Hydroxychloroquine not effective; time to ‘move on:’ White House coronavirus testing chief Giroir

The White House coronavirus task force member charged with coordinating the U.S. testing effort said Sunday that the nation needs to “move on” from the debate over hydroxychloroquine, a drug President Donald Trump has promoted as a COVID-19 treatment even though there is no clear evidence it is effective.

Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of health and human services, said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that “from a public health standpoint, at first, hydroxychloroquine looked very promising” but at “this point in time, there’s been five randomized control, placebo-controlled trials that do not show any benefit to hydroxychloroquine.”

“So, at this point in time, we don’t recommend that as a treatment. There’s no evidence to show that it is,” Giroir said.

Giroir said Sunday that “we need to move on from” the debate about hydroxychloroquine “and talk about what is effective.” He said the use of the drug remdesivir and steroids have reduced mortality by 30% and reminded people of the effectiveness of preventive measures such as masks and hand-washing. He also said there was promising evidence that blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients was effective and that a vaccine is “really on the horizon.”

“We know that if you get COVID now, your chances of dying are incredibly less than they were in April because our health care providers know how to treat it better,” Giroir said. But “hydroxychloroquine, I can’t recommend that.”

“I think most physicians and prescribers are evidence-based and they’re not influenced by whatever is on Twitter or anything else,” Giroir said. “And the evidence just doesn’t show that hydroxychloroquine is effective right now.”

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