Arizona Man Dies After Drinking Fish Tank Cleaner To Prevent Coronavirus, Media Blames Trump

Brittany M. Hughes | March 24, 2020
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A man is dead and his wife hospitalized after the Arizona couple, who are in their 60s, drank aquarium cleaner thinking it would protect them against the coronavirus – and now, the media have decided President Donald Trump is to blame.

The man’s wife said she was moving things around in her pantry when she noticed the bottle of fish tank cleaner contained an additive called chloroquine, a derivitive of which is also used to treat malaria and which has proven to be at least somewhat effective in treating COVID-19, the disease stemming from the coronavirus. The woman told her husband she’d heard this was the right drug, so the pair drank the cleaner. They started feeling ill within half an hour and were taken to a local hospital, where the man died and his wife wound up in the ICU.

Now, the media are framing the story to place the blame on Trump, implying that he somehow encouraged people to start self-medicating with industrial cleaners to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“Her husband is dead & she's in the ICU after ingesting chloroquine,” tweeted NBC’s Heidi Przybyla.

She then quoted the woman as saying, “’We saw Trump on TV -- every channel -- & all of his buddies and that this was safe,' she said. ‘Trump kept saying it was basically pretty much a cure.’”

Przybyla continued quoting the woman, “’Oh my God. Don't take anything. Don't believe anything. Don’t believe anything that the President says and his people because they don't know what they're talking about. And don't take anything--be so careful and call your doctor. This is a heart ache I'll never get over.’” 

Of course, Trump never said, suggested, implied or otherwise joked to anyone that they should ingest fish tank cleaner to keep from getting the coronavirus, but said there might be a breakthrough with chloroquine in the near future when used under a doctor’s orders and in conjunction with other medications -- a detail conveniently left out of Przybyla's tweet storm.

But that doesn’t much matter to a media who’ve already decided everything is always his fault.