May 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Report: GOP recruiting pro-Trump doctors to promote America reopening


Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Republicans are recruiting "pro-Trump" doctors to promote America's speedy reopening in media appearances, according to an audio recording obtained by AP.

Why it matters: President Trump has repeatedly used doctors to legitimize his credentials and policies. The president's physician Sean Conley on Monday released a letter backing Trump's decision to begin taking hydroxychloroquine, but he did not explicitly say whether he actually prescribed Trump the drug.

  • Trump has been pushing for the U.S. to reopen after months of social distancing in response to the coronavirus pandemic, going against the advice of some medical professionals, including director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci.

The state of play: The recruitment plan was discussed on a May 11 conference call with a senior Trump re-election campaign staff member and organized by CNP Action, an affiliate of the conservative Council for National Policy.

  • Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh, who confirmed the plan to AP, said, "Anybody who joins one of our coalitions is vetted."
  • "And so quite obviously, all of our coalitions espouse policies and say things that are, of course, exactly simpatico with what the president believes. ... The president has been outspoken about the fact that he wants to get the country back open as soon as possible," Murtaugh said.
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