A top White House Official tells CBN News that President Trump is the "Right-to-Try President" when it comes to finding medicines to help fight off COVID-19. Alyssa Farah, the White House Director of Strategic Communications spoke with CBN's David Brody Thursday at The White House about the use of hydroxychloroquine, which has been at the center of much coronavirus controversy.
"I would start by saying the president is the 'Right-to-Try President'," Farah tells CBN News. "He passed historic legislation that helps terminally ill patients try medications that are still in the trial phase, anything to try to save their lives. So that's the mindset he approaches this virus with as well. We've always said while talking about hydroxychloroquine, you should only take it in consultation with your medical professional, so with a doctor."
In the wide-ranging interview, Farah also discussed the possibility of mail-in ballot fraud in 2020, plus the president's plan to protect those in the suburbs from anarchists and violence. Below are some other highlights from the interview. You can see more tonight on CBN's nightly Faith Nation show at 6pm ET.
On COVID-19 and Hydroxychloroquine
David Brody: "If you hear the media talk about COVID-19, they like to say that this President has, 'blood on his hands.' What is the reaction when this administration hears that type of talk from the media?"
Alyssa Farah: "Well, first off, it's a tragedy that our nation is united in that we've lost 150,000 Americans. This weighs heavier on no one's heart than the President's. I'm in with him in meetings daily, when he's getting updates. He's getting data reports. He's deploying PPE, he's sending support to states. He doesn't let the noise bother him. It's hard for those who care about him and those around him. He's focused on leading though, and what our government has been able to do to respond to this unprecedented crisis is truly amazing. One thing I would tell your viewers that I think is important to know is just how far we've come since March and April at the height of this virus. Yes, cases are still rising but we have therapeutics, we have PPE, we have hospital capacity. We've actually got some exciting announcements coming on further therapeutics soon, and we're racing toward a vaccine. And that is all thank you to President Trump's leadership."
David Brody: "So you think that media narrative is pretty much bogus?"
Alyssa Farah: "It is. Listen the media plays an important role in public health and in getting information to the American people. What's not helpful is when they're weighing in and not giving all the facts, not properly contextualizing it, and really politicizing what is a tragedy. We all really need to be united and together."
David Brody: "Hydroxychloroquine There are a lot of folks who say the President was right all along. What's the feeling inside the White House about hydroxychloroquine?"
Alyssa Farah: "Well, I would start by saying the president is the "Right-to-Try President." He passed historic legislation that helps terminally ill patients try medications that are still in the trial phase, anything to try to save their lives. So that's the mindset he approaches this virus with as well. We've always said while talking about hydroxychloroquine, you should only take it in consultation with your medical professional so with a doctor. "
On 2020 and Election Fraud
David Brody: "There was a tweet from the president this morning on Thursday morning, where he talked about, and he put a lot of question marks after, but should the election be delayed? We've already heard Senator Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz come out and say no, we're not going to delay the election. What was the thinking behind that tweet?"
Alyssa Farah: "Yes. So the President was raising awareness about the issues with mass mail-in voting. So he's been raising alarms about this for a while. When you have states send out mass ballots to voters to turn in at any time, so they're ripe for fraud. So an example we would point to is a New York congressional district had their election weeks ago. But the results have yet to be called three weeks later, because of mass mail-in voting, some fraud-related too, and not just not being able to account for the ballots. So the point he's making is, if we go to this model, and we do this across the board, how can we even be sure that the election results are going to come on Election Day?"
On the Recent Economic Numbers
David Brody: "The economy. Some tough numbers today (Thursday) in that second quarter. What does that portend for the future potentially because last time I checked, the third quarter comes after the second quarter. And oh, by the way, that could be right around October."
Alyssa Farah: "Yes. So we were anticipating poor numbers for Q2, just to be honest. If you think about it, in April and May the economy was artificially shut down to deal with coronavirus. So millions of businesses weren't operating. Money wasn't being circulating in the economy. We started some phases of reopening in June. So actually our projections showed it would be worse than 32% that it ended up being, but we do think GDP growth is a bit of a lagging indicator. We expect that Q3 is going to be significantly better."
On Law and Order
David Brody: "He says he is the president of law and order. And of course, what we've seen in Portland, for 63 straight nights been hard to watch. What's the view of this White House when you see Democrats like Jerry Nadler and others at the (Attorney General) Barr hearing the other day and others who were saying they're calling these folks protesters, sometimes peaceful protesters, and we're seeing that the images are the exact opposite?"
Alyssa Farah: "Oh, it's the exact opposite. And we've been getting footage. The Department of Homeland Security has been doing an incredible job trying to maintain the peace in the streets of Portland. And frankly, the governor and local police enforcement have not stepped up to the job. And what you see is organized agitators, you see anarchists trying to burn down a federal courthouse. Men and women across this country aren't going to stand for that. We've heard tremendous feedback on this issue. It's one that just really resonates with the American people because if we're not going to defend our federal buildings, what's next? Is it my neighborhood next?"