WASHINGTON (AP) — In a clash of gut instinct versus science, President Donald Trump and the government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, are politely but publicly sparing over whether a malaria drug would work to treat people with coronavirus disease.
Trump is clinging to his feeling that a malaria drug widely available could be the answer-in-waiting to an outbreak spreading around the nation, shutting down major parts of the economy, and posing the biggest challenge he has faced as president. Calmly and quietly, Fauci insists that the science is not yet there to validate Trump’s hope. Neither man directly challenged the other.
The extraordinary scene played out on national television both Friday and Saturday during White House briefings on the outbreak. Anxious for answers, Americans heard conflicting views.
Reporters asked both men — first Fauci, then Trump — if a malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine could be used to