Navarro defends anti-malaria drug after argument with Fauci
Peter Navarro, Trump’s top trade adviser who has been tapped to oversee the administration’s implementation of the Defense Production Act amid the coronavirus crisis, got into a heated exchange over using an anti-malaria drug to fight the virus.
Navarro told CNN host John Berman that studies prove hydroxychloroquine can help coronavirus patients recover, even though experts say the evidence of the drug’s efficacy is anecdotal.
Reports emerged last night that Navarro got into a fight with Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, in the Situation Room on Saturday over using the drug.
Navarro acknowledged the fight in his CNN interview and said he told Fauci in response to his concerns about the anecdotal nature of the evidence, “I would have two words for you ‘second opinion.’”
The trade adviser also dubiously claimed his PhD in economics qualified him to have such medical debates with health experts like Fauci.
“Doctors disagree about things all the time,” Navarro told Berman. “My qualifications in terms of looking at the science is that I’m a social scientist. I have a PhD, and I understand how to read statistical studies.”
Trump expresses optimism as US faces hardest week yet
Good morning, live blog readers!
Donald Trump was expressing optimism over Twitter this morning, telling his followers that there is a “light at the end of the tunnel” as the country stares down the worst week yet in the coronavirus crisis.
The country is approaching 10,000 deaths in the pandemic, and more than 337,000 cases have already been confirmed.
Senior health experts in the administration warned the numbers would continue to climb in the next several days, with Dr Anthony Fauci saying yesterday that this is probably going to be “a very bad week”.
“The next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment. It’s going to be our 9/11 moment,” surgeon general Jerome Adams told NBC News’ Meet the Press yesterday.
“It’s going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives, and we really need to understand that if we want to flatten that curve and get through to the other side, everyone needs to do their part.”
So “the light at the end of the tunnel” that the president referred to still seems to be well off in the distance.