US President Donald Trump on Saturday said he was “feeling great” as he made his first public appearance since returning to the White House after being treated for the coronavirus. (Oct. 10)
The claim: Walter Reed hospital was trying to kill Trump for ‘deep state’
President Donald Trump is back at the White House after receiving treatment for COVID-19 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. But a viral video by right-wing media outlet InfoWars claims the doctors there weren’t really trying to help the president.
“President Trump is being given very dangerous experimental drugs that no one has ever been given together,” InfoWars’ Alex Jones said. “President Trump is in grave danger. Evidence is mounting he’s being deliberately killed at Walter Reed Military Hospital.”
Jones insinuates that in addition to Trump’s treatment being “dangerous” that it may be a part of a bigger scheme by the “Deep State,” a term – coined by conspiracy theorists – for an alleged secret network of influential members of government agencies and the military running the country behind the scenes.
The video was shared on Facebook on Oct. 3 by the group Trump Supporters NZ, where commenters expressed outrage over the allegations.
“I was just telling a friend that I couldn’t believe they would use an experimental drug on the POTUS,” one commenter wrote. “I pray he’s ok.”
In a video published Oct. 5, Jones strengthened his accusation, alleging Walter Reed “tried to kill Trump and failed.”
Neither InfoWars nor Trump Supporters NZ responded to USA TODAY’s requests for comment.
Fact check: Fake Trump quote about battling coronavirus, his body
Drugs mentioned in video aren’t ‘very dangerous’; experts say mix is fine
Since announcement of his diagnosis on Oct. 2, Trump received an extensive medical regimen that included Regeneron’s experimental antibody drug and Gilead’s remdesivir.
Remdesivir first emerged in October 2015, when it was found to be effective during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The drug, a result of collaboration between Gilead, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, works by interfering with a virus’s ability to copy its genetic material. It was considered a potential COVID-19 treatment early in the coronavirus pandemic and underwent clinical trials in February in Wuhan, China.
A vial of the investigational drug remdesivir is visually inspected at a Gilead manufacturing site in the United States. On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, the company says its experimental antiviral drug has proved effective against the new coronavirus in a major U.S. government study that put it to a strict test. (Photo: Gilead Sciences via AP)
In April, the National Institutes of Health released preliminary data that showed remdesivir cut recovery time for severely ill patients from 15 to 11 days. While it did not significantly improve the death rate, this result gave medical experts reason to believe the antiviral could prove helpful for patients with early to mild disease.
Subsequent preliminary data from Gilead published in