Michigan Governor Who Banned Anti-Coronavirus Drug Touted by Trump Now Asking for Shipments of It

AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File

FILE — In this March 18, 2019, file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer listens to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., in Clawson, Mich. Whitmer has ordered a review of Michigan auto insurers’ use of non-driving factors to set premiums and their pricing of policies that coordinate medical coverage with drivers’ health insurance. The Democrat’s move Wednesday comes as Republican lawmakers prepare to soon unveil legislation designed to reduce what on average are the country’s highest car insurance rates. Whitmer says the state must take a “hard look” at how insurers set rates to ensure their practices are lawful. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

A drug that has proven effective against the Wuhan Coronavirus was banned in Michigan by its Democratic governor after it was promoted by President Donald Trump, but now that the drug is being circulated with proven efficacy against the virus, Michigan’s governor is practically begging for it.

It wasn’t but a few days ago that Democratic Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, was banning the drug hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine from being sold in pharmacies and threatening “professional consequences” if they prescribe or dispense it, even ordering pharmacists to “ignore physician orders for this medication.”

As my colleague Elizabeth Vaughn reported in more detail, the drug is actually used to combat other diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and the governor couched the letter in terms of wanting to prevent hoarding of the drug during the viral outbreak, but the threatening tone revealed a bit more than just precaution.

She made it clear that the drug was untested and that issuing it out would result in consequences. The long and short of it is that the drug had been tested on multiple occasions, including her own state, and found it to be highly effective in combating the coronavirus. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had even ordered doses en masse to shipped to his state.

Why had Whitmer denied this potentially life-saving drug to the people of her state?

The answer is most likely the usual one we come across now when it comes to Democratic politicians. She did it because Trump had touted the drug as having “tremendous promise” and in order to look both defiant and “responsible,” she nixed the drug from being sold in her state to treat the virus.

The letter was supposed to be a warning not to allow hoarding of the drug and was made at the request of Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey.  Shirkey only found out that the Governor had banned the drug thanks to an article from The Detroit News criticizing Whitmer for her move. The ban is now being described as a “miscommunication.”

According to the Metro Times, now that the drug is being circulated by the federal government to various states, Whitmer naturally wants in on getting the drug.

“We want to ensure that doctors have the ability to prescribe these medicines,” she said. “We also want to make sure that the people who have prescriptions that predated COVID-19 have access to the medication they need. And so all of the work that we’ve done is trying to strike that balance.”

While it’s prudent to prevent hoarding, it’s hard not to see Whitmer’s “precaution” as a political strike against Trump, especially with Whitmer accusing the Trump administration of causing medical supply vendors not to send supplies to Michigan with zero evidence.

Michigan, specifically Detroit, is considered a hot spot for the virus. How many lives could have been saved, or hospital beds been made free if Whitmer hadn’t knee-jerked into banning a drug out of pure spite?