During a press conference on Friday, President Donald Trump suggested that two anti-malarial drugs could be the solution to the coronavirus pandemic. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci — who was also present at the briefing — urged caution, correcting the president and stating that there is only “anecdotal” evidence to support the claim that the drugs are promising.
However, Trump interrupted Fauci, saying that “we’re going to know soon,” and adding that the government has “millions of units ordered.” The president repeated the claims in a Saturday morning tweet, describing the two drugs as “game changers,” and once again suggesting they could solve the crisis. Per Raw Story, CNN’s medical expert, Sanjay Gupta, analyzed the situation.
CNN anchor John King began the segment by playing a clip of the interaction between Trump and Fauci, showing that the president was interrupting the expert, who was saying that “you really can’t make any definitive statement” about the drugs.
Gupta was stunned by the interaction.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, John. That was incredible to see this back-and-forth,” he told King, pointing out that the president — apart from interrupting and attempting to correct Fauci — made a number of false claims during the conference.
“First of all, the president said that this drug was approved for coronavirus yesterday, it is not,” Gupta said.
“He said there’s a lot of evidence to show how promising it is, there is a one 20-person study out of France that Dr. Tony Fauci described as ‘anecdotal.'”
As Raw Story notes, Gupta did not hold back and appeared to find himself shocked at how confidently the president tried to correct a medical expert, and then shared apparently false information with the public.
Other medical experts have criticized Trump as well. In an interview with MSNBC broadcast on Saturday, Dr. Joseph Fair suggested that the president’s press briefings might be doing more harm than good. According to Fair, Trump has spread misinformation during the conferences, confusing his loyal supporters and potentially putting Americans in danger.
Prominent members of the media have also criticized the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with anchor Chris Hayes concluding that the United States is in a “leadership crisis.” According to Hayes, America is facing both a public health crisis and an economic crisis, but Trump appears to be more interested in attacking the press than in solving these serious problems.
During Friday’s conference, for instance, Trump slammed The Washington Post for reporting that intelligence agencies issued warnings about a potential pandemic back in January.