Notes from the Kakistocracy: Miracle cure or deadly toxin?

My Pillow exec is pushing Oleandrin to Trump as a cure:

Mike Lindell, the chief executive of My Pillow and a big donor to President Trump, told Axios that the president was enthusiastic about the drug, called oleandrin, when he heard about it at a White House meeting last month.

“This thing works — it’s the miracle of all time,” Mr. Lindell, who has a financial stake in the company that makes the compound and sits on its board, said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday. When CBS asked Mr. Trump about oleandrin for Covid-19, Mr. Trump said, “We’ll look at it.”

Forget about "snake oil," this stuff is more dangerous than most snake venom. I'll let Dr. Cassandra Quave explain it:

Nerium oleander is a highly toxic plant from the Apocynaceae family. Though renowned for its beauty and use in landscaping, this Mediterranean shrub is responsible for cases of accidental poisoning across the globe. All parts of the plant are poisonous. If eaten, it causes cardiac arrhythmias, or irregular heart rates, and can be lethal to both humans and animals.

Oleandrin is the chemical that causes the plant’s lethal toxicity. It is known by scientists as a cardiac glycoside, a class of organic compounds with a common feature: They exhibit powerful effects on heart tissue, often with deadly consequences.

A pre-print article – that is, an article not peer-reviewed by other scientists – is now online. It reports how, in a test tube, oleandrin reduces production of the virus responsible for COVID-19. But this does not take into account the well-known cardiac toxicity of the chemical when consumed by an animal or human.

Particularly worrisome is the idea that consumers may misinterpret any publicity surrounding oleander and try to self-medicate with this highly poisonous plant. I’m also concerned the dietary supplements industry may try to take advantage of the public’s fear of COVID-19 by developing supplements containing oleandrin.

There are many other examples of natural plant extracts that are harmful. But oleander is particularly dangerous, because ingesting any part of the plant can lead to serious illness and possibly death. What’s more, there is no published scientific evidence on the safety of consuming oleandrin or its plant source, Nerium oleander. It is critical that the Food and Drug Administration and its commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn, make certain the public is protected from this poison.

Make no mistake, the more mileage Trump gives this nonsense, the more people will try to self-medicate with it. Some idiot spotted "chloroquine" on an aquarium treatment bottle and died after ingesting some, what do you think they will do if it's right out in the back yard?

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