A Texas doctor is under scrutiny for apparently administering hydroxychloroquine to combat the COVID-19 virus to his patients without notifying their families.
Dr. Robin Armstrong, the medical director at The Resort at Texas City nursing home says that infected patients who got the drug are “actually doing well” and are “getting better” according to NPR who first reported the story.
A total of 87 patients at The Resort have tested positive for the virus— 56 of 135 residents as well as 31 staffers with only one death to report.
Of those patients, 39 are receiving the controversial medication. All are apparently doing better.
Why is hydroxychloroquine so controversial?
Could it be because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the drug to treat COVID-19?
But in looking at how the reporting of the nursing home treatment of its patients with the Malaria drug, one would think that the controversy is centered around politics.
President Donald Trump has called the drug a “game-changer” and continues to tout its use against the Coronavirus.
First of all, it’s important to note that there are many other doctors around the country administering hydroxychloroquine to their patients.
Dr. Robin Armstrong is a known Republican activist, and because of that, media outlets are pointing to his political affiliation as the reason by which the drug was given to his patients.
Some individuals are even blaming Gov. Greg Abbott for the doctor’s unilateral actions. Just this past weekend, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D) put the blame for the disease squarely on President Trump’s shoulders.
“To be clear, no one is worse than when they started,” he said emphatically. “From my perspective, it’s irresponsible to sit back and do nothing. The alternative would have been much much worse.”- Dr. Robin Williams
Here is NPR’s political angle;
Armstrong, who is a prominent GOP activist, called Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. He says Patrick reached out to Texas state Sen. Bryan Hughes, also a Republican, who knew someone on the board of the New Jersey-based company Amneal Pharmaceuticals. The company, which makes and distributes the drug, has donated more than a million tablets nationwide, including to the states of Texas and Louisiana.
A Texas doctor used his GOP connections to get hydroxychloroquine to administer to dozens of elderly patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in what he calls an "observational study."
In some cases, he didn't discuss with families before prescribing the drug.https://t.co/w5ay1UYE7v
— NPR (@NPR) April 11, 2020
3/ Robin Armstrong, the nursing home’s medical director and a prominent GOP activist who serves as a surrogate for the Trump campaign, said his politics have nothing to do with his practice as a physician. https://t.co/vOSE3Popv4
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) April 7, 2020
So, the patients were told about the drug and they OK’d its use? Hmm, sounds like consent to me.
“[Armstrong] acknowledged that some families were not aware their relatives were put on the drug, saying that ‘for the most part,’ he consulted with each nursing home resident prior to giving them the tablets.”
“For the most part.”
How horrific. 😡 https://t.co/PS7RCVZQPD
— Katie Phang (@KatiePhang) April 11, 2020
Look, now its Gov. Gregg Abbott’s fault.
The Texas Governor is using elderly people in nursing homes as guinea pigs for non-FDA approved drug use. Cool beans. https://t.co/Vgug4smamt
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) April 7, 2020