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WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump and members of his administration are growing emphatic in promoting an anti-malaria drug not yet officially approved for fighting COVID-19, even though scientists say more testing is needed before it’s proven safe and effective against the virus

Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro promoted the drug, hydroxychloroquine, in television interviews Monday, a day after Trump publicly put his faith in the drug to lessen the toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

“What do I know, I’m not a doctor,” Trump told reporters Sunday. “But I have common sense.”

2:14Coronavirus: Clinical trial of anti-malaria drug underway in B.C.

Coronavirus: Clinical trial of anti-malaria drug underway in B.C.

The administration’s public backing of the drug comes after a heated Situation Room meeting of the White House’s coronavirus task force on Saturday, in which Navarro challenged the top U.S. infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, over his concerns about recommending the drug based only on unscientific anecdotal evidence.

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