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President Trump, Dr. Stella Immanuel, and a Covid-cure Claim

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President Trump, Dr. Stella Immanuel, and a Covid-cure Claim.


I’ve watched the viral video of Dr. Stella Immanuel’s claims about the use of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 cure. I’ve also read many opinions about these claims and ended up more confused than before.

My confusion stems from the fact that I’ve searched and so far unable to find an adverse opinion to disprove her testimonial. This doctor PUBLICLY asserted that she singlehandedly “treated over 350 patients {using hydroxychloroquine} and not had one death”. And even threw out a challenge to be controverted! I was waiting for these claims to be withdrawn, vigorously challenged or convincingly disproved. One simple question I’ve desperately been finding answers to is this: this doctor claimed to have successfully treated mote than 350 patients using hydroxychloroquine. IS THIS TRUE OR FALSE?

But rather than provide me with a simple answer, all the world has been saying so far is that she’s a paediatrician, how come she’s treating old people? She is a pastor who once wore masks herself. She once preached about alien DNA and against homosexuality. Oh, she’s being sponsored by the far right. No, she is a member of the Tea Party Patriots whose members want Trump re-elected. Yes, she is being sponsored by Breitbart. No, Trump has retweeted her video and therefore is in her support. Don’t believe her, her claims are unsubstantiated. And et cetera, ad nauseam.

On BBC website at , I was informed that earlier studies raised hope that this hydroxychloroquine “drug could be used to cure coronavirus” but a subsequent trial shows it is not effective. And also that the World Heath Organization “has halted its trials, saying it doesn’t reduce death rates in patients with coronavirus”. But here you have some doctors putting everything on the line - their reputations, their integrity, their professional licenses, their names, all their lives – and literally swearing that this same drug has been used to cure hundreds of infected persons. Yet, nobody wants to probe this claim. All we are busy doing is merely conducting background checks on the claimants, in the hope of scooping some dirt to discredit them. Is there something I’m missing here? Is there something someone is not telling me? Seemed to me like, ‘kill the messenger, and the message will perish’.

Someone says the whole world cannot be wrong and if the world (including WHO) says hydroxychloroquine drug cannot treat the coronavirus, then we should accept that fact. But I say, come on, the world has been wrong several times before. The world once erroneously believed the earth was flat. We all once believed in the Y2K bug or Millennium Bug that would cause havoc and crash computer systems around the world at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2000. It turned out imaginary. Even during this pandemic, we’ve had several policy summersaults from this same WHO, which for instance, on April 6, 2020 claimed that face masks were unnecessary for healthy people in preventing coronavirus, only to make U-turn two months later.

All around me, I see sicknesses, deaths, disruptions and inconveniences as a result of the pandemic. Many of these events were unprecedented. Several businesses that I know have closed, simply because of being unable to survive the shutdown. Several families have been separated, due to international flight restrictions. I’m yet to read about a previous time in human history when (without war) virtually all nations of the world banned/restricted flights and movements of people into/through their territories, even including those countries in a union. Several surgeries were postponed/cancelled, to give room for more ICUs in the hospitals and clinics. Schools remain shut, from kindergarten to university. Stadia turned desolate. Places of worship forbidden. Offices and markets deserted. Cities that never sleep slumbered. Several governments all over the world are in debt and struggling to survive. For the first time in human history, the prices of oil went negative in April, with sellers paying buyers to take the stock off them! Such disruptions as the world has never witnessed. And the aftershocks are still here with us as we are only gradually recovering from these.

And notwithstanding all these adverse reverberations, the world has not found a cure, eight months after Wuhan. Our only hopes lie with some promising vaccines which will not be available until almost another year.

And as if the woes of the past several months are not enough to last a lifetime, our scientists have all but guaranteed us of a second wave. I still find it difficult to imagine how another period of the pandemic would look like. I definitely know it won’t be an owambe party, if the previous experience is anything to work with.

I was hoping that a world been ravaged unrestrained by the hopelessness of the coronavirus would have been more desperate for a way out, an immediate remedy before we get to the promised land of vaccines. I had thought such a world would be eager to ask HOW of claimants like Dr. Stella Immanuel, and not WHY or WHO the claimant is.

The complacent and apathetic response being presently recorded merely supply more fuel to fire the conspiracy theory. If not for what I see all around me, I might equally have been tempted to view this whole situation as premeditated, a conspiracy, a SPAMDEMIC, SCAMDEMIC or PLANDEMIC, as many out there now allege.

And yes, President Trump. He has been known to make previous bold claims about the efficacy of antimalaria drugs in the treatment of coronavirus, and even asserted that this is what he uses himself as prevention. It now appears that the hatred for Trump by his political opponents (and the mainstream media in the advanced world, you must add) extends to anything ‘trumpical’. (Never mind, no such word exists in the dictionary). The disinterestedness in the success of the Trump administration and in his personality makes anything and anyone supported or endorsed by Trump to automatically become a person/thing of no interest. Thus, the claims by Dr. Immanuel and America’s Frontline Doctors have become subjected to the allegations of being sponsored for political gains. And merely because Trump retweeted this video, it suddenly became an outcast, for being ‘trumpy’. Worse, it is now being alleged that the group and its video were sponsored by Republicans in the US, thus becoming a subject of political, instead of humanitarian crisis debate. As BBC acknowledged in the storyline referenced above, “{t}he debate has been increasingly dividing Americans along political lines, with proponents of hydroxychloroquine pointing to President Trump's support of it while accusing critics of covering up its potential effectiveness.”

But again, methinks the world should redirect her focus on these claims and take another look at the potentials of this drug or similar ones. What can be done to improve on these drugs to assure in their use, at least as a stop-gap measure before our redeemer the almighty vaccine arrives? If its true that some doctors have been treating some patients with these same drugs - old, young, and those with underlying health challenges - without recording any fatality, shouldn’t we set politics aside and ask them how they are doing it? Should we continue to throw up our arms in resigned fate and continue to die or be disabled (physically, materially, financially and emotionally) by this virus? Should we continue to dishonor, disparage and discredit fair attempts at saving lives just because we loathe the messenger, and by extension, the message? If a single doctor could (truly and successfully) treat 350 patents, can we imagine what the net effect would have been if we multiply this by the number of health practitioners worldwide? Would the claims of Dr. Stella and co. have impacted otherwise if they were made on news channels like CNN, BBC, AP or AFP?   

One thing I know for sure is that Trump will go, give or take 4 more years. But what the world makes of this attempt to savage humanity, and the role played by everyone of us, shall remain in the annals, forever.

                                                  Manuel Akinshola writes from Canada.