Clive Palmer takes out three-page ads promoting purchase of malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine

Businessman, former politician and publicity hound Clive Palmer has taken out a three-page spread in News Corp publications, claiming to have purchased 32.9 million doses of hydroxychloroquine – an antimalarial drug being studied for its effectiveness in treating COVID-19.

Palmer’s text-heavy ad says he has purchased the drug and donated it to the Australian government, “so it may be available free to all Australians”.

Page one of the ad (Click to enlarge)

Palmer said he had paid for the drugs “with his own money” and claimed health minister Greg Hunt was grateful for his efforts.

Thus far, clinical trials of the drug have experienced inconsistent results, but some Australian hospitals are prescribing it to those COVID-19 patients in intensive care.

Palmer, however, said acting fast was key, and the drug was the “best hope” for those knocked down by the disease.

“If we had not moved in early March when we did, we would have lost our opportunity,” he quotes himself in the ad.

“The tablets we have acquired have a shelf life of three years and the bulk materials longer,” he said. “A vaccine may take many years to develop and Australia has to be ready to provide the best treatment for its citizens should the worst occur. The small contribution that I have made will assist Australia in getting back on its feet sooner.”

Palmer also used the ad to heap praise on the government for its response to COVID-19.

“The Australian government has done a great job in protecting and defending the Australian people in this time of national crisis,” he said. “In particular, the Prime Minister has showed the calm leadership necessary to guide the nation in troubled times. The Health Minister Greg Hunt had shown exceptional courage and dedication in filling his role and his performance as health minister was just what any doctor would have ordered.”

Pages two and three of the ad provide a COVID-19 timeline, including when the diseases was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and various counties’ experimentation with the hydroxychloroquine drug.

Page two of the ad (Click to enlarge)

Page three of the ad (Click to enlarge)


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