Trump on promoting doctor who defended hydroxychloroquine: ‘All I want to do is save lives’

President Trump on Wednesday defended his retweet of a video containing false claims about the coronavirus pandemic, saying that he was “very impressed” with one of the doctors in the video due to her statements about hydroxychloroquine.

Speaking with reporters outside the White House, the president claimed that he was not evaluating the scientific claims made in the video, including that hydroxychloroquine could cure COVID-19, while continuing to heap praise on Stella Immanuel, a controversial Houston-area doctor featured in the video.

“I was very impressed with her and other doctors who stood with her,” Trump said. “I think she made sense, but I know nothing about it.”

“With hydroxy, all I want to do is save lives,” the president added. “All I want to do is save lives.”

Several studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective at treating COVID-19 and can in some cases cause adverse effects in patients.

The video, which has since been removed from Facebook and Twitter due to the sites’ policies against misinformation about COVID-19, also suggested that Americans do not need to wear masks to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Health experts have urged the use of facial coverings in recent weeks as the U.S.’s trend of new coronavirus infections has surged past every other country on Earth.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, responded to the video Wednesday, telling MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell it is “a bunch of people spouting something that isn’t true… The only recourse you have is to be very, very clear in presenting the scientific data that essentially contradicts that.”

“The scientific data, the cumulative data on trials, clinical trials that were valid — namely, clinical trials that were randomized and controlled in the proper way — all of those trials show consistently that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of coronavirus disease or COVID-19,” he added.

An investigation from the Daily Beast published Tuesday found that Immanuel has made a wide variety of false or otherwise unfounded claims, including that the government is working on a secret vaccine with the intent of preventing people from being religious. She has also stated that the federal government is run by reptilian aliens, not humans.

In the days since the video featuring her was removed from Facebook and Twitter, she has warned that the companies could face divine justice for their actions.

Updated at 3:49 pm. 

Tags Anthony Fauci Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Facebook Hydroxychloroquine Stella Immanuel Twitter

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