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In defiance of a law she voted for, Michigan's governor is threatening doctors who prescribe hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

You may have heard that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued a threat against doctors who prescribe hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19. She is also encouraging Michigan pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine presented to them by COVID-19 patients.

The full text of Whitmer’s threat is here, although it’s actually signed by Deb Gagliardi, director of the bureau of professional licensing, and Forrest Pasanski, director of the enforcement division. There’s no way this document exists without Whitmer’s blessing.

The campaign being waged by the political left against hydroxychloroquine is flat-out bizarre. No one – including Donald Trump – is claiming the drug is a miracle cure or that anything has been proven about its efficacy. But with anecdotal reports being promising and no time to waste, it only makes sense to give physicians the freedom to try it if they think it can help a patient.

That’s why the FDA gave approval on Tuesday for hydroxychoroquine to be prescribed on an off-label basis by physicians treating COVID-19 patients. (Off-label simply means the drug is prescribed to treat a condition other than the one for which it was originally developed.)

We have nothing to lose by trying this, which is why New York’s Andrew Cuomo has ordered 75,000 doses and patients there are going to be treated with it in massive numbers of the course of the next week or two. Yet the media continue to attack Trump for offering “false hope” and “selling snake oil”, and even as Cuomo deploys the drug on a mass scale in New York, other Democrats continue to campaign against it.

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Whitmer’s threat against Michigan doctors goes against the FDA’s policy, which probably makes it a nonstarter. But it goes against Michigan law too.

Former State Senator Patrick Colbeck pointed out this morning that Michigan has a right-to-try law, of which he was a co-sponsor in 2014. Part of the language of the law reads as follows:

“Sec. 5. A licensing board or disciplinary subcommittee shall not revoke, fail to renew, suspend, or take any action
against a health care provider’s license issued under article 15 or 17 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.16101
to 333.18838 and 333.20101 to 333.22260, based solely on the health care provider’s recommendations to an eligible
patient regarding access to or treatment with an investigational drug, biological product, or device. An entity responsible
for medicare certification shall not take action against a health care provider’s medicare certification based solely on the
health care provider’s recommendation that a patient have access to an investigational drug, biological product, or

So according to Michigan law, Whitmer cannot threaten the doctors as she has done here for giving hydroxychloroquine a shot when we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and people are dying.

By the way, one of the senators who voted for this law back in 2014 was none other than State Senator Gretchen Whitmer.

It seems that hydroxychloroquine has become America’s first political medicine. It is loved by the right because it might help to stem this pandemic, and it’s hated by the left because Donald Trump talks in positive terms about it.

There is nothing wrong with pointing out that the the drug still needs to be tested and it’s effectiveness has not been proven. That is absolutely fair and needs to be said. It’s another thing to wage an all-out war against it, to the point where you’re threatening doctors who want to give it a try, when you can’t show it’s ineffective any more than its advocates can show it’s effective.

Some doctors say it is absolutely helping people. Doesn’t the left usually complain about politicians who “go against science”? Or is everything overridden by the imperative to go against Donald Trump?
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