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

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

How "COVID fatigue" clouds judgment and endangers public health

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Compounded stress and exhaustion from worrying about the coronavirus pandemic since the start of the year is leading to "COVID fatigue" and serious mental health issues, some medical experts say.

Why it matters: This can lead to risky behavior that can increase the spread of the coronavirus as well as raise levels of depression and anxiety that foment the abuse of alcohol or drugs.

Sep 3, 2020 - Health

Indiana University asks fraternities and sororities to shut down

The Indiana University Health Center in Bloomington, Indiana, in June 2020. Photo: Marlena Sloss for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Indiana University urged fraternity and sorority houses at its Bloomington campus to close after three-quarters of Greek houses have been forced to quarantine with coronavirus cases on the rise.

Why it matters: At least five Greek houses are reporting positivity rates of more than 50%, while one house experienced an 87.4% positivity rate as of Aug. 31, according to the university's COVID-19 dashboard.

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