President Trump abruptly ended a tense press conference at the White House on Tuesday, after he defended Houston Dr. Stella Immanuel as a “very impressive” for touting hydroxychloroquine — just hours after Twitter deleted the president’s retweet of a video featuring Immanuel speaking about the drug.
On Monday, Trump retweeted the viral video, which included several doctors, including Immanuel. Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook removed the video after millions viewed it. In the video, Immanuel insists, “Nobody needs to get sick. … This virus has a cure.” Doctors in the video also suggest that schools don’t need to remain closed.
Immanuel adds in the video that no one needs to wear protective masks, contradicting current scientific and media orthodoxy — even though scientists, and the U. S. Surgeon General, said they believed masks were unnecessary just months ago.
At the briefing, CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins highlighted some of Immanuel’s past comments, including that alien DNA is being used in medical treatments and that doctors want to make people immune from religion.
“She was on-air, along with many other doctors. They were big fans of hydroxychloroquine. I thought she was very impressive. … She said that she’s had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients. I thought her voice was an important voice, but I know nothing about her.”
Collins continued shouting questions, prompting the president to head out.
CNN has its own history of questionable claims about hydroxychloroquine: Last week, Dr. Harvey Risch, a Yale epidemiology professor, rejected a CNN anchor’s “ludicrous” claim that the drug is too dangerous to even talk about as a potential COVID-19 treatment.
Trump’s daily briefings in recent days have been noticeably shorter than they were earlier in the year, when the president routinely spent nearly an hour each day tangling with reporters on various issues — debates that insiders say may have clouded his coronavirus messaging.
Under questioning from a different reporter earlier in the briefing, Trump defended his previous positions on hydroxychloroquine, saying he believes it “has an impact” especially in the early stages of coronavirus infection.
Indeed, researchers at the Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan found earlier this month that early administration of the drug hydroxychloroquine makes hospitalized patients substantially less likely to die. The research is preliminary, and other studies have found different results.
Trump asserted that the merits of the drug have become politicized. He note… (Read more)
REPORTER: You said there would be a meeting today with Trump companies
TRUMP: “Ahhh — well I said there would be a meeting, yeah, a meeting sometime this week, yeah. They want to meet. I don’t know that it was canceled … I thought it was scheduled for tomorrow.” pic.twitter.com/entX6URDIU
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 28, 2020