Trump Says He’s Considering Use Of Toxic Plant Extract Oleandrin As COVID-19 Treatment After Pressure From MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell & Ben Carson
After Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, spoke out about oleandrin, a botanical extract from a highly toxic plant, as a miracle treatment for COVID-19, President Donald Trump said he is now considering asking the FDA to approve it.
At a news conference from the White House lawn, a reporter pinned the president: “Oleandrin – is that something that you are pressing the FDA to approve … Is it something that you are talking about very strongly?”
Trump replied, “It’s just something that people are talking about very strongly. We’ll look at it. We’ll look at it. We’re looking at a lot of different things. I will say the FDA has been great. They are very close. We’re very close to a vaccine. Very close to a therapeutic. I’ve heard that name mentioned. We’ll find out.”
Trump replied, “We’ll look at … We’re looking at a lot of different things.”
Trump on the use of toxic oleander as a potential coronavirus treatment: “Is it something that people are talking about very strongly? We’ll look at it.” pic.twitter.com/zxrhAidjkh
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 17, 2020
Ben Carson, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has also jumped on the bandwagon promoting oleandrin for the treatment of COVID-19.
Carson has badgered the president into looking further into using the extract as “treatment.”
Lindell and Carson are pushing for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve an extract, oleandrin, from the plant, Nerium Oleander, to be marketed as a dietary supplement or approved as a drug to cure COVID-19, despite no proof that it works. If the FDA complies, the company would not be permitted to make medical claims about its ability to treat or cure COVID-19.
According to an Axios‘ report, “There is no public data showing oleandrin has ever been tested in animals or humans for its efficacy against COVID-19 … but the extract has shown some evidence of inhibiting the virus in a non-peer-reviewed laboratory study.”
Lindell also told Axios that in the meeting that Trump “basically said, The FDA should be approving it.”
The situation is similar to when in March Trump personally lobbied FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn to authorize hydroxychloroquine’s emergency use to treat COVID-19. The FDA eventually approved his request.
However, in June, after an extensive trial, the agency revoked emergency use authorization and cautioned of the “risk of heart rhythm problems” in COVID-19 patients who were treated with the drug.
A senior White House official did express concern over Lindell and Carson’s hounding the FDA to approve it as a remedy.
The official told Axios, “The involvement of the secretary of HUD and MyPillow.com in pushing a dubious product at the highest levels should give Americans no comfort at night about their health and safety during a raging pandemic.”