Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who served under President Trump, told MSNBC on Wednesday that hydroxychloroquine "definitively" does not work as a coronavirus treatment.

Why it matters: Trump took the drug in May as a preventative measure against the virus and has prompted controversy by continuing to tout its efficacy despite the FDA ending its emergency use authorization.

  • Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., garnered more controversy this week after retweeting a viral video falsely claiming that hydroxychloroquine is a "cure" for the virus. That caused Twitter to temporarily bar Trump Jr. from tweeting or retweeting.

What he's saying: "We all hoped it was going to work. ... All of the studies that were rigorously done have pointed in the same direction, which is that the drug doesn't work," Gottlieb said.

  • "I think at this point, we can definitively say hydroxychloroquine doesn't work. I'm not sure what more we need to do."
  • "I think it's incumbent of the public health officials around the president to make sure he's fully informed of that information. ... There is a lot of data right now available that I think could inform a very convincing briefing."

Go deeper

Sep 20, 2020 - Health

Trump's health secretary asserts control over all new rules

HHS Secretary Alex Azar and President Donald Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Heath and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar wrote a memo this week giving him authority over all new rules and banning any of the health agencies, including the FDA, from signing any new rules "regarding the nation’s foods, medicines, medical devices and other products," the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The story further underscores reporting that health and scientific agencies are undergoing a deep politicization as the Trump administration races to develop a coronavirus vaccine, as Axios' Caitlin Owens has reported. Peter Lurie, a former associate commissioner of the FDA, told the Times that the Azar memo amounted to a "power grab."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 31,1833,800 — Total deaths: 962,793— Total recoveries: 21,348,410Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,833,800 — Total deaths: 199,818 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.
Updated Sep 20, 2020 - Health

7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Seven states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health departments. Wisconsin and Nebraska surpassed records set the previous week.

Why it matters: Problem spots are sticking in the Midwest, although the U.S. is moving in the right direction overall after massive infection spikes this summer.

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