Peter Navarro is White House trade adviser. He now serves as the national Defense Production Act policy coordinator to secure Covid19 supplies.
Navarro challenged 60 minutes on pandemic efforts under the Bush and Obama administrations. 60 Minutes accepted the challenge and made Navarro look foolish with 2005 and 2009 footage including Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Out of His League
Peter Navarro, a 70-year-old economist who’s spent years darkly warning of the dangers of Chinese economic hegemony, recently leapt headfirst from his previous portfolio of tackling trade issues into the White House’s at times chaotic and overdue efforts to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
Late last month, President Trump tapped Navarro to coordinate use of the Korean War-era Defense Production Act to assist, prod, and even compel US industries to make masks, respirators, gowns and other protective equipment that hospitals say they desperately need to treat coronavirus patients. But Navarro has attracted more attention for loudly siding with Trump in a behind-the-scenes battle with the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, over an experimental and still unproven treatment for coronavirus called hydroxychloroquine.
“My qualifications in terms of looking at the science is that I’m a social scientist,” Navarro said in a boisterous CNN interview, when asked last week why Americans should take his advice on the effects of the anti-malaria drug over Fauci’s. “I have a PhD and I understand how to read statistical studies.”
Fauci has urged caution on hydroxychloroquine, while Trump and Navarro have taken a more optimistic note on the trials that are underway. (One such trial was recently halted altogether after patients taking a higher dose of the drug started displaying irregular heart rates.) Navarro’s critics blasted his defense of the treatment as unscientific and potentially dangerous, and suggested he embodied an overall disregard for science emanating from Trump and some of his top aides. On Sunday, Trump shared a Tweet critical of the doctor with the hashtag FireFauci, further escalating tensions inside the administration.
“A head of supply chain from Walmart or Proctor and Gamble or wherever, they’d do 100 times better than Navarro,” said Yossi Sheffi, an MIT professor who specializes in global supply chains. “You need to understand how an international supply chain works. You need personal connections in ports.”
Birds of a Feather
Senator Mazie Hirono tweeted that she understood why Trump liked Navarro so much. “Both spread dangerous misinformation not based on fact and science during a pandemic. Birds of a feather flock together,” said Hirono
Navarro is still around only because he shares Trump's views on ridiculous trade wars all of which have backfired.
And not only is Navarro still around Trump elevated a self proclaimed "social-scientist” to head up a global supply chain procurement effort.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock