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Fauci Responds To Fox & Friends Questioning On Unproven Coronavirus Drug: ‘We Don’t Operate On How You Feel’

Renowned infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci sparred with the host of Fox & Friends over unproven coronavirus drug hydroxychloroquine, and explained — repeatedly and at length — that polling doctors is not how medical research works.

On Friday morning’s edition of the program, co-host Steve Doocy began his interview of Dr. Fauci by citing a recent poll of doctors that found 37 percent said hydroxychloroquine was  “the most effective therapy amongst COVID-19 treaters from a list of 15 options.”

He also played a clip of Dr. Oz asking Dr. Fauci what he thought of another small hydroxychloroquine study that involved 61 patients. There have been several other studies with differing results.

“That was not a very robust study,” Fauci said of the trial that Dr. Oz cited, adding that “on a scale of strength of evidence, that’s not overwhelmingly strong,” but that the study “is an indication, a hint” of the drug’s potential efficacy against the coronavirus.

“But getting back to what you said just a moment ago, that x percent, I think you said 37% of doctors feel that it’s beneficial, we don’t operate on how you feel. We operate on what evidence is, and data is,” Fauci said. “So although there is some suggestion with the study that was just mentioned By Dr. Oz, I’m in granted that there is a suggestion that there is a benefit there, I think we’ve got to be careful that we don’t make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug.”

Co-host Brian Kilmeade then pointed out the percentages of doctors who are prescribing the drug in other countries, and said “I would be very curious doctor to see if anyone who was taking this for lupus or arthritis has gotten the coronavirus, that would be one way to go the other way to see about this study.”

“I mean obviously this is a good drug in many respects for some of the diseases you mentioned, and the one thing we don’t want to happen is that individuals who really need a drug with a proven indication don’t have it available,” Fauci said, describing the rationale that many states have used to warn prescribers against hoarding the drugs or prescribing them inappropriately.

“But I can’t escape getting back to, you said 75% of doctors think that it works, we really don’t care what 75% think it works. That’s not the issue,” Fauci said.

“I should clarify I said Spain, 72% of the doctors in Spain are prescribing it,” Kilmeade said, to which Fauci replied “Okay good, well that’s fine.”

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt then suggested “Democratic leaders” are trying to prevent doctors from prescribing the drug for coronavirus patients, and asked Fauci what could be done about that.

Fauci responded that “this is an approved drug for another indication, and doctors can, and the FDA has made it very clear that doctors can prescribe it on what we call off-label. There’s no inhibition for that. So a considerable amount of drug was made available as you remember just a few days ago. But the FDA was very clear that they’re not going to be inhibiting anyone from doing an off-label prescription of the drug. So they are free to do that if they want to.”

Again, some states have warned prescribers against hoarding the medications or prescribing inappropriately, which as Fauci explained, would lead to shortages of the drug for patients with conditions for which it has been proven effective.

Watch the clip above via Fox & Friends.

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