According to a report from the Daily Beast, health officials working in conjunction with the White House task force dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic are furious with Donald Trump for suggesting that they seek input from Dr. Mehmet Oz, who has been making frequent appearances on Fox News.
The report states that Oz has already been speaking with some White House officials, including Trump’s administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma, and that has some officials worried they will be forced to spend precious time having to deal with the celebrity doctor when they could be working on stemming the coronavirus tide that is killing Americans.
“In the past couple of weeks, Trump began hearing more and more about and watching Oz, now a Fox News regular, discuss hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that Trump aggressively touted as a coronavirus treatment, much to the dismay of various medical experts and scientists. Over these two weeks, the president had specifically made a point of telling aides that he was interested in what Oz had to say and that he wished to speak to the much-maligned television personality,” the Beast reports while noting it is unclear if Trump himself has spoken with the doctor.
Reporting that the president told officials it would be “a good idea” if they spoke with the controversial television doctor, one administration official working with task force expressed disgust.
“It is very annoying to some of us that Dr. Oz is trying to poke his head in and get more involved in this,” said the official on condition of anonymity. “This shouldn’t be a celebrity showcase…Are we going to deputize Dr. Drew and Dr. Spaceman next?”
Oz has been one of the big proponents of the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus. The drug was shot down by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases during a recent appearance on “Fox & Friends telling the hosts, “… although there is some suggestion with [a recent hydroxychloroquine] study that was just mentioned by Dr. Oz… I think we’ve got to be careful that we don’t make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug.”
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