Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci as President Donald Trump dismisses a question during an unscheduled briefing after a Coronavirus Task Force meeting at the White House on April 5, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images)

'A Really Chilling Moment': Trump Refuses to Allow Dr. Fauci to Answer Question on Dangers of Hydroxychloroquine

"This is unacceptable. Dr. Fauci, one of the world's top infectious disease scientists, was just censored live at a White House press conference."

Jake Johnson

During a press briefing Sunday night purportedly aimed at providing the U.S. public with crucial information amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump refused to allow the nation's top infectious disease expert to answer a reporter's question about the efficacy of an anti-malaria drug that the president has recklessly touted as a possible COVID-19 treatment despite warnings from medical professionals.

Before Dr. Anthony Fauci could respond to the question about hydroxychloroquine, Trump—who was standing back and off to the side of the podium—complained that Fauci had already spoken about the drug "15 times."

"You don't have to ask the question again," said Trump, stepping forward and moving closer to Fauci as another reporter began asking a separate question.

Watch:

"This is a really chilling moment from a science standpoint, with Trump having just pushed an unproven COVID treatment and Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., getting muzzled on live TV," tweeted Andrew Freedman, a climate reporter for the Washington Post. "Was clear Trump didn't want to be contradicted."

Dr. Lucky Tran, a biologist, said Trump's interruption was "unacceptable."

"Dr. Fauci, one of the world's top infectious disease scientists, was just censored live at a White House press conference," tweeted Tran.

The exchange came just hours after Fauci, in an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday morning, said that "in terms of science, I don't think we could definitively say [hydroxychloroquine] works."

"The data are really just at best suggestive," said Fauci. "There have been cases that show there may be an effect and there are others to show there's no effect."

During a press briefing Saturday evening, Trump said "I really think they should they should take it," referring to coronavirus patients and hydroxychloroquine. Three people in Nigeria overdosed on the drug last month after the president said, without evidence, that the drug may be able to combat the novel coronavirus.

In a joint statement on March 25, the American Medical Association, American Pharmacists Association, and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists said "there is no incontrovertible evidence to support off-label use of medications for COVID-19."

"What do I know?" Trump asked during the press briefing Sunday night. "I'm not a doctor."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Coalition Urges Biden to Make 'Transformative Change' in Approach to Global Food and Agriculture

"This pro-corporate agriculture agenda must change under your watch."

Andrea Germanos ·


Mondaire Jones Warns Against Watering Down Human Infrastructure Proposals

The New York Democrat is advocating universal programs, not means-tested ones, for programs in the Build Back Better plan.

Andrea Germanos ·


Manchin Threatening Key Climate Provision: Reports

"To take it out is to decide that climate change isn't a problem."

Andrea Germanos ·


'Make a Gesture of Humanity': Pope Francis Urges Pharma Giants to Release Covid-19 Vaccine Patents

"There are countries where only three or four percent of the inhabitants have been vaccinated."

Andrea Germanos ·


Manchin Fumes After Sanders Op-Ed in West Virginia Paper Calls Out Obstruction of Biden Agenda

"Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation," wrote Sanders. "Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo