Fox News health editor slams Trump for taking hydroxychloroquine: ‘Highly irresponsible’

Fox News Channel’s senior managing editor for health news, Dr. Manny Alvarez, said late Monday that President Trump is acting “highly irresponsible” for taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure against contracting the coronavirus, adding that he would like “to hear from the White House physician” on the matter.

“I found it to be highly irresponsible for the president to have come out and make that statement,” Alvarez told “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier. “And I would like to hear from the White House physician, to come out tomorrow and explain to me what has changed in a week and a half or two weeks for the president to take this medication when all the data that has been coming out, you know, very repetitively has shown that there’s really not a major benefit in most hospitals, including mine.”

The criticism from Alvarez, who practices at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, came after the president revealed earlier Monday that he has been taking the antimalarial drug on a daily basis after consulting with White House physician Sean Conley. Conley said in a Monday night statement that the “potential benefit outweighed the relative risks” in prescribing the drug for the president.

“After numerous discussions, he and I regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks,” Conley wrote. “In consolation with our inter-agency partners and subject matter experts around the country, I continue to monitor the myriad studies investigating potential Covid-19 therapies, and I anticipate employing the same shared medical decision making based on the evidence at hand in the future.”

Alvarez said on Fox News that his heart sank when Trump made the comments after a day of good news regarding a potential vaccine for COVID-19 from American biotech company Moderna.

“The number of COVID cases around the country are dipping dramatically and we’re now getting into a new vaccine modality, which I think is great,” Alvarez told Baier. “So all the good news, as far as I’m concerned today, that really boosted the stock market, really plummeted in my heart at … 4:30 this afternoon when he gave … that statement, I just found it to be quite irresponsible.”

“These medications do have side effects. If you’re going to use it, you have to have a physical, perhaps an [electrocardiogram],” he added.

Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto also slammed the president for taking the drug.

“The fact of the matter is though, when the president said ‘What have you got to lose?’, in a number of studies, those certain vulnerable population has one thing to lose: their lives,” Cavuto said on “Your World.”

“If you are in a risky population here, and you are taking this as a preventative treatment to ward off the virus, or in a worse-case scenario you are dealing with the virus and you are in this vulnerable population, it will kill you,” he added.

Trump reacted to the criticism on Twitter, declaring that “Fox News is no longer the same” due to what he sees as “more anti-Trump people” at the network.


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