Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order forbidding pharmacies from dispensing the drug hydroxychloroquine for off-label purposes, which includes the treatment of COVID-19. Despite the fact that several preliminary studies have shown that the anti-malarial drug holds promise in shortening the lifespan of the disease in patients, Cuomo decided that no New Yorker can gain access to the medication unless they go through the overburdened hospital system or become part of an official clinical trial. This order prohibits doctors, in other words, from prescribing the drug to patients who could benefit from its use – possibly worsening an already-devastating public health crisis.
Why would Cuomo make this call? While it’s true that we have to be cautious when it comes to unproven treatments – and we’re still at the “unproven” stage with hydroxychloroquine – we’re talking about matters of life and death right here. Shouldn’t these matters be decided at the patient/doctor level?
Wait a minute, aren’t these Democrats always talking about how government should stay OUT of the doctor/patient relationship? Hmm. Apparently that’s just a convenient fig leaf when it comes to defending abortion. Who could have guessed.
In a scathing op-ed for Fox News, Sean Hannity demanded that Gov. Cuomo “immediately lift his pharmacy ban.”
“Sources tell me that Cuomo has access to MILLIONS of doses of hydroxychloroquine right now. The federal government has tens of millions of doses and has made millions of doses available to the New York governor,” wrote Hannity.
“I live on Long Island and many doctors are telling me that they want to prescribe this medication to their patients who test positive for COVID-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus – but do NOT need the patient to come to a hospital. However, Cuomo’s executive order forbids pharmacies from filling the prescriptions,” he continued. “The governor is creating a much bigger crisis in his state’s hospital system by denying New Yorkers THE CHOICE (in consultation with their doctors) to take this potentially life-saving medication.”
It confounds explanation. At the same time that Cuomo is blasting the Trump administration for not doing enough to help New York through the crisis, he’s deliberately making it harder for doctors to do their job. We’re not saying that this drug is a panacea or that there aren’t legitimate concerns about its use; there may very well be. But isn’t this best left to the medical professionals down in the thick of this thing…not to the damn governor? Where did Cuomo’s Ph.D. come from?
Our suspicion is that Cuomo and other blue state Democrats are taking a dim view of hydroxychloroquine solely because Trump has been such a vocal proponent of the drug. We would certainly hope that such a petty political concern would play no role in life-or-death decisions, but liberals are always surprising us with their capacity to sink lower than we ever thought possible. Hopefully, Cuomo has better sense than that. We’ll see.