Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtagh was on CNN trying to claim hydroxychloroquine was safe, and Trump was right to be pushing it. Will this lie ever die? Yes, if CNN anchor Brianna Keilar has any say.
July 21, 2020

I think it's pretty fair to say that with very few exceptions, all Republicans on TV lie their faces off, but today's CNN interview with Tim Murtaugh was one for the ages. Brianna Keilar just tore him apart after nearly every sentence he spoke, because each needed to be corrected and fact-checked in real time so that his advice didn't actually kill CNN viewers.

Come to think of it, maybe as a Trump campaign lackey, that was a goal of Murtaugh's, but Keilar did her level best to take him down, executing her role as truth-teller journalist in stellar fashion. Here she is smashing his assertion that the only reason the media didn't advocate hydroxychloroquine was that Trump "expressed optimism" about it.

KEILAR: That's not why. It's because it kills people.

MURTAUGH: Yes, and everybody embraced a study that it was a failure, and then that study had to be withdrawn. And now there is another study that shows that it can actually cut deaths by as much as 50%.

KEILAR: Are you talking about the study that also using -- the study that also includes corticosteroids which are helpful in coronavirus? It is not hydroxychloroquine that helps patients. I'm not a doctor, clearly,

MURTAUGH: So, now you're, again you're cherry picking.

KEILAR: I'm not cherry picking. Tim, I talk to scientists and doctors. Clearly you don't.

Here is Keilar tearing him down for swearing up and down that Dr. Fauci himself would prescribe hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19. He tries to claim that because it's been used for 65 years, it's safe. She tries to explain how it's safe in certain circumstances. He pretends not to get it because he is a cynical *sshole.

KEILAR: Tim, I think you're doing a real disservice to Americans, and I just want to be clear to everyone out there, we've talked to a number of doctors and experts including federal experts, this is not something that you want to be playing with. Studies have been canceled because this stuff is so dangerous. Tim Murtaugh thank you for coming on.

MURTAUGH: It is been used for 65 years. How dangerous could it possibly be? It is a known -- it is a known --

KEILAR: It is an anti-malarial drug.

MURTAUGH: It's been used for six-and-a-half decades, so how dangerous could it be? You just said it is a dangerous drug but yet you admit it was used for 65 years.

KEILAR: To prevent malaria, not for people who are potentially dying.

MURTAUGH: Well, is it dangerous or not? Will it kill you or not? You just said it was dangerous yet you admit that people take it for malaria.

KEILAR: I don't think people on their deathbed are given an anti-malarial medication to prevent them getting malaria. You know what, Tim? No, we're done with this part.

MURTAUGH: So it's only used by people on their deathbed. Is that what you're saying?

Then she just cuts him off and ends the conversation, like a mother telling her pre-teen child that their arguments aren't going anywhere, and they are still punished. Cementing her spot at the top of the journalistic class, she asks Murtaugh to wait as she brings in an actual doctor to comment.

KEILAR: Look. Tim? We are done with this conversation. I think that you're just really confusing the situation and it does no service to anyone's health especially. Tim Murtaugh, with the Trump campaign.

MURTAUGH: There is a lot to be said for this interview, you're right.

KEILAR: Actually stand by. I want to bring in Dr. James Phillips standing by and maybe he could shed a little light when it comes to hydroxychloroquine. Dr. Phillips, you're the expert. I feel like I'm talking about this until I'm blue in my face and I've spoken to a lot of doctors like you about this, and you just react when it comes to hydroxychloroquine and I want to be so clear to the people who are watching this, because this is a health issue.

DR. PHILLIPS: Thanks for having me on, Brianna. I prepared to talk about recent studies and some other things but this most recent interview is absolutely just unbelievable. So, we've got to get all of the politics and the craziness out of there. Hydroxychloroquine has not been proven safe or efficacious in the treatment of this disease to any degree that doctors should be prescribing this to any patients outside of a clinical trial. The clinical trials that have been performed so far for the most part do not show any efficacy of hydroxychloroquine. In addition it can cause serious illness. It can cause heart problems, it can cause dysrythmias. So to say it's not dangerous is not necessarily true. It has been studied in the setting of patients with malaria. Those are patients with a particular type of symptoms and and a very particular type of disease. Different drugs respond and they work in different ways depending on the situation of the patient. And the studies that have been done in patients with COVID-19 are certainly not conclusive enough to be able to say this is totally safe. Studies have shown that patients probably have died because of the dysrhythmias that occur. So I agree what was just recently said was irresponsible and being said for political reasons and I completely disagree with it.


Yeah, he did not. But trust that Dr. Phillips went on to express disbelief, and explain why just because the FDA has ruled one drug safe for a certain use, that doesn't mean it is safe for other uses. You wouldn't give a hemophiliac a blood thinner, right? Murtaugh's asinine and childish arguments were just ripped apart by Dr. Phillips, and no one should be surprised that he didn't hang around to hear it happen.

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