CNN Chyron Trashes Yale Doc During Tense Interview With Berman: ‘Yale Epidemiologist Insists, Against Evidence, Hydroxychloroquine Works’


CNN’s John Berman and Yale epidemiology professor Harvey Risch locked horns on Monday as they discussed the latter’s support for using hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus.

Risch joined Berman on Monday to defend an op-ed last month in which he called on fellow doctors to start using the anti-malarial drug as a countermeasure against Covid-19. Berman noted Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx, and Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir have all dismissed the argument that hydroxychloroquine has shown benefits against the pandemic.

As Risch defended the studies he used as the basis for his op-ed, Berman interjected to remark that “none of those are random placebo controlled trials, what Dr. Fauci refers to as the gold standard.”

“That’s not actually correct,” Risch retorted. “The problem with those randomized controlled trials is they were trials done on the wrong people. They were trials done on low-risk people with low risk of hospitalization and mortality…They were on very low-risk people who are not going to get hospitalized or die by and large. We don’t treat those people. We treat high-risk people.”

As Berman continued to challenge Risch over the assertions of his piece, the professor objected to how Berman characterized his remarks about randomized tests. The CNN host cut off Risch at multiple points to provide counterarguments from other epidemiologists, and as Berman accused Risch of shifting his arguments, Risch called randomized controlled trials a “red herring.”

BERMAN: “The benefit to these random placebo controlled trials, as you well know, is there’s a built-in bias or can be in any trial that’s not random. Why? Because the people administering the test know what the person is getting and they may treat that patient differently. In the Henry Ford study, for instance, the patients who received hydroxychloroquine were handpicked and tended to be healthier, they were also twice as likely to receive steroids which are proven to have a benefit. That’s why randomized placebo controlled trials are so useful and I know you know that.”

RISCH: “No, please don’t speak for me. Don’t speak for me.”

The interview went on with the two of them clashing over the tested benefits of hydroxychloroquine, and Risch accusing Berman of not allowing him to present the evidence for his claims.

While all of this was happening, CNN underlined the conversation with the chyron: “Yale Epidemiologist Insists, Against Evidence, Hydroxychloroquine Works.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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