President Donald Trump blocked CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond from asking Dr. Anthony Fauci about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that Trump and non-medical members of his administration are pushing.
Trump falsely claimed that Diamond had asked the question “fifteen times,” and then told Fauci: “You don’t have to answer the question.”
Axios reports that Trump economic adviser Peter Navarro went up against infectious disease expert Fauci over the anti-malarial drug to fight COVID-19 during a meeting in the White House Situation Room on April 4:
Navarro got up. He brought over a stack of folders and dropped them on the table. People started passing them around.
“And the first words out of his mouth are that the studies that he’s seen, I believe they’re mostly overseas, show ‘clear therapeutic efficacy,'” said a source familiar with the conversation. “Those are the exact words out of his mouth.”
Fauci pushed back against Navarro, saying that there was only anecdotal evidence that hydroxychloroquine works against the coronavirus…
Fauci’s mention of anecdotal evidence “just set Peter off,” said one of the sources. Navarro pointed to the pile of folders on the desk, which included printouts of studies on hydroxychloroquine from around the world.
Navarro said to Fauci, “That’s science, not anecdote,” said another of the sources.
Navarro started raising his voice, and at one point accused Fauci of objecting to Trump’s travel restrictions, saying, “You were the one who early on objected to the travel restrictions with China,” saying that travel restrictions don’t work. (Navarro was one of the earliest to push the China travel ban.)
(Sources: MSNBC, Axios)