Dr. Fauci Cautions About Malaria Drug at Coronavirus Briefing While Trump Enthuses ‘I’m More of a Fan’


President Donald Trump disputed infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci during a coronavirus briefing, telling reporters he’s “more of a fan” of an untested treatment after Fauci urged caution about the drug.

At a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing Friday, Fox News reporter John Roberts asked Fauci about the anti-malaria drug chloroquine, which is being tested as a treatment for COVID-19 but has not been approved for that use, despite Trump’s claim to the contrary yesterday.

“It was explained yesterday there has been some promise with hydroxychloroquine, this potential therapy for people who are infected with coronavirus,” Roberts said, then asked “Is there any any evidence to suggest that as with malaria it might be used as a prophylaxis against COVID-19?”

“The answer is no, and the evidence that you’re talking about, John, is anecdotal evidence,” Dr. Fauci replied, adding “So as the commissioner of FDA and the president mentioned yesterday, we’re trying to strike a balance between making something with a potential of an effect to the American people, available, at the same time that we do it under the auspices of a protocol that would give us information to determine if it’s truly safe and truly effective.”

“I think I’m coming, without seeing too much, I’m probably more of a fan of that than,” Trump began, then hesitated and said “maybe than anybody. But I’m a big fan and we’ll see what happens.”

Trump went on to say “And we all understand what the doctor said is 100% correct, it’s early. But we’ve, I’ve seen things that are impressive, and we’ll see, we’re going to know soon. Including safety but you know, when you get to safety this has been prescribed for many years for people to combat malaria which was a big problem and it’s very effective, it’s a strong drug. So we’ll see.”

“It was also apparently effective against SARS,” Roberts said, and Trump agreed at first before turning to the infectious disease expert to ask “Is that a correct statement? It was fairly effective on SARS.”

“John you’ve got to be careful when you say fairly effective, it was never done in the clinical trial, they compared it to anything,” Fauci said, adding “It was given to individuals who felt that maybe it works.”

Watch the clip above via CNN.

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