WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump unleashed a barrage of tweets on Monday about the coronavirus outbreak and promoted an article suggesting that a miracle cure to this deadly respiratory disease was at hand.
The tweets — backing conspiracy theories and claims — reflect the anxieties of a world still struggling to form a comprehensive policy to cope with this unprecedented threat.
Last week, the White House urged Americans to stay home for the next 15 days to prevent the spread of this virus, which is also known as Covid-19.
Mr Trump then retweeted a post from a man named Chuck Callesto — identified as a digital real estate manager. “They should take a SERIOUS LOOK at this…” Mr Callesto wrote in the tweet posted on the president’s wall. He also provided a link to a story with the headline “REPORT: French Doctor Reports 100 % Cure Rate Using Malaria Drug to Treat Corona Virus.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
The US media immediately picked up Mr Trump’s message, criticising him for promoting an untested cure. The media pointed out that so far there’s no known cure or treatment for coronavirus. It also reminded the president that encouraging an untested cure would help scammers trying to cash in on the panic the outbreak has caused.
Unperturbed by the criticism, Mr Trump retweeted a tabloid story on Monday afternoon, claiming that “a Florida man diagnosed with coronavirus claims he was saved from certain death by an anti-malaria drug touted as a possible treatment by President Trump.”