Doctor responds to Trump claims during briefing broadcast

Broadcaster cuts into Trump briefing so doctor can refute president’s ‘mystifying’ claims

‘There’s no evidence I’ve seen in the literature suggesting zinc in addition to hydroxychloroquine would be helpful’

James Crump@thejamescrump
Thursday 09 April 2020 20:55
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MSNBC cut into President Donald Trump’s live briefing on Wednesday evening, so a doctor could comment on some of his claims about coronavirus treatments.

Mr Trump was speaking at a Coronavirus Task Force briefing, which was being aired live on Meet the Press, when the host, Chuck Todd, cut to doctor Vin Gupta to explain some of the president’s comments.

During the press conference, Mr Trump claimed that zinc when paired with other drugs might be an effective treatment for treating Covid-19.

“You should add zinc,” he said, before adding: “I want to throw that out there because that’s where they seem to be having the best result.

“So you add the zinc and the azithromycin, and it’s been - we’ve had a lot of good stories.”

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Dr Gupta, who is a Public health lung and ICU doctor, in addition to being a medical contributor for MSNBC, called Mr Trump’s remarks “mystifying.”

He added that “there’s no evidence I’ve seen in the literature suggesting zinc in addition to hydroxychloroquine would be helpful.

“I think this is another one of those unknowns that should temper his enthusiasm.”

The intervention came the same day that former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough, the host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, criticised networks including his own for not fact-checking the president.

“The president lies so much in these press conferences, I still for the life of me don’t understand why the networks, including our own, allow Donald Trump to lie for two hours to the American people,” he said.

“If he were giving good information, that would be one thing, but it is a lie. So if this network or CNN or Fox is going to run him lying for two hours a night, they need a real-time fact checker,” the host added.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, upwards of 363,851 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 15,774.

The Independent has reached out to the White House for comment.

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