A prominent epidemiologist had harsh words for CNN’s coverage of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine this week.
Among the topics of his interview on “The Ingraham Angle” was a CNN segment from Tuesday, where a CNN host claimed the drug is fatal to those who take it.
CNN anchor Brianna Keilar scolded Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh on Tuesday afternoon in a contentious interview about the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Keilar accused Murtaugh of “lying” at one point during the interview and attempted to berate him when the subject of hydroxychloroquine was mentioned.
“It kills people, Tim,” she said after Murtaugh pointed out the media turned the drug into a political issue.
Keilar also invoked the now-retracted study of the drug from the medical journal The Lancet, which admitted in June that its research on hydroxychloroquine was flawed.
The Trump administration official then brought up the Henry Ford Health System Study, which he said “shows [hydroxychloroquine] can actually cut deaths by as much as 50 percent.”
He was cut off repeatedly by Keilar, however, who stated that any mention of the drug is “a real disservice to Americans.”
“Tim, we are done with this conversation,” Keilar said. “I think that you’re just really confusing the situation, and it does no service to anyone’s health.”
On Wednesday, Dr. Risch weighed in on the CNN segment.
“Who is really doing a disservice to the American people: doctors with decades of experience like yourself, other treating physicians on COVID, or CNN hosts that think hydroxy is so dangerous that we shouldn’t even talk about it?” Ingraham asked Risch.
“That’s a little funny that we shouldn’t talk about anything,” Risch said.
“This is a drug that’s been used for 65-plus years in billons of doses around the world that people take without even thinking about it. And suddenly it’s become dangerous? That’s ludicrous,” he added.
The efficacy, or the mere mention of hydroxychloroquine, has carried political connotations since March, when President Donald Trump first mentioned publicly that he heard the drug could show promise in treating those infected with the coronavirus.
Trump, at one of the initial coronavirus task force news briefings, stated he heard of positive results from the drug when it was prescribed by a physician.
Nearly every mention of hydroxychloroquine was soon followed by the word “unproven” in media reports in an apparent attempt to link Trump to a narrative that mentioning the time-tested drug was irresponsible.
Others made claims that Trump had mentioned the potentially life-saving drug in order to cash in on the coronavirus outbreak.
Trump disclosed in May that he had been taking the drug as a prophylactic measure.
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