President Donald Trump publicly disagreed with Dr.
Anthony Fauci over a widely available malaria drug that “may be” an effective COVID-19 treatment.
Reporters asked the government’s most senior immunologist if a malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine is effective against COVID-19, in which he got straight to the point.
“No,” Fauci answered.
“The information that you’re referring to specifically is anecdotal,” he added.
“It was not done in a controlled clinical trial, so you really can’t make any definitive statement about it.”
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are readily available around the world under a wide range of brand and generic names.
Some scientists report encouraging signs in test-tube and small studies, and is said to interfere with the coronavirus being able to enter cells.
Fauci explained on Friday that the Food and Drug Administration is looking at ways to make these drugs available for emergency use, but carefully elaborates government data about its safety and effectiveness.
However, when the reporters asked the same question to the President, he said he disagreed that there is no magic drug for COVID-19.
“Maybe and maybe not. Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t. We have to see,” he answered.
He added, “I think without seeing too much, I’m probably more of a fan of that. And we all understand what the doctor said is 100% correct.”
Before the briefing, Trump tweeted about a French study that suggests a common antibiotic called azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine may be effective against COVID-19.
“I feel, as the expression goes, what do we have to lose,” he said.
“Tony would like, he would like samples done in a certain way. I understand that, too. Many doctors agree with that. We don’t have much time. We have a lot of very sick people right now.”
Fauci made it clear that the hydroxychloroquine evidence was “anecdotal” and stressed that it is not how science works.
“If you really want to definitively know if something works, you’ve got to do the kind of trial where you get the good information.”