• By The Financial District


President Donald Trump issued a stout defense Tuesday of a disproved use of a malaria drug as a treatment for the coronavirus, hours after social media companies took down videos promoting its use as potentially harmful misinformation, Darlene Superville and Amanda Seitz reported for the Associated Press (AP) on July 29, 2020.

The president, in a marked shift from the more measured approach he’s taken toward the virus in recent days, took to Twitter to promote hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and to amplify criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert. In a White House briefing, Trump defended his decision to promote a viral video of a group of doctors promoting the use of the drug Monday, even though his own administration withdrew emergency authorization for its use against the coronavirus.

Trump was also roundly mocked on social media after being humiliated by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins in a press briefing at the White House for promoting the drug and retweeting a video of a group of doctors claiming hydroxychloroquine cures COVID-19 despite US, UK, French and World Health Organization (WHO) studies disproving the claim.

Collins asked what Trump’s logic was in retweeting the video by the doctors, one of whom claimed alien DNA is being used to develop a vaccine and that masks are useless in preventing the spread of the pandemic, and Trump stormed out of the briefing room moments later, unable to justify his action. “I think they’re very respected doctors,” Trump said, adding they believed in the drug. “There was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it.” The doctors, members of a group called America’s Frontline Doctors, took part in an event organized by Tea Party Patriots Action, a dark money group that has helped fund a pro-Trump political action committee.