May 27, 2020 - Health

Fauci: Data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus

Anthony Fauci told CNN Wednesday that the scientific data "is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy" of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.

Driving the news: The comments came in response to news that France on Wednesday banned the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus, after a large retrospective study in The Lancet found an increased risk of heart problems and death among coronavirus patients who took the anti-malarial drug.

  • The World Health Organization also announced on Monday it had temporarily stopped running tests on the drug to review safety concerns.
  • Fauci stopped short of saying the U.S. should follow France's lead, but told CNN it has become "more clear" that using hydroxychloroquine could lead to "adverse" cardiovascular effects.

The big picture: President Trump has touted the drug as a potential "game-changer" for the pandemic and revealed last week that he had been taking it, despite an FDA warning that the unproven drug should only be taken in hospitals because of the risk of heart complications.

What he's saying:

"You know, Jim, I'm not sure it should be banned. But clearly, the scientific data is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy for it and even the possibility that there could be — not could be, but the likelihood that under certain circumstances, might be rare, but you would see it, adverse events, particularly with regard to cardiovascular and the arrhythmias that may be associated with it. There was suspicion of that for a while. But as data comes in it becomes more clear. So I'm not so sure you'd want to ban it, but certainly the data are clear right now."
— Fauci on CNN
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