Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

A Bioethicist’s Response to Trump Claiming to Take Hydroxychloroquine

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Image credit: Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Arthur Caplan is a bioethicist with NYU’s School of Medicine who says federal scientists should resign to protest the administration’s dismissiveness and denialism.

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The Trump administration has long had a strained relationship with science.

Science denial “puts us all at risk.” — Arthur Caplan, New York University

The ongoing public health crisis has exacerbated that strain, with President Donald Trump at odds with many of his scientific advisors.

Trump is now publicly disparaging the former head of the federal Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Rick Bright, who has been critical of the administration’s COVID-19 response. 

Listen: The Consequences of President Trump’s Disregard for Science


Arthur Caplan, Professor of Bioethics and founding head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU School of Medicine in New York City, has called for federal scientists to resign in protest of President Trump’s dismissive treatment. He says Trump’s most recent announcement that he is taking hydroxychloroquine preventatively for COVID-19 is particularly dangerous.

There is no data at all that that anti-malaria drug prevents getting infected with the virus.”

There is no data at all that that anti-malaria drug prevents getting infected with the virus,” says Caplan. He adds that this drug has side-effects that could be risky, especially given Trump’s age. 

Caplan says that the administration’s dismissal of medical experts during the COVID-19 pandemic has put lives in danger.

We are moving forward blindly when we don’t have accurate numbers about infection rates. No one can explain why we didn’t have accurate testing or protection gear. It puts us all at risk,” says Caplan.  

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