• Alison Kartevold

Chloroquine Death, Tragic Accident or Homicide?

A death investigation is underway, and a homicide detective has been assigned to the apparent poisoning death of the man, whose wife claims, ingested an aquarium additive to prevent catching the COVID-19 virus, the Mesa Police Department has told Gist Say'n.

On March 23th a Mesa Arizona woman set off a firestorm of national headlines by telling NBC News that she and her husband ingested chloroquine phosphate (in the form an aquarium additive). It was an attempt, she claims, to ward off the COVID-19 virus after hearing President Trump say its use might be a "game-changer."

Police and hospital officials confirm that in response to a 911 call, a couple in their 60’s was transported to the hospital where the wife ended up in the ICU, and her husband died. Banner Health officials also put out a statement cautioning against the urge to self medicate.

NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard posted part of a phone interview done with the woman from the Intensive Care Unit on Twitter in a tweet that reads:

“Woman in ICU: ‘Trump kept saying it was basically pretty much a cure.’

NBC: ‘What would be your message to the American public?’

Woman: ‘Oh my God. Don't take anything. Don't believe anything. Don’t believe anything that the President says & his people...call your doctor."

On March 23rd, NBC News went with the headline “Man dies after taking chloroquine in an attempt to prevent coronavirus."

Other traditional media outlets followed suit. Though most have since revised their stories, the fact that the chloroquine was not in a medical form, but in a chemical used in aquariums to kill parasites was often downplayed or omitted. As was the fact that the woman told NBC News, she had it on the shelf because she once had a Koi pond. The reports did, however, taut that President Trump had recently said he hoped the medicine, long used to treat malaria, would prove to be instrumental in treating COVID-19 cases.

Since then the motives of the reported 61-year-old woman identified in other news reports as Wanda, have begun being called into question. Some suggest her donations to democrats make it unlikely she was following the president’s advice.

"We weren't big supporters of [Trump], but we did see that they were using it in China and stuff," Wanda told the Free Beacon. "And we just made a horrible, tragic mistake," she said. "It was stupid, and it was horrible, and we should have never done it. But it's done and now I've lost my husband. And my whole life was my husband."

"We didn't think it would kill us," she added to the Free Beacon. "We thought if anything it would help us ‘cus that's what we've been hearing on the news."

Medically prescribed forms of chloroquine are being used by doctors on the front-lines of the global COVID-19 pandemic. As of this week, they are doing so with the blessing of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with an emergency authorization from the FDA.

“Scientists in America and around the world have identified multiple potential therapeutics for COVID-19," stated HHS Secretary Alex Azar, "including chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine."

Meanwhile, on April 1st Techno Fog, a twitter account with almost 150-thousand followers, started posting about Wanda’s reliability and even her mental stability. The professed lawyer uploaded an apparent court document and stated that in 2001 Wanda assaulted her husband seven months into their marriage. “Punching and swinging at him with a "decorative birdhouse on a wooden pole" during an argument about divorcing.”

In another tweet that day, Techno Fog said the woman who claims that President Trump made her think drinking fish tank cleaner was safe, called Trump “psyc`o prez” on her Facebook page less than a month ago.

“She's lying and played the press,” said the tweet. “This needs to be investigated @mesapd

The Mesa Police Department has opened what is referred to as a death investigation.

“We initiate an investigation for every death we are notified of. In this case, the couple was seen by the fire department only and transported to the hospital, still alive. The male died in the hospital.” Media Relations Detective, Jason Flam told Gist Say’n. “Once we were notified by the OME [Office of the Medical Examiner], the case was assigned to a homicide detective.”

During this type of investigation, The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s office prepares multiple types of reports that can include an Autopsy, Toxicology report, Anthropology reports, Neuropathology reports, and Odontology reports.

A Mesa police department’s spokesman informed Gist Say’n’s Alison Kartevold via email that every case is unique, and the length of investigations vary. He said that this investigation is still in the very early stages, and no determinations or conclusions have been made.

Detective Flam also warned people not to jump to any conclusions, “We have not released any information regarding this case via social media. I caution people from forming opinions merely based on social media comments. The only people with true insight into this matter are those involved.”