30/07/2020 1:43 PM AEST

Fauci: Hydroxychloroquine 'Is Not Effective' In Treating COVID-19

The top US infectious disease expert, responding to Trump's latest touting of the drug, cites clinical trials that have found it ineffective.

Dr Anthony Fauci has again stressed the determinations by health officials that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective in combatting the coronavirus after US President Donald Trump continued to baselessly endorse its use this week.

“Hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of coronavirus disease or COVID-19,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on MSNBC on Wednesday. He cited the results of numerous clinical trials that he said have “consistently” shown this.

“If a study that’s a good study comes out and shows efficacy and safety for hydroxychloroquine or any other drug that we do, if you do it in the right way, you accept the scientific data,” said Fauci, a key member of Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force. “But right now today, the cumulative scientific data that has been put together, and done over a number of different studies, has shown no efficacy.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday reaffirmed that scientifically valid studies have found hydroxychloroquine is not effective in treating COVID-19, even as President Donald Trump continues to be the drug's most prominent cheerleader.

For months, Trump has repeatedly insisted that the anti-malaria drug is a safe and effective treatment for those infected by the coronavirus, despite the evidence showing otherwise. For the most part, in making his case he has relied on anecdotes about hydroxychloroquine rather than the type of tests Fauci referred to. 

“I happen to believe in it,” he said at a White House press briefing on Tuesday. “I would take it. As you know, I took it for a 14-day period. And as you know, I’m here. I happen to think it works in the early stages.”

That endorsement followed Trump retweeting a video that called the drug “a cure” for the disease. That video has since been removed from social media platforms after it was determined to contain misleading information.

Fauci, when asked about that video Wednesday, said the only recourse in fighting such misinformation “is to be very, very clear in presenting the scientific data that essentially contradicts that.” 

“We’ve got to follow the science,” he said.