CNN's Berman, Peter Navarro in heated exchange over hydroxychloroquine: 'Don't you dare'

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro had a heated exchange with CNN anchor John Berman on Monday after Navarro argued that his training in statistical studies as an economist made him qualified to disagree with health experts on the use of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat the novel coronavirus.

"Doctors disagree about things all the time. My qualifications in terms of looking at the science is that I'm a social scientist," Navarro told "New Day" anchor Berman. "I have a Ph.D. And I understand how to read statistical studies, whether it's in medicine, the law, economics or whatever."

Toward the end of his interview, Berman said “we all want the same thing, which is people to get better.”


“I’m not sure we do sometimes,” Navarro replied.

“What are you talking about?” Berman asked, before later adding, "Don’t you dare for a second suggest that I don’t want people to get better. I got two friends in bed right now.”

“That’s not what I said. Don’t put those words in my mouth!” Navarro said. “When you say that when we come on here and we say we all want the same thing, there’s this political overtone, this battle between, you know, you’re trying to create this false dichotomy.”

“There’s no false dichotomy!” Berman said. “We want people to get better!”


The U.S. death toll is currently at more than 9,650, according to a New York Times tracker.

Navarro reportedly had a heated confrontation over the weekend with Anthony FauciAnthony FauciScience seeks truth, Trump denies it Fauci says US may want to mandate masks amid COVID-19 surges Trump, Biden final arguments at opposite ends on COVID-19 MORE, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during a meeting of the White House task force on coronavirus, according to a report by Axios.

Fauci has emphasized that no studies have proven that hydroxychloroquine is a solid treatment for coronavirus so far, and he has urged caution in its use and in discussing it. But President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE has repeatedly touted the drug, saying at a press conference on Sunday that while he is not a doctor, there is little risk to trying it.

Outside experts have said there are indeed risks to having the drug be used without more proper testing. While the drug could prove effective for some, it could cause side effects for others.

Fauci has said that he doesn't disagree with the president on "the fact anecdotally they might work" but his job is "to prove definitively from a scientific standpoint that they do work," per a recent interview with CBS News.

"I was taking a purely medical, scientific standpoint and the president was trying to bring hope to the people," Fauci said on "Face the Nation" in late March.

Updated at 10:16 a.m.