APRIL 7, 2020: THE has been heated disagreement in the White House over the efficacy of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, with President Donald Trump’s top trade adviser Peter Navarro feuding with other officials over the drug’s unproven effectiveness to treat Covid-19.
Medical experts have often told Trump there is a risk in promoting hydroxychloroquine in case it doesn’t work but some in the White House have sided with the president.
Navarro yesterday said he was qualified to engage and disagree with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, on the use of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug which is not yet proven as effective, saying, “I’m a social scientist. Doctors disagree about things all the time. My qualifications in terms of looking at the science is that I’m a social scientist,” he told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.”
“I have a Ph.D. And I understand how to read statistical studies, whether it’s in medicine, the law, economics or whatever.”
Navarro was reported to have hit out at Fauci, one adviser who has urged caution about the drug.
Navarro brought paperwork to a meeting at the weekend, arguing it was proof that it could work to treat Covid-19, which Fauci disagreed with because it was not data.
On Sunday night, when CNN’s Jeremy Diamond asked Fauci to comment on the matter, Trump stepped in and didn’t allow Fauci to answer.
“He’s answered that question 15 times,” said Trump, who had spent much of the news conference touting the drug’s potential.
Earlier yesterday Fauci did answer a question about hydroxychloroquine on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“The data are really, just, at best, suggestive,” he said. “There have been cases that show there may be an effect and there are others to show there’s no effect. So, I think in terms of science, I don’t think we could definitively say it works.”