Heated feud breaks out in Situation Room concerning drug that may treat COVID-19
WASHINGTON - According to CNN, a heated disagreement among the White House's top advisors broke out in the Situation Room over the weekend. Apparently, the argument boiled down to the effectiveness of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in fighting COVID-19.
CNN's sources say Peter Navarro, an economist who currently serves as Assistant to the President and Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, feuded with other officials over the now widely-discussed drug.
While discussing the latest on hydroxychloroquine this weekend, an exasperated Navarro lashed out at Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the advisers who has urged caution about the drug, a person familiar with the meeting told CNN.
Navarro had brought a stack of paperwork with him into the Situation Room on the drug, arguing it was proof that it could work to treat coronavirus, which Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, disagreed with because it was not data.
"What are you talking about?" Fauci asked -- a question that set Navarro off. He became indignant, and at one point, accused Fauci of opposing Trump's travel restrictions on China.
A source close to the task force said Fauci is not backing off of his belief that hydroxychloroquine is not a proven treatment for coronavirus. When CNN's Jeremy Diamond asked Fauci to comment on the matter Sunday night, the president stepped in and answered for Fauci. But a source said the doctor has already offered his opinion on the drug in other venues and would continue to do so.
In any case, the argument highlights how deep the divide runs over the task force's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Another source told CNN that despite the disagreement in the Situation Room between Fauci and Navarro, Fauci continues to have a good relationship with President Trump and Vice President Pence.