White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci says that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in treating Covid-19, based on all “valid” scientific data.
Dr. Fauci’s remarks contradict what President Donald Trump thinks of hydroxychloroquine.
“You look at the scientific data and the evidence. And the scientific data … on trials that are valid, that were randomized and controlled in the proper way, all of those trials show consistently that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of coronavirus disease or Covid-19,” said Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an interview on MSNBC.
The comments from Dr. Fauci about hydroxychloroquine came a day after Trump touted hydroxychloroquine as an effective drug against Covid-19.
Trump was asked by a reporter on a Tuesday about a video the he shared on Twitter which shows that hydroxychloroquine is “a cure for Covid” and “you don’t need a mask” to curb the spread of virus. The video was later tagged as one with misleading content and has since been taken down.
“I wasn’t making claims,” Trump said of his tweet. He added that he was only passing along suggestions from other people, including doctors.
“Many doctors think it is extremely successful, the hydroxychloroquine coupled with the zinc and perhaps the azithromycin,” he said. “Many doctors think it’s extremely good, and some people don’t.”
“I happen to believe in it. I would take it. As you know, I took it for a 14-day period. And as you know, I’m here. I happen to think it works in the early stages,” the president said.
Trump reiterated that hydroxychloroquine was safe, claiming he had “no problems” when he took it.
To date, the Food and Drug administration has not approved any drugs for Covid-19 yet. However, the agency granted emergency authorization to antiviral drug remdesivir to cure Covid-19, but it is not the equivalent of a formal approval. Last month, the FDA pulled hydroxychloroquine’s authorization for emergency use after discovering it was “unlikely” to be working against the coronavirus.
Hydroxychloroquine is known for treating malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. It is known to have serious side effects in some patients, such as muscle weakness and heart arrhythmia.
Moreover, the anti-malaria drug has been hyped earlier in the year after several small studies showed that it could be useful, especially when combined with antibiotic azithromycin.
Trump tagged it as a potential cure for Covid-19 and stressed that he used it as a preventive measure against the infection. However, many bigger, randomized, placebo-controlled trials suggested that the drug was not beneficial and led to heart issues in some patients.
Fauci urged the public to “follow the science,” saying, “if a study that’s good comes out and shows efficacy and safety for hydroxychloroquine or any other drug that we do … you accept the scientific data.”
“Right now, today, the cumulative scientific data that has been put together and done over a number of different studies have shown no efficacy,” he noted.