, perhaps he could also solve the nation’s economic woes by having government scientists (or a raft of newly hired alchemists) resurrect chrysopoeia, the ancient discipline of attempting to transmute lead into gold.

And, while all this is going on, we must not forget to chant in unison:

“Double, double toil and trouble…”

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Donald Trump stirs up a COVID-19 witch’s brew with … hydroxychloroquine

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