Fauci: geen bewijs dat door Trump geduwd anti-malariamedicijn tegen het virus werktmei 5, 2020
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Donald Trump’s top coronavirus adviser has warned again that there is no scientific evidence to support the use of an unproven anti-malaria drug the president has been pushing as a possible remedy for Covid-19.
In White House briefings on Saturday and Sunday, Trump urged Americans worried about the virus to try hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to treat malaria, arthritis and lupus that has not been extensively tested for other conditions.
“Take it. What do you have to lose?” Trump said on Saturday, suggesting he might do so himself after asking “my doctors”.
On Sunday, Trump said America doesn’t have time “to take a couple years” to test the efficacy of the drug in treating Covid-19.
But Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top doctor on infectious diseases and a key member of the White House taskforce, was adamant there was nothing to suggest the medicine had any benefit against coronavirus.
“In terms of science, I don’t think we can definitively say it works,” he told CBS’s Face the Nation.
“The data are really just at best suggestive. There have been cases that show there may be an effect and there are others to show there’s no effect.”
Dr James Phillips, professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University hospital, said Americans could be risking their health if they followed the president’s advice to take a drug for a condition for which it had not been tested.
“We don’t know enough to make medical recommendations,” he told CNN’s Reliable Sources.
“It’s a dangerous message for someone without a medical license to get up there and tell people to try it. You need to listen to physicians, people who understand science, before you go willy-nilly into the medicine cabinet.”
Fauci has been reluctant to directly criticise the president, with whom he speaks regularly, but has found himself repeatedly having to contradict the president over hydroxychloroquine, which has become a hobby horse at White House briefings.
On 21 March, the day after another nationally televised Trump claim that the drug “looked promising”, Fauci was asked directly if it could be used to treat Covid-19.
Last month, a man in Arizona died after he and his wife took chloroquine phosphate, an additive used to clean fish tanks that is also found in hydroxychloroquine.
“Trump kept saying it was basically pretty much a cure,” the man’s wife told NBC.
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, by Sunday lunchtime about 313,000 cases of Covid-19 had been confirmed in the US and more than 8,500 people had died.
Fauci did concur with White House messaging that a grim period lies ahead in the battle against the virus, and that the US is “struggling” to control the pandemic.
“This is going to be a bad week, unfortunately,” he said. “We need to be prepared that even though it’s clear mitigation is working, we’re still going to see … deaths.”
Fauci said there were glimmers of hope, but not things were due to get worse first.
“We should hope that within a week, maybe a little bit more, we’ll start to see a flattening out of the curve, and it coming down,” he said. “But the end result of that you don’t see for days, if not weeks down the pipe. Things are going to get bad and we need to prepare for that, it is going to be shocking to some.
“I will not say we have it under control, that would be a false statement, we are struggling to get it under control.”
Even after the crisis was over, Fauci warned, the possibility of a resurgence remained.
“Unless we get this globally under control, there’s a very good chance it will assume a seasonal nature. It will unlikely be completely eradicated from the planet,” he said.
“That’s why we’re pushing so hard on getting our preparedness much better, pushing on a vaccine and doing clinical trials for therapeutic interventions so that hopefully if we do see that resurgence we will have interventions we did not have at the beginning of the situation we’re in right now.”