Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said on Friday that there’s no definitive proof that chloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, works against the CCP virus.
The top immunologist clarified that he didn’t dismiss the effectiveness of chloroquine and is open to testing as it’s been suggested anecdotally that it may be effective.
“What I said it that we don’t have definitive proof that it works. So what we need to do, since there are suggestions anecdotally that it works, try to get it available but to do it in the context of a protocol where we accomplish two things,” he said during an interview with Fox News. “We make something that’s maybe hope and promising for someone. At the same time, we determine whether or not it’s safe and whether or not it actually does work. I wasn’t dismissing it. I was saying we need to be careful.”
He mostly aligned with what he said during the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on Friday.
President Donald Trump said he’s optimistic about the effectiveness of chloroquine during the briefing. The Coronavirus Task Force is talking with the governors about making the drug available, but they’re waiting for final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“It may work and it may not work,” he said. “I feel good about it. That’s all it is. Just a feeling.”
Fauci appeared to refer to the research (pdf) conducted by a group of French researchers who say the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin could change the test results for the CCP virus from positive to negative.
The research was conducted on a small group of 36 people, with 14 of them treated with hydroxychloroquine, 6 with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, and 20 in the control group.
The Epoch Times could not verify that the study was peer-reviewed.
The FDA announced on Thursday that they are investigating if chloroquine can be used to treat patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, and potentially reduce the duration of symptoms and viral shedding.
They are also trying other approaches to discover a potential cure for the widespread disease, including an investigation into antiviral drug remdesivir from Gilead Sciences.
About 250 patients have been granted access to remdesivir, the agency said.
Therapies including convalescent plasma, hyperimmune globulin, and antibody-rich blood products taken from blood donated by people who have recovered from the virus are also under evaluation to see if they can shorten the length, or lessen the severity of the illness.
However, the FDA reaffirmed that there are no FDA-approved therapeutics or drugs to treat, cure, or prevent COVID-19.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which originated from Wuhan, China and causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, there are near 300,000 confirmed cases around the world as of Saturday afternoon, with 22,177 of them in the United States.
The number is regarded to be highly underestimated because of the underreporting of cases from Mainland China.