Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said this week that if he were to be diagnosed with the coronavirus, he would choose to enroll in a clinical trial.
Fauci’s comments came during a recent interview on Sinclair’s “America: This Week” with host Eric Bolling.
Fauci on hydroxychloroquine
The interview centered on the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which some, including President Donald Trump, have touted as a potential cure for the coronavirus. However, Fauci and other health officials have warned that as yet, its effectiveness in treating COVID-19 is unproven and it can have significant side effects.
“Well, [hydroxychloroquine] is being used, and it’s being used on the two different pathways,” Fauci explained, according to Mediaite. “One is an off-label prescribing by physicians. And that has to be an agreement and an understanding between a physician and a patient that there are certain risks. Because, by the way, the dosages that you’ll be using for coronavirus are far greater than the dosages that you use for malaria or that you use for autoimmune diseases such as lupus.”
“There are other studies that show that doesn’t work at all,” Fauci added.
The doctor’s preferred treatment
Here is when Bolling asked Fauci whether he would recommend hydroxychloroquine for a member of his family if that member happened to come down with a bad case of COVID-19.
“Well, my daughters are adults,” Fauci replied. “What I would do is I would tell them to make their own decision myself. Myself, personally, if I were infected, I would want to go into a clinical trial. I would want to do it under the auspices of a clinical trial, a well-controlled clinical trial.”
Fauci continued by explaining that he doesn’t and wouldn’t fault individuals for deciding with their health care providers that “they may want to try something.”
“I think everybody has a different viewpoint and you’ve got to respect the individual viewpoints of people,” Fauci said. “That’s the reason why I do not criticize people who, together with their physician, make a decision that they may want to try something.”
The jury’s still out
Fauci went on to emphasize that, despite the success stories we hear from time to time with the use of hydroxychloroquine against the coronavirus, the scientific community has not yet come to a consensus as to whether it actually works and, furthermore, whether it is safe to use for this purpose.
“But in the same breath, I have to say there is not definitive evidence that it works, and we are not quite sure yet of the toxicities because you’re using it in a different disease and you’re using it at a much higher dose,” Fauci said.
“Ultimately, as the information gets accumulated, we will get a better idea, and also, I think importantly, in addition to the off-label use, there are randomized controlled trials that are looking at the safety and the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine,” he said.
“So, we will get the answer ultimately,” Fauci concluded.