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White House economic adviser Peter Navarro defended the use of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus during a CNN interview Monday, highlighting "the possibility" that it has therapeutic efficacy.

Why it matters: Navarro did not deny reporting from Axios' Jonathan Swan that he got into a heated exchange in the White House Situation Room over the weekend with infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci about the drug's prospects against the illness.

  • During that meeting, Fauci pushed back against Navarro's claims that the drug shows "clear therapeutic efficacy" against COVID-19.
  • Fauci said that there was only anecdotal evidence that hydroxychloroquine works against the coronavirus.
  • He and other medical experts have said much more data is needed to prove that the drug is effective.

Reality check: Researchers have said studies out of France and China are inadequate because they did not include control groups.

  • During both the Situation Room meeting and the CNN interview, Navarro offered those studies as proof of hydroxychloroquine's potential efficacy.

What he's saying: "The issue wasn't about me offering my medical opinion," Navarro told CNN's John Berman about the weekend Situation Room meeting.

  • "The question was whether we should take the 29 million doses in the FEMA storehouses and surge them into the zones, and it was unanimous in that task force meeting to do so. So, that's the only question I posed," he added.

Our thought bubble, via Swan: Navarro didn’t deny that the conflict happened, and the interview provided a little taste of what happened in the Situation Room. 

  • It highlighted exactly the kinds of arguments that my sources described him making this past weekend.

Go deeper: Pence announces U.S. trial of anti-malaria drug for coronavirus cases

Go deeper

23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

A new Washington

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Image

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

Mike Pence calls Kamala Harris to offer congratulations and help

Mike Pence. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty

Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance in the transition, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: The belated conversation came six days before the inauguration after a contentious post-election stretch. President Trump has neither spoken with President-elect Joe Biden, nor explicitly conceded the 2020 election.