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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Trump Refuses to Allow Dr. Fauci to Answer Question on Dangers of Hydroxychloroquine

No more questions about Trump’s magic cure
Image may contain: possible text that says 'Novartis makes hydroxychloroquine, the potentially deadly untested drug Donald Trump 'has a feeling' about, the one he keeps pushing at his White House infomercials. Novartis is the company that paid Michael Cohen $1.2 million for access to Trump. OCCUPY DEMOCRATS ALWAYS FOLLOW THE MONEY.'EDITOR'S NOTE: Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the Washington Post on Sunday that he was responsible for Trump's gung-ho commitment to pushing chloroquine as a "magic bullet" to cure COVID-19. “I discussed it with the president after he talked about it. I told him what I had on the drugs.” Guiliani has been tweeting about chloroquine combined with Z-Pak (zithromycin) as a "100% effective" before Twitter suspended his account for making unfounded statements. Giuliani made a point of telling the Post he did not represent nor is he invested in any of the companies making these drugs. Sure, Rudy. - Will Collette

During a press briefing Sunday night purportedly aimed at providing the U.S. public with crucial information amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Donald Trump refused to allow the nation's top infectious disease expert to answer a reporter's question about the efficacy of an anti-malaria drug that the president has recklessly touted as a possible COVID-19 treatment despite warnings from medical professionals.

Before Dr. Anthony Fauci could respond to the question about hydroxychloroquine, Trump—who was standing back and off to the side of the podium—complained that Fauci had already spoken about the drug "15 times."

"You don't have to ask the question again," said Trump, stepping forward and moving closer to Fauci as another reporter began asking a separate question.

"This is a really chilling moment from a science standpoint, with Trump having just pushed an unproven COVID treatment and Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., getting muzzled on live TV," tweeted Andrew Freedman, a climate reporter for the Washington Post. "Was clear Trump didn't want to be contradicted."

Dr. Lucky Tran, a biologist, said Trump's interruption was "unacceptable."

"Dr. Fauci, one of the world's top infectious disease scientists, was just censored live at a White House press conference," tweeted Tran.

The exchange came just hours after Fauci, in an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday morning, said that "in terms of science, I don't think we could definitively say [hydroxychloroquine] works."

"The data are really just at best suggestive," said Fauci. "There have been cases that show there may be an effect and there are others to show there's no effect."

During a press briefing Saturday evening, Trump said "I really think they should they should take it," referring to coronavirus patients and hydroxychloroquine.

Three people in Nigeria overdosed on the drug last month after the president said, without evidence, that the drug may be able to combat the novel coronavirus.

In a joint statement on March 25, the American Medical Association, American Pharmacists Association, and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists said "there is no incontrovertible evidence to support off-label use of medications for COVID-19."

"What do I know?" Trump asked during the press briefing Sunday night. "I'm not a doctor."