President Trump blocked National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci on Sunday from answering a CNN reporter’s question about hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug the president has repeatedly touted as a possible coronavirus cure.
“Can you also weigh in on this issue of hydroxychloroquine?” CNN White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond asked Dr. Fauci.
“What do you think about this and what is the medical evidence?” Diamond asked as Trump interrupted before Dr. Fauci could answer.
“You know how many times he’s answered that question?” Trump interjected. “Maybe fifteen – fifteen times.
“I’d like to hear from the doctor,” Diamond responded.
“You don’t have to ask the question,” Trump told Diamond.
“He’s your medical expert, correct?” the reporter fired back at Trump as he walked forward to stand next to the podium.
“He’s answered that question fifteen times,” Trump said.
“I answered this 15 times. You don’t have to answer.” — Trump prevents Dr Fauci from answering a question about hydroxychloroquine pic.twitter.com/8R1K1hDsaX
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 6, 2020
The question came minutes after Trump suggested that Americans could take Hydroxychloroquine “before the fact.”
“And the other thing that we bought a tremendous amount of is the Hydroxychloroquine,” Trump said at the start of his daily White House press briefing. “Hydroxychloroquine. Which, I think – Did you know it’s a great anti-malaria drug? It’s worked unbelievably. It’s a powerful drug, on malaria. And there are signs that it works on this – some very strong signs. And in the meantime its been around a long time. It also works very powerfully on Lupus. Lupus.”
“So there are some very strong, powerful signs,” the president said. “And we’ll have to see because again, it’s being tested now. This is a new thing that just happened to us – the invisible enemy as we call it.”
“And, if you can, if you have no signs of heart problems,” Trump continued. “The Azithromycin. Azithromycin, which will kill certain things that you don’t want living within your body. It’s a powerful drug. If you don’t have a problem – a heart problem. We would say let your doctor think about it. But as a combination, I think they are going to be – I think they are two things that should be looked at very strongly. Now, we have purchased and we have stockpiled 29 million pills of the Hydroxychloroquine. 29 million. A lot of drug stores have them by prescription.”
“I just think it’s something, you know the expression – I’ve used it for many reasons, ‘What do you have to lose? What do you have to lose?’ ” Trump told reporters.
“And a lot of people are saying that when – and are taking it – if you’re a doctor, a nurse, a first responder, a medical person going into hospitals – they say taking it before the fact, is good, but what do you have to lose? They say take it. I’m not looking at it one way or another,” Trump added.
After touting unproven and potentially dangerous drugs, Trump says: “What do I know? I’m not a doctor. I’m not a doctor. But I have common sense.” pic.twitter.com/YGaGiPIMGK
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 5, 2020