President Donald Trump’s top trade adviser Peter Navarro reportedly got into a scuffle with Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation’s foremost experts on immunology, accusing him of ignoring science on a drug that can supposedly help in the fight against coronavirus.
Fauci has long been skeptical about promoting hydroxychloroquine, a medicine used in malaria cases, as a means to help combat symptoms of COVID-19, even though the president has frequently done so. Noting his disagreements with Trump, Navarro brought stacks of paperwork purportedly citing evidence of the drug’s effectiveness.
When Fauci pointed out that Navarro’s papers didn’t provide any actual data — “What are you talking about?” he reportedly asked, according to CNN — Navarro blew up at him, and accused Fauci of being against the president on other matters, including closing travel to China, which Fauci was among the earliest supporters of.
On Monday morning, Navarro was questioned by CNN’s “New Day” anchor John Berman, who asked the trade adviser what qualifications he had to weigh in on medical issues versus Fauci.
Berman: What are your qualifications to weigh in on medicines more than Dr. Fauci?
Navarro: My qualifications in terms of looking at the science is that I'm a social scientist. I have a PHD, I understand how to read studies
Berman: That doesn't qualify you to treat patients! pic.twitter.com/ZugKSZXFPs
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) April 6, 2020
“Doctors disagree about things all the time. My qualifications in terms of looking at the science is that I’m a social scientist. I have a Ph. D,” Navarro explained. “And I understand how to read statistical studies, whether it’s in medicine, the law, economics or whatever.”
“I’m sorry, that doesn’t qualify you to treat patients,” Berman countered.
It should be noted that, in several books he wrote on economics, Navarro often cited a person by the name of Ron Vara as an expert to back up his own ideas — a person who, it turned out, was entirely made up.
There is no evidence so far, save for anecdotal, that demonstrates definitively that hydroxychloroquine is a drug that has effective uses in combatting the symptoms of coronavirus, nor for treating it or curing one of the disease. Indeed, Trump’s promotion of the drug could come with huge risks — among the side effects of the drug is blurred vision that sometimes becomes permanent, as well as heart complications that can sometimes be fatal.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.