Touting criticized study, White House presses FDA to authorize hydroxychloroquine - again - 2020-07-10
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is leading a Trump administration effort to demand the Food and Drug Administration reverse course and grant a second emergency authorization for the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Navarro, armed with a new study that he says shows the drug's effectiveness, is being cheered on by President Trump, who has long touted the drug as a "game changer" and even used it himself as a possible preventive measure. Trump praised the study on Twitter this week, urging the FDA to "Act Now." The campaign also has been promoted by Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president's lawyer, and Laura Ingraham's show on Fox News.
But Navarro, an economist known more for his aggressive approach to trade issues and China policy than for his medical credentials, faces serious challenges as he denounces what he calls "media-induced hydroxy hysteria." Scientists have widely criticized the new study, by Detroit's Henry Ford Health System, as flawed. In addition, just weeks ago the FDA revoked its emergency authorization for hydroxychloroquine after major studies found the medication wasn't effective for covid-19. And the unexpected revival of a politically fraught issue comes as FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn tries to shake off criticism he sometimes seems overly deferential to Trump.