On Monday afternoon, when asked about whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright during a meeting in the White House with restaurateurs, President Donald Trump suddenly claimed that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine for about 10 days.
Media Matters has extensively documented how Fox News has pushed the antimalarial drug for use to treat COVID-19, even as mounting evidence shows it to be completely ineffectual and in fact dangerous for many. In early April, Trump invited Fox News host Laura Ingraham to the White House to advise him on the matter.
While many personalities on Fox, such as Dr. Mehmet Oz, backed away from hydroxychloroquine in mid- to late April, Ingraham has continued to tout the drug in recent weeks. As part of her misleading overall coverage of the coronavirus, Ingraham has discussed hydroxychloroquine in at least 51 segments on her show from March 23 to May 6, according to Media Matters’ internal database. Since May 6, Ingraham has discussed it in four additional segments. (Right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group also pushed a national segment about hydroxychloroquine this past Sunday.)
Here’s how Ingraham has talked about hydroxychloroquine in May 2020:
May 4: Ingraham said that “there is more than ample evidence that hydroxychloroquine saves lives. … Sometimes we have to take yes for an answer.”
May 4: Ingraham interviewed nursing home medical director Dr. Robin Armstrong about hydroxychloroquine; the two downplayed risks of cardiac events.
May 5: Ingraham asked Dr. Scott Jensen and Dr. Ramin Oskoui about alleged hydroxychloroquine side effects.
May 6: Ingraham called for Trump to “pull back” a Food and Drug Administration warning about hydroxychloroquine.
May 12: Ingraham asked Dr. Stephen Smith of the Smith Center for Infectious Disease to comment on a group of nurses in Boston who could not get hydroxychloroquine.
May 14: Ingraham attacked Department of Health and Human Services whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright for casting doubt on hydroxychloroquine; when joined by HHS spokesperson Michael Caputo, Ingraham continued attacking Bright for pulling his support for the drug as he learned about its ineffectiveness.
May 14: Ingraham spoke with Dr. Ivette Lozano of Texas about why she was having issues prescribing hydroxychloroquine for her patients.
May 18: Ingraham talked to Lozano and Oskoui about Trump’s declaration that he’s taking hydroxychloroquine; Ingraham said hydroxychloroquine is “very safe” and “perhaps” could benefit people.