Media Blame Donald Trump for Man’s Death After Ingesting Fish Tank Cleaner

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The media rushed to blame President Donald Trump on Monday for the death of an Arizona man who ingested a form of chloroquine — before it turned out that the man had ingested a fish tank cleaner with a similar chemical.

Reuters reported:

An Arizona man has died and his wife is in critical condition after they ingested chloroquine phosphate – an aquarium cleaning product similar to drugs that have been named by President Trump as potential treatments for coronavirus infection.

The couple, in their 60s, experienced immediate distress after swallowing the drug, an additive used at aquariums to clean fish tanks, according to Banner Health Hospital in Phoenix.

Chloroquine phosphate shares the same active ingredient as malaria drugs that President Trump has touted as possibly effective against COVID-19, the potentially life-threatening disease caused by the coronavirus.

Many media outlets, however, reported that the man died after taking “chloroquine.”

Axios, for example, had to delete a tweet and issue a correction after reporting, initially: “Man dies after self-medicating with chloroquine.”

The website added an “editor’s note” to the story: “Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that the form of chloroquine the couple ingested was used in aquariums — and it was not a medication.”

BuzzFeed reported: “A Man Died After Self-Medicating With A Drug Trump Promoted As A Potential Treatment For The Coronavirus.”

The text described “a drug meant for aquariums” without distinguishing between a product sold for fish tanks and a product for humans prepared by a pharmacist and supplied with a medical prescription.

President Trump has spoken specifically about the medically-supervised use of chloroquine — specifically, a drug called hydroxychloroquine, often used in combination with azithromycin, which has shown anecdotal efficacy in treating coronavirus victims, though it has not yet been proven to do so in clinical trials.

On Monday, he praised New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for launching clinical trials of the experimental medication regimen. Trump spoke specifically about “the hydroxychloroquine and the Z-Pak,” the latter another name for azithromycin.

Last week, NBC News’ Peter Alexander accused Trump of giving Americans “false hope” by touting the potential of the drug. The false claims about Trump encouraging a man to ingest fish tank cleaner are in the same vein.

After Trump supporters noticed the errors in reporting about the man’s death, the phrase “FISH TANK CLEANER” began trending nationwide on Twitter late Monday night.


  1. greg w

    March 25, 2020 at 4:28 am

    You cant fix stupid! Msm has gotten way out of hand in all their rants and spewing of disinformation. But you should fine the crap out of them or jerk their entity licenses. Journalism at its very worst. Papers have become rags with no respect whatsoever. TV outlets fall into the same barrel. All one sided politically charged bullcrap.

  2. Karen

    March 25, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Just more of the same “It’s Trump’s fault”. I’m wondering if he’ll get any credit, at all, for the bill that is apparently working its way through the swamp that is Congress🙄

  3. Vern

    March 25, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Democrat Communists need to go to hell so they can play with Satan.

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