According to a new report published by The New York Times, President Donald Trump owns a stake in a company that produces hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug he has repeatedly touted as a coronavirus treatment even though his experts say there’s no evidence it works.
Trump “has a personal financial interest” in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine, The Times reported Monday.
In addition, Sanofi’s largest shareholders include a mutual fund company run by major Republican donor Ken Fisher, the paper said. Trump’s three family trusts, as of last year, each had investments in a mutual fund whose largest holding was Sanofi, according to the Times. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also had ties to the drugmaker, The Times reported.
Trump’s “assertiveness” in promoting the drug contrary to the recommendation of top health experts “has raised questions about his motives,” The Times noted.
A chorus of Trump supporters with no medical expertise have backed the president’s urging of doctors to treat COVID-19 patients with the drug, including his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and Fox News host Sean Hannity.
In the face of warnings from top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci that the drug’s safety and effectiveness are uncertain in treating COVID-19, Trump has continued to laud its supposed benefits.
“What do you have to lose?” he asked at a press briefing this week urging those sick with the virus to take the drug.
Turns out plenty.
“There could be deaths,” American Medical Association President Dr. Patrice Harris said. “This is a new virus, and so we should not be promoting any medication or drug for any disease that has not been proven and approved by the FDA.”
Generic drugmakers also are gearing up to produce hydroxychloroquine pills. One of those companies was co-founded by Trump golfing buddy Chirag Patel, according to the Times.
The White House didn’t immediately answer a request for comment.
Share your thoughts.