This is bad. Really bad. Fauci is on thin ice. It’s just a matter of time before Trump pushes him out since Fauci has the audacity to believe in science and facts over an impeached president and failed businessman:
The White House coronavirus task force had its biggest fight yet on Saturday, pitting economic adviser Peter Navarro against infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci. At issue: How enthusiastically should the White House tout the prospects of an antimalarial drug to fight COVID-19?
Behind the scenes: This drama erupted into an epic Situation Room showdown. Trump’s coronavirus task force gathered in the White House Situation Room on Saturday at about 1:30pm, according to four sources familiar with the conversation. Vice President Mike Pence sat at the head of the table.
Numerous government officials were at the table, including Fauci, coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, Jared Kushner, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, and Commissioner of Food and Drugs Stephen Hahn.
Behind them sat staff, including Peter Navarro, tapped by Trump to compel private companies to meet the government’s coronavirus needs under the Defense Production Act.
Toward the end of the meeting, Hahn began a discussion of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which Trump believes could be a “game-changer” against the coronavirus.
Hahn gave an update about the drug and what he was seeing in different trials and real-world results.
Then Navarro got up. He brought over a stack of folders and dropped them on the table. People started passing them around.
“And the first words out of his mouth are that the studies that he’s seen, I believe they’re mostly overseas, show ‘clear therapeutic efficacy,'” said a source familiar with the conversation. “Those are the exact words out of his mouth.”
Navarro’s comments set off a heated exchange about how the Trump administration and the president ought to talk about the malaria drug, which Fauci and other public health officials stress is unproven to combat COVID-19.
Fauci pushed back against Navarro, saying that there was only anecdotal evidence that hydroxychloroquine works against the coronavirus.
Researchers have said studies out of France and China are inadequate because they did not include control groups.
Fauci and others have said much more data is needed to prove that hydroxychloroquine is effective against the coronavirus.
As part of his role, Navarro has been trying to source hydroxychloroquine from around the world. He’s also been trying to ensure that there are enough domestic production capabilities inside the U.S.
Top WH trade adviser feuded with others on whether hydroxychloroquine can treat coronavirus, sources say.@JohnBerman: “Why should we listen to you and not Dr. Fauci?”
Peter Navarro: “… I’m a social scientist. I have a Ph.D. And I understand how to read statistical studies.” pic.twitter.com/Ky99CIAZfj
— New Day (@NewDay) April 6, 2020
Trump: “What do you have to lose [by taking an unproven drug]?”
President of the American Medical Association: “You could lose your life.” pic.twitter.com/AAFkJyDomr
— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) April 6, 2020