White House, experts clash over use of drug for coronavirus

  • In US
  • 2020-04-06 14:51:39Z
  • By Reuters

By Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON, April 6 (Reuters) - White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Monday acknowledged that members of the task force dealing with the coronavirus outbreak clashed over the weekend about the efficacy of a malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, for use against the disease.

Navarro had a heated clash on Saturday with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Axios reported. Fauci and other top health advisers have argued there have not been enough studies done to prove the drug was effective against the disease.

Navarro has been appointed by Trump to oversee the administration's implementation of the Defense Production Act to help produce scarce medical supplies. While acknowledging he has no scientific background, Navarro said he believed the hydroxychloroquine studies done so far were convincing.

"There was that discussion on Saturday," Navarro said in an interview with CNN. "If we didn't have disagreements and debate the Trump administration would not be as strong as it is."

The dispute illustrated the tensions between the White House's scientific and health experts and other policymakers or advisers in the administration, led by the president himself, who have been pushing the malaria drugs, chloroquine and hydroxycloroquine, for use during the coronavirus crisis.

Trump has made his opinion on the drug well known and personally pressed federal health officials to make them available to treat coronavirus, two sources have told Reuters.

The president has repeatedly pushed the drug as a potential treatment, most recently on Sunday, adding "But what do I know? I'm not a doctor."

However, when Fauci, who is a doctor, was asked a question about the drug at the same task force briefing, Trump cut in and blocked him from answering, "Do you know how many times he's answered that question? Maybe 15."

At Saturday's meeting of the task force, Navarro told CNN, "there was unanimous agreement that FEMA would immediately begin surging hydroxy into the hot zones to be dispensed only between a doctor and a patient decision not the federal government." He said there were 29 million tablets of hydroxychloroquine sitting in a warehouse.

Navarro said that patients in the New York hospital system that come in presenting symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, are given a cycle of hydroxychloroquine. A state health department official said doses of hydroxychloroquine were shipped to 56 hospitals across New York, distributing enough "to treat 4,000 patients to date," the New York Post reported.

Navarro argued there were now "numerous scientific studies that indicate potential efficacy," including one published in the last few days involving Wuhan, China, where the virus first surfaced, that he said was one of the first randomized studies in a control group.

"All my role has been in this is to suggest that we have this in the stockpiles and that you should have that discussion about whether we should surge this in the task force," he said. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu Editing by Paul Simao)


More Related News

Trump says he
Trump says he's finished hydroxychloroquine regimen to ward off COVID-19

The FDA has cautioned against the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for COVID-19 treatment outside of hospitals or clinical trials.

Chris Wallace Condemns Kayleigh McEnany for Questioning White House Reporters
Chris Wallace Condemns Kayleigh McEnany for Questioning White House Reporters' Faith

Chris Wallace was back to challenging the Trump administration on "Fox News Sunday" this week, criticizing Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany for impugning the faith of reporters who questioned the president's push to reopen places of worship.On Friday, Trump threatened to "override" the authority of governors if they did not reopen religious buildings that have been closed in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. When reporters told McEnany that the president had no legal authority to do so, she responded by saying she found it "interesting to be in a room that desperately wants to seem to see these churches and houses of worship stay closed."McEnany then told the White House press...

Fox's Wallace Shreds Kayleigh McEnany for Questioning Reporters' Faith

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace tore into White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Sunday morning for questioning the religious beliefs and faith of White House reporters, saying he's never seen a press secretary act like that in his long career.Following President Donald Trump's Friday announcement in which he demanded that all houses of worship reopen "right now" and toothlessly threatened to "override" governors who have limited gatherings due to coronavirus restrictions, McEnany took a snide shot at the press corps.Asked what federal powers Trump had to force states to open up places of worship during the pandemic, McEnany said the president would "strongly encourage" the...

Republicans Use Potentially Lethal Drug Hydroxychloroquine as Trump Bait
Republicans Use Potentially Lethal Drug Hydroxychloroquine as Trump Bait

President Donald Trump's decision to tell the world he was taking hydroxychloroquine during the coronavirus pandemic sparked the kind of concern and backlash one would expect over a treatment that packs the chance of having deadly side effects.  But those medical worries weren't as troubling to some long-shot Republican congressional candidates, who are grabbing the opportunity to use Trump's embrace of the drug for himself as a way to show off their allegiance to the president. ".@realDonaldTrump taking hydroxychloroquine to ward off coronavirus is a kick-ass move that proves why he is the bravest and strongest of all American presidents," James P. Bradley, a Republican U.S. House...

U.S. veterans agency has given hydroxychloroquine to 1,300 coronavirus patients
U.S. veterans agency has given hydroxychloroquine to 1,300 coronavirus patients

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has treated 1,300 coronavirus patients with the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which a study has tied to an increased risk of death, according to a document released by a Senate Democrat on Friday. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, who received the

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: US