Inside Trump’s embrace of a risky drug against coronavirus

The action came after Trump met with Ingraham, who has been enthusiastically promoting hydroxychloroquine on her 10 p.m. show. She brought along two guests of her program — Ramin Oskoui, a Washington-based cardiologist, and Stephen Smith, a New Jersey-based infectious disease specialist — and Trump asked that FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn attend as well.

Smith made a detailed presentation to Trump about his view on treatment, putting an emphasis on the benefits of hydroxychloroquine based on his own experiences and studies, according to two White House officials and a person familiar with the meeting, who, like some other officials interviewed for this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer a candid assessment…

Smith, who has known Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for decades and has treated more than 100 covid-19 patients, said in an interview Monday that he walked Trump through a spreadsheet and other documents about how hydroxychloroquine works and its uses during hospitalization.

“I’m a guy who looks at data,” Smith said. “I came as a scientist and physician. I trained under Dr. Fauci and respect him a lot.” He described Hahn as “supportive.”