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Trump’s health officials privately grumbling about his obsession with unproven anti-malaria drug for COVID-19: report

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On Monday, Politico reported that some health officials in the Trump administration are privately “unsettled” by the president’s ongoing fascination with hydroxychloroquine, the drug primarily used to treat malaria, lupus, and arthritis that is now being suggested as a treatment for the novel coronavirus.

The president has repeatedly touted hydroxychloroquine as a possible miracle cure, and has even suggested he might start taking it himself, even though his tests for COVID-19 have been reported as negative and even though there’s a lack of data that it is safe or effective for that purpose.

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“Trump has become an avid promoter of the drug from the White House podium,” wrote Dan Diamond and Nancy Cook. “‘What really do we have to lose?’ he told reporters over the weekend. ‘It is a very strong, powerful medicine. It does not kill people. We have some very good results and some very good tests,’ he added, glossing over concerns from some of his own officials, who fear that the evidence of the drug’s efficacy is anecdotal at best.”

The report continued: “The nation’s top infectious-disease expert, Anthony Fauci, has repeatedly warned in public and private that no definitive evidence exists about the drug. Behind the scenes, career health officials have raised even stronger warnings about the risk to some Americans’ heart health and other complications, but been warned not to publicly speak out and potentially contradict Trump, said two officials.”

This uncertainty reflects the larger uncertainty that many experts nationwide have about the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine as an antiviral drug. “I would not prescribe it. You could lose your life. It’s unproven,” said American Medical Association president Patrice Harris on CNN last Sunday.

Other doctors are worried that people who need the drug for its proven uses, like lupus, will lose access to the drug and suffer as it is repurposed for testing in COVID-19 patients. Already, there are reports of patients being denied their prescriptions for this medication.

You can read more here.

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Trump’s staff keeps undercutting his comments about his payroll tax plot: report

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President Donald Trump has claimed that everything will be fine with the removal of the payroll tax, which funds the Social Security trust fund, because he will just throw money in from the general fund. But according to Trump staff, he's confused.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that businesses aren't sure what to do because it would cause more difficulty on their side. The idea, however, isn't a law and it likely won't be enforced until Congress passes such a law, which isn't likely to happen since both sides oppose it.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dares Trump to compare grades — and says the ‘loser has to fund the Post Office’

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During an interview with Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo on Thursday, President Donald Trump took aim at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), saying that she was a "poor student" at "I won't say where she went to school, it doesn't matter."

"This is not even a smart person," Trump added.

Ocasio-Cortez graduated cum laude from Boston University with a degree in political science and economics.

The attack had parallels to when Trump claimed in 2011, baselessly, that he had heard President Barack Obama had been a "terrible student" — even though Obama had run the Harvard Law Review.

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Trump adviser Larry Kudlow: ‘We don’t want to have’ voting rights protections get through Congress

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On CNBC News Thursday, President Donald Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that the administration does not want protection of voting rights to pass as part of the coronavirus stimulus package.

"So much of the Democratic asks are really liberal left wishlists we don't want to have," said Kudlow. "Voting rights, and aid to aliens, and so forth. That's not our game."

Talks between Congress and the White House are currently at an impasse. The administration is refusing to support outlays greater than $1 trillion, and the president has explicitly demanded there be no funding for the Postal Service, to keep voting by mail as difficult as possible.

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