Rudolph W. Giuliani, who was in the center of the impeachment storm earlier this year as an unpaid private attorney for President Trump, has cast himself in a new role: as personal science adviser to a president eager to find ways to short circuit the coronavirus epidemic.
In one-on-one phone calls with Trump, Giuliani said, he has been touting the use of an anti-malarial drug cocktail that has shown some early promise in treating covid-19, but whose effectiveness has not yet been proved. He said he now spends his days on the phone with doctors, coronavirus patients and hospital executives promoting the treatment, which Trump has also publicly lauded.
“I discussed it with the president after he talked about it,” Giuliani said in an interview. “I told him what I had on the drugs.”
Giuliani’s advice to Trump echoes comments the former New York mayor has made on his popular Twitter feed and a podcast that he records in a makeshift radio studio installed at his New York City apartment, where he has repeatedly pushed the drug combination, as well as a stem cell therapy that involves the extraction of what Giuliani termed “placenta ‘killer cells.’ ”
The former New York mayor is part of a chorus of prominent pro-Trump voices who at first downplayed the severity of the virus and then embraced possible cures — worrying health experts who fear such comments undermine efforts to slow the virus’s spread and downplay the risks of the unproven treatments.
Giuliani’s controversial comments have helped him regain a bit of the prominence he had during impeachment — last week, he was back in the spotlight when Twitter briefly locked his account for promoting misinformation about covid-19.
“He’s been out of the news and out of the limelight since the end of the impeachment drama,” said Andrew Kirtzman, a Giuliani biographer who is currently writing his second book about the former New York mayor. “What you’re seeing is an effort to regain relevance.”