A top doctor on the White House’s coronavirus task force said that “there’s no magic drug” for COVID-19 — tempering enthusiasm about the drugs that President Trump fast-tracked this week for clinical testing to battle the deadly bug.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said in a CNN interview Thursday evening that “there are no proven safe and effective therapies for the coronavirus.”
But “that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to do everything we can to make things that have even a hint of efficacy more readily available.”
Fauci said he does not recommend going to the doctor and specifically asking for medications such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — originally used to combat malaria. Hydroxychloroquine, approved for use in the US in 1955, is a less toxic derivative of chloroquine.
“People are going to do it anyway, but as a matter of principle, to just go out and say, ‘Prescribe this for me,’ what that would do would probably be to deplete the supplies for the people who might need it if it shows to be working,” the doctor said. “I think that’s one of the real unintended consequences of people out there flooding trying to get the drug.”
In an interview with NBC’s “TODAY” show Friday, Fauci recommended people only try these meds in “controlled” environments.
“We’re getting stories from people who have tried them, but they’ve tried them in trials that are not controlled,” he said on the program. “So what we’re saying is that we want to make them more available, but in the context of a protocol of some sort that would not only make them available, but that we can get some information as to whether they’re safe and whether they really work.”
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