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Sen. Rand Paul rebuked Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Whitmer, who has traded barbs with President Trump during the coronavirus outbreak, has faced backlash in recent days for signing an expanded executive order that severely limited people’s actions in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
Paul, in his first interview since recovering from COVID-19, called out the Democratic governor when asked about examples of government overreach during a Monday morning interview on Fox & Friends.
“I think like the governor in Michigan, it’s her ignorance and her hatred of Donald Trump that caused her to say really ridiculous things,” he said.
The Kentucky Republican, who is also a physician, then pivoted to the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which has shown signs of improving the symptoms of COVID-19 in some patients but has little evidence to show it combats the virus.
“Doctors for, really since the beginning of modern medicine, have prescribed drugs that are called off label,” Paul said. “It’s very expensive to get a drug to be applied to a certain purpose, so it’s already approved for one purpose like the anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, and it’s also used for lupus and a variety of other things. Probably half of these other diseases don’t have a specific indication because it costs so much money and time to get the FDA to do it. So it’s not unusual to use something like an anti-malarial drug for rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus, but it’s also not that unusual to find a new use for it like we found with the virus.”
He noted that “anecdotal evidence” shows that the drug is working when given to some coronavirus patients.
Earlier this month, Whitmer instructed officials to order doses of hydroxychloroquine only a week after she had ordered medical officials to not prescribe the drug to others. Before changing her stance, Whitmer sent a letter to doctors threatening “administrative action” against any who prescribed the unproven drugs.