Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Friday that there isn’t any “strong” evidence that an anti-malaria drug has proven effective in the coronavirus fight.
“We’ve got to be careful that we don’t make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug. We still need to do the kinds of studies that definitely prove whether any intervention is truly safe and effective,” Fauci, who is also a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said during an interview on “Fox & Friends.”
Fauci’s comments came in response to a question about a recent poll of more than 6,700 doctors in 30 countries, with 37 percent of physicians saying they “felt” that the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine was the most effective for treating COVID-19 as cases.
“We don’t operate on how you feel, we operate on what evidence and data is,” Fauci said, adding that it was “not a very robust study” or “overwhelmingly strong”.
“But when you don’t have that information, it’s understandable why people will want to take at any slightest hint that it’s effective, and I have no problem with that,” he added.
Hydroxychloroquine is primarily used to treat lupus and arthritis.
“Obviously this is a good drug for the many diseases you mentioned. What we don’t want to happen is individuals who truly need the drug with a proven indication don’t have it available,” Fauci said.
President Trump previously touted hydroxychloroquine, combined with azithromycin, as “game changer”.