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US Fauci throws cold water on Trump's declaration that malaria drug a 'game changer'

00:25  21 march  2020
00:25  21 march  2020 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Top federal health official says coronavirus outbreak is 'going to get worse' in the US

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Trump on malaria drug for COVID-19: ‘I feel good about it’ Dr. Anthony Fauci said there is not enough evidence to support claims that hydrox-chloroquine is effective in combatting COVID-19. A day after President Donald Trump declared an anti- malaria drug a “ game changer ” in the fight against the

Trump sang the praises of chloroquine, calling it a potential “ game - changer ,” while seeming to stumble over the regulatory path required to give it to a broader But, in fact, the drug has not been approved by the FDA for the novel coronavirus. It has long been approved to prevent and treat malaria as well

A day after President Donald Trump declared an anti-malaria drug a “game changer” in the fight against the novel coronavirus, the nation’s top infectious disease expert downplayed any role it might play in the fast-moving pandemic and said signs of the drug’s promise were purely “anecdotal.”

Fauci’s statements at a White House briefing Friday amounted to clinical cold water thrown on the president’s repeated upbeat assessments on the U.S. fight against the virus, also known as COVID-19.

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  Fauci Says Americans Must be Prepared to Hunker Down More Americans must be ready for more drastic steps to slow the march of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday. “Americans should be prepared that they are going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”Asked if he would prefer some kind of 14-day national shutdown to “flatten the curve” of Covid-19 spread, Fauci said -- in one of five interviews on Sunday talk shows -- “I would prefer as much as we possibly could.

Trump sang the praises of chloroquine, calling it a potential “ game - changer ,” while seeming to stumble over the regulatory path required to give it to a broader But, in fact, the drug has not been approved by the FDA for the novel coronavirus. It has long been approved to prevent and treat malaria as well

Trump specifically spoke about chloroquine, a drug designed to treat malaria that has reportedly been showing promising results against COVID-19 symptoms. “I think it could be a game - changer , and maybe not,” Trump said at the press conference. “I have directed the FDA to eliminate rules and

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Fauci pushes back against reports of rift with Trump over coronavirus

  Fauci pushes back against reports of rift with Trump over coronavirus Dr. Anthony Fauci pushed back Tuesday against reports of a growing rift over coronavirus with President Donald Trump even as his boss suggests he is ready to scale back or end measures to contain the pandemic. "I would wish that would stop because we have a much bigger problem here than trying to point out differences," Fauci told WMAL. The nation's top pandemic doc insisted that Trump takes his advice, even though he has regularly been forced to correct the president’s lies and exaggerations about the fast-spreading disease.When I have made recommendations, he has taken them,” Fauci said.

Trump has falsely declared in recent weeks that anyone who wants a test could get one, despite limited access in parts of the country that continued through this week.

On Thursday, Trump declared an anti-malaria drug called chloroquine a “game changer” in the effort to develop a coronavirus treatment and announced the drug had been “approved.”

Chloroquine, or hydroxychloroquine, has been approved to treat and prevent malaria since 1944. But no drug has been approved to treat COVID-19, and a vaccine is estimated to remain at least a year away.

MORE: Chloroquine, an old malaria drug, may help treat novel coronavirus, doctors say 

Donald Trump in a suit and tie: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a briefing on the latest development of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. at the White House, March 20, 2020, in Washington. © Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a briefing on the latest development of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. at the White House, March 20, 2020, in Washington. When asked if the drug was promising Friday, Fauci, standing next to Trump, said “the answer is no” because “the evidence you’re talking about … is anecdotal evidence.”

“The information that you’re referring to specifically is antecdotal,” he added. “It was not done in a controlled clinical trial. So you really can’t make any definitive statement about it.”

Trump then stepped forward to add: “We’ll see. We’re going to know soon.”

The president then repeated his assessment that the drug was potentially a “game changer” and said: "We have millions of units ordered.”

MORE: Trump announces potential 'game changer' on drugs to treat novel coronavirus, but FDA says more study is needed 

When asked if he was giving the nation a false sense of hope, Trump said no.

“It may work, it may not work,” he said. “I feel good about it.”

On chloroquine, U.S. health officials say it’s possible that doctors could try the drug to treat coronavirus symptoms if it’s already on the market. Clinical trials are under way.

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But the FDA says it wants to study the potential of the drug before recommending its use, in part so that patients and their doctors don’t waste critical time on a drug that might not work.

MORE: Coronavirus live updates: 627 die in Italy in 24 hours

What to know about coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself:coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms:coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the US and Worldwide: coronavirus map

On testing, Fauci said it’s true that not everyone who wants a test can get one.

He said access to tests has improved in recent days noticeably, with the private sector having jumped on board.

But, he added, he continues to hear from people unable to determine if a patient has been infected – a serious problem when trying to mitigate the spread.

“I understand and empathize with the people who rightfully are saying I’m trying to get a test and I can’t,” Fauci said.

A reporter asked: “So is that another way of saying we are not at a point where we are meeting the demand pressure?”

“The answer is yes … We are not there yet because otherwise people would never be calling up saying they can’t get a test,” he said.

Fauci and Trump agreed that people without symptoms don’t need to tested. And Fauci said even without testing, communities can respond to the outbreak by limiting social contact.

“Testing is important. It would be nice to know. And there are certain things you could do” with results, Fauci said. “But let’s not conflate testing with the action we have to take,” which includes social distancing and washing hands.

ABC News’ Benjamin Gittleson, and Stephanie Ebbs contributed to this report.

Fauci pushes back against reports of rift with Trump over coronavirus .
Dr. Anthony Fauci pushed back Tuesday against reports of a growing rift over coronavirus with President Donald Trump even as his boss suggests he is ready to scale back or end measures to contain the pandemic. "I would wish that would stop because we have a much bigger problem here than trying to point out differences," Fauci told WMAL. The nation's top pandemic doc insisted that Trump takes his advice, even though he has regularly been forced to correct the president’s lies and exaggerations about the fast-spreading disease.When I have made recommendations, he has taken them,” Fauci said.

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