White House trade adviser Peter Navarro Monday confirmed reports of a heated argument between himself and Dr. Anthony Fauci over the weekend concerning the use of hydroxychloroquine while continuing to push for the use of the drug in the fight against COVID-19.
"If we didn't have disagreement or debate in the Trump administration, this administration would not be as strong as it is," Navarro told CNN's "New Day" host John Berman. He also confirmed the argument in a separate Fox News interview.
"Let me focus on the issue at hand," Navarro told Berman. "Does hydroxychloroquine work? That was the subject in the task force meeting this Saturday."
At the end of the day, FEMA has 29 million tablets of the drug in a warehouse, and the White House task force agreed unanimously that FEMA would start surging them into the nation's "hot zones."
Navarro added that in the New York hospitals' system, "virtually every patient" with COVID-19 symptoms is given a cycle of hydroxychloroquine.
Axios reported Sunday that Navarro and Fauci engaged in a tense showdown after Navarro presented several studies, but Fauci said there are doubts about the use of the drug and its side effects.
Navarro had brought several studies to the meeting, reports Axios, but Fauci argued that they contained anecdotal, not scientific evidence.
"There are now numerous scientific studies that indicate potential efficacy," Navarro argued on Monday, adding that he'd let Fauci speak for himself, "but I'll have two words for you. Second opinion."
"What are your qualifications to weigh in on medicines more than Dr. Anthony Fauci?" Berman replied. "Why should we listen to you and not Dr. Fauci?"
Navarro suggested that CNN bring in other doctors who can speak more about the benefits of the drug, but that his own qualifications are that he is a "social scientist" with a PhD and he understands "how to read statistical studies."
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