White House trade adviser Peter Navarro publicly bashed yet another White House public health expert on Monday while touting an unproven anti-malarial drug, saying he took “exception” to coronavirus testing czar Brett Giroir dismissing hydroxychloroquine as an effective coronavirus treatment.
Days after CNN cut short a Navarro interview after he kept repeating the racist phrase “China virus,” the network invited him on for yet another contentious segment that featured the combative Trump aide disseminating coronavirus disinformation.
Navarro, who has been an outspoken proponent of hydroxychloroquine and has repeatedly attacked top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci for warning about the drug’s lack of efficacy, doubled down on his embrace of the drug while taking aim at Giroir.
“One of the president’s chief advisers on the coronavirus pandemic, Adm. Giroir, he said given five studies now that have found the drug hydroxychloroquine—that there’s no proof that it helps with COVID-19 patients,” host Jim Sciutto noted. “I just wonder, given your past public support for it, is it time for the administration to focus on proven treatments for COVID rather than one that has not been proven?”
Navarro—who recently groused that the government is “sitting on millions of doses” of the drug—shot back that he takes “exception to Giroir’s analysis, adding that the HHS official “hasn’t looked at the data” within the past two weeks.
“It’s his job to look at data,” Sciutto interjected.
After demanding that CNN bring on a couple of doctors who claim the drug is beneficial for COVID-19 patients—CNN had actually interviewed one of them hours earlier—Navarro brushed off the large number of experts criticizing hydroxychloroquine.
“My view of this now is doctors’ opinions are a dime a dozen and some doctors say it doesn’t work,” he exclaimed. “You’ve got some doctors who say it does.”
The CNN host, meanwhile, retorted that this isn’t a “both sides thing,” prompting Navarro to insist that is exactly what it is.
“No, it is a both sides. It is—it is both sides,” he declared.
Sciutto went on to note that several high-quality double-blinded clinical trials show that there is no benefit to the drug and that the FDA has revoked emergency use of hydroxychloroquine due to concerns over potentially deadly side effects.
“This hasn’t passed muster so why all the focus on that drug,” the CNN anchor wondered aloud. “Why not focus on things that work like remdesivir?”
Undeterred, Navarro claimed that there is now a study that shows hydroxychloroquine “works better” than remdesivir—even though White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said just last week that randomized trials have shown the anti-viral drug has no efficacy as a treatment. She also reiterated that there appears to be no benefit to hydroxychloroquine.
Team Trump has suddenly rallied back around the controversial malaria drug after a fringe doctor—who believes that demon sperm causes female medical problems and “alien DNA” is being used in medication—proclaimed it a coronavirus “cure” in a viral video last week. Despite that doctor’s bizarre past claims, President Donald Trump has called her “spectacular,” “very respected,” and an “important voice.”