President Donald Trump on Friday insisted hydroxychloroquine was “very effective” after a top NIH official warned that clinical research needed to be done before it was used against the novel coronavirus.
During a White House briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the anti-malaria drug held some promise in the treatment of COVID-19 — but warned that currently there were only “anecdotal” reports of its effectiveness.
But Trump stepped in to continue to hype the drug.
“I think without saying too much, I’m probably more of a fan of that than — maybe than anybody, but I’m a big fan. We will see what happens. We all understand what the doctor said is 100% correct. It’s early, but I have seen things that are impressive,” he said.
A reporter noted that it was “fairly effective” against SARS, and Trump agreed.
“You have to be careful when you say fairly effective. It was never done in a clinical trial,” Fauci replied.
Trump said the federal government had ordered millions of units. “I will say that I am a man that comes from a very positive school when it comes to in particular one of these drugs. We will see how it works out. I’m not saying it will, but I think people may be surprised. By the way, that would be a game-changer,” he explained.