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Pharmaceutical CEO: $750 is a ‘more appropriate’ price for $13 AIDS medicine

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In a defiant CNBC interview on Monday, Turning Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli defended his decision to raise the price of the AIDS drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750.

Shkreli asserted that the price hike was needed to fund the development of a better HIV drug, even though experts had told CNBC reporter Meg Tirrell that a new drug was unnecessary.

“What a lot of companies do is raise venture capital funding when they see an important market for a drug rather than raising the price on the current patients who need it to survive and who have no other choice but to take it and pay the higher price,” Tirrell pointed out. “Why wouldn’t you go that route?”

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Shkreli said that the company had raised $90 million, but “we also feel that this is the more appropriate price for Daraprim.”

“At this price, Daraprim is still on the low end of what drugs costs,” he explained. “And we’re certainly not the first company to raise drug prices.”

“Turing is a very small company, it’s a new company and we’re not a profitable company,” the CEO added. “So for us to try to exist and maintain a profit, I think is pretty reasonable.”

CNBC host Brian Sullivan reminded Shkreli that Daraprim had initially been a $1 drug.

“When you bought this company did you buy it because you knew you could raise the price?” Sullivan asked.

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“We definitely planned on raising the price, that’s for sure,” Shkreli admitted. “We’ve took it to a price where we can make a comfortable profit, but not any kind of ridiculous profit.”

Tirrell concluded by asking if Shkreli would consider lowering the price because “doctors and patient groups are saying they can’t access this drug.”

Shkreli responded with one word: “No.”

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Watch the video below from CNBC’s Power Lunch, broadcast Sept. 21, 2015.

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Trump impersonator hilariously previews the president’s Mount Rushmore speech

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On Friday, musician and Trump impersonator J-L Cauvin posted a video satirically previewing the president's Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore.

"The Democrats want you to wear masks, but we don't need masks," said Cauvin, impersonating Trump's New York accent. "Everybody's feeling great — stop coughing! Everybody's feeling great. So healthy. Such great health."

"Democrats want to kill you and silence you," he continued.

He then delivered a parody rant against removing statues, which sources report Trump will make a central point of his speech. "Thomas Jefferson, that's another one they hate. Everyone makes mistakes, but he had African-American girlfriends!"

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WATCH: Trump advisor trashes Dr. Fauci — while pushing coronavirus conspiracy theories

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White House economic advisor Peter Navarro pushed several conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic as the administration attempts to deflect blame for America responding to coronavirus worse than any other developed country.

At one point in the interview, MSNBC's Ali Velshi had to ask, "What are you talking about?"

Navarro harshly criticized Dr. Tony Fauci, who is one of his colleagues in the administration.

And he tried to blame the "Chinese Communist Party" for the disease, saying "they spawned the virus, they hid virus, they sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationalists over here to seed and spread the virus before we knew."

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‘Gaslighting on a massive scale’: Doctor warns Trump is lying us into a COVID disaster

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On CNN Friday, Dr. Celine Grounder tore into President Donald Trump's ongoing falsehoods about the coronavirus pandemic.

"No matter how many times public health officials, especially like Anthony Fauci, speak the truth, what does it do, Doctor, when the president continues to lie to the public in face of a public health crisis?" asked anchor Kate Bolduan.

"This is gaslighting on an enormous scale, and means until people eventually get sick or their family members get sick, the communities hit hard, they won't believe it, and then it will be too late," said Grounder. "The problem is there's a lag period from the time that somebody's infected and starts to develop symptoms a couple days later. We don't see people get severely sick and need to be hospitalized and in ICUs until a week into disease, and talking about probably one to two weeks of lag time from the time somebody's exposed at least before you start to see hospitalizations and then another couple weeks before you start to see deaths."

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