CNN host Jim Sciutto took on White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Monday about his evangelism of the drug hydroxychloroquine.
During an interview with Navarro, Sciutto noted that Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary Brett Giroir had recently said that there is no benefit in taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat COVID-19.
“Given your past public support for it,” Sciutto said, “is it time for the administration to focus on proven treatments for COVID rather than one that has not been proven?”
“I take exception to Giroir’s analysis,” Navarro objected. “He hasn’t looked at the data.”
“It’s his job to look at the data,” the CNN host noted.
Navarro replied by encouraging Sciutto to interview several doctors who support the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.
“Doctors opinions are a dime a dozen,” the trade adviser continued. “And you’ve got some doctors who say it doesn’t work, you’ve got some doctors who say it does.”
“But it’s not a both sides thing,” Sciutto observed. “There’s a process for approving drugs in this country. There’s a reason the FDA hasn’t approved it. And this hasn’t passed muster so why all the focus on that drug? Why not focus on things that work like remdesivir?”
“Actually, a study that came out just last week showed that hydroxychloroquine works better than remdesivir,” Navarro remarked. “Look, my views on this are well known. I think it’s well known that there’s a difference of opinion on this.”
“The science on this is pretty simple,” he continued. “If you administer this drug in early treatment under the advice of a physician, number one, it’s unlikely to hurt you at all. It’s a drug that’s been used for over 60 years. And, two, it’s likely to help you.”
“Well, let’s move on then,” the CNN host relented. “I’ll rely on the broader studies.”
Before ending the interview, Sciutto wondered why President Donald Trump could not agree with Democrats on a COVID-19 relief bill to extend unemployment benefits.
“We’ve got a great negotiating team,” Navarro insisted. “I think what’s important to understand is President Donald Trump is a working class president and cares deeply about the people of America, particularly who work with their hands who are now on the unemployment lines.”