President Donald Trump has a financial stake in a manufacturer of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug that has shown some promise of being an effective treatment against the novel coronavirus, HuffPost reports.
Trump has advocated for using the drug during the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, and at one point called it a "game-changer." Indeed, as recently as this week, as reported by The Inquisitr, Trump continued to tout the drug.
"I want people to live, and I'm seeing people dying," he said.
Though anecdotal evidence appears to show the drug, used in combination with an antibiotic, is a promising treatment for coronavirus, anecdotal evidence is eschewed by scientists in favor of double-blind, clinical studies under controlled scientific conditions. That process can take years.
Indeed, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease specialist who has become the public face of the battle against the coronavirus in the United States, has rejected the notion of the drug being a cure, at least until clinical trials can be conducted.
In the Trump White House, so contentious is the issue of whether the drug should be promoted as a treatment for coronavirus that it's led to a public dispute between Fauci, Trump, and Trump's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, as ABC News reports.
As it turns out, Trump reportedly owns a financial stake in a European company that manufactures the drug.
Specifically, Trump has a small financial interest in Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical company that manufactures hydroxychloroquine under the brand name Plaquenil.
Trump reported last year that three of his family trusts each had investments via a Dodge & Cox mutual fund. That fund's largest holding is Sanofi.
Trump also appears to have another, indirect connection to a manufacturer of hydroxychloroquine. Chirag Patel, co-founder of Amneal Pharmaceuticals, which is itself planning to produce the drug in pill form, is a member of Trump National Golf Course Bedminster in New Jersey and has golfed with Mr. Trump at least twice since he became president, according to an unidentified witness.
Some Trump associates also have connections to hydroxychloroquine manufacturers. Ken Fisher, of Fisher Asset Management, is known to be a donor to Republicans, including Trump. Fisher's company is also a shareholder of Sanofi.
Similarly, Invesco, the fund previously run by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, is also an investor in Sanofi. Ross, for his part, has denied "any involvement in the decision to explore [hydroxychloroquine] as a treatment [for coronavirus]."