U.S. Attorney General William Barr says the news media "has been on a jihad to discredit" the drug hydroxychloroquine since President Trump first mentioned it as a possible "game-changer" in the fight against COVID-19. Barr tells Fox News host Laura Ingraham the media obsession with Trump's support for the drug is "quite strange."

To be clear, Trump has never stated that hydroxychloroquine is a cure for COVID-19 but has said repeatedly that it shows considerable promise and that it could be effective along with antibiotics in treating the coronavirus.

Medical experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, who polls indicate is among the most trusted authorities on the subject, advises caution and correctly insists that more study is needed before any definitive conclusions can be drawn about the effectiveness of the drug in treating COVID-19. But Fauci has never said that Trump is wrong.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said, "Watching people in the media talk down a potentially life-saving medicine (hydroxychloroquine) because a politician they don't like has endorsed it is probably the most shameful thing I have ever seen."

The anti-malaria drug is commonly used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Since being mentioned as a possible treatment for COVID-19, the FDA has warned that demand for hydroxychloroquine could lead to a shortage of supplies. This is a concern for those who depend upon the drug but certainly no excuse to stop the COVID-19 trials as long as it continues to show promise.

The media's hatred of Trump cannot be allowed to interfere with a possible breakthrough in the treatment of a virus for which there is currently no cure.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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