April 6, 2020

The hubris and defensiveness of Peter Navarro pushed even John Berman to the limit on Monday. And CNN presenting "both sides" between Peter "social scientist" Navarro and a medical doctor Sanjay Gupta is absurd. At least they gave Dr. Gupta the last word, this time.

JOHN BERMAN: We all want the same thing, which is people to get better.

NAVARRO: I'm not sure we do sometimes.

BERMAN: What are you talking about? Hang on.

NAVARRO: You're really, you're setting this up kind of as a false dichotomy between, you know this doctor over here.

BERMAN: I respect you, don't you dare for a second suggest I don't want people to get better from this. I got two friends --

NAVARRO: No, no, that's not what I said, John. Don't put those words in my mouth. When you say that when we come on here and we say we all want the same thing, there's this political overtone, this battle between you know, you're trying to set up a dichotomy.

BERMAN: We want people to get better. No false dichotomy. We want people to get better and I appreciate your efforts to do so. Don't suggest my questions are anything other than trying to figure out what science is behind this, and the efficacy.

NAVARRO: Fair enough, John. I really enjoy talking to you and you know, you're an honorable man and if I offended you in any way, wasn't my intention, but you did not let me finish my sentence, so I wasn't guilty of that. But anyway, look, John, people are dying here. This is war. This is an important debate to have and I think it was a wise decision on the form of the task force to move forward with this and let doctors and patients determine. I really would urge you to have people like William Grace on, Mitch Katz, talk to some of the doctors at the front line taking hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic and let's see what happens. I mean, we're working overtime, John.

BERMAN: I got you. Peter, you're also working on the supply chain issues getting supplies out to the states and hospitals and I want to talk to you about that, to have that discussion.

NAVARRO: Any time, John.

BERMAN: Thank you very much for your time. I appreciate it. Alisyn?

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Fascinating interview.

Let's bring in Dr. Sanjay Gupta, also back with us is national political reporter for "Axios." Jonathan Swan, who has done the reporting Peter Navarro was commenting on. Sanjay, I want to know what you heard from Peter Navarro. I heard him say they don't want to wait for the clinical trials. They want to get this into the bodies of patients and the hands are doctors right now. What was your impression?

SANJAY GUPTA: It's a total clash here, Alisyn. Understandably and I think John made this point very clearly, of course, everybody would love for a therapeutic to get out there, and to work. I mean, you know, when I say everyone, I mean everyone on the planet wants this, something to work at some point. Fact of the matter is, we don't know if hydroxychloroquine works. We don't even know if maybe it works for some people and not others. Could it make some people worse? Small example, this is a medication that seems to suppress your immune system. That's why it works for patients of autoimmune diseases. If you're somebody who needs a strong immune system because you're elderly and your immune system has not been working well, would you want to suppress that person's immune system? Probably not. I don't know. Nobody knows. That's sort of the point, and someone who has an overreaction of their immune system to this maybe it might work. We don't know. You want to do the studies here. Could it be harmful to some people? Possibly. That would be obviously a terrible outcome. We don't know the dosing that should be given, we don't know the duration that should be given. John was quite right in terms of having characterized the studies. They've been the studies that have involved mild patients with mild disease. Now why is that important? That's important because thankfully most patients still recover from coronavirus. So if you have two groups, and one group they have mild disease, the other group has mild disease, one group gets the medication, the other group doesn't get the medication, they're both very likely to improve. How do you really make sense of that sort of data, especially when it's a really small trial? Look, I'm trying to give a little bit of the reasoning behind why trials are done. You don't want to harm people. There is a real potential here for that, so that it is not a can't hurt/might help/why not situation. It just isn't. I want there to be a therapy. You want there to be a therapy, John, everybody wants there to be a therapy, but we got to be sure and it could happen quickly, but why wouldn't we do that? Why wouldn't we do the trials?

Peter Navarro is sorta right on one thing -- setting up a "both sides" argument on Coronavirus GUARANTEES that one side is going to be pushing fake-science propaganda for Trump. Stick with actual medical professionals with proven science behind their statements, CNN, or you're once again complicit in backing up the lyingest president ever.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.