First, the title is false. Trump did not overrule any scientists. The article does not have one cite or one quote from a scientist who claims to have been overruled. In fact the CDC is supporting scientific studies that are testing whether the drug will work on Covid-19. The FDA has approved the use of the drug to treat Covid-19 while carefully noting it is not saying it has evidence the drug is effective for that use.

Trump’s logic is the same as that used by the FDA in explaining its emergency use authorization order allowing use of the drug for treating Covid-19. If someone is facing death and there is no known effective alternative treatment, it is not irrational for a person to try a drug that as Trump says “might work or might not”. For a person in that situation, Trump’s question “What do you have to lose?” is the right question to ask. Trump frequently mentions the Right to Try Act when discussing the use of hydroxycholoroquine. This bill which Trump signed into law allows a seriously ill person to try a drug unapproved for treatment of their affliction.

There is incredible implicit hypocrisy in Chait’s attack. If heaven forbid he or one of his loved ones had the virus and took a turn for the worse, does anyone doubt he would be demanding hydroxychloroquine treatment and all of us would understand and sympathize with his request.

Finally, this whole line is politically foolish. If the drug turns out to work on Covid-19, Chait and his friends will be proven wrong. Why put your political faction in such a position. As I explain in more detail here, that is an ill-considered gamble.

Mathematician, Statistician, Businessman, and Academic. Student of history, poli sci , and the Bible.

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