Coronavirus task force's disagreement over potential COVID-19 treatment spills into the public view

White House to hold briefing amid task force disagreement over potential COVID-19 treatment
Posted at 4:44 PM, Apr 06, 2020

Infighting between members of the White House's coronavirus task force spilled into the public on Monday. The spat is over the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that Trump said he might take in hopes of preventing becoming ill from COVID-19.

On Monday, White House economic adviser Peter Navarro explained why he disagreed with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the White House’s infectious disease expert. Navarro's background is not in medicine, but social science, he told CNN's John Berman on Monday.

“What I have said and the only thing I have said is that the scientific studies that I have seen point to the possibility that it has both therapeutic efficacy as well as possible prophylactic efficacy,” Navarro told Berman.

During Sunday’s news conference, Fauci was asked about his thoughts on using hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, but Trump interjected and did not give Fauci the opportunity to respond.

Fauci said on CBS’ Face the Nation earlier on Sunday, “In terms of science, I don't think we can definitely say it works.”

Hydroxychloroquine, a treatment that is commonly used to treat malaria and lupus, will provide treatment for COVID-19 patients on an experimental basis.

Last week, the FDA gave an "emergency use authorization." An EUA allows doctors to use treatments by weighing potential benefits over potential risks.

"Hydroxychloroquine sulfate has not been approved for the treatment of COVID-19. It has been used experimentally to treat certain people with COVID-19, including hospitalized patients," the FDA said. "Hydroxychloroquine sulfate is being used to try and stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading inside your body. This may help you to get better."

The drug carries known side effects, including stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and headache, the FDA said.

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook .