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Malsam-Rysdon Gaslights on HCQ Trial, Says SD Was Just “Looking to Be Part of” Hospitals’ Project

Now that South Dakota’s trial of Trump wonder pills has become an embarrassing failure, Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon is trying to make it sound like the whole hydroxychloroquine experiment was someone else’s idea:

State Health Department Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon says the decision to go forward with the study—now canceled—was made by the state’s major health systems.

“The study that the state of South Dakota was looking to be a part of came upon the recommendation of the medical providers at Stanford, Avera, and Monument Health,” Malsam-Rysdon said at today’s state coronavirus briefing. “It wasn’t directed by a politician” [Todd Epp, “With FDA Pulling Approval of Malarial Drug for COVID-19, S.D. Health Officials Say No Politics in Trial,” KELO Radio, 2020.06.15].

“Looking to be a part of?” That’s funny: politician Malsam-Rysdon (she’s a poli-sci major with a master’s concentrating on health care policy) and her boss, politician Kristi Noem certainly made it sound like the state wasn’t just looking but leading. On launch in April, Noem made it sound like the trial wouldn’t have happened without her leadership and connections with the Trump White House.

From day one, I’ve said we’re going to let the science, facts, and data drive our decision-making in South Dakota…. Throughout last week, I communicated with White House officials to let them know that South Dakota’s medical community was ready to step up and lead the way on research efforts. I made direct requests to President Trump and Vice President Pence to supply us with enough hydroxychloroquine so that it could be made available for every hospitalized person the state may have as well as for those healthcare workers on the frontlines and those in the most vulnerable populations [Gov. Kristi Noem, press release, 2020.04.13].

Noem rushed that day to her private video studio to emphasize her first-person role in the HCQ for her Fox fans:

Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem appeared on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” Monday to discuss the implementation of astatewide clinical trial for the experimental antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine.

“I’m a lot better being on offense than I am on defense, and when COVID-19 started to hit our country and our state, I started to think of ways that we could work together to be aggressive to fight this,” Noem told Cavuto Monday.

“Today we announced that we are partnering with all three of our major health care systems in the state for the first statewide, state backed clinical trial, using [hydroxychloroquine] to be able to make sure that we’re protecting our citizens and treating them. Those that are at high risk, our health care providers and then also other patients in the state” [Victor Garcia, “South Dakota Gov on Statewide Hydroxychloroquine Trial: ‘I Am a Lot Better Being on Offense’,” Fox News, 2020.04.13].

I, I, I, state, state—Noem sure sounded like she wanted credit for the HCQ trial… at least until it was discredited and the docs pulled the plug.

Malsam-Rysdon was saying last month that the state was looking at negative results from WHO study results and ensuring safety protocols remain strong to protect South Dakotans. The emphasis on our private health care corporations’ “leadership” of the HCQ trial only rose last week when the state said it was Sanford, Avera, and Monument Health that “elected not to proceed with the clinical arm of the hydroxychloroquine trial.”

This isn’t the first time Malsam-Rysdon has come out to try digging her boss out from under her own hydroxy-hype. When the trial sputtered last month for lack of interested volunteers, Malsam-Rysdon changed the story on what subjects the trial was supposed to focus on. It is important to remember that Malsam-Rysdonis not a doctor or a scientist. She is in Kristi Noem’s cabinet because she is a politician, charged with spinning policy to preserve her boss’s image. When a project looks good, Malsam-Rysdon’s job is to give her boss the credit. When the same project collapses, Malsam-Rysdon’s job is to put the egg on someone else’s face.


  1. Buckobear 2020-06-16

    Can we confidently believe any of the virus related numbers coming out of Pierre?

  2. jerry 2020-06-16

    Brits come through with a life saving treatment for Covid..Cheap too.

    “A cheap and widely available drug can help save the lives of patients seriously ill with coronavirus.

    The low-dose steroid treatment dexamethasone is a major breakthrough in the fight against the deadly virus, UK experts say.

    The drug is part of the world’s biggest trial testing existing treatments to see if they also work for coronavirus.

    It cut the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. For those on oxygen, it cut deaths by a fifth.

    Had the drug had been used to treat patients in the UK from the start of the pandemic, up to 5,000 lives could have been saved, researchers say.

    And it could be of huge benefit in poorer countries with high numbers of Covid-19 patients.”

    A “huge benefit in poorer countries with high numbers of Covid19”, that’s us! Why can’t we do that sort of break through stuff? I know, too busy trying to reinvent the wheel so we can charge $500.00 a pill for Wall Street.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-06-16

    Generic HCQ, 60 pills: retail $167

    Dexamethasone, 10 days of treatment for one patient: £5, or $6.30.

    Treat eight patients, save one life. I feel like those aren’t great results… but we’re comparing that small effectiveness with options that are doing us zero good in the ICU. Dexamethasone appears to be a step in the right direction: knowing that suppressing the immune system’s deadly overreaction (the cytokine storm) gives doctors a place to look for more footholds against the virus… and maybe gives the body time to let other drugs tackle the coronavirus itself.

  4. Debbo 2020-06-16

    Kruel Kristi and her minions are echoing the rest of the GOP in focusing on making their health care ineptitude look better. Democrats are working to actually care for people and save lives.

    What a stark difference in priorities.

  5. Joe K 2020-06-17

    Here is a question that needs to be answered. How many of the Covid-19 deaths in SD were a part of the drug trials? Lets see the testing results, and show how much state or federal funding went into this testing.

  6. DaveFN 2020-06-17

    Both Gnome and Maslam-Rysdon are as immune to “science, facts, and data” as COVID-29 has proven to be to HCQ. Stanford, Avera, and Monument Health have also lost public confidence by their complicity in this political hogwash of supposed scientifically driven inquiry.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-06-18

    Joe K, you ask a good question. I wonder if we will ever see any results from the trials posted, or if Governor Noem will direct her hospital pals to shred all those papers so we can just memory-hole her failed science project.

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