Impeached and manifestly unfit U.S. President Donald John Trump stopped the U.S. medical expert Dr. Anthony Fauci from answering a question about hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug Trump is pushing, during Trump's daily COVID-19 standup act in front of the cameras. In a surreal disinformation briefing, this was an especially surreal moment.
Trump spent much of Sunday's briefing yet again promoting the unproven treatment for novel coronavirus, asking over and over, "What do we have to lose?"
This, as American voters should recall, was the line he kept using about why Black voters should vote for his racist ass in 2016. He's lying and he knows it, and this phrase is a tell.
From the Washington Post:
So toward the end, a CNN reporter turned to Anthony S. Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, for his opinion on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine with a sharper question: "What is the medical evidence?"
Standing at the microphone, Fauci opened his mouth — but before he could speak, the answer came out of Trump's instead.
"Do you know how many times he's answered that question?" Trump cut in. "Maybe 15."
A tight smile stretched across Fauci's face. His eyes, framed by a pair of wire-rimmed glasses, flicked quickly to Trump. He glanced back at the reporter, who was saying to the president, "The question is for the doctor. … He's your medical expert, correct?"
Fauci's smile, for just a moment, was all teeth now. Trump raised his finger sternly, telling the journalist, "You don't have to ask the question," and so Fauci didn't answer it, and the news conference shuffled right along.
Read the Washington Post story:
Trump blocks Fauci from answering question about drug Trump is touting
More below from news observers.
This was a key moment.@JDiamond1 asked the lead scientist on the WH coronavirus task force, Dr. Fauci, to weigh in on the president repeatedly telling people to take hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus & Trump lashed out at Jeremy & said Dr. Fauci doesn't have to answer that Q. https://t.co/Q9smR8OGfn
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) April 6, 2020
Hours after Fauci says hydroxychloroquine is not yet proven, Trump says: "We have stockpiled 29 million pills of the Hydroxychloroquine … And they're not expensive..What do you have to lose?" https://t.co/4AtMkkIKZv
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) April 5, 2020
At least 50 times readers have told me that reporters should direct questions only to the experts. That would neutralize Trump, they said. What's your hypothesis about how he'd react? I would say. My view: The briefing cannot be saved. It's not the questions. It's him. https://t.co/H4U7YGlfUa
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) April 6, 2020
Trump on why he's giving medical advice even though he's not a doctor: "What really do we have to lose? … we don't have time to go and say, 'gee, let's take a couple of years and test it out' … it doesn't kill people." (This last point re: hydroxychloroquine is not true.) pic.twitter.com/zE0aN4iSFW
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 5, 2020
The @JDiamond1 asked Dr. Facui, an infectious disease expert, to weigh in on Trump's sales pitch for hydroxychloroquine.
Trump cut Diamond off, angrily, and said Fauci doesn't have to answer the question.
Fauci did not give his medical analysis.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) April 6, 2020
I know the media has been giving Trump a mostly unchallenged platform for 3 years, but networks don't have to carry these briefings live. https://t.co/BbHH1Q8E58
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) April 6, 2020