Peter Navarro: Should Donald Trump listen to him or listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci?

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On the one hand, Peter Navarro, Trump’s chief commercial advisor, who argued alleged evidence that hydroxychloroquine was an effective way to treat the virus.

On paper, this is not a fair fight.

Fauci is not only a doctor, but has worked for decades in the research and treatment of infectious diseases. He has been an adviser to six (!) Presidents on “HIV / AIDS and many other national and global health issues,” according to his biography.

Navarro is the director of the White House Trade and Manufacturing Policy Office. According to his biography on the White House website, he has a “doctorate in economics from Harvard University and is an emeritus professor of economics and public policy at the University of California, Irvine”.

Which is an impressive CV! I don’t have a doctorate! I didn’t go to Harvard either!

But Navarro’s expertise is economics. No infectious disease. Or epidemiology. Or, you know, medicine.

Seeking to justify his Fauci challenge to the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, Navarro told John Berman of CNN Monday morning:

“Doctors disagree on things all the time. My qualifications in terms of science are that I am a social scientist. I have a doctorate. And I understand how to read statistical studies, whether in medicine, law, economics or whatever. ”

What?

Just to be clear here: Navarro has a doctorate in economics. Fauci is a doctor. It’s not the same thing. At all. And for Navarro, to say it like “doctors always disagree on things” is, at best, untrue.

Now, all of that isn’t great. A business advisor feeling as though he is on an equal footing with one of the world’s leading medical experts in the treatment of patients with coronavirus is cause for concern. Even behind closed doors.

But here’s what you should really worry about: Trump seems to have taken Navarro’s side!

At the Coronavirus Task Force’s press briefing on Sunday evening, Trump said about the use of hydroxychloroquine:

“Now we have bought and stored 29 million hydroxychloroquine tablets. 29 million. Many pharmacies have them on prescription and also – and they are not expensive. We also send them to various laboratories, our soldiers, we send them to hospitals, we send them everywhere.

“I just think it’s something – you know, the expression, I used it for certain reasons:” What do you have to lose? And many people say that when – and you take it, if you’re a doctor, a nurse, a first responder, a doctor who goes to a hospital, they say take it before the facts are good. But what have you got to lose? They say: take it. I don’t look at it one way or the other. But we want to get out of it. ”

Trump sees & # 39; light at the end of the tunnel & # 39; at the start of & # 39; Pearl Harbor & # 39; the week

On the question “What do you have to lose? Dr. Patrice Harris, President of the American Medical Association, told CNN, “You could lose your life. It has not been proven. … At this point, we just don’t have the data. “

Later in the press conference, Trump was asked about concerns about the drug in the medical community. “I want them to try, and it may and may not work,” he replied. “But if it doesn’t work, nothing is lost by doing it. Nothing. … Because we know what I want in the long term, I want to save lives. And I don’t want to be in a laboratory for the next time. A year and a half while people are dying everywhere. “

At the end of the briefing, CNN’s Jeremy Diamond attempted to ask Fauci questions about hydroxychloroquine. Trump stepped in and said, “May I have a chance to answer this question? He then insisted that Fauci had already “answered this question 15 times”. (He had not.)

And that’s what you should really worry about: a president who sits on the side of a guy with a doctorate in economics. on a doctor with long experience with infectious diseases only because the former is consistent with what Trump himself thinks.

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