Attorney General William P. Barr Wednesday accused the media of attacking hydroxycholoroquine solely because President Trump has suggested it could treat the coronavirus.
“Before the president said anything about it, there was fair and balanced coverage of this very promising drug and the fact that it had such a long track record, and soon as [President Trump] said something positive about it the media has been on a jihad to discredit this drug,” Mr. Barr said in an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingharam. “It’s quite strange.”
Mr. Trump has been urging federal health officials to make hydroxycholorquine more widely available as the coronavirus spreads, but others insist there is little evidence the drug will be effective.
The president last month went so far as saying he “may take” the drug, which is approved to treat malaria.
But Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert said there was not any “definitive information” that it could successfully treat the coronavirus.
Since that exchange, the multiple media stories have slammed the drug, raising questions about its efficacy and safety.
Mr. Barr said those criticisms are part of partisan attacks on the president amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think the president went out at the beginning of this thing and was statesman-like — trying to bring people together, trying to work with all the governors, keeping his patience as he got these snarky gotcha questions from the White House media pool — and the stridency of the partisan attacks on him has gotten higher and higher and it’s disappointing to see,” he said.
“The stridency of the partisan attacks and the politicization of hydroxychloroquine has been amazing to me,” he said.