White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is defending the president for his decision to take the allegedly controversial drug Hydroxychloroquine in order to prevent COVID-19. She points out it's a drug that's been used safely for many other conditions and says the media is "fear-mongering" with their portrayals when it's regularly and safely prescribed by doctors.
David Brody: "Hydroxychloroquine. What do you know, I said it correctly. Hydroxychloroquine. I know the media is dinging him up on this. You talked a little bit about it earlier on Fox and Friends and some other places. But just so I understand, how comfortable is the President with doing this, and did the doctor specifically prescribe it for him? Just trying to understand correctly."
Kayleigh McEnany: "Yes, the doctor did prescribe it for him. And he took it after having several discussions with Dr. Conley about its efficacy. And he believed, Dr. Conley, that the benefits outweigh the risks for the President. And, you know, hydroxychloroquine it's worth mentioning is a, a drug that has been approved for at least three other conditions. Malaria is one of them as a prophylaxis. I had someone in my office say, oh, I've taken this drug several times ahead of me going to trips in places where there were Malaria-heavy areas. Lupus is another example. So this is a drug that is out there that has been shown to be safe with these conditions. And, you know, there was issued an emergency use authorization to use this as, essentially like a right-to-try, so if you're someone who has this, who's looking for a therapeutic, who has COVID and is looking for a therapeutic, Hydroxychloroquine is something some doctors professed optimism about. We know it's approved for other uses. So you know, you do have a right to try it, in essence, to reflect on the language of the President's previous legislation that gives people the right to try and the waning days of their life or when they're facing a fatal illness."
David: "Do you think the media is blowing it out of proportion? You've got Neil Cavuto and Joe Scarborough and China, quite frankly, calling it witchcraft. 'The President is doing witchcraft from the oval office.'"
Kayleigh McEnany: "It's so unfortunate when you turn on the headlines or turn on the TV in the morning, as I did this morning, watching a certain network and to hear just complete misinformation about Hydroxychloroquine, suggesting that it could be fatal for someone should they take it. And when in fact, there are millions of Americans who take it for Arthritis, for example. Yes, it should always be something that's prescribed in the context of a doctor-patient. No one should be taking this drug if not prescribed by a doctor, it's very important to say that. Only your doctor can say that this is for you and prescribe it to you. But nevertheless, to completely act as if this is some sort of poison when there are many, many Americans and many people around the world taking this for Lupus and other illnesses, it just does more harm than good. That kind of fear-mongering, that kind of misinformation. So it's frustrating to turn it on and to see that because it ultimately is very damaging."
David Brody: "The criticism would be that the FDA, the government, if you will, federal government only recommends that it be taken in a hospital setting. So what's the reaction, the pushback about that criticism?"
Kayleigh McEnany: "So I talked to Dr. Hahn about that this morning from the FDA. Dr. Hahn said first, this is a drug that has a long safety profile. It should always be prescribed from a doctor to a patient, but it has been shown to be safe and I explicitly asked him, what about outside of hospitals? And he said, Yes, it's okay. If a doctor prescribes to you at your ordinary point of care, that is an acceptable way to go about this. I think what is being mistaken is the fact that there was a safety notification put out, based on a study that was not a clinical study. It was not a VA study either, but it was based on fatalities in the VA. And basically, it didn't take into account co-morbidities. But it did ask questions about Hydroxychloroquine. And they did put out a safety notice, as the FDA regularly does about studies, but nevertheless, it's still out there. It's still something that FDA stands behind as saying, if you are in a situation where you're prescribed by your doctor is something that you can use and have access to. So, you know, there's a lot of nuances, but those nuances are all too often left out of the coverage."