Dr. Nicole Saphier told Breitbart News Daily on Friday morning that there was hope chloroquine and other drugs could treat coronavirus — but that people who did not need the medicines should stop hoarding them.
Saphier, a former microbiologist, is a Fox News contributor and the author of Make America Healthy Again: How Bad Behavior and Big Government Caused a Trillion-Dollar Crisis. She spoke with host Alex Marlow about the latest developments in the fight against the pandemic.
She explained that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, two drugs the president discussed Thursday at the White House press briefing, are malaria drugs that incorporate themselves into viral RNA and stop a virus from replicating. They also stop inflammatory immune responses, which is why they are used in arthritis.
In studies of the use of these drugs with coronavirus patients, Dr. Saphier noted, “the severity of their symptoms rapidly decreased.” Similar results were seen with the off-label use of remdesivir, a drug used against Ebola and other viruses.
She noted that the sudden interest in the medicines, which had been subjected to panic buying, endangered those who depend on them for treating existing ailments. “We have to stop the hoarding and make sure we are helping those that need it,” she said.
Dr. Saphier said that because most people will recover from coronavirus, the use of these drugs — especially as a prophylactic — should be reserved to those most at risk.
Dr. Saphier criticized the media for reporting, falsely, that President Donald Trump had misled the public into thinking these medicines had been approved for COVID-19. What the president said was that the FDA had, in fact, approved the drugs for other uses but that they had shown some promise in treating coronavirus.
“He was giving a glimmer of hope, and they just want to slam it down. And that is so unfortunate, and so upsetting,” she said.
Dr. Saphier also criticized the media for claiming that the president was racist for calling coronavirus a “Chinese virus.”
She noted that other diseases, such as Spanish flu, and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), are also named for their places of origin.
“Come on, people — can we just stop? … Everyone needs to stop it.”
Marlow noted several other virus named for places, such as Ebola, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease.
Dr. Saphier applauded President Trump for a steadfast stance since the beginning of his administration in favor of making drug testing easier.
“Unlike some politicians, who flip-flop in times of crisis, he has had a firm stance on this,” she said.
She also applauded private manufacturing companies for switching production to ventilator machines, and to the U.S. Navy for mobilizing hospital ships.
“Time will tell” if these measures were enough to step the effects of the pandemic, Dr. Saphier said.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.